Anyone who attended the Business Meeting during the 2009 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas heard it more than once: “The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) wants to be the primary fund raiser for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).”
The new agreement strengthens our existing relationship with the OREF and provides for an expansion of its fundraising initiatives in the area of orthopaedic education. OREF provides similar fundraising support for approximately 40 other orthopaedic organizations.
I want to emphasize, therefore, that this agreement in no way changes any relationships that OREF has with any orthopaedic specialty. It does not give the AAOS preferred status; the OREF Educational Grants Committee will conduct a review of all AAOS funding proposals, evaluating them for quality, just as it does with all other funding proposals.
This is an important point that we have emphasized in our discussions with the members of the Board of Specialty Societies. Continuing education is a patient-safety best practice, and should be a top priority for all orthopaedic stakeholders. Bringing together the AAOS and OREF for this important endeavor further emphasizes OREF’s role as the leading orthopaedic-fundraising organization in education.
I hope there are those among you who would, if you have the opportunity, designate the Academy to receive a portion of your donation. I also hope that those of you who have ties to other orthopaedic organizations continue to provide the same—or a greater—level of support. OREF support of research has been a win-win for orthopaedics; this agreement enhances OREF’s role in education, which will also become a win-win for orthopaedics.
Another win-win: The AJRR
The formation of the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR) is steadfastly moving ahead. The Board Project Team, led by David G. Lewallen, MD, has established four workgroups—Steering, chaired by John J. Callaghan, MD; Governance & Management, under the direction of Daniel J. Berry, MD; Data, chaired by William J. Maloney, MD, and Regulatory/ Legal/Privacy Issues, led by E. Anthony Rankin, MD. Since the AJRR incorporated in July, each workgroup has met at least once.
Both orthopaedic surgeons and industry representatives serve on the workgroups, and we expect representatives from major payors to join shortly. These workgroups are designed to be intense, focused, and relatively short-lived.
On Oct. 26, 2009, an all-day, all-stakeholders meeting was held in Washington, D.C. The AJRR is unique among the current proposals for a joint registry because it involves all stakeholders in decision-making. Among the more than 55 attendees were representatives from hospitals, industry, private payors, government (including representatives from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration), the public/patient lobby, the AJRR Project Team, and AAOS staff.
The AJRR concept received widespread support from all of the attendees, who are working and willing to see how we can bring this registry to fruition in a reasonable time frame. Candidates for the AJRR board are being sought from the AAOS membership, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the Hip Society, the Knee Society, as well as industry, payors, and the public.
We couldn’t have done it without you
Achievements like these would not have been possible without the time and effort expended by AAOS members who volunteer their services for the betterment of our profession and our patients. So I’m especially pleased to announce a new volunteer Achievement Award program that will go into effect in January and will recognize member contributions in three vital areas. (See “AAOS establishes new volunteer Achievement Awards,” page 50.)
Because we realize that the AAOS is not the only orthopaedic organization that benefits from our members’ volunteer efforts, this program gives you credit for all that you do on behalf of our profession—whether with a specialty organization, a state or regional orthopaedic society, or a state, regional, or national medical association. It’s our way of saying “thanks.”
In closing, I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. The year 2009 may be winding down, but the AAOS is gearing up for a 2010 that will be marked by new achievements in advocacy, education, research, and communications.