Published 1/1/2010
Mary Ann Porucznik; Sharon Johnson

AAOS, OREF sign new agreement

Collaboration strengthens working relationship

It’s no secret that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) have had a strong working relationship through the years. Recently, however, the two organizations announced a more formal collaboration. Under the new agreement, the OREF will become the official fundraising arm for the Academy’s orthopaedic education programs—just as it is for approximately 40 other orthopaedic organizations.

According to AAOS President Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, “OREF support of research has been a win-win for orthopaedics; an enhanced role for the OREF in supporting orthopaedic education will also become a win-win for orthopaedics.”

Under the new agreement, OREF will provide amplified services and support for the Academy. In addition to its ongoing efforts to generate corporate support, OREF will now also actively seek individual donations to support continuing medical education and will introduce an annual grant to support AAOS orthopaedic education programs.

“We believe it is important for those in the medical industry and all orthopaedic surgeons to see the AAOS designate the OREF as the official fundraiser for the Academy’s orthopaedic education programs,” said Dr. Zuckerman.

William P. Cooney III, MD, chair of the OREF Board of Trustees, agreed. “This is a challenging fundraising environment, and it makes sense for the AAOS and the OREF to collaborate both strategically and tactically for scarce funds,” said Dr. Cooney.

Dr. Zuckerman was quick to note, however, that the new agreement in no way changes any relationships that OREF has with other orthopaedic societies. “This is an important point that we have emp- hasized in our discussions with the Board of Specialty Societies,” he said.

OREF: A one-stop shop
“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 is a very positive step for all of orthopaedic surgery and further emphasizes the role of OREF as the leading orthopaedic-fundraising organization,” said Dr. Zuckerman.

Under the new agreement, OREF will continue to encourage industry partners to make contributions in support of educational programs at the Academy. “When we talk to companies, they seem to like the concept of ‘one-stop shopping,’ so they can work with OREF to provide funding for a wide range of orthopaedic programs, including those from the Academy,” said Dr. Cooney.

In addition, OREF will now also be seeking support from individual stakeholders.

“I hope that there are orthopaedic surgeons who would, given the opportunity, designate the Academy to receive a portion of their donation,” said Dr. Zuckerman. “I also hope that AAOS fellows who have ties to other orthopaedic organizations will continue to support them as they have in the past—or at a higher level.”

How it will work
Under the new agreement, the OREF Educational Grants Committee will conduct a review of all AAOS funding proposals, evaluating them for quality. Additionally, OREF will provide the following services for the AAOS:

  • Staff exclusively dedicated to raising funds for AAOS education programs
  • Administration of annual grants to AAOS for use in its education programs
  • Assistance in developing tailored fundraising proposals
  • Identification and prioritization of a variety of projects in conjunction with AAOS leadership and staff
  • Seeking support for specific projects and programs from corporations and individuals

“OREF raises more than $10 million each year from individuals, academic centers, hospitals, practice groups, and industry to support orthopaedic research and education,” noted Gene Wurth, OREF’s president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to work with the AAOS to increase that support.”

“We are eager to move forward,” agreed Academy CEO Karen L. Hackett, CAE, FACHE. “The AAOS and the OREF have had a successful partnership for a number of years. We hope to take that partnership to the next level and enhance orthopaedic education by employing the OREF’s expertise in fund raising to reach out to both industry and individuals who are committed to orthopaedic education.”

Mary Ann Porucznik is managing editor of AAOS Now. She can be reached at porucznik@aaos.org

Sharon Johnson is vice president of communications for OREF. She can be reached at johnson@oref.org