Past CANM Symposiums
2020 ASNM/CANM Symposium
Virtual meeting Sept 19-20
The Annual CANM Symposium is known across North America for its quality-over-quantity approach to education. This year CANM teamed up with our American counterparts at ASNM to host a joint symposium. The intent was to combine CANM’s more interactive meeting format with ASNM’s much larger membership in beautiful Vancouver. However our plans- like so many others- were thwarted by Covid-19 and the decision was made to move to a virtual meeting platform.
Despite the last-minute changes, the symposium was a success. It featured a group of renowned experts in their fields, including neurophysiologists, surgeons, and anesthesiologists and topics ranged from the fundamentals to the advanced. Joined virtually by over 200 attendees from across the world including participants in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, we heard speakers presenting on topics such as brainstem and cranial nerve monitoring, cortical mapping, and spinal nerve root monitoring.
Several notable Canadian speakers contributed to this year’s symposium, such as Dr. Josh Bennitz- a neuroanesthesiologist in Vancouver who wowed his audience with a presentation on the effects of dexmeditomidine on MEPs. Another highlight was a presentation by Vancouver-based neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Honey, who described a cranial nerve disorder he has recently discovered called Hemi-Laryngopharyngeal Spasm (HeLPS syndrome). We were also proud to include presentations and case studies by some of our own CANM members such as Dr. Francois Roy, Dr. Aleksandra King, and Dr. Marshall Wilkinson.
Many of the speakers we have seen at previous CANM meetings returned to further enhance our content. Returning speakers included Dr. Stanley Skinner who spoke about the bulbocavernosus response (BCR), Dr. Arvydas Tamkus with a thorough literature review describing the prevention of foot drop in spine surgery, and Dr. Partha Thirumala’s novel model of intraoperative stroke detection.
Our friends with the ASNM also enlisted several noteworthy and prominent speakers, such as Dr. Robert Holdefer, Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann, Dr. Lanjun Guo, and their own ASNM president Dr. Faisal Jahangiri just to name a few. Each presentation was informative and engaging- often resulting in more questions than it was possible to answer in the allotted time!
This has been such a challenging year and a huge thank you goes out to the organizing committee for deciding to adapt rather than cancel. We also extend our gratitude to each and every presenter for their perseverance and understanding in lieu of our unusual public health circumstances. Lastly, a huge thank you to the international group of conference attendees for logging on and making this symposium all worthwhile!
Kristine Pederson, BSc, CNIM, R.EEG.T
CANM Board Member
2020 ASNM/CANM Symposium Organizing Committee
12th Annual CANM Symposium
Winnipeg, Manitoba 2019
The 12th annual CANM symposium was a huge success! With an all-star lineup of presenters this was a fantastic learning experience for everyone involved. This year’s symposium was held in Winnipeg, with its beautiful historic buildings on the banks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
While our group was small this year, there were many familiar faces in the crowd. We even had an abundance of US attendees. It has been said many times by our American attendees that they come to us to learn advanced techniques. This year was no different.
Our keynote speaker this year was Stan Skinner, MD. Dr. Skinner is currently the director of IONM at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. His presentation on How Do We Convert IONM Diagnostic Test Prediction to Adverse Outcome Prevention? focused on bias mitigation, the formal communication cycle, and team dynamics. While the keynote address What Are the Breakthroughs in IONM Evidence? (And Where Are the Problems?) highlighted the grading and significance of data.
Along with our keynote, we had many engaging presentations that encouraged lively discussions! Of particular interest this year was Developing a Professional Association, led by Ian Jones. This timely talk was chosen due to CANM’s role in the global IONM community. Canada’s IONM professionals are no longer content to display our increased level of competence under the CNIM designation. The time has come to set our own standards.
The short case presentations this year were top-notch. A group favourite was a discussion on the use of dexmedetomidine in pediatric cases. Another was MEP validation to avoid deep stimulation and false negatives during cranial cases. As always, we included small group ethical dilemma discussion and case conundrums.
A HUGE thank you to outgoing president of CANM, Marshall Wilkinson, and David Houlden for moderating the event.
It was the Winnipeg group’s pleasure to host this year’s symposium, and we hope to see many more CANM members at the next meeting!
Karissa Rosen, CNIM, R. EEG/EP T., RPSGT
2019 CANM Symposium Organizing Committee
11th Annual CANM Symposium
Calgary, Alberta 2018
The Annual CANM Symposium has earned a reputation throughout North America as one of the foremost educational events for IONM practitioners. The 11th Annual CANM Symposium, held in the beautiful up-and-coming area of East Village in downtown Calgary, AB, did not disappoint! This year’s symposium showcased a distinguished group of surgeons, anesthetists, and IONM professionals speaking on a variety of cutting-edge topics in the field of neuromonitoring, including the use of EEG for depth of anesthesia, monitoring of cerebral and aortic aneurysm surgeries, as well as a comprehensive review of mapping and monitoring of the brainstem.
Leading the way was our keynote speaker, a founding member of CANM and very accomplished IONM professional, Dr. Charles Dong , PhD from Vancouver General. Dr. Dong’s keynote presentation focussed on his pioneering work in the area of corticobulbar MEP monitoring. He followed this with a second talk on intraoperative monitoring of auditory evoked potentials. Dr. Iaonnis Karakis MD, PhD from Emory University’s School of Medicine rounded out the discussion on the brainstem with an impressive presentation on mapping of brainstem nuclei.
Local Calgary surgeons from particularly strong programs in Spine and Neuro shared their expertise with the attendees. Dr. Rajiv Midha, an internationally-recognized authority on peripheral nerve injury, spoke on advances in peripheral nerve repair. Dr. Zelma Kiss presented on the anatomical targets of Deep Brain Stimulation as well as the signature neural responses at each location. Dr. Ganesh Swamy discussed the benefits of Direct Lateral Interbody Fusions. All shared their views on the importance of neuromonitoring for prevention of neural injury and localization of critical neural structures.
A particular highlight of the symposium was the impressive lecture by Dr. Emory Brown, MD, PhD. Dr. Brown is an anesthesiologist-statistician, dual-appointed to Harvard and MIT, whose experimental research has made fundamental contributions to understanding the neuroscience of how anesthetics create the states of general anesthesia. His presentation on the use of EEG for depth of anesthesia evoked literal “oohs” and “ahs” from the audience and introduced a more nuanced method for interpreting EEGs to aid anesthetists.
Our symposiums’ intimate environment has traditionally promoted valuable interaction among colleagues. This year, in addition to our highly-collaborative and perennial favourite Case Conundrum session, we included a fascinating live demonstration of axon excitability and their “memory traces”, organized by Dr. Kelvin Jones, PhD. This session garnered significant accolades from the attendees, not only for its fascinating topic, but also for easing the audience into constructive and inclusive dialogue. Events such as these cannot be successful without an engaged group of attendees. This year’s symposium was very well-attended, with many of our attendees hailing from the US, which allowed for diverse experiences and perspectives to contribute to our lively discussions.
I would like to thank the organizing committee, as well as all who attended, for making the 11th Annual CANM Symposium such a success!
Jamie Johnston, Ph.D, CNIM
11th Annual CANM Symposium Organizing Committee Chair
CANM Celebrates Years!!!
Toronto, Ontario 2017
CANM proudly celebrated the 10th anniversary of its annual symposium in Toronto on September 15th and 16th, 2017. This milestone event boasted an excellent line-up of speakers that covered a wide range of topics of interest to the intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring community.
Since spine surgery is the largest application for IONM in Canada, it was fitting to have the symposium begin with the topic of spinal deformity. As an opening presentation, Dr. Stephen Lewis, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Toronto Western Hospital and SickKids, gave an excellent overview of intraoperative alerts and a surgeon’s perspective on how to effectively manage them. To complement, Dr. Christian Zaarour, a pediatric anesthesiologist at SickKids, spoke about the challenges involved in managing patients undergoing complex spinal deformity surgery. Dr. Brian Ciruna, a research scientist with University of Toronto, then described his ground-breaking research into the etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using a zebra fish model. Spinal surgery was also the focus of William Nantau’s presentation which explored a series of interesting cases. Dr. Jay Shils, past-president of ASNM, presented his original research on spinal cord stimulator placement in anesthetized patients using intraoperative neurophysiogical techniques.
The next segment focused on improving the practice of IONM. Dr. Elaine Ng, Clinical Director of Simulation for University of Toronto Anesthesia, provided some valuable insights into the merits of using simulation in the training of medical professionals. A particular highlight was the lecture by Dr. Trey Coffey, Medical Officer for Safety at SickKids, who offered helpful tips on how to improve safety in the operating room, with a focus on how to communicate effectively. This was followed by Joshua Mergos, IOM program director at the University of Michigan, who detailed his experiences in developing and running the IONM educational program at that institution and spoke about the importance of why an IONM career must begin with scholarship. Evidence for IONM was the foundation for Dr. Jonathan Norton’s lecture which provided a critical review of the current literature and encouraged IONM professionals to help advance the available knowledge.
The symposium also offered many lectures with an emphasis on technique. Brett Netherton, CEO of Signal Gear, gave a lively and well-received review of the principles of electrical stimulation in IONM. Dr. George Ibrahim, a Neurosurgeon from SickKids, provided an overview of anatomy and surgery for tumors of the posterior fossa and spoke about how essential the IONM feedback is for resection. Techniques for mapping of the spinal cord were shared by Dr. Mirela Simon, Associate Professor of Neurology from Boston and Dr. Francois Roy, Neurophysiologist from University of Alberta, introduced a novel technique for subcortical mapping using an electrified tip for ultrasonic aspirators. The work of refining flash VEPs for intraoperative applications was shared by Dr. David Houlden, Neurophysiologist from The Ottawa Hospital.
Dr. Houlden also delivered this year’s keynote address, an insightful look to the future of IONM, after which he was honoured as the inaugural recipient of the CANM Award of Excellence. Dr. Houlden was the natural choice for this award and for keynote lecturer for the 10th anniversary meeting, as he is the Founding President of CANM and has contributed so much to our association and to IONM in Canada over the years.
As usual, the case presentations and interactive case conundrums sections of the symposium were a phenomenal success, and the symposium committee would like to thank all those who participated. Presenters shared experiences in cerebral aneurysm, carotid endarterectomy, closed reduction of cervical spine, and embolization with balloon test occlusion, as well as having confidence in IONM results, factors that negatively affect results, positioning injuries, unexpected changes during closure, and MEP monitoring in infants.
The symposium also offered opportunities for networking with colleagues and introductions of those new to the field. We were fortunate to have nine current students or graduates of the Michener program in our midst, along with attendees from Chile, Mexico, and the US. Attendees had the distinct privilege to be the first to hear about the revised CINP proposal, and participate in a roundtable discussion and mock examination.
Planning a symposium is no small feat, so I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Laura Holmes, Chair of the Symposium Planning Committee, and all of the hard work by Michael Vandenberk, Peter Heyboer, Susan Morris, Ekaterina Potapova, Godwin Anthonipillai, Jamie Johnston, and Gilaad Levy to execute this landmark event. Together, we would like to thank all our corporate sponsors, whose support is always appreciated. Finally, on behalf of the Symposium Planning Committee and CANM Executive Board I would like to extend my gratitude to all the attendees who make every symposium a very lively and passionate event. I hope to see you all next year in Calgary.
Ekaterina Potapova, BSc, CNIM
2017 Symposium Planning Committee
Secretary, CANM Executive
9th Annual CANM IOM Symposium
Halifax, Nova Scotia 2016
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
On 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
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
On 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
The 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
On 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
The 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