News for members of the Western Neurosurgical Society

View this email in your browser






Autumn 2016


VARIAN is the sponsor of the WNS newsletter

2017 Annual Meeting

The 2017 Western Neurosurgical Society Meeting
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
September 8-11, 2017
For our 63rd meeting, the Western travels north to Banff, Alberta, Canada.  The 2017 Annual Meeting will be held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel which we last visited in 1987.  The hotel is in Banff National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This luxury alpine resort is a national treasure and is known as the “Castle in the Rockies”.  It is located 92 miles from Calgary International airport (1H 45 min drive) and is a short stroll from the charming town of Banff which has a selection of local galleries and museums, upscale shopping and restaurants, year-round Banff Lake Louise events, and popular local attractions including the Banff Gondola and the mineral rich Banff Upper Hot Springs (

The Fairmont Banff Springs ( has all the amenities of a world class resort, including stunning vistas, championship golf courses, classic cuisine and Willow Stream, a world class European-style spa (10% off for our group) plus a bowling alley. The daily room rate for meeting attendees is $269.00 CAD ($204 USD) which gets you a fairly small but adequate Fairmont room.  Considering the exchange rate, you might want to sign up for a more expansive and expensive room such as a Deluxe room for $309.00 CAD or a Stanley Thompson Deluxe for $369.00 CAD. A Junior Suite is $449.00 CAD per night.  To each daily rate will be added a $12 CAD daily service fee (to cover baggage handling on arrival/departure and tip for your room maid) and $25.59 CAD a day in taxes.  Complimentary Wi-Fi in each room.  The link to the WNS on line room registration will be posted on the Website ( in January in the 2017 meeting item.
There is a Hertz Rental office located in the hotel and cars can be arranged directly or through the concierge service.  Multiple shuttle options are available including the Banff Airporter ( - $120 CAD roundtrip) and The Brewster Shuttle ( - $130 RT, fancier bus)).  It will cost you $15/day to self park your car at the hotel.
Organized afternoon activities during the meeting with be forthcoming in the spring when the meeting registration form is posted.
Hotel contact information is below if you have questions.
405 Spray Avenue 
Alberta, Canada 

TEL + 1 403 762 2211 
FAX + 403 762 5755 

--C. Harraher, WNS Communications Committee

Medtronic, the sole Platinum Level exhibitor in Carlsbad, deserves the Western's thanks for making the meeting a success.

We hope our members will support the companies that support the Western.

Pictures from the 2016 meeting in Carlsbad, California
ARBOR--Gold level support of the 2016 meeting
The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Western Neurosurgical Society was held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA, September 9-12, 2016. WNS President Linda Liau presided.
The meeting was attended by 94 members and professional guests and supported by 27 exhibitors, including Medtronic Spine that for the second time provided support at the Platinum Level; Arbor Pharmaceutical that provided support at the gold level and DePuy Synthes and Haag-Streit that provided support at the silver level. It is the exhibitors who make the meeting possible at the level of registration fee we charge.
President Liau efficiently conducted the business of the Society, both at the Executive Committee meeting and subsequently at the annual business meeting. The following issues are of note:
§  Financially, the Society remains on a solid financial footing.
§  Administratively, Marc Vanefsky completed his first year as Secretary/Treasurer. The EC decided that the job of the Secretary/Treasurer involves so much work that it authorized using an administrative assistant: Emily Schile was recruited; she is a known to many since she serves in the same capacity for CANS.
§  By-laws revisions were adopted allowing involvement of Provisional members in the business meeting and in committees and creating an Associate member category for non-MD neuroscientists.
§  The 6 New Active and 3 Provisional members approved at the business meeting are presented elsewhere in this newsletter
§  Martin E. Weinand, President Elect and Odette Harris, Vice President, were elected unanimously.
First Spouse Marvin Bergsneider chaired the Program Committee which provided a stimulating scientific program that, in addition to the Cloward, Ablin and Presidential presentations, included invited special lectures by futurist Ted Schilowitz and oceanographer William H. Gerwick, Ph.D.
The resident awards in clinical and basic science (featured in the newsletter annual meeting supplement available on the WNS website at were chosen from among 28 abstracts submitted by residents.  Nineteen free papers were presented by members and member candidates and the program was rounded out by two excellent mini-symposia, one on testy issues related to spine practice and one sponsored by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation that addressed current concepts in the management of DVT prophylaxis, vasospasm and traumatic brain injury.  Eleven hours of Category I CME were available.
Social events and the meeting of firsts:
The opening reception kicked off with a cocktail hour among the exhibitors blending into an outdoor reception area with good food and live music. Attendees were bussed to the San Diego Safari Park for local night which included an exotic animal show.  The on-site banquet was well attended and featured a formal report from the Historian entitled “David L. Reeves A Historical Vignette” which was prepared to honor President Linda Liau as first female president of the Western by remembering our first president.  The cuisine was top drawer as was the band.
Here are the firsts at this meeting:
§  First female president: Linda Liau.
§  First male spouse: Marvin Bergsneider who confessed that he was more comfortable designing an exceptional program than being the first spouse with its entirely different social obligations.
§  First time we inducted provisional members into the Western.
§  First time we enjoyed a special presentation by a futurist.
§  First time a mini-symposium was sponsored by the NREF in its effort to reach out to mid-career neurosurgeons.
§  First time our new administrative assistant Emily Schile carried a lot of the load associated with staging the annual meeting.
Passing of the Gavel:
Linda Liau passed the gavel to Charles E. Nussbaum and Marvin Bergsneider presented the First Lady of the Western pendant to Debbie Nussbaum, the team that will preside over the meeting next year at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta, Canada, September 8-11, 2017.

-M. Abou-Samra
Communications Committee

Nussbaum Assumes WNS Helm
Charlie Nussbaum from Seattle is the new President of the Western and he plans to continue the Society's successful run while adding a touch of his own.

In addition to the formal CV like treatment we gave him in the Fall 2015 newsletter (on our Website when he was chosen President-Elect, we now wish to note that his choice of Seattle to practice after training on the east coast, stemmed from an offer by a former senior resident in Rochester and his great love of the outdoors that he thinks there is more of in the Pacific Northwest than most other places.

Charlie is in a multi-practice group at Virginia Mason and he likes the efficiency of the group practice and the wide range of patients his group attracts with 1/3 of his patients coming from outside the Cascade mountains area including a fair number from Alaska.  His role in the VM group includes creating spine care cost bundling for a number of the employers that contract with Virginia Mason.

A century ago, it was considered improper for young nurses to fraternize unchaperoned with residents unless it was for educational purposes and thus "History Meetings" were born which constituted an opportunity for young  people to meet, lightly camouflaged as a learning experience.  In 1983, the 3rd  year med students at Rochester held a number of such "meetings" to raise money for their graduation party.  Debbie Hubbard, a newly graduated nurse employed on the psych ward at Strong Memorial hospital in Rochester, ordered a 50 cent gin and tonic from Charlie who was tending bar at one of the meetings.  They discovered a mutual interest in wilderness back packing, started dating and were married in 1987.  Now Charlie had a best friend and a meal ticket in time for the rest of his residency.  Debbie may have seen it differently.

While in residency, Charlie and Debbie met the Western Neurosurgical Society in 1987 as the newlyweds ended a week-long Canadian back packing trip in Banff.  The Western was meeting at the Banff Springs hotel and they duly noted its presence and because of some lack of interest and a definite lack of appropriate dress, decided not to join in.  Things will be a bit different 30 years later as they will preside at our 63rd annual meeting.

The Nussbaum children number 3 with 25 year-old Amanda working at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in production management after completing graduate school at UCSD. Their twin boys are at University:  Ben,20,  is a junior at Seattle University and is a division 1 swimmer while Keith is a junior at Whitman College in Walla Walla.
 One of Charlie's secret desires is to own a sizeable RV so as to get further into the outdoors of this great country and now that his children are out of the home, that looks increasing probable.

During his year as President, Dr. Nussbaum would like to pursue the following:
  1. A smoother application process.
  2. A website that hopefully will make communication, meeting registration and dues payments easier.
  3. Direct communication with spouses. 
  4. Try to implement a more formal program for spouses, especially during the scientific sessions.
  5. Increased involvement of younger surgeons and also from our colleagues in Canada.
  6. Consideration of alternate ways to invest our reserves to ensure our long term stability, especially with meeting costs increasing over time.
Dr. Nussbaum feels his choices of committee chairs and members (on website: will help him with his goals and thanks all members who have agreed to serve.  As he says, "This is not a one man show!".

--R. Smith, G. Gerras; Communications Committee

Silver level support of the 2016 meeting

2016 Annual Meeting Program on Website
For those of you who were unable to attend the annual meeting this year, the program booklet is available on our Website ( as a pdf file you can download.

The program without the membership list is in the clear in the menu item "Meetings" under the 2016 listing.

If you want the complete program with all members listed with addresses and phone numbers and email address, it is located in the "Member Area Login" menu item.  The password to gain access to this menu item is "Western".

New Active Members 2016
Andrew Dailey (Salt Lake City, UT) 
MD Columbia University
Residency: University of Washington
Currently Associate Professor, 
University of Utah.
Gordon Li (Stanford, CA) 
MD University of California, Davis
Residency: Stanford
Currently Assistant Professor, Stanford.
Sam Cheshier (Stanford, CA)

MD PhD Stanford
Van Wagenen fellow 2008-2009
Assistant Professor, Stanford.

Isaac Yang (UCLA, CA)      
Residency UCSF
Currently Associate Professor, UCLA
Gary B Goplen (Kelowna, BC) 
MD University of Saskatchewan
Residency: University of Saskatchewan
Currently Associate Professor,
University of Saskatchewan.
Chris Taylor (Albuquerque, NM) 

MD Case Western Reserve University

Residency: Case Western Reserve

Currently Associate Professor,

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

New Provisional Members 2016
(Need Boards and they are in)

Laura Snyder, Phoenix, AZ     
MD Jefferson Medical College
Residency: Barrow Neurological Institute 
Currently, Barrow Neurological Institute
Lewis Leng, San Francisco, CA
MD U of Pennsylvania
Residency: Weil Cornell Medical Center
Currently, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco.
Melanie Hayden-Gephart, Stanford, CA
MD UC San Diego
Residency: Stanford
Currently, Assistant Professor at Stanford.
Neurosurgery Microscopes

Silver level support of the 2016 meeting
WNS Members In Print
JNS-August 2016
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD Pituitary macroadenomas with oculomotor cistern extension and tracking: implications for surgical management
Edward H. Oldfield, MD Prospective comparison of sinonasal outcomes after microscopic sublabial or endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas
Andrew S. Little, MD Surgical anatomy and utility of pedicled vascularized tissue flaps for multilayered repair of skull base defects
Andrew S. Little, MD Letter to the Editor: Transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning adenomas

JNS-September 2016
William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD Outcomes after surgical treatment of meningioma-associated proptosis
Michael W. McDermott, MD Direct visualization of improved optic nerve pial vascular supply following tuberculum meningioma resection: case report
JNS-October 2016
Michael T. Lawton, MD Posterior inferior cerebellar artery reimplantation: buffer lengths, perforator anatomy, and technical limitations

JNS-November 2016
Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD Editorial: A new definition of postconcussive syndrome
Madjid Samii, MD, PhD Microsurgical management of vestibular schwannoma after failed previous surgery

JNS-Peds August 2016
Nathan R. Selden, MD, PhD Computed tomography–generated anthropometric measurements of orbital relationships in normal infants and children
Edward H. Oldfield, MD Letter to the Editor: Tonsil cautery in children with Chiari Type I malformation
JNS-Peds September 2016
Michael T. Lawton, MD Indirect and direct revascularization of ACTA2 cerebral arteriopathy: feasibility of the superficial temporal artery to anterior cerebral artery bypass with posterior auricular artery interposition graft: case report
JNS-Peds October 2016
Jeffrey Ojemann, MD Editorial: Noninvasive biomarkers: are we there yet?
Gerald Grant, MD Diagnosis and treatment of pediatric frontotemporal pits: report of 2 cases
Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD Variation in seizure prophylaxis in severe pediatric traumatic brain injury

JNS-Peds November 2016
Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD and Laligam N. Sekhar, MD Toward a comprehensive assessment of functional outcomes in pediatric patients with brain arteriovenous malformations: the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory
JNS-Spine August 2016
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD Inadequacy of 3-month Oswestry Disability Index outcome for assessing individual longer-term patient experience after lumbar spine surgery
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD and Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD How to predict return to work after lumbar discectomy: answers from the NeuroPoint-SD registry
JNS-Spine September 2016
Edward H. Oldfield, MD Lumbar subdural cerebrospinal fluid collection with acute cauda equina syndrome after posterior fossa decompression for Chiari malformation Type I: case report
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD Costs and readmission rates for the resection of primary and metastatic spinal tumors: a comparative analysis of 181 patients
JNS-Spine October 2016
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD Impact of preoperative depression on 2-year clinical outcomes following adult spinal deformity surgery: the importance of risk stratification based on type of psychological distress
JNS-Spine November 2016
Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain

Congress Quarterly fall 2016
Gerald A. Grant, MD Editor's Note
Operative Neurosurgery September 2016
Lawton, Michael T.  Anatomical Variations of the Anterior Clinoid Process: A Study of 597 Skull Base Computerized Tomography Scans
Lawton, Michael T. Revascularization of the Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery with Contralateral Reimplantation of Right Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery to Left Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Lawton, Michael T.  Simultaneous Microsurgical Treatment of a Cerebellar Arteriovenous Malformation and a Distal Superior Cerebellar Artery Aneurysm: 3-Dimensional Operative Video
Neurosurgery August 2016
Lawton, Michael T. Incidence and Predictors of Complications and Mortality in Cerebrovascular Surgery: National Trends from 2007 to 2012
Shaffrey, Christopher I. Long-Segment Fusion for Adult Spinal Deformity Correction Using Low-Dose Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2: A Retrospective Review of Fusion Rates
Carter, Bob S. Cumulative Intracranial Tumor Volume (CITV) Enhances the Prognostic Value of the Lung-Specific Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) Model

Neurosurgery September 2016
Shaffrey, Christopher I. Prospective Multicenter Assessment of Early Complication Rates Associated with Adult Cervical Deformity Surgery in 78 Patients

Neurosurgery November 2016
MacDonald, Joel D. Rerupture of a Blister Aneurysm After Treatment with a Single Flow-Diverting Stent

Neurosurgery Focus August 2016
J. Patrick Johnson, MD Introduction: Tumors of the spinal column
J. Patrick Johnson, MD Resection of spinal column tumors utilizing image-guided navigation: a multicenter analysis
Neurosurgery Focus September 2016
Mark Hamilton, MD, CM, FRCSC Introduction: Adult hydrocephalus
Mark G. Hamilton, MD, CM, FRCSC Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for treatment of adult hydrocephalus: long-term follow-up of 163 patients 
Neurosurgery Focus October 2016
Jeffrey G. Ojemann, MD Stereotactic laser ablation for hypothalamic and deep intraventricular lesions

Copyright © 2016 Western Neurosurgical Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Newsletter Editor: Randy Smith (

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Western Neurosurgical Society · 1678 Cloverdale Road, Escondido, CA · Escondido, CA 92027 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp