10 Leaders of Certified Spine Surgery Programs

Written by Laura Dyrda | December 14, 2011 | Print  |
Here are 10 spine and neurosurgeon leaders of hospital spine programs that have received disease-specific certification from The Joint Commission.

Khalid M. Abbed, MD (Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, Conn.). The Spine Institute has received The Joint Commission's certification for cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal surgery. Dr. Abbed is the chief of spine surgery at the Yale Spine Institute, director of minimally invasive spine surgery at Yale and maintains clinical practice at Greenwich Hospital. During his career, he has participated in clinical trials, outcomes studies and new technologies for spine surgery. His research interests include comparing outcomes of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion to the open TLIF procedure. Dr. Abbed is a member of North American Spine Society, American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and completed his residency at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His additional training includes a fellowship in neurosurgical and orthopedic spine surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

Charles A. Gatto, MD (Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, N.J.). Morristown Memorial Hospital has received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for cervical and lumbar spine treatments. Dr. Gatto serves as chief of the spine section for the orthopedic surgery department at Morristown Memorial Hospital as well as director of the Tri-Count Spine Center at Tri-County Orthopedics in Morristown. He also previously served as chief of spine surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. He has a professional interest in spinal trauma, degenerative spinal disorders and sports-related spinal conditions. Dr. Gatto earned his medical degree at Albany (N.Y.) Medical College of Union University, where he also completed his residency and fellowship.

Raphael R. Roybal, MD (Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, Ga.).
Memorial University Medical Center has received The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for spinal fusion and has received distinction for its spinal program from Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna. Dr. Roybal was one of the surgeons who was instrumental in the creation of Memorial Spine. Dr. Roybal , who also practices with Chatham Orthopaedic Associates in Savannah, has a professional interest in minimally invasive spine surgery and was a co-author on a book chapter for the implications of total disc replacement on spine care. He is trained to perform lateral lumbar interbody fusions, X-stop and Charite total disc arthroplasty. Dr. Roybal is a member of the North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Georgia Orthopaedic Society. Dr. Roybal earned his medical degree at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque and completed his residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His additional training includes a fellowship at the Texas Back Institute in Plano.

Rick Sasso, MD (St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis). The St. Vincent Spine Center has earned The Joint Commission's disease-specific certification for spine surgery. Dr. Sasso is the medical director of St. Vincent Spine Center. He has a professional interest in adult and pediatric spine surgery. During his career, he was one of the first spine surgeons in the United States to implant a cervical disc. His focus on minimally invasive spine surgery and spinal implant development has driven his studies in spinal care. Dr. Sasso is a member of the North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Sasso earned his degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. His additional training includes spinal surgery fellowships at Baylor in Houston, Northwestern University in Chicago and St. Gallen in Switzerland.

Kavian Shahi, MD (Mercy, Rancho Cordova, Calif.).
The Mercy Spine Center of Excellence at Mercy General Hospital is among the only hospitals in California to receive The Joint Commission's certification for its spine program. Dr. Shahi is the medical director of neurosurgery at Mercy and an active partner with Spine & Neurosurgery Associates in Rosewell, Calif. During his career, Dr. Shahi has authored several research articles and participated in basic science research on the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the mammalian nervous system. He has a professional interest in a wide range of neurological problems and is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He previously served as CEO of Neuropro Technologies, where he remains on the scientific board of advisors. Dr. Shahi earned his medical degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

John H. Shim, MD (Morton Plant Mease, Clearwater, Fla.).
Morton Plant Mease received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission in Nov. 2010. Dr. Shim is the section chief of orthopedic surgery at Mease Hospitals and co-director of the Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center. During his career, Dr. Shim has been involved in several research projects on the development of minimally invasive spine surgery and delivered presentations based on his research at national meetings. Dr. Shim is a member of North American Spine Society and fellow of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Shim earned his medical degree at State University of New York, Health Science Center, in Syracuse and completed his residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. His additional training includes a spine fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.

Tariq S. Siddiqi, MD (Virtua, Marlton, N.J.).
Virtua's spine program was among the first to receive The Joint Commission's certification for spinal surgery in the Northeast region of the country. The program's surgeons perform more than 1,000 spinal procedures each year. Dr. Siddiqi is a co-director of Virtua's spine program and also practices with New Jersey Neurosurgeons. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. During his career, he has served on committees for various groups, such as the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and on the board of trustees for West Jersey Health & Hospital Foundation. He has a professional interest in treating a variety of conditions and disorders, including spinal cord tumors and spinal stenosis. Dr. Siddiqi earned his medical degree at Dow Medical College at the University of Karachi in Pakistan and completed his residency in neurosurgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Christopher Silveri, MD (Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax, Va.).
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital received diseases-specific certification for cervical and lumbar spine surgery in Jan. 2010 from The Joint Commission. The hospital received certification for its hip and knee joint replacement programs at the same time. Dr. Silveri is the medical director of the Inova Spine Institute at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and a partner with Fair Oaks Orthopaedic Associates. During his career, Dr. Silveri has served as an investigator for new osteobiologic bone graft advances in spine surgery and trained other surgeons on disc replacement technology. He has a professional interest in treating patients with degenerative problems, spinal trauma, deformity and revision surgery. He is a member of North American Spine Society and fellow of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Silveri earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency at Pennsylvania Hospital, both in Philadelphia. His additional training includes a reconstructive spine and scoliosis surgery fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Scott Strenger, MD (Shore Medical Center, Somers Point, N.J.).
At the time Shore Medical Center received Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for lumbar and cervical spine surgery, it was one of three hospitals in the country with the certification. The hospital received certification in Nov. 2008, with Dr. Strenger serving as medical director of the Shore Neurosciences Center. Dr. Strenger practices with AtlantiCare Neurosciences Institute in Atlantic City, N.J., and has been certified as a physician executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management. His practice focuses on microsurgical and minimally invasive techniques for cerebral and spinal disorders. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Strenger provides consulting services for personal injury, workers compensation and malpractice defense cases. Dr. Strenger earned his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/the Chicago Medical School and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Rudolph F. Taddonio, MD (Stamford Hospital, Stamford, Conn.).
Stamford Hospital became the first Connecticut hospital to earn Joint Commission certification for its lumbar spinal fusion program.  Dr. Taddonio is the director of orthopedic surgery at Stamford Hospital as well as director of scoliosis and spinal surgery at New York Medical College. He also founded Scoliosis and Spinal Surgery, which is where he has practiced for the past 30 years. During his career, Dr. Taddonio made it a goal to stay at the forefront of scoliosis treatment and was one of 40 spine surgeons in the nation to refine ScoliScore, a genetic test designed to predict the risk of scoliosis progression. He is a member of North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Spinal Injury Association. Dr. Taddonio attended the University of Bologna (Italy) Medical School and earned his medical degree at New York Medical College in Valhalla. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent a fellowship in spine surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children in Chicago.

If you would like to recommend a spine surgeon leader or practice to highlight in future weekly lists, please e-mail Laura at laura@beckersasc.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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