Past CANM Symposiums

Past CANM Symposiums

9th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Halifax, Nova Scotia 2016

(left to right) Dr. Ron El-Hawary, Dr. John P. Dormans, Dr. David Houlden

For the first time in its history CANM travelled to the east coast of Canada to host the 9th Annual CANM IONM Symposium in the beautiful seaside city of Halifax, NS, on September 30-October 1, 2016.  The educational event, held at the boutique Prince George Hotel in downtown Halifax, covered a variety of topics, but centered on a theme of developing standard of care for IONM in spine deformity surgery in Canada.

Dr. John P. Dormans, Past-President of the Scoliosis Research Society and this year’s keynote speaker, focused his address on the history of usage of IONM in spinal deformity surgery and the vital role IONM currently plays during complex spinal procedures.   This sentiment was echoed by Dr. Ron El-Hawary, Chief of Orthopaedics at the IWK Health Center and member of the Canadian Paediatric Spine Society, and together with Dr. David Houlden, a panel discussion was held to facilitate dialogue on development of standard of care for IONM in Canada, offering opinions from both surgical and neurophysiology perspectives.

An important aspect of standardizing IONM provision in Canada is education of IONM professionals.   Dr. Anthony Sestokas, Chief Clinical Officer for Intraoperative Monitoring at SpecialtyCare, gave an overview of educational models and programs that are currently available for those embarking on a career in IONM, and talked about how the Michener Institute Graduate Certificate in IONM program, developed in concert with CANM, fits into this educational framework.  As an addition to educational development of IONM in Canada, Allison Bethune, Neurosurgery Research Coordinator at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, gave a presentation on clinical research methods in IONM to foster and encourage further learning and discovery in the field.

A topic of great interest, Functional Neurosurgery, was covered with two fantastic presentations.  The first, by Dr. Lutz Weise who spoke about current and future research in the field that involves IONM, and the second, by Dr. Marshall Wilkinson who explained the underlying neurophysiology for Deep Brain Stimulation in movement disorders.   Dr. Simon Walling and Dr. Dan McNeely, prominent Neurosurgeons at the IWK Health Center in Halifax, spoke of the important role IONM has during brain tumor surgery, particularly procedures involving eloquent brain regions.  As the main Neurophysiologist at the IWK Health Center, Dr. Susan Morris expanded on the key role IONM played during the cases presented by Drs. Walling and McNeely.

We would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the 9th Annual CANM IONM Symposium.  An event like this would not have been possible without the hard work of the organizing committee and the continuous support of our corporate sponsors.  We express our sincerest gratitude.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback received, we are confident that the 9th Annual CANM IONM Symposium provided the attendees with abundant opportunities to become involved in discussions and interactions with colleagues and that useful educational information has been imparted and can translate into improved IONM practices.  We will continue our tradition of highly interactive scientific discourse as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary!  Please join us for the 10th Annual CANM IONM Symposium which will be held in Toronto, ON – September 15-16, 2017.

Katya Patopova, BSc, CNIM
2016 Symposium Organizing Committee


8th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Montreal, Quebec 2015

8th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Montreal 2015On September 25-26th, CANM hosted its 8th Annual Symposium on Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring. This year’s event was held at the Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel and it marks the first time a CANM event has taken place in beautiful Montreal, Quebec. Nestled in the city’s historic district, this was a picturesque setting for yet another successful meeting on current advancements in the field of IONM.

CANM was privileged to have one of the foremost pioneers in IONM deliver the keynote address at this year’s event. The esteemed Daniel Schwartz, PhD presented a historical overview of IONM and how this important adjunct to neurosurgery evolved from very modest beginnings. Attendees were treated to major milestones in IONM and homage was paid to those whose early work paved the way for how IONM is performed today.

In addition to our keynote speaker, a number of senior IONM practitioners were invited to speak on various topics relating to advanced techniques in neurophysiological monitoring. Samuel Strantzas, MSc, DABNM explored methods of cortical mapping in asleep patients while David Houlden, PhD followed with a riveting lecture on brainstem mapping. Presenters Russ Lyon MSc, DABNM and Lawrence Wierzbowski, AuD, DABNM both devoted special attention to spine surgery by speaking on current procedures used for spinal nerve root monitoring. To provide an American perspective on IONM, Michael Hopkins, PhD discussed U.S. models of oversight as well as challenges encountered by those practicing IONM for private services.

Similar to previous CANM meetings, physicians were included in this year’s program to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. Canadian neurosurgeon Dr. Maria Li delivered an anatomy tutorial on blood supply to the brain and Dr. Jean Ouellet presented on risky maneuvers during spinal deformity surgery. Furthermore, Dr. Dana Iancu spoke on endovascular surgery which was the first time a neuroradiologist has been invited to present at a CANM meeting. To present an anesthesia-based lecture, anesthesiologist Dr. Gary Simon discussed the effects of anesthetic agents on neurophysiological recordings.

The accomplishments of this year’s symposium could not have been achieved without the efforts and dedication of the symposium organizing committee (Laura Holmes, Suzin Ilton, Ekaterina Potapova, Aleksandra Krajacic, Jamie Johnston, and Nancy Lu). Of course the tremendous support of our corporate sponsors must be recognized as well. Their commitment to CANM’s education initiatives is reassuring and greatly appreciated. Lastly, special thanks go out to all of the attendees whose active participation and dialogue helped make this another memorable CANM event. On behalf of the symposium organizing committee and CANM executive board we hope you join us in 2016.

Gina Bastaldo, MSc, CNIM
2015 Symposium Organizing Committee


7th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Toronto, Ontario 2014

7th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Toronto 2014

The CANM annual symposium is the epicenter of our educational calendar and over the years this meeting has evolved into the premiere Canadian conference for IONM professionals. Eager to carry on the success of our previous meetings, CANM hosted our 7th annual symposium on September 19–20 in Toronto, Ontario.

This year’s dynamic and interactive meeting once again included a compilation of world renowned IONM experts, most notably our keynote speaker Dr. Stanley Skinner from Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. The important yet often overlooked theme of “Patient Centered IONM” was the focal point of Dr. Skinner’s keynote address and his comprehensive speech generated significant, constructive dialogue throughout the meeting. While CANM hosted previous symposiums in Toronto, the 2014 meeting was an important pioneer in several respects. This was the first year in which neurosurgical registered nurses were in attendance, prompted by their appetite to learn more about IONM professionals with whom they work together with in the operating room theatre. Furthermore, for the first time CANM offered lectures on “Basic Engineering Principles” as well as “Adult Epilepsy,” and “Spinal Deformity Surgery.”

Following years of planning, chair of the CANM Education Committee, Sue Morris, announced the official commencement of the CANM – Michener Graduate Certificate Program in IONM which welcomed its inaugural students in September 2014.

Reflecting on the many achievements of this year’s meeting, it is imperative that we recognize the hard work of symposium committee members Laura Holmes, Samuel Strantzas, Nancy Lu, Samantha Robertson, and Nicole Dinn. Acknowledgment should also be given to our corporate sponsors whose steadfast support of our association is always appreciated. On behalf of the symposium committee and the CANM Executive Board I would finally like to extend my gratitude to our attendees who demonstrate year after year that passionate discussions surrounding IONM are alive and well in Canada.

Looking to 2015, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce that the beautiful Canadian city of Montreal has been selected as the location for next year’s annual symposium.

Gina Bastaldo, MSc, CNIM
2014 Symposium Organizing Committee


6th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Ottawa, Ontario 2013

6th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Ottawa 2013On October 4th and 5th, 2013, the 6th Annual CANM IOM Symposium was held in Ottawa at the beautiful Château Laurier Hotel. On behalf of the CANM executive board and the symposium organizing committee, I wish to thank all of our speakers and attendees who made this one of the most successful CANM meetings ever.

For the first time we included more in-depth case studies by clinical neurophysiologists who described the application, interpretation and troubleshooting of IONM in specific cases. Furthermore, CANM was privileged to introduce our very first European Keynote speaker, the prominent Dr. Francesco Sala. Focusing on the topic of “Evidence-Based Use of IOM,” Dr. Sala delivered a compelling and influential keynote address that became one of the most well-received speeches of the symposium.

2013 has been a pivotal year for the CANM Education Committee and committee Chair Dr. Susan Morris gave a comprehensive presentation detailing the progress of our Online Education Program and Certification Examination. Needless to say, the success of the 6th Annual CANM IOM Symposium could not have been possible without the support of our corporate sponsors and the dedication of symposium committee members Dave Houlden, Chantal Turgeon, Srini Bulusu, Laura Holmes, and Tom Polis. For every CANM symposium we strive to provide an interactive educational event that is second to none. For all of those who attended this year’s meeting we hope that you had an enlightening experience and we look forward to seeing you again for the 7th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Toronto, Ontario – Autumn 2014.

Gina Bastaldo, MSc, CNIM
2013 Symposium Organizing Committee


5th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Vancouver, British Columbia 2012

5th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Vancouver 2012The 5th CANM IOM Symposium was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, September 28 – 29, 2012. I would like to thank all guest speakers, case study authors, vendor sponsors and attendees who came together and made it one of our best meetings yet! As many attendees commended, the case presentations at the beginning of the symposium was fun, interactive and educational. So was the workshop given by Rebecca Clark-Bash, the renowned IOM educator. These case studies and the workshop discussed various practical aspects of intraoperative monitoring (IOM), which was not only beneficial to those new to the field but to veterans as well.

The much anticipated, Dr. MacDonald, delivered an informative and elegant keynote speech on” MEP Warning Criteria” which will surely have an impact on our daily practice. The lectures given by the surgeons were also well received. They not only spoke on surgical procedures and how monitoring could help achieve optimal results but also talked about the security and reduced anxiety that IOM provides. Needless to say, lectures by our clinical neurophysiologists which detailed applications of electrophysiological techniques in surgical monitoring were much enjoyed by the attendees. Many indicated that they would adopt some of the monitoring techniques learned at the meeting in their future practice, which is exactly what we want to hear!

The meeting went smoothly and effectively thanks to the dedication and hard work of the organizing committee. During the Welcome Reception in the beautiful Coal Harbor Suite, people chatted with colleagues and met old/new friends over a cup of BC wine and tasty hors d’oeuvres. Two days of the meeting passed by quickly but the memory of the wonderful experience will last long. Once again, thank you to all who attended and made the Vancouver symposium a tremendous success. We look forward to seeing you again next year in Ottawa!

Charles Dong, PhD
Chair, CANM 2012 Symposium Organizing Committee


4th Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Toronto, Ontario 2011

4th Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Toronto 2011On behalf of the CANM executive and symposium planning committee, I wish to thank you for attending the 4th Annual CANM Intraoperative Monitoring Symposium on September 30 and October 1, 2011. I hope that you enjoyed your time in Toronto and found the meeting to be a stimulating educational and collegial affair. The success of the meeting is reflected by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received from the attendees. Your participation has helped foster the growth of our association and supported the mission and vision of CANM. Education is, and will continue to be, a top priority for CANM.

As always, the case presentations were a highlight. The open discussions following each presentation were thought-provoking and brought forth many suggestions for improvements and how to tackle difficult issues. Our thanks go out to the guest lecturers who shared their experiences and expertise.

CANM is delighted to count you among our allies for the promotion of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in Canada. A special thank you to those who took a few minutes to fill out the CANM Survey 2011. The feedback we received through this survey and the CANM Discussion portion of the meeting will be used to guide us as we work towards creating a formalized education program, and eventually a credentialing process for IOM practitioners. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to become a member of CANM (application details can be found at www.canm.ca) and assist us in shaping the future of IOM in Canada. We need your help. Looking forward to seeing you again and reminding you to stay tuned for details about the 5th Annual CANM IOM Symposium – Vancouver, BC – Autumn 2012. With gratitude,

Laura M Holmes, MSc, CNIM
2011 CANM Symposium Committee


3rd Annual CANM IOM Symposium

Banff, Alberta 2010

3rd Annual CANM IOM Symposium in Banff 2010The 3rd annual meeting of CANM took place at the Banff Centre within Banff National Park from the 23rd to 25th of September 2010. Participants came from across Canada for a day and a half of informative sessions covering a variety of IOM-based topics. We were joined by colleagues from the US, including Rebecca Clark-Bash who gave a special seminar on passing the CNIM exam and our guest speaker Dr Charles Yingling from San Francisco and Baltimore. Dr Yingling gave a thought provoking discussion through the development of IOM.

Throughout the meeting there was much lively and thoughtful discussion on a wide-range of subjects. Speakers came from across the breadth of the country, Dr Dick from Halifax gave a very interesting comparison of IOM north and south of the 49th parallel; Dr Dong spoke on monitoring aortic aneurysms. Dr David Houlden (CANM president) reflected on his career working in the ICU, the ORs and back into the ICU again. Once again one of the most popular features of the meeting was the cross-country presentation of interesting cases. Thanks to everybody who contributed to this, either with a case or the full discussion of the cases afterwards. We were joined in Banff by a number of Canadian IOM vendors who contributed significantly to the success of the meeting.

Jonathan Norton, PhD
2010 CANM Symposium Committee