In early 1995 a group of chiropractic physicians and neurosurgeons in Chicago recognized the value of establishing an interdisciplinary forum to help improve the continuity and quality of spinecare. They founded an organization originally known as the Chicago Spine Society.
The organization began with an informal series of monthly meetings focused around case discussions with sharing of clinical experiences and perspectives. As a result of these regular meetings, common goals emerged, and objectives for the Chicago Spine Society were established. The Society members recognized that neurosurgeons and chiropractic physicians have many things to offer one another in the course of cooperative patient management. The neurosurgeons of this organization recognized the role of chiropractic care. Moreover, chiropractic physicians could openly refer their patients for neurosurgical consultation without difficulty.
As word spread, people became very interested and contacted the group from various areas. It became evident that the Chicago Spine Society could no longer remain as a regional organization. In late 1995 it became a national association, the American Association of Spine Physicians. It evolved into an organization with members in nearly every state as well as members from other countries. On November 5-6, 1995 the AASP hosted their inaugural international symposium. This landmark symposium featured as the honored guest Dr. Manohar Panjabi, preeminent authority on spinal biomechanics, professor at Yale University, and author of the text Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine. The symposium also featured the AASP faculty, comprised of chiropractic physicians and neurosurgeons, who discussed the role of cooperative care, diagnostic methods, and therapeutic options relating to patients with disorders of the cervical and lumbar spine.
The American Academy of Spine Physicians (formerly the American Association of Spine Physicians) has a multidisciplinary Academy Council that is comprised of chiropractic physicians and neurosurgeons bringing together over 200 years of collective experience in the care of patients with spinal disorders. The objectives of the AASP include providing a multidisciplinary platform for continuing education for chiropractors and neurosurgeons. This unparalleled forum helps promote a cooperative approach. Continuing education emphasizes the benefits of cooperative management, as well as of diagnostic methods, spine anatomy, biomechanics, spine neuroscience, treatments and sports medicine-related topics.
Early in 2003 the AASP designed and implemented an unprecedented interactive and interdisciplinary website capable of reaching physicians worldwide. The website contained a broad spectrum of member services and scientific publications. The site provides valuable information for healthcare professionals, patients, the media and the public. The AASP worked closely with the Marine Military Academy in the development of an onsite World Class Human Performance Lab (HPL). Consultants from the AASP recently assisted the Marine Military Academy to help develop and expand neuromuscular testing capabilities within the Lab.
In 2003, the AASP launched a unique online continuing education progam for physicans. Over 30 courses were implemented with online tests and sophisticated automated grading and recording systems. At the time it represented one of the most unique self-study programs of its kind. It lead the way for other professional organizations. During 2003, shortly after launching the education programs, the AASP unveiled credentialing progam offering physicians of various dispclines the opportunity to achieve Diplomate status with the American Academy of Spine Physicians (DAASP) and Fellow status with the American College of Spine Physicians. The AASP developed numerous high tech methods of communicating with members. For example, in 2004 AASP programmers developed a "futuristic" electronic book (eBook) designed to inform members and potential members about the AASP. The pages were interactive and linked to key areas of the AASP website.
During 2005 the AASP designed and implemented an online nationwide "matchmaking service" to help facilitate the development of multidisciplinary spinecare referral networks. This combined with the ongoing development of member benefits and services lead to unprecedented growth of the organization during 2005. The American Academy of Spine Physicians received a record number of applications for membership from chiropractic physicians and neurosurgeons. The new neurosurgical applicants represented numerous prominent university settings throughout the country.
The AASP expanded its membership categories in 2007 to include other physican members of the spinecare team such as radiologists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, and rehabilitation specialists. During 2007, the AASP also launched one of the most aggressive national spinecare awareness campaigns ever attempted by any single group or organization. Multiple strategic initiatives were implemented to help educate patients, physicians and the public about the spine, spinecare and the role of spine specialists. The AASP brought together a team of graphic artists, computer programmers, medical writers and physician consultants to initiate the development of one of the largest multimedia databases of "need-to-know" information about the spine and spinecare. The multimedia database of information will represent one of the most comprehensive "need-to-know" databases on the spine and spinecare for the public.
During fall of 2007 and spring of 2008 the AASP pioneered a Practice Development Initiative for members. The AASP developed a variety of initiatives including an online PowerPoint slide library and online brochure library. More than 60 brochures were developed and implemented online. Qualified members are entitled to access and download the resources at no cost. The professional appearance of the brochures, their content and the unifying branding effect helped to facilitate an integrated approach to spinecare.
The AASP influence continued to grow. In 2008, the AASP was invited to help develop the infrastructure and informational databases for the International Spine Association (ISA). The ISA is a not-for-profit organization comprised of International Divisions representing countries on six continents. The primary Mission of the ISA is to improve the quality of spinecare throughout the world through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information to the public through the World Wide Web in numerous languages, covering many topics related to the spine. The ISA also provides information about Spine Organizations and an International Directory of Spinecare Products. The relationship between the AASP and the ISA represents one of the strongest and most influential of its kind. Working together, both organizations collectively reach all members of the spinecare field and subsequently are positioned to "shape the future of spinecare" in the United States and abroad. The AASP also co-developed a Career Enhancement Program for members. This included access to resources for finding employment and navigating career transitions.
Participation with the AASP was not limited to individual members but was expanded in 2008 to include the assistance of companies which serve the spinecare field. The AASP developed a variety of corporate opportunities which were introduced during the spring of 2008. These programs include participation in the AASP Buying Advantage Program for members and/or becoming a Campaign, Partner, Corporate Partner or Educational Sponsor. This development allows for companies and physicans to work together to improve the delivery of spinecare.