President's Message

Strategic Focus on Collaboration

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller

 

Looking back on 2015, I am proud of all the CNS has accomplished and honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many outstanding neurosurgical leaders and innovators. One key to the past year was effective collaboration with other societies, specialties, and organizations, all for the betterment of our profession.

Dr. Selden with residents and fellows at the IBNC in Antalya, Turkey

A collaboration I am especially proud of is our partnership with the Turkish Neurosurgical Society (TNS). The CNS and TNS partnered throughout the past two years to deliver outstanding neurosurgical education. In April of 2014 and 2015, CNS faculty and education division volunteers traveled to Antalya, Turkey, for the International Basic Neurological Course (IBNC). At the IBNC, CNS faculty helped teach more than 200 students from over 70 developing nations worldwide, and hosted a vascular simulation course using CNS SIM modules. In 2015, the CNS delegation also participated as the international guest society at the TNS Annual Scientific Conference. Our CNS-TNS partnership continued this fall in New Orleans, where more than 25 leaders from the TNS served as faculty for courses and educational sessions throughout the CNS Annual Meeting. Highlighting the collaboration, Professor Yücel Yilmaz, president emeritus of Kadir Has University in Istanbul, delivered a talk on “Troy, Cradle of Western Civilization” during the Sunday Opening General Session.

The Congress is also very proud to partner closely with our colleagues in the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) to enhance the progress of education in our specialty. Since 2011, the CNS has partnered with the SNS to produce the nationwide PGY1 Neurosurgery Boot Camp courses, enhancing safety and professionalism at the beginning of training for all US residents. The ACGME has recommended Boot Camp participation for all US neurosurgery residents.

Over the past year, we have also launched the Neurosurgery Portal project in cooperation with the SNS and AANS. When it launches in early 2016, the Portal will serve as a dynamic and interactive classroom that will define and teach the core of our specialty, providing residents with access to surgical videos, lectures, and short quizzes, and also generating objective progress reports for residents and program directors. Together, the Boot Camp Courses and the Neurosurgery Portal represent key pieces of a plan for systematic and intentional neurosurgical education designed to enhance the progress of our specialty.

Since our foundation, the CNS has grown and enriched neurosurgery by collaborating with the newest sources of talent for our specialty, including CNS founding members returning from World War II hospital service. The ACGME this year announced a comprehensive new partnership with US osteopathic physicians. The CNS has joined this historic collaboration by becoming the first neurosurgical society to extend full, active membership to qualified osteopathic neurosurgeons. Welcoming these colleagues to the Congress is about putting access to quality neurosurgical care for patients in need first, as well as honoring the inclusive heritage of the CNS.

2015 PGY1 SNS Bootcamp Fundamental Skills Course, Atlanta, GA

CNS partnerships in the last year include research as well as education. In 2015, the CNS along with the CNS Foundation entered into an unprecedented collaboration with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to fund and administer an ongoing national career development program. The NINDS/CNS Getch Scholar K12 Award provides two years of funding to an early career neurosurgeon to train as a highly competitive clinician scientist. We expect NINDS/Getch scholars to form a core of scientific leaders for the future of neurosurgery.

As we have for decades, CNS volunteers worked incessantly over the past year to create the most impactful and high quality education available in the US for practicing neurosurgeons. In collaboration with evidence-based medicine experts from the CNS and AANS joint sections as well as from other specialties, the CNS continues to serve as the sole engine for neurosurgical practice guidelines creation. CNS-produced guidelines are crucial to promote the highest quality care and to preserve access for all patients in need of neurosurgical intervention.

This year, we also launched the CNS mCASE Exchange, a completely novel online and mobile platform for case review and image-sharing. mCASE Exchange brings together colleagues from down the hall or across the globe in real time to share advice and insight about the toughest clinical problems we face day to day. The CNS has provided every member with the cutting-edge networking technology that powers mCASE Exchange. Together, each of us contributes our knowledge to the shared community that makes mCASE Exchange, and CNS membership, so valuable.

Some of our most impactful collaborations on behalf of neurosurgery happen in Washington, D.C., where the CNS and AANS Joint Washington Committee and Office have a disproportionately large effect on health care policy, regulation, and reimbursement. In 2015, the CNS also collaborated with other medical specialties in the Alliance of Specialty Medicine and the Surgical Coalition in successful efforts to repeal the Medical Device Tax and to preserve payments for the 90-day global post-operative care period. In many other ways, like joint CME reporting to the ABNS instituted this year, the CNS and AANS are working more closely together than ever to improve the daily working environment of our members and to add value to the career of every practicing neurosurgeon.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to every CNS member for the opportunity to serve you and the CNS during this exciting time. I am tremendously optimistic about the future of our organization under the strong leadership of Dr. Russ Lonser and the 2015-16 CNS Executive Committee. I also look forward to every opportunity I will have during the rest of my career to support the ongoing work of the CNS along with you, as an engaged and supportive member.

CNS VOLUNTEERS WORKED INCESSANTLY OVER THE PAST YEAR TO CREATE THE MOST IMPACTFUL AND HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION AVAILABLE IN THE US FOR PRACTICING NEUROSURGEONS.