JANUARY 25 - 27, 2019


Welcome and Invitation from the Host

I am very pleased to announce that this year we are celebrating the 15th Annual Mazama Spine Summit! Each year we continue to provide the latest developments in minimally invasive and outpatient spine surgery with the leading physicians in the U.S. and from around the world.

The meeting is designed to provide a setting for thought provoking ideas and discussion in a casual, yet elegant winter setting. I hope you will make us part of your meeting schedule next year. As many physicians have noted, “This is the best meeting I go to all year.” I invite you to make it yours too.

Best regards,

Richard Wohns, MD

Richard N.W. Wohns, MD, JD, MBA

Mazama has a block of hotel rooms at a special group rate. Call 800-572-0493 to receive this rate, and mention the Spine Summit when you call. Do not book your hotel accommodations online through the Sun Mountain Lodge website.

Mazama Spine Summit Slideshow

General Documents

Conference Links


Upon completion of this educational activity, the participants will be able to:

  1. Assess medical conditions that impact the human spine.
  2. Recommend treatment for their patients.
  3. Acquire a greater understanding of more precise criteria for referring to surgical and non-surgical specialists for more advanced treatment options.
  4. Have a broader awareness of both conservative and surgical treatment options.
  5. Have a broader awareness of new and innovative treatment options.
  6. Have a greater understanding of the outcomes potential for alternative treatment options.

Richard N.W. Wohns, MD, JD, MBA

Founder, President & Board Certified Neurosurgeon

Dr. Wohns

Richard Wohns, MD, JD, MBA, is founder and president of NeoSpine which provides comprehensive spine care including surgery, pain management, and imaging, with locations in Seattle and Puyallup. Board certified in Neurological Surgery, Dr. Wohns has been in practice for over 30 years.

After earning degrees from Harvard College, Yale Medical School, and completing his neurosurgery residency at the University of Washington, Dr. Wohns started business school at the University of Washington. As a result of a business plan writing exercise, NeoSpine, a concept for a national network of outpatient spine surgery centers, quickly turned into a reality when it received $20 million in venture capital funding. 15 years and many centers later, NeoSpine has continued to be at the forefront of developing and executing innovative outpatient spinal surgery and pain management techniques. Today, Dr. Wohns leads the NeoSpine practice and Microsurgical Spine Center, its partner surgery center, in Washington State.

Prior to NeoSpine, Dr. Wohns organized and co-founded Neurosurgical Consultants of Washington, involving 12 neurosurgeons in the Puget Sound area. He also developed South Sound Gamma Knife Center, a partnership between neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and St. Joseph Hospital to provide Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for patients in South Puget Sound.

Dr. Wohns is a leader in high altitude medicine and is the former Vice President of the International Society of Mountain Medicine. He has been both a physician and a climber during expeditions on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest. He served as the Medical Director during the 1984 Ultima Thule Everest Expedition during which time he performed high altitude brain research on Mount Everest. He also performed the first high altitude emergency appendectomy on a porter during an expedition to K2, the second highest mountain in the world.

During the summer of 2013, Dr. Wohns returned to Nepal, this time with one of his four children, a student at Harvard College, to teach minimally invasive spine surgery techniques to the staff at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. During this trip he also performed pro bono surgery with medical implants and instruments graciously donated by leading medical device companies. His enduring commitment to the country, its people, and to the field of medicine has compelled him to begin planning his next trip there in 2014.

Dr. Wohns is the founder of the Mazama Spine Summit, an annual minimally invasive and outpatient spine surgery conference that brings together top spine surgeons and technique innovators from across the country. Held in Winthrop, WA, the conference consists of educational panel sessions and a keynote speaker and focuses on new developments in minimally invasive and outpatient spine surgery. January 2016 marks the 12th anniversary of this important educational event.

As Chief Medical Officer for angelMD, a technology platform and marketplace that connects leading medical startups from all over the world with life science investors, industry and physicians/scientists, Dr. Wohns is helping to create a more efficient path from start to funding to exit and de-risking investments in the process. angelMD enables physicians and life sciences experts to employ their expertise to advantage in sourcing, evaluating and advising startups helping to positively influence the outcomes of early stage medical opportunities.

Dr. Wohns is an alumnus of the Seattle University School of Law and utilizes his legal knowledge as an expert witness in the realms of patent litigation, credentialing, and medical negligence. He has held positions at professional societies including serving on the Ethics Committee for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and being Vice President and President of the Western Neurosurgical Society. Dr. Wohns is a member of multiple medical and climbing associations, an expert consultant to several organizations, and has authored many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals plus chapters in medical books. Several of the articles include “firsts” in outpatient spine surgery. In February 2011, he was rated one of the 100 Best Spine Surgeons and Specialists in America and in February 2010, one of the 50 Best Spine Specialists in the United States by Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review. In 2014, Dr. Wohns was listed as one of the “40 Smartest People in Healthcare.” Dr. Wohns has taken his expertise worldwide, sharing knowledge with fellow physicians and helping thousands of patients to return to their daily life and activities throughout his career in spine surgery.


Physicians, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists & Attorneys $300
Residents, Nurses, ARNP's, PA's & Fellows $125

Social Guest 13 & Over

Guest registration includes the Friday Welcome Reception, Summit Dinner, and all social events/activites. (Note age restrictions below.)

Social Guest 12 & Under $75

Registration Fees Include:

  • Friday Welcome Reception
  • Saturday and Sunday Education Sessions and Breakfasts
  • Saturday Keynote Speaker Session
  • Saturday Summit Dinner


Each conference attendee and exhibit representative must complete a separate registration and their own hotel reservation. Please register BEFORE you make your room reservation. Company representatives MUST exhibit in order to attend. Guests are intended to be social guests only.

Summit dinner and evening sleigh-ride are now limited to attendees who are 18 years old and older.

Cancellation notification must be in writing (email: and received by the close of business on Monday, December 17, 2018. A cancellation fee of $50 will be assessed.

Cancellations received after December 17, 2018 will not receive a refund. No-shows will not receive a refund.


Invited Speakers

  • Richard N.W. Wohns, MD, JD, MBA
    Host of the Spine Summit
  • Moustapha Abou-Samra, MD
    Community Memorial Hospital
  • Richard Adler, JD
    Adler & Geirsch
  • James Bean, MD
    Baptist Health
  • Scott Blumenthal, MD
    Texas Back Institute
  • Sam Browd, MD
    Seattle Children's Hospital
  • Jens Chapman, MD
    Swedish Medical Center
  • John Chen, MD
  • Peter Dermond, MD
    Texas Back Institute
  • Doniel Drazin, MD
    Swedish Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai
  • Bharat Guthilkonda, MD
    LSU Health Shreveport, University of Neurosurgery
  • Roger Hartl, MD
    Weill-Cornel Medical Hospital
  • Stephen Hochschuler, MD
    Texas Back Institute
  • Tom Jacobs, JD
    Jacobs & Jacobs
  • Jessica Jameson, MD
    Axis Spine Center
  • Roland Kent, MD
    Axis Spine Center
  • Ronnie Mimran, MD
    Sutter Health
  • Katy Moncivais, PhD
    Celling Biosciences
  • Mick Perez-Cruet, MD, MS
    Michigan Head & Spine Institute
  • Scott Rodgers, JD
    Rodriguez, Interiano, Hanson & Rodgers, PLLC
  • Blake Staub, MD
    Texas Back Institute
  • Ann Stroink, MD
    Central Illinois NeuroHealth Sciences
  • Rob Tanguay, BSc, MD, FRCPC, CSAM, ISAM
    University of Calgary
  • Craig VanderVeer, MD
    Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
  • Jennifer Veal, JD
    Fitzer, Fitzer, Veal, McAmis, P.S.
  • Mike Wampold, JD
    Peterson, Wampold, Rosato, Feldman, Luna (PWRFL)

Keynote Speaker - John Kao, MD, MBA

Past Keynote Speakers  ►
John Koa

Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” and “a serial innovator” by The Economist, John Kao is a leading authority on innovation, business creativity, organizational transformation and emerging technologies. John has been a trusted advisor to senior leaders of both public and private sector organizations. He has advised numerous countries including Finland and Singapore on their innovation strategies as well as leading firms such as Nike, Intel, and BASF.

Kao’s thought leadership is expressed in his books: Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity, a BusinessWeek best-seller that has been published in a dozen languages; and Innovation Nation, which sounds the alarm about America’s growing innovation challenge. He has published three e-books: The Future is Yours to Invent, Are You a Producer?, and Clearing the Mind for Creativity.

John’s work has been profiled in major publications, including The Economist, Harvard Business Review and The New York Times. He has served in many prestigious membership and advisory roles.

More about John Kao

Extracurricular Activities

Cross Country Skiing

Enjoy a variety of activities: cross country skiing, ice skating, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and more – or relax in the outdoor hot tubs and visit the spa.

The Methow Valley offers a wide array of groomed trails (200 kilometers) and terrain for the beginner to experts who want to take in the views offered by 4000’ outlooks of the Valley.

To book activities, please call (800) 572-0493 or email


If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.

Transportation, lodging, & activities: Linda O'Keefe at (206) 650-6018 or

Speakers, exhibitors & general information: Michi Wohns at (206) 369-7770 or