President's Message

Alan Scarrow, MD
President, Congress of Neurological Surgeons

As we move into the new year, the leaders and staff of the CNS want you to know that we truly value your membership in our organization. Without your attendance at our meetings and conferences and your support of our publications and internet offerings, the Congress would not exist. Our vision statement of being the premier educational organization in neurosurgery is more than just words. A vision statement that does not drive the behavior of the organization’s leaders and staff is a waste. Our expressed intent is to continually provide you with innovative education that helps you become the best neurosurgeon you can be.

After a number of member surveys and much deliberation among the executive committee members and staff, we have put together an aggressive three-year strategic plan that we hope will exceed your expectations for neurosurgical education. Enormous effort has been put into our strategic plan, which will guide how we act, adapt, and innovate to achieve the greatest relevance in neurosurgical education. We are making a high priority of anticipating change and not simply reacting to it. Over time you will notice some old courses and publications going away and new ones taking their place. Many of these we think you will like, some of them you may not. That is the nature of innovation—if we’re not failing once in a while then we’re probably not being very innovative. In 2017, we will focus on several new educational offerings. The CNS will offer one new live meeting and expand another live program that was started in 2016. The new meeting will be a regional course focused on the care of stroke patients and will be piloted this May in Chicago. The meeting will not be exclusively for neurosurgeons but will also include neurology, neuroradiology, intensivists, ER physicians, advance practice providers, nursing, EMS, paramedics, and hospital leadership. This new course is a result of two important components: (1) feedback from member survey indicating a desire for more team education that would improve the performance of an entire system of care; and (2) an innovative idea from former CNS Executive Committee member Bernard Bendok on how to operationalize such a meeting. The CNS staff and leadership are excited about this new offering and are looking forward to assessing how the meeting is received by local providers in and around Chicago.

The second initiative, the CNS Leadership in Healthcare Program, is focused on practicing neurosurgeons who are within five years of having completed their residency. This course was initially designed from member feedback asking for education to help them impact the organizations where they work. From that initial request, a series of innovative concepts were developed by CNS EC members and staff during discussions with corporate leadership from Medtronic. The subsequent collaboration resulted in the Leadership in Healthcare Program, which was piloted in May 2016, and drew 13 neurosurgeons. The feedback was unanimously positive, and attendees went back to their home institution armed with a new set of skills and the ability to make a significant impact on the performance of their health system. The two-day course is scheduled to be held again in May 2017.

Finally, as you know, each year the CNS works very hard to put on the best annual meeting in neurosurgery. Year in and year out, feedback from our members describe our Annual Meeting and journal, Neurosurgery, as the two most valuable components of their membership. This stems from the high-quality educational content and one-of-a kind experiences the Annual Meeting provides as well as best-in-class neurosurgical research published in our journal. This year you will also see more cross promotion of the journal at the Annual Meeting. We plan to celebrate and award the “Papers of the Year,” outstanding articles published in Neurosurgery in each of the subspecialties, and a special award for the “Innovation of the Year” as selected by neurosurgical peers. We think this will add a bit of excitement to the meeting as we honor the hard work of some of the best people our specialty has to offer. We encourage you to submit your papers for publication in Neurosurgery and look forward to celebrating the winners October 8–11, 2017, in Boston.

Once again we thank you for your membership and support of the CNS. We know there are many options for your time and attention when it comes to neurosurgical education. It is our commitment to you, our members, that we will do our very best to make sure you have the most effective, innovative and satisfying educational experiences at our courses and in our publications. I look forward to serving you this year!