I would like to start my term by thanking Dato' Dr. K. S. Sivananthan, to whom I have the honor of succeeding as President of the APSS. Under his dynamic leadership, APSS has continued to grow and foster spine surgery education and good practice in the Asia Pacific region. As the Immediate Past President, we will continue to look up to him to provide us guidance to further develop and shape the APSS future.
What an exciting first quarter we had in 2019!
We started off with our first Operative Course of the year at the Khanh Hoa General Hospital in Nha Trang, Viet Nam in March 2019. This course was collaboratively hosted by the APSS and the Spine Society of Ho-Chi-Minh City. With participants and spine experts coming from different countries, debates and interactions were rich and fruitful. The hands-on saw bone workshop was well-received and very successful, and participants had the chance to hone their skills on four saw bone stations under the guidance of APSS Faculties. True to APSS’ goal to sharing knowledge and good spine surgical practice, an Outreach Scoliosis Screening Program in Cambodia is in the planning and we are currently at the initial stage of sending a small team to perform scoliosis screening at some public schools in Phnom Penh. To continue with more, APSS will also organize Basic Spine Course at the Hong Kong University, Hong Kong and Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, in the second quarter of the year. This type of course is targeted at young orthopedics trainees and residents, aimed to share and impart knowledge on basic spine practices through saw bone workshop and lectures. In the final quarter of the year, a Cadaveric Course will be held in collaboration with Taiwan Spine Society at Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan in November. This course, which was first organized as a pre-congress course during APSS 2018 Annual Meeting, has proven to be very popular among spine surgeons, and I anticipate strong participation from local and international spine surgeons.
Ten young spine surgeons from different Asian countries completed the APSS DePuy Synthes Clinical and Travelling Fellowships in March and joined the APSS-APPOS 12th Combined Meeting in Incheon, South Korea. The enthusiastic presentations they gave during the conference were vivid testimonies of the benefits they reaped from this experience, learning from their hosts, experiencing different cultures and work environment. I strongly encourage APSS members to apply for these programs when the call for application is open. Annually, APSS offers 19 Awards under several fellowship programs namely APSS DePuy Synthes Clinical Fellowship, APSS DePuy Synthes Travelling Fellowship, APSS Medtronic Fellowship, APSS Ganga Hospital Fellowship and APSS-SICOT Spine Exchange Fellowship. In the upcoming year, APSS will strive to offer additional fellowship programs to its members.
The APSS-APPOS Combined Meeting held from April 4 to 6 at the Songdo Convensia, Incheon, Korea was a roaring success filled with comprehensive and educational scientific extravaganza and attended by 555 delegates from 23 countries. This conference brought together some of the distinguished experts in spine surgery across Asia and the United States of America as well as young and promising clinicians, researchers, and surgeons to exchange ideas on the latest updates and advancement of global spine care education, research and innovation. I would like to extend our gratitude to Professor Ki-Tack Kim, Organizing Chairman of APSS 2019, Prof Kyu-Jung Cho is Secretary General of APSS-APPOS 2019 and Professor Jong-Beom Park, Scientific Chairman of APSS 2019 for their contributions and warm hospitality in the recent meeting.
With the support of the APSS Executive Committee and Board members, I endeavor to further refine the organization structure of the APSS during my presidency. The terms of service and duties of the officers, board members, committee chairs, etc. will be clearly defined in the Bylaws and Policy and Procedure Manual. A number of standing committees will be established to encourage active participation of more young members in the management of our Society. This will also create a career path for those who aspire to leadership roles in due course.
I appeal to all members, both young and experienced, to come forward and offer your service to the betterment of APSS. The future of APSS is in your hands.
Keith DK Luk
President of APSS (2019-2021)