Leadership

Dr. Flynn

John M. Flynn, MD is the President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Spine Foundation. He is the Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his orthopaedic surgery training at Harvard University and the Children’s Hospital of Boston, with fellowship training at Alfred I. duPont Institute in Delaware. He is a Director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Co-Chair of the International Pediatric Orthopaedic Symposium, Past President of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and former Chair for the Research Grants Committee for the Scoliosis Research Society. He can be reached by email at flynnj@email.chop.edu.

Dr. Vitale

Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Spine Foundation. He is currently the​ CoDirector of Pediatric Orthopaedics and ​Chief of the Pediatric Spine Service at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York, while serving as the Ana Lucia Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his orthopedic training at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he also earned a Master’s degree in Public Health, with fellowship training at at the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. He holds leadership roles in multiple societies including chairing the International Pediatric Orthopaedic Symposium ​and leads advocacy efforts with the FDA to improve access to pediatric devices. He can be reached by email at mgv166@gmail.com.

Dr. El-Hawary

Ron El-Hawary, MD is the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Spine Foundation. He is currently Chief of Orthopaedics at the IWK Health Centre and is Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University. He is the Vice Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Orthopaedic Examination Committee, Secretary of the Canadian Paediatric Orthopaedic Group, and was the Founding President of the Canadian Paediatric Spine Study Group. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and Medical Biophysics and completed his orthopaedic training at Dalhousie University and the University of Western Ontario, with fellowship training at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He can be reached by email at ron.el-hawary@iwk.nshealth.ca.

Steve Schwartz

Steve Schwartz is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Spine Foundation. As President of GDS Consulting Services, LLC., he specializes in the areas of professional medical education, marketing, and medical humanitarian initiatives. He has 32 years of experience in the medical device marketplace where he held many senior management positions, including executive management of sales; executive management of professional education; and currently with the AO Foundation (a worldwide non-profit medical research and education organization). Mr. Schwartz has worked closely with many professional societies relating to Orthopaedics, Spine, and Craniomaxillofacial surgery; and currently serves on the Boards of several non-profit organizations. He can be reached by email at schwartzsteve77@gmail.com.

Dr. Smith

John T. Smith, MD is a founding member of the Children’s Spine Foundation and the Past President of the Board of Directors. He was integral in establishing the Children’s Spine Foundation and is an active participant in both retrospective and prospective studies. He is currently the Chief of Scoliosis Service and Chairman of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, while serving as Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah. He is also the recipient of the Mary Scowcroft Peery Presidential Endowed Chair in Orthopaedics. He completed his orthopedic training at the University of Utah and fellowship at the Scottish Rite Hospital. He has served as Chairman of several committees for POSNA and the SRS. He can be reached by email at john.smith@hsc.utah.edu.

Dr. Betz

Randal R. Betz, MD is a founding member of the Children’s Spine Foundation and a current member of the Board of Directors. His leadership and vision are instrumental to the success of the Group. He is currently practicing at the Insitute for Spine and Scoliosis. He served as Chief of Staff and Medical Director of Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia while serving as Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic training at Temple University, Philadelphia, with fellowship training at Alfred I. duPont Institute in Delaware. He was the President of the Scoliosis Research Society in 2005. His expertise and passion is in caring for children with pediatric spinal conditions. He can be reached at 609-912-1500 or by email at rbetz@spineandscoliosis.com.

Dr. Samdani

Amer Samdani, MD is a member of the Executive Committee for the Children's Spine Study Group. He is the Chief of Surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children - Philadelphia. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital with fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He also completed a traveling fellowing in spine deformity with the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Samdani serves on the Board of the Scoliosis Research Society and is passionate about fusionless strategies to treat scoliosis and complex spine deformity. He can be reached by email at asamdani@shrinenet.org.

Dr. Sawyer

Jeffrey R Sawyer, MD is a member of the Executive Committee for the Children's Spine Study Group. He is the Director of Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship at the University of Tennessee - Campbell Clinic. He completed his orthopaedic surgery training at University of Pennsylvania with fellowship training at the University of Tennessee - Campbell Clinic. He serves on the Board of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and has been the chairman of numerous committees. He has published 90 peer reviewed publications, 15 book chapters and has given over 100 national/international presentations, many of which focus on Early Onset Scoliosis. He is passionate about developing better and safer treatment methods for children with spinal deformities.

Director Emeritus

Dr. Campbell

Bob Campbell, MD, Director Emeritus is Director of the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (CTIS) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an attending physician in the Division of Orthopedic Surgery. He is best known as the inventor of the VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib) device, which is used to treat rare diseases of the spine and chest wall, through surgical expansion of the chest and correction of spinal deformity, without inhibiting children’s growth. He has published extensively on the thoracic and pulmonary disability of these patients and was the first to identify the disease Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS). He also leads advocacy efforts with the FDA to improve access to pediatric devices. Dr. Campbell obtained his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and his medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, DC. He completed an orthopedic residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, CO, and did his pediatric orthopedic fellowship at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE. He can be reached by email at campbellrm@email.chop.edu.