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, Steven W. Hwang, MD, the Council Director for the NASS Evidence Analysis & Research 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?
Our Council will focus on several key projects this year. Our EBM committee aims to complete our Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) guideline adopting new GRADE methodology this year. This project will serve as the foundation for dissemination of the GRADE process into our future guidelines and updates of pre-existing guidelines. We also aim to increase our collaboration with external organizations through our guidelines, research funding, AUC, and safety committees thus strengthening spine care.
Q. What are your goals for your Council in 2024?
We anticipate completion of both the vertebral compression fracture guidelines and the updated antithrombotic guidelines with the associated AUCs, as well as initiation of a new guideline and the update of a pre-existing one using GRADE methodology. We aim to improve the process of our research funding and continue to fund exciting, new projects as well.
Q. How will the NASS Board/Council restructure assist your Council in achieving these goals?
The restructured board will allow us greater communication and collaboration across committees, thus improving our ability to achieve our goals.
About Dr. Hwang
Dr. Hwang currently specializes in pediatric spinal deformity at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia, where he is the director of neurosurgical spine. He is an adjunct professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania and has an appointment at Temple University. He has been an active NASS member since 2009 and acted previously as chair of the clinical practice guideline committee as well as served on the membership, coverage, PPRC, and EBM committees. He has served on the NASS board of directors since 2021 and is actively involved with other organizations such as SRS and AANS. He has co-authored over 25 book chapters and 140 peer-reviewed articles to date with Shriner’s grant funding.