NASS Insider

March 26, 2024

NASS Administration Council Director, Christopher Kauffman, MD, Answers Questions About His Council for 2024

The North American Spine Society (NASS) recently underwent a comprehensive Board and Council restructure. Through these changes, the NASS Board of Directors aims to create a more nimble and responsive structure, and provide greater transparency to members about their strategy for the organization.

As part of the initiative, Council Directors of the Board of Directors have participated in a strategic planning process to delve into the implications of these changes for the various committees under their umbrella. In a recent interview, Christopher Kauffman, MD, the Council Director for the NASS Administration Council, answered the following questions:

Q. What are the highest priority issues, challenges, or opportunities within your Council's mandate you wish to address in 2024?
A. The highest priority for my Council will be the NASS Finance Task Force. To fulfill NASS’ mission and serve our membership, we must be fiscally responsible. The Finance Task Force is tasked with interfacing with the Executive Committee and various NASS Councils to provide necessary and desirable services for our membership while maintaining a balanced budget. This will take understanding from all involved as we continue to work together to see where we have been successful in the past, where improvement is needed, and where we need to go in the future.

The Administration Council provides opportunities necessary for success in the areas of Governance, Finance (investment and audit), DEI, Ethics, Conflict of Interest, and Industry Relations. All committees either directly affect our mission or significantly contribute to overseeing that we are moving in the right direction.

Q. What are your goals for your Council in 2024?
A. We have a variety of goals including:
  • Continuing to work on our past successes with DEI;
  • Further developing the Women in Spine breakout sessions at the NASS Annual Meeting;
  • Examining how we can expand for other underrepresented peoples during the Annual Meeting and beyond;
  • Producing a balanced budget;
  • Liaising with industry regarding what changes can be made at the NASS Annual Meeting that would attract/support industry sponsors;
  • Working through necessary Governance oversight needed to address and support the recent restructure;
  • Working with the Conflict of Interest Review Panel (COIRP) on understanding their role with examining relationships on a Board with potentially non-Level 1 members; and
  • Engaging Finance Committee members regarding the best way to fold/divide investment and audit functions.
Q. How will the NASS Board/Council restructure assist your Council in achieving these goals?
A. The recent restructure of the Board and Councils allows for a leaner Board with more opportunities for open dialogue with the entire Board. It also improves opportunities for individual members of the Board to greater voice their thoughts and opinions.
Christopher Kauffman, MD

About Dr. Kauffman

Christopher Kauffman is a Nashville area orthopedic spine surgeon in private practice. Prior to that, Dr. Kauffman was in full time academic practice at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). His experience in both the academic and private sectors give a solid foundation on understanding the clinical and practice management aspects of a surgical practice. Dr Kauffman is currently the NASS Administration Council Director and has previously served as NASS’ Healthy Policy Council Director. He has been involved with all aspects of NASS’ efforts regarding health policy as it relates to spine care.