INTERIM WINTER EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEUROSURGICAL SOCIETY
JANUARY 9, 2010
Mandalay Bay Resort
Las Vegas, NV
Call to Order:
The Interim Meeting of the Executive Committee of the RMNS was called to order at 2:15 PM by President Jonathon White. The meeting was held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The minutes from the Annual Executive Committee meeting held June 20, 2009 at the Alyeska Resort in Alaska were read and approved. Present at the meeting were Dr’s Jonathan White, Joel MacDonald, Mary Kay Gumerlock, Stewart Levy, Randy Jensen, Paul House, Joseph Beshay, Michael Brown, Richard Day, Brett Dietze and Al Capanna.
Report of the President:
Dr. White reported that the honored guest speakers for the annual meeting in Telluride would be Dr Lori Shutter, Neurointensivist from the Mayfield Clinic, and Dr. Guy Clifton Professor of Neurosurgery from UT Houston and author of “Flatlined: Resuscitating American Medicine”. Dr. Shutter will speak on advances in neuro intensive care and the management of mild TBI. Dr. Clifton will discuss issues related to health care reform. The Annual President’s Dinner will be held on Monday night June 28th for the honored guests and the executive committee members. The Annual Banquet will be on Tuesday night, the 30th of June.
Report of the Vice-President:
Dr. Day reported on the status of vendor recruitment for the Telluride Meeting in June. Many have responded with an interest to return to the meeting this year and sponsor again. Dr. Day set up a new Gmail account for the Vice President to keep track of vendor responses. This can be passed along to future VP’s and will provide an ongoing vendor mailing list for future VP’s, and will also allow a consistent email account for the vendors to respond to year after year. The vendor registration fee will remain at $2000, as this did not result in any attrition on the part of vendors for last year’s meeting. There was some discussion regarding the possibility of different levels of vendor support, such as “Gold or Platinum Sponsorship”, but with the strict regulations regarding vendor support of meetings, additional investigation is needed and no decision could be made at this time. An ongoing concern has been the need for vendors to have a schedule of the conference in order to get corporate approval for sponsorship, but the schedule is never completed until April or May. To best accommodate this need we will provide vendors with last year’s schedule and a template of this year’s schedule.
Report of the Treasurer:
Dr. House presented financial spreadsheets to members of the executive committee and reported on the financial condition of the society. The RMNS has a total net worth of $126,493, with most of the cash assets in the form of CD’s with staggered maturity dates, and about $28,000 in the checking account for easy access to handle expenses. The residents’ fund has increased from around $14,000 to about $16,000. Membership is down very slightly to 88 active members, and 169 total members. There was some discussion regarding a decrease in membership dues, but no change was made.
The 2009 meeting in Alaska finished in the black by $22,000, making up for the loss in Park City the year before. The increased vendor fee helped a lot, as did increased attendance from membership as well as from allied health providers. The tax report was completed on time and has been submitted; we are waiting to hear whether or not we will owe any taxes. Overall, the financial situation of the Society is stable and healthy.
Report of the Secretary:
Dr. Levy made some recommendations to improve the flow of meeting registration and the support staff transitions. He recommended that the meeting support staff arrive no later than Friday afternoon, the day before meeting registration in order to put the registration packets together prior to the arrival of meeting participants and the opening of meeting registration on Saturday. Since the Secretary’s support staff participates in meeting support for three consecutive years (as opposed to the Local Arrangements Chair’s support staff who participates only for that one year, and may or may not have prior experience supporting the RMNS Annual meeting), it was proposed to have the outgoing Secretary’s staff come to one extra meeting after the end of term, in order to orient the incoming Secretary’s support staff. Therefore there would be two support staff at each meeting except for the year of a new Secretary at which time there would be three staff. The Secretary’s support staff will develop a meeting “checklist” to help in the preparation for and running of the annual meeting, and will also be in charge of bringing the laptop computer for meeting support. The printer will be brought by staff or executive member planning to drive to the meeting, or purchased on site when no one is driving to the meeting location.
Report of the Website Administrator: Dr. MacDonald reported that the website archives are up to date, and that the website serves as the ideal repository for RMNS documents such as minutes, newsletters, scientific program agendas, and especially the membership roster which needs to be hosted in a central location. Therefore he proposed a significant update for the website in order to improve overall functionality, and to allow easy access to the membership roster for the officers who need to utilize it for mailings and billings (using File Maker Pro), and so that it will be consistently and reliably udated without different versions existing at different sites. It was also proposed that all members should be able to access a “read only” version of the membership roster, and that it should be password protected. The executive committee approved funds, not to exceed $5000, in order to contract the work required to make the necessary improvements to the website. The website will be open for registration and abstract submission very soon.
Report of the Historian: Dr. Capanna reminded members of the committee to submit photos (and to encourage other members to submit photos) from annual meetings to him via e-mail at Acapanna@aol.com, and to be sure to indicate who is in the photos and where they were taken.
Membership Report: Four new membership applications have been received and will be forwarded to the membership committee for review. The names of applicants will be listed in the Spring Newsletter in order to provide the membership at large an opportunity to review them prior to the Annual meeting.
Annual Meeting Report: The 2010 annual meeting will be held at the Peaks Resort in Telluride, CO, June 26 -30. Dr. Mary Kay Gumerlock is serving as the local arrangements chair and has spent much time and energy preparing for a great meeting venue. The golf tournament will be on Monday and the tennis tournament on Tuesday. The Opening Reception will be Saturday night on the veranda, and the Awards Banquet will be on Tuesday night; both will be held at the Peaks Resort. A restaurant downtown will host the President’s Dinner on Monday night. Options for a group activity were discussed, and included rafting, horseback riding, fly fishing, a rodeo, or a tour of a local mine and hydro-electric plant. Dr. Gumerlock will investigate further and finalize the social program. A reminder post card, advertising the upcoming Telluride meeting and the invited speakers, will be sent to RMNS members and other neurosurgeons in the region in February. Future meeting sites will be mentioned as well. The meeting will be announced again in the Spring Newsletter.
CME Report: Dr. Beshay has sent in the CME application and has received it back with deficiencies to correct, which he is working on now. A discussion regarding needs assessment and a “gap assessment” ensued – see below.
Annual Meeting Needs Assessment: The executive committee determined that there is a continuing need to hold an annual scientific meeting for the members of the RMNS. There are certain neurosurgical practice issues that are unique to practicing in the Rocky Mountain region. The RMNS Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for the neurosurgeons in our region to discuss these and other educational topics pertinent to the practice of neurosurgery in the Rocky Mountain region.
The executive committee assessed the scientific educational needs of the membership and determined that the focus of the 2010 annual meeting would include: an update on the emerging and rapidly growing field of neuro-intensive care; a review and discussion of the management of mild TBI, including how to manage patients with minor CT findings who are a long distance away from neurosurgical care; and a discussion of healthcare reform issues, options and implications.
Future Sites: The 2011 RMNS Annual Meeting will be in Taos, NM with Dr. Elliot serving as local arrangements chair. Dr. Levy will investigate possible venues in Hawaii for the 2012 meeting, and Dr. Jensen has reserved a meeting block in Sun Valley for 2013.
New Business: The executive committee authorized the purchase of a new laptop (up to $1500), to be used for local meeting support. Dr. Levy will also purchase a new printer and will bring it to the Telluride, Taos, and Sun Valley meetings, as he is planning to drive to those meeting sites.
Ideas for novel meeting formats were discussed, including the use of interactive devices to assess participant knowledge before and after presentations and discussions, and to poll participant opinion and management preferences regarding controversial topics.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM.
A. Stewart Levy, M.D.