Jointly Sponsored by

President Joel MacDonald, MD welcomed members and guests to the 44th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Society, jointly sponsored by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Girdwood, Alaska, June 20-24, 2009. The meeting was held at the spectacular Alyeska Resort, in the heart of the Chugach Mountains. Dr. Paul House, as the scientific chairperson, assembled an outstanding variety of scientific papers. Our honored guests, Dr. Douglas Kondziolka, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Neil Kitchen, Professor of Neurosurgery at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, highlighted this year’s scientific program.

Dr. Kondziolka presented an excellent review of the long term experience with and breadth of indications for the use of Radiosurgery. He also gave a unique and fascinating presentation on the role of physicians in polar exploration, showing us his very impressive collection of historical documents and artifacts from famous polar explorers. Dr. Kitchen discussed management dilemmas of CNS cavernous malformations with special emphasis on brainstem cavernomas. As an extra special treat for our setting in Alaska, Dr. Cliff Roberson shared with us his experiences racing in the world famous Iditarod dog sled race across Alaska.

The general scientific program once again offered a broad spectrum of neurosurgical topics in an atmosphere that stimulated and encouraged open and vigorous discussion. This opportunity for unencumbered collegial discussions and the sharing of individual clinical experiences remains one of the highlights and major attractions of the RMNS annual meeting.

This year the first place Resident Award went to Dr. Erika Peterson from UT Southwestern, for her presentation “Image-Guided Frameless Stereotactic Targeting of the Subthalamic Nucleus without Microelectrode Recording: Post-Mortem Neuropathological Analysis”. Additional resident awards were given to Dr. Kelly Schmidt from UT Southwestern, Dr. Jeremy Phelps from the University of New Mexico, and Dr. Lars Widdel from the University of Colorado. The Academy Cup, presented annually to the best paper by a member of the society, went this year to Dr. Kevin Lillehei from the University of Colorado, for his extensive work on Pituitary Tumors.

This year there were no golf or tennis tournaments, as everyone was frolicking throughout the spectacular Alaskan wilderness in their afternoon (and evening) free time.

The annual business meeting of the Society was well attended by the members present at the meeting. The following business was conducted:

Elected as officers by the membership:

President: Dr. Jonathan White

President Elect: Dr. Michael Brown

Vice President: Dr. Richard Day

Treasurer: Dr. Paul House

Committee assignments:

Scientific chairman: TBA

Local arrangements: Dr. Mary Kay Gumerlock

CME Committee: TBA

Continuing service:

Secretary: Dr. Stewart Levy

Historian: Dr. Al Capanna

Nominating Committee:

Dr. Mary Kay Gumerlock (2010)

Dr. Robert Beatty (2011)

Dr. Joel MacDonald (2012)

Membership Committee:

Dr. Stuart Goodman (2009)

Dr. Jodie Levitt (2010)

Dr. Joel MacDonald (2011)

Dr. Randy Jensen (2012)

Member at Large:

The following candidate was voted into membership:

Dr. Chris Madden


The 45th Annual Meeting of the RMNS, jointly sponsored by the AANS, will be held June 26-30, 2010 at The Peaks Resort in Telluride, Colorado. The Peaks is currently under renovation and will be even more luxurious than the last time the society held the annual meeting there in 1996. Dr. Mary Kay Gumerlock is serving as the local arrangements chairperson, and is putting together an exciting array of activities for members, guests, and their families. The San Juan Mountains around Telluride abound with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, golfing, white water rafting, horseback riding, or just plain relaxing. Other nearby activities include a ride along the beautiful Durango to Silverton narrow gauge railroad or a visit to Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and the Four Corners area. Telluride is located in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, between Montrose and Durango, and can be accessed by beautiful drives from any direction, or by daily flights into Montrose, Durango and then Telluride.

The society will announce the honored guest speakers for the 2010 scientific program when the registration site opens in December of 2009. We encourage you to submit abstracts for the annual scientific program online at The Resident’s Award will be presented to the outstanding paper presented by a resident, with a cash prize plus travel expenses to the next year’s meeting. Members of the society who submit an abstract are eligible for the Academy Cup, presented each year to the best presentation by an RMNS member, in honor of the teaching career of Dr. Howard Morgan. Presentations should be approximately 20 minutes, including time for questions and discussion. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2010 annual meeting. We hope to see you in Telluride!