NASS names 4 2017 Recognition Award winners


The North American Spine Society presented its 2017 Recognition Awards.

Winners are recognized for outstanding contributions to NASS and the spine industry. Three awards bear the names of NASS' founding members.


Leon Wiltse Award — K. Daniel Riew, MD
Dr. Riew, of New York City-based Columbia Orthopaedics, won this award for his “excellence in leadership and clinical research in spine care.” Samuel K. Cho, MD, and Lukas P. Zebala, MD, nominated Dr. Riew for the award, citing his expertise in cervical spine surgery and teaching efforts in the technique. Dr. Riew has authored about 250 publications and currently serves as the chair of AOSpine International.


Henry Farfan Award — S. Tim Yoon, MD, PhD
Dr. Yoon, of Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare, received the Henry Farfan Award for his “outstanding contributions in spine-related basic science research.” Jeff Wang, MD, nominated Dr. Yoon who has a research interest in intervertebral disc biology. He and his team studied the effect of bone morphogenetic proteins and LMP-1 on disc cells. Dr. Yoon is currently researching less invasive methods for disc cell stimulation.  A founder of the Korean American Spine Society, Dr. Yoon served on NASS’ biologics and research funds committees as well as positions in the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.


David Selby Award — William Mitchell, MD
Dr. Mitchell, of Mount Laurel Township, N.J.-based Coast Spine Center, won this award for his “contributions to the art and science of spinal disorder management through service to NASS.” David O’Brien Jr., MD; William Sullivan, MD; Donna M. Lahey; and Edward Dohring, MD, nominated Dr. Mitchell. He serves as NASS CPT Advisor, focusing on coding and reimbursement issues. Dr. Mitchell also serves on the NASS coding committee, teaching courses and helping members with coding issues.


Spine Advocacy Award — David A. Wong, MD, MSc, FRCS
Dr. Wong, of Denver Spine Surgeons, received the Spine Advocacy Award for “exceptional contributions to the federal advocacy efforts on behalf of patients and members of the society.” The NASS Advocacy Council nominated Dr. Wong, who has served on the council since 2008. Dr. Wong works closely with Congress members and has headed fundraisers with his U.S. Representative.


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