John P. Leonetti, MD
The North American Skull Base Society is a multi-specialty organization, originally established as a study group, dedicated to the concept of improving patient care through an interdisciplinary exchange of medical information. The 1998 Annual Meeting, under the direction of Immediate Past President Steven Newman, MD, was an international success in accomplishing this goal.
It is an honor and a privilege to have been elected President of the NASBS for 1999 and I would like to make my first official order of business the announcement that the Annual Meeting will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown from May 28-31, 1999.
This, the 10th Annual Meeting of the NASBS, will mark a “DECADE OF REFLECTION.” While past meetings have been focused on surgical techniques and perioperative complications, this meeting will stress outcome data. Has what we have learned about skull base tumors and vascular lesions prepared us for the beginning of the new millennium?
The external pressures surrounding specialty health care have never been more intrusive, obstructive or frustrating as they are today. It is tempting for us to say “what’s the use” and retreat to the more basic and simple activities available in each of our specialties. I believe our Society has come too far to give in to these pressures. This long-weekend meeting format will allow us to exchange meaningful information about the patients we have treated over the past 10 years, without sacrificing time away from our individual practices or our personal lives.
It is time to reflect on the first 10 years of our Society’s existence. The advances made in the management of skull base disorders due to the multi-disciplinary exchange of information must be passed on to generations of physicians. Many problems remain to be solved and, despite our efforts, not all diseases of the skull base are curable. We owe it to ourselves and to future physicians in our field to continue the study of skull base disorders. Our patients and future patients will benefit from our collective effort.
John P. Leonetti, MD
Report from the Immediate Past President
As we begin the year leading up to our first decade of existence and I get to enjoy being an ex-president, I would like to express appreciation to all those members of the Society who helped organize, plan, execute, and attend the recent annual meeting of the North American Skull Base Society combined with the Japanese Society for Skull Base Surgery and the Korean Skull Base Society at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Kamuela, Hawaii. The North American Skull Base Society represents one of the premier societies for the study, discussion, education, and dissemination of information on advances in Skull Base Disease and Surgery. The very heart and core of its organization and mission has been its multi-disciplinary nature and the ability to include multiple ancillary sub specialties, as well as joining together the expertise of head and neck surgery and neurosurgery, which helps advance our knowledge and ability to better treat our patients. Over the last decade, multiple meetings have demonstrated what is possible. As we approach our second decade, we need to continue to strive to answer what is appropriate.
NASBS Web Site In the last year, we have made arrangements to bring up a web site for the North American Skull Base Society. This will offer a means to improve communication between members of the Society and the leadership of the organization. Any organization is simply a conglomeration of its individual members and the more input we can have from membership, the better we can serve the individual member needs. With both public access, which may be viewed as a means of promoting knowledge about the presence of an expertise in skull base surgery, as well as a limited access on the web site, we should be able to begin to collect multi-center data and possibly initiate some of the members’ plans for multi-institutional research projects. Clinical and basic research in rare lesions often cannot occur without identifying those institutions with those patients. I am optimistic that this web site has the potential for bringing that information immediately to the attention of the Society members. We also plan on making the abstracts from the previous meetings available on the web page. To promote the new web page, we are distributing mouse pads with the NASBS logo and our new web address, as well as our phone and fax address. This should keep the skull base society active in the anterior frontal cortex as well as the rest of the cranium.
CME Accreditation To emphasize, solidify, and formalize our mission in education, the last year has seen the Society take steps to arrange with the ACCME to have NASBS issue its own CME credit. This should simplify our ability to grant continuing medical education credits to those members participating in our annual scientific meeting.
NASBS Practical Course We have formalized the practical course to precede the annual meeting on a regular basis. As long as there is sufficient interest and member input, this should serve as an additional educational facility in skull base surgery.
Petrous Pulse In the past, the Petrous Pulse has been published as an advertisement for the Skull Base Society, as well as an information sheet regarding the activities of the Society itself. We owe a great debt to Dr. Anil Nanda, who has put forth a tremendous effort as the editor of the Petrous Pulse. We in the Society are most appreciative of all the effort that has gone into previous publications. With the maturation of the Society, we have decided to convert the Petrous Pulse into a quarterly newsletter for the Society members. This will serve as a venue for announcements as well as interaction among members. With time, we will shift this to our new web site, but for the moment it will be sent as a mailer directly from the Society office in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ad-Hoc Committee In an effort to keep us more in touch with the needs and interests of our members, an ad hoc committee of junior members within five years of their fellowship) has been established under the chairmanship of Dr. Ali Krisht of Little Rock, Arkansas. We hope that this committee can serve as a means of identifying those younger members who have an interest in becoming more active in the Society leadership, as well as influencing the direction of the Society in the future. Any Society must address the concerns of its members, and it is in our more junior members that our future resides.
Annual Meeting Our annual meeting itself took place at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the big island of Hawaii between February 13 and 17. A total of 235 attendees were present. A total of 59 scientific posters and 115 free papers were presented. Eleven panel discussions emphasized the twin themes of emerging technologies and complication avoidance and rehabilitation. The Korean Skull Base Society were pleased to honor Professor Kil Soo Choi, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Seoul National University Hospital. Dr. Choi spoke on the past, present and future treatment for petroclival lesions. Dr. Naoaki Yanagihara, emeritus professor from Takanoko University in Japan, was the honored guest nominated by the Japanese Society for Skull Base Surgery. Dr. Yanagihara gave a detailed review of facial reanimation procedures, in keeping with our theme of rehabilitation. Finally, the North American Skull Base Society was delighted to honor Dr. Dwight Parkinson, one of the pioneers of skull base surgery. Dr. Parkinson, who remains active in teaching in the Department of Anatomy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has had a life-long interest in the cavernous sinus and the sympathetic innervation of the eye and orbit. Dr. Parkinson gave a high tech talk on the history of our understanding of the cavernous sinus from Winslow to the present. The preceding practical course was organized by Dr. Ali Krisht, and special thanks go to Drs. Ossama Al-Mefty, Engelbert Knosp, Isao Yamamoto, George Haddad, Takeshi Kawase, Donald C. Wright, Luis Borba, Albino Bricolo, Evandro De Oliviera, Paul J. Donald, Norohiko Tamaki, Hiroshi Abe, Jacques J. Morcos, Akira Hakuba, Martin Bettag, and Charles Teo. The discussion was spirited and personal interaction was emphasized, maximizing educational benefit.
While some of the sessions had some trouble competing with the exquisite weather and multiple distractions available on the Kohala coast on the big island, the immediate feedback from the meeting seemed to be very favorable. We enjoyed the ability to interact with our colleagues from the Pacific rim and appreciate the input from several groups attending from Europe. This, combined with representation from the North American Skull Base Society, continues to emphasize the international nature of skull base surgery.
Annual Business Meeting A new slate of officers, with Dr. Robert Spetzler as president-elect, Dr. Tom Origitano as treasurer, and Dr. Don Wright as secretary were elected at the business meeting. New board members will include Dr. Robert Jackler, Dr. Anil Nanda and Dr. Chip Jungreis. The nominating committee for officers for next year will include Dr. Michael Holliday, Dr. Franco DeMonte, Dr. W. Scott Jellish and Dr. Carl H. Snyderman. These members along with the Immediate Past President, the President and President-Elect are responsible for nominating officers for the upcoming year and would be the appropriate venue for suggestions from the membership. The next meeting is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 28-31, 1999. Dr. John Leonetti, now president of the North American Skull Base Society, is currently actively planning and recruiting for the meeting. It is important that he have input and support from all members of the Society. We wish him luck in the upcoming year. I want to express my own appreciation to all the members for this opportunity to serve this Society and for their continued input.
Sincerely, Steven A. Newman, MD
Minutes of the 1998 Annual Business Meeting
ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING February 15, 1998 – Kamuela, Hawaii
Dr. Steven A. Newman called the Annual Business Meeting to order at 5:00 pm. The minutes of the last business meeting that had been circulated were approved.
A number of reports were presented from the Board of Directors. Dr. Newman gave the President’s Report. He reported that the board had approved funding for a web site on the NASBS, establishing another means of communications with the membership and others interested in skull base diseases. The site will be operational by mid-1998. It will include a members-only section to allow for discussions and information sharing. As a reminder of the web site, mouse-pads will be sent to all members with the web site address. Another major project started during his term of office will be to have the NASBS accredited as an ACCME approved provider of continuing education. The Pre-Application has been approved and is pending submission of the Final Application for Accreditation. The planning process for the 1998 Annual Meeting will be used as the example in the Final Application. Finally, Dr. Newman announced a formation of an ad-hoc committee to address the concerns of junior members of the Society. The committee will be chaired by Dr. Ali Krisht.
Dr. John P. Leonetti presented the Secretary’s report. Information on the current state of membership and statistics for the past three years was distributed. As President-Elect, Dr. Leonetti also reported on the 1999 Annual Meeting, which will be held May 28-31, 1999 in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Leonetti voiced some concern that many senior members of the Society were not present at the Annual Meeting. Other members of the board present concurred. A question was raised from the floor whether there should be a by-laws change to require officers and board members to attend annual meetings. With regards to the 1999 Annual Meeting, plans are being formulated to have wide representation on panels. There will also be a practical course preceding the Annual Meeting. Dr. Leonetti will be looking for participation from a considerable number of members of the Society.
Dr. Donald C. Wright presented the Treasurer’s report. The presentation included a 1997 Income-Expense report and a balance sheet as of December 31, 1998. Dr. Wright reported that we are holding discussions with Thieme, the publisher of Skull Base Surgery, which members receive as part of their membership. Subscription prices may increase, so the Board will hope to finalize discussion during 1998. Both the Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports were accepted.
The Nomination Committee presented the slate of nominees for the following positions. There was some discussion on the nominees and the nomination process. As was expressed earlier in the meeting, concern was raised that those elected would participate wholeheartedly because of other professional and organizational commitments. Ballots were circulated, a vote was taken and the results were the following: President-Elect: Robert F. Spetzler, MD Secretary: Donald C. Wright, MD Treasurer: Thomas C. Origitano, MD, PhD Director-at-Large: Robert K. Jackler, MD Director-at-Large: Anil Nanda, MD Director-at-Large: Charles A. Jungreis, MD Nominating Committee: Franco De Monte, MD, W. Scott Jellish, MD, Michael J. Holliday, MD, Carl H. Snyderman, MD
Nominations were taken from the floor for a member to serve a three year term on the Audit Committee. Dr. Hae-Dong Jho was nominated and elected.
Dr. Leonetti presented the approved applicants for NASBS membership. A ballot list was circulated. The applicants were approved by the membership. A list of the new members of the NASBS is appended to these minutes.
In closing, Dr. Newman thanked the members of the current Board of Directors whose terms end at this Annual Meeting. They include three Board Members at Large (Dr. William W. Lo, Dr. Arthur L. Day and Dr. Juan F. Sanchez-Marle) and one Board of Advisors member (Dr. Peter G. Smith) for their years of service. He also commented on the future of the Society and the need to increase the involvement of younger members into the affairs of the Society.
With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.