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ORS President Clare M.Rimnac, PhD (front, second from left) and AAOS President John J. Callaghan, MD (rear, third from right) were in the same class at the Hospital for Special Surgery in 1984.
Courtesy of Hospital for Special Surgery

AAOS Now

Published 8/1/2010
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Annie Hayashi

ORS is on the move

Orthopaedic Research Society introduces new mission, programs, and logo

“The Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) is in a time of dynamic change,” said ORS President, Clare M. Rimnac, PhD. As a consequence of unprecedented membership growth, the ORS board of directors has spent significant time reconsidering the organization’s mission and direction.

In the past 10 years, membership in the Society has increased more than 57 percent—to the current membership of 2,600 biologists, clinicians, and engineers from around the world.

For many years, the ORS had been a small, intimate organization with a consistent number of members. “With the growth in membership and the increase in programs, this ‘family’ model has been updated to a ‘programmatic’ model. Members advocated for this change,” explained Dr. Rimnac.

“We have closely evaluated how to best serve our multidisciplinary membership and the entire orthopaedic community, including clinicians and patients. We are striving to meet the needs of our members by incorporating the most current resources for programming, communications, and professional development,” Dr. Rimnac continued. “We expect the changes we are implementing will provide even better services for our members as well as for the Academy and other stakeholders.”

The ORS has developed a new logo, mission and vision statements, and Web site. It plans to proactively pursue partnerships with international organizations and to offer new and innovative Web-based tools for members.

Clinical relevance a high priority
“The clinical relevance of the research presented at our meeting is more important than ever and remains a high priority of our mission,” Dr. Rimnac emphasized. “As the ORS president, I am very aware of the need for our work to be clinically relevant and have been from the beginning of my career.”

The 2011 ORS annual meeting, for example, will include a clinical research forum on “Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future.” Organized by Theodore Miclau, MD, ORS program chair, the forum will offer both new and experienced researchers an opportunity to learn about the important issues related to clinical research in orthopaedics, such as methodologic issues and advanced concepts in clinical trials.

The leadership of the ORS and the AAOS have worked together to ensure that their shared mission of clinical relevance remains strong. The two groups have developed a “hybrid” model for future annual meetings. In 2011, for example, due to space limitations in San Diego (site of the AAOS Annual Meeting), the ORS will be meeting in Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 13–16. But when space and costs allow, the two meetings will be timed together and held at the same location. In 2012, both the ORS and AAOS annual meetings will be held in San Francisco. To ensure that both meetings have strong collaborative programming, the AAOS and ORS have formed a coprogramming committee.

Not only has the leadership of both organizations collaborated, the two presidents have a long history together. “The current AAOS president, John J. Callaghan, MD, and I were fellows in the same class at the Hospital for Special Surgery,” recalled Dr. Rimnac. “Dr. Callaghan and I co-authored a Hip Society Award paper that year. He understands the urgency for research in orthopaedics as shown by his active ORS membership, his participation on the ORS board of directors, and his clinical research throughout his distinguished career.”

Meeting members’ needs
The ORS has worked diligently to deliver new programming and events requested by members. These include the Professional Advancement Series, the Women’s Leadership Forum, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Lounge at the ORS annual meeting.

The Professional Advancement Series, developed to assist members with professional development, includes “meet the mentor” and skills development forums, as well as training for podium and poster presentations. The Women’s Leadership Forum mentors young women scientists and clinicians in orthopaedic research.

The popular NIH Lounge provides an opportunity for researchers to ask questions and have discussions with NIH officials and staff.

At the 2011 annual meeting, the first Collaborative Exchange Award will be presented. This award is designed to encourage interaction between research institutions. It will allow investigators, at any stage of their career, to visit a research lab to collaborate and exchange knowledge.

The Society has also implemented social media tools to broaden and enhance communication with members. Over the next 5 years, additional communication tools will be added.

The ORS board is actively developing new revenue streams to fund a number of growth initiatives under their strategic plan. Their ultimate mission is to advance worldwide orthopaedic research by integrating basic science and technology into clinical practice.

“The orthopaedic community can be very proud of the fact that the ORS, which was initially founded by visionary orthopaedic clinicians, has brought together biologists, engineers, and clinicians in an interdisciplinary manner for both basic and translational research,” said Dr. Rimnac. “We were doing translational research even before it was thought of in any other medical arena. We have a rich history and I’m personally dedicated to respecting and enhancing that history.”

Annie Hayashi is a contributing writer for the Orthopaedic Research Society. She can be reached at achayashi@gmail.com