Meet our Education, Research
and Advocacy Committees

Education Committee


Committee Chair Jeff Wang, MD

Dr. Wang earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences at Stanford University and his M.D. degree at the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. He did his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA and completed a fellowship in Spine Surgery at Case Western Reserve University. In 1997, he joined the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, in 2002 also was appointed Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, and became Associate Professor in both disciplines in 2003. He became Vice Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and spine fellowship director since 1997. In 2013, was recruited to the University of Southern California Spine Center. He is currently a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at the Keck Medical Center at USC, Co-Director of the USC Spine Center and Fellowship Director of the USC Spine Fellowship.

Committee Members


Ted Dreisinger, PhD

Dr. Dreisinger received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairmont State College, his Master of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and his Doctoral degree in exercise physiology from the University of Missouri. From 1987 to 1997, he was research director for the Columbia Spine Center, an affiliate of the Columbia Orthopaedic Group. Dr. Dreisinger's background spans 28 years of clinical experiences in rehabilitation, orthopedics and physical medicine. He has taught at the university level, presented a number of scientific papers, and published articles in numerous biomedical journals including Spine, Orthopedics, Journal of Rheumatology, Sports Medicine, Paraplegia, and the Journal of Cardiac Rehabilitation.


Carol McFarland PT, PhD, OCS

Dr. McFarland has been a practicing Physical Therapist since 1975, and received her PhD from Texas Woman’s University in 2013. Carol and her husband owned a private practice for a number of years, during which she obtained my Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. McFarland works primarily with orthopedics and specialized work with spine. She is active with the American Back Society and has developed peer reviewed post surgical protocols for spine over several years. Dr. McFarland’s main interests are in the area of exercise and activity based management of orthopedic disorders, particularly spinal disorders.


Catherine Ross

Catherine Ross has undergone a total of four scoliosis procedures. Three were in high school and her last procedure was in 2008 after college. Her own struggles inspired her to search for a solution. Catherine holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics and a B.S. in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, received in 2006. She also holds a M.S. in Biomedical Technology Development & Management from Georgetown University and Virginia Tech, received in 2011. She now innovates surgical solutions for patients like her. She has served as an engineer for K2M for the past 9 years and is currently working as Quality Control Manager. She is also very active promoting young women in STEM fields through Alpha Omega Epsilon, an engineering and technical science sorority founded in 1983.

Research Committee


Paul Anderson, MD

Dr. Anderson is an orthopedic spine surgeon with special interest in spine trauma, tumors, cervical spine, and geriatric spinal diseases. With undergraduate and Masters degrees from The University of Michigan in Chemical Engineering he completed medical school and residency at Wayne State University and a spine fellowship under Dr. Henry Bohlman (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland). He is currently Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Adjunct Professor in Neurological Surgery and Bio-medical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He has been President of the Cervical Spine Research Society, is currently President of the Lumbar Spine Research Society and has held various positions in a number of spinal and orthopedic societies. Most recently, he became a member of the "Own the Bone" Steering Committee of the American Orthopedic Society which aims to educate physicians and patients on the importance of bone health and promote fracture liaison services.

Yonatan Ben-Shalom, PhD

Dr. Ben-Shalom is a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, with expertise in policies and programs related to the employment and income of people with disabilities—especially those who acquire disability in adulthood such as workers and veterans. He directs the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative, a project funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S, Department of Labor. The Collaborative focuses on advancing policies and programs that promote positive SAW/RTW outcomes for workers who experience a chronic illness, disability, or medical condition that increases their risk for labor force exit. Dr. Ben-Shalom has served as principal investigator for numerous studies funded by the Social Security Administration and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Committee Members



Advocacy Committee


Committees Chair John Finkenberg, MD

Dr. Finkenberg has been in private practice for 22 years in San Diego, California. He attended UCLA, majored in Psychobiology while playing football and baseball and later attended UCLA Medical School. Following his Orthopedic Residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, he completed fellowship training in advanced spinal reconstruction surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He has helped develop many instrumentation systems that are currently being utilized by surgeons around the world. He frequently lectures to surgeons both nationally and internationally on spinal surgery clinical outcomes and technique. Dr. Finkenberg has authored several textbook chapters. He is an Associate Editor for The Spine Journal. He has been an active participant in NASS Advocacy; he makes frequent trips to Washington DC to meet with Senators/Congressmen to discuss Healthcare Policy.

Committee Members


Jordan Abushawish

Jordan Abushawish has over 7 years’ experience advocating on behalf of large trade associations in Washington, DC. Mr. Abushawish currently works at the North American Spine Society (NASS) as Director of the Government Affairs department and oversees its daily operations. Before coming to NASS, Mr. Abushawish worked at the American Osteopathic Association, as a Director of Advocacy, Goodwill Industries International Read more...


Richard Holt, MD


Janet Maurer, MD, MBA

Dr. Maurer serves as VP, Quality, Compliance, and Appeals and Operations Medical Director for NIA Magellan, a national medical specialty vendor. She is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, where she directs the Health Care Transformation curricular theme designed to prepare students for non-clinical aspects of medical practice and co-directs the Pulmonary Renal Acid-Base module for first year students. She came to NIA Magellan from Health Dialog, a disease management company where she was VP, Provider Relations, and focused on development of clinical decision support educational programs for physicians and patients. Read more...

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