Heidi Prather named president of North American Spine Society

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During the 29th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS), Heidi Prather was named NASS President for 2014-15. Heidi Prather is a physiatrist from St. Louis, USA. 

Prather told delegates: “I am honoured to be a leader of the largest multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to assisting spine specialists in providing the best possible care for people with spine disorders. NASS has many opportunities to impact healthcare in the coming year which include: 

• Launching of a spine registry and member distinction program that will track patient outcomes and identify NASS members who provide evidenced-based spine care;

• Shaping healthcare policy via volunteer members’ efforts through timely responses to government and third party payer inquiries regarding coverage;

• Broadening coverage recommendation guidelines that promote appropriate access for all spine patients to the best evidenced-based spine care available;

• Expanding our influence on government policymakers through volunteer members and expert staff advocacy efforts in Washington DC;

• Facilitating research to advance diagnosis and treatment of people with spine disorders;

• Growing the educational resources for spine care providers in North America and around the world.”

Prather earned her medical degree at the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University Medical School.

Professor and chief of section for physical medicine and rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine in the department of orthopaedic surgery, Prather is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine. Prather is also the PM&R musculoskeletal sports medicine fellowship co-director and the director of the Chesterfield Orthopaedic Spine Center. In addition, Prather serves as a consultant for the St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Blues and the Scott Gallagher Soccer Club’s Girls’ Division teams and is a team physician for St. Joseph’s Academy and Francis Howell Central High School.

Prather serves as senior editor for PM&R, a board member of the North American Spine Foundation, and chairs the musculoskeletal research committee for the American Foundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a recipient of the Rosenthal Award and Distinguished Member award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Distinguished Clinician Award for Washington University School of Medicine, 10 orthopaedic resident teaching awards and the medical student Clinician Teacher Physician of the Year.

She is a past president of the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation. Prather joined NASS in 2002 and has served on the NASS board of directors, is a member of the executive committee and has served as a board member for the North American Spine Specialists. Prather’s clinical and research interests include management of musculoskeletal conditions with a special interest in gender differences, pre-arthritic hip disorders and their relationship to pelvic girdle and lumbar spine disorders.