Dear Members of SAS, Dear Colleagues and Friends,
My year as President of the SAS has been a very full year. The SAS9 in London was a great success attracting our larg est audience of all European-hosted SAS conferences. The APSAS conference in China continued what we started in Korea a few years ago. We have upgraded our website offering our members and potential spine patients insights and reference sources. We have added 2 more committees, Research and Fellowship, so that more members are able to participate and we offer our members more. We have taken a stronger role in the public policy area making state ments and inroads in the support of motion preservation technology and all spine surgery.
I think New Orleans and its recovery is a bit like one of our patients who have gone through a transforming surgery. They experienced the debilitating hurricane, Katrina, has had surgery to recover and now have continuing therapy to work through all the destruction. The celebration of the winning of the U.S. Super Bowl Championship by the New Orleans Saints football team was an indication of how proud the people are of their fine city. We are happy to sup port the revitalization of the city and know all will be happy to see that New Orleans is alive and a very good place to experience a meeting such as the SAS.
We continue to grow from an infant back in the formation year of 1999 with the first meeting in 2000 with 150 people attending. We grew through the formation years of a toddler and now are walking on our own. We are talking and sharing our message with those that have been working in the spine care community for decades. The growth of the SAS Global Symposium on Motion Preservation Technology has progressed from 150 attendees for the first meeting to almost 2000 attendees 10 years later. Although the challenges of today’s marketplace and economy are taking it’s tolls on each and every business we see that the spine community sees the value of our society and what we are offering for the advancement of spine surgery on an international basis.
The SAS10 Program Committee has done a very good job of developing a program of important subjects. The cat egories of the scientific program for the SAS10 have been extended to fit the change in the title of the society, “The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery”. We start the conference on Tuesday at 8am with the Pre-Conference course: “Around the World Experience with Cervical and Lumbar Total Disc Replacement.” MIS will start it’s session with a question for us all: “MIS: Where Does It Fit Into My Practice?” The oral poster session was so widely complimented that it will return this year, along with the round-table discussion of the World Café. You will have the opportunity to participate in 5 symposia from Cervical Disc Replacement to the question of “Should we be operating on lower back pain? “
As the past is an indication of the future—the SAS10 program will offer the best of scientific academic programming for all who attend. I look forward to seeing each of you in the fine city of New Orleans!
Chun-Kun Park, MD, PhD
President of the SAS 2009-2010
The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery