The organization --- launched in September 2014 by the North American Spine Society --- is marking the occasion by bestowing gifts upon its well-wishers, with the first going to the Children's Spine Foundation, a Valley Forge, Pa.-based non-profit group that helps youngsters with complex spinal deformities access medical care. The NASF awarded the Foundation two grants to fund research into the incidence of pediatric spinal deformities and the financial burden/parental impact in families dealing with early-onset scoliosis.
The NASF announced the first-ever grants on Oct. 14, the first day of the Spine Society's 30th Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill.
“Early onset scoliosis, if left unchecked, can cause spine-related disability in countless children worldwide,” said Raymond Golish, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the NASF Research Committee. “By funding research today, we are making an investment in these children and our society for tomorrow.”
Early-onset scoliosis is an abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine that is diagnosed before age 10. Great care must be taken to provide an effective treatment that will control the progression of the deformity while also allowing the spine to grow as the child ages, according to the Children's Spine Foundation.
“We are excited to fund two areas of inquiry: how common is the disease, and what is its impact on the families supporting these kids?” said Golish. “To be able to help children get the very best outcomes, we need to understand how common the problem is and get a handle on the emotional and financial issues their families are going through.”
The NASF grants will fund two Children’s Spine Foundation projects:
• “Financial Burden and Parental Impact in Families Dealing with Early Onset Scoliosis,” primary investigator—Michael G. Vitale, M.D., M.P.H. Grant total is $23,060.
• “Incidence of Spinal Deformity,” primary investigator—Jeffrey Sawyer, M.D. Grant total is $8,400.
Based in Jupiter, Fla., the North American Spine Foundation drives development of research, education and advocacy designed to help end spine-related disabilities.
Watch the video below to learn more about the North American Spine Foundation: