William C Watters III named president of North American Spine Society


During the 28th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS; 911 October, New Orleans, USA), William C Watters III, was named the 2013–14 NASS president. Watters is an orthopaedic surgeon from Houston, USA.

“It is an honour to have been elected president of the North American Spine Society for this coming year. I hope to help guide the world’s largest multispecialty spinal society in a meaningful manner to achieve a series of goals:

  • Bring to fruition a number of important programs already in development for NASS’s membership, including the development of a spinal registry and a recognition programme.
  • Lead NASS in its continuing efforts to utilise ethical and professional principles in advocating for the provision and coverage of quality spine care. One way to do this is to create evidence-based coverage decisions for spinal treatments that our members can use to advocate for themselves and their patients in the new healthcare environment.
  • Increase the imprimatur of NASS as the world’s primer spine society through efforts of collaboration and globalisation to further benefit our membership.”

Watters is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, and has done residencies in both internal medicine and orthopaedic surgery and had advanced training in spinal surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. On coming to Houston, Texas, he served for five years as chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Kelsey Seybold Clinic. Since that time, he has practiced orthopaedic spinal surgery at the Bone and Joint Clinic of Houston. Watters is a clinical associate professor for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Watters has authored numerous articles and book chapters on diseases of the spine and is a national and international speaker on spinal disease. He has used his expertise on evidence-based medicine to chair major committees for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS) and NASS. In addition, Watters is the past Research Council chair of NASS and serves on the Board of Directors of NASS and the American Board of Spine Surgery. He most recently served as the vice president of NASS and is a past president of The Texas Spine Society. He sits on the Board of Advisors for World Spine Care and for Palladian. Watters sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Spine Journal and serves as a reviewer for Spine and the Journal of the Spinal Arthroplasty Society.

Watters has represented the AAOS at the National Quality Forum (6th and 7th annual meetings), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (The Back Pain Recognition Program and Physician Recognition Programs) and co-chaired the AMA/Rand project on Gaps in Orthopedic Care as well as served as co-Chairman of the AMA PCPI Low Back Pain Measure Development work group. Watters has represented NASS on the Robert Wood Johnson/ABMS Episodes of Care for Low Back Pain project, sits on BC/BS expert panel on Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery, the MEDCAC Advisory Board for CMS and was the co-Chair for the AMA Consortium Work Group to develop Performance Measures for Degenerative Spinal Stenosis.