Welcome again to The NASS Backbone, the series bringing our NASS volunteers to the forefront. NASS has a multitude of committees, sections, workgroups, and task forces working hard to bring the best spine education, research, and advocacy directly to you. But who are these volunteers, and why do they do what they do? This series highlights various volunteers from all areas of NASS, showcasing their experiences both within and outside of NASS.
In this edition, we talk to Russell C. DeMicco, DO, Chair of the Membership Committee.
Russell C. DeMicco, DO
NASS: Tell us a bit about yourself ...
Dr. DeMicco: My name is Russell DeMicco. I am a spine medicine and PM&R physician in Cleveland, OH. I have been Chair of the Membership Committee since 2015. I live with my wife, 3 children, 3 dogs and my mother-in-law. Also, I started playing guitar after I turned 50 years young.
NASS: What has been your favorite part about being part of this Section? What interested you in joining in the first place?
Dr. DeMicco: Joining committees allows for professional and personal growth. I enjoy sharing ideas and conversations with people from different medical trainings and schools of thought. This organization has many voices, and it is a privilege to work on their behalf. Joining the Membership Committee was a good way to see behind the scenes how things run, and it has given me a great opportunity to meet and work with staff and volunteers - it truly does take a village.
How long has the Committee been around and why was it formed?
The committee predates my membership, but I have seen many changes over the years. I remember when we had paper applications and CVs and then CD-ROMS of information to review. Technology is good. The committee has the best interests of the membership at heart, and we are working to make sure that NASS stays relevant and provides what is needed. NASS is a robust organization, but still very much a family.
What professions/specialties/experience make up the members of this Committee?
We have a variety - orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, chiropractors, young, old, international and domestic. We have some volunteers that are involved in the maximum allowed committees while others may be serving on this as a first or only committee.
What are key goals of the upcoming year? Challenges?
We are in the process of transitioning to Dr. Halloran DC, MS as Chair but I will stay as Vice- Chair to make a smooth transition for the committee. I recommend that members get involved in committee work - it is challenging at times, but certainly rewarding.
What projects are you excited about? How are they of benefit to NASS members and spine professionals?
I believe getting residents/fellows involved early is a great start. As an organization, we have to grow as they grow. We have to adapt to changes and embrace technology. I think On-Demand access to prior seminars and educational events has been a positive over recent years. However, I still enjoy the in-person and hands-on programs that allow free exchange of ideas across different specialties and different countries. The educational offerings of NASS are top tier with excellent faculty and participants; there is ample opportunity for hands-on learning.