2014 AANS Annual Report - page 4

Expanding Neurosurgery
It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve as the American Association of
Neurological Surgeons (AANS) President this past year. I am proud that during
my tenure the association saw the launch of important new initiatives that truly
serve to expand neurosurgery — by this I refer to expanding the depth and
breadth of our specialty to embrace the opportunities that we help create.
We saw a new, expanded role for the Neurosurgery Research and Education
Foundation (NREF). The NREF is a well-established institution in neurosurgery; for more than 30 years,
it has been funding seed grants for promising work by young investigators. This remarkable vision was
initiated in 1980 by AANS leadership, under the initial direction of the late Dr. Robert King. The core
mission of the NREF includes the provision of private, non-governmental sources of funding for research
training in the neurosciences. We are now leveraging the strengths of the NREF and expanding this
mission. We transformed the NREF into a more robust, independent 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt nonprofit)
entity, with its mission to have a much broader impact for all of neurosurgery. The NREF now has an
independent board, which includes members (in addition to the AANS representatives) from the Society of
Neurological Surgeons (SNS, or Senior Society) and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, as well
as a public member.
The enhanced mission of the NREF now includes clinical research funding, by way of clinical registry
and outcome studies. The NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA) serves this patient registry function as the strategic
arm of the NREF and provides the platform for comparative effectiveness research, by facilitating study
group research and clinical consortia to perform outcome analysis and clinical trials vital to the growth and
validation of our mission.
We also recognize the importance of developing a strong group of medical students with an interest in
neurosurgery to carry our field forward. This recognition has led to the goal of establishing a Medical
Student membership to the AANS. The vision of this category is to introduce all medical students from any
institution to the basics and principles of neurosurgery, to help promote their involvement in neurosurgical
research and to introduce them to role models to facilitate their later careers in neurosurgery. Early
involvement and introduction to neurosurgery in the medical student curriculum is the key to attracting
medical students to the specialty, and this section will fill in a current void of exposure to neurosurgery
seen in most medical school curricula. This will be accomplished through the creation of a medical student
community with nationwide chapters.
The practice of neurosurgery is changing rapidly. We must embrace new technology
and refinements in surgical treatments. We will need to lead the process.
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