The Growing Spine Foundation (GSF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit organization aimed at supporting medical education and scientific research to optimize patient outcomes in Early Onset Scoliosis. The GSF was originally created for the purpose of funding the Growing Spine Study Group (GSSG) at a time when funding from traditional sources within the spine industry was not possible due to several reasons.
The Growing Spine Study Group (GSSG), initiated through educational tutorials and multicenter data collection in 2002, is an international group of pediatric spine deformity surgeons who specialize in the treatment of Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) and related spinal and chest wall deformities. The group’s first scientific project was presented at the podium of the Scoliosis Research Society Meeting in Quebec City, Quebec in 2003. The peer response to this initial project was overwhelming and multiple physicians asked to be included in future projects. Thus, the GSSG was formed.
The GSF has provided financial support to the GSSG to develop a web-based research database specifically for patients with Early Onset Scoliosis. In 2009, the GSF was granted a partnership with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). Two accounts were opened using funds from the GSF: the Growing Spine Endowment Account, which is intended to provide long-term financial support for growing spine related research, and the Growing Spine Designated Giving Account, which provides more immediate support to Growing Spine related research and education endeavors. The GSF hopes to increase its exposure to the pediatric spine surgeon culture as well as the public at large to broaden its funding sources.
During its short life, the GSF has sponsored six annual International Congress on Early Onset Scoliosis (ICEOS) meetings in addition to supporting the GSSG’s research efforts. In the future, the GSF plans to expand its role of funding growing spine related research and education to also include outreach, public education and advocacy.