Timely, clear, and action-oriented messaging enhances the reputation of our profession
The Board of Councilors (BOC) Advocacy Resources Committee (ARC) is responsible for recruitment, retention, and education of Congressional Ambassadors, or key contacts.These key contacts are a part of the AAOS office of government relations’ grassroots/grass-tops team and are critical to robust, effective advocacy.
Claudette Lajam, MD, an adult reconstructive surgeon at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, was named chairman of ARC during the AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. A graduate with honors from Cornell University Weill Medical College, Dr. Lajam completed her orthopaedic residency at the Mayo Clinic. She went on to a fellowship in joint reconstruction at the Insall Scott Kelly Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She serves on the AAOS BOC and is on the board of directors of the New York State Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This year, she is president of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS). She has also served as member-at-large of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.
“I am confident that her involvement in BOC leadership will contribute to our organization’s growth and increase value to our members,” said BOC Chairman Basil Besh, MD.
Dr. Lajam has tremendous respect for the importance of effective messaging and grassroots support for the AAOS as an organization. As a Congressional Ambassador herself, she says she “learned the value of timely, clear, and action-oriented messaging to enhance the reputation of our profession and serve our membership.”
One of Dr. Lajam’s goals for the ARC is to increase the involvement of women and minorities, which has become a priority for her as president of RJOS as well. “This experience has taught me much about messaging, patience, transparency, and the importance of both internal and external communications for any diverse group,” she said. “It is important to attract those who otherwise would not engage in advocacy to make our efforts more effective. Ethnic and political diversity can create a connection because Congress is diverse. We need to engage our full identity in advocacy.” This effort will involve outreach to both RJOS and the Gladden Society.
On a related note, Dr. Lajam is spearheading the Women’s Advocacy in Orthopaedics (WAO) program for the Orthopaedic Political Action Committee to encourage women to become involved in advocacy.
Another of Dr. Lajam’s goals for the ARC is to increase resident participation. She proposes two new slots on the ARC for residents in the Resident Assembly, and will encourage residents to become Congressional Ambassadors. The ARC can serve to mentor residents in the practice of advocacy.
Additionally, she would like to improve ambassador advocacy tools and develop an award to recognize members of Congress who are especially helpful to AAOS in serving orthopaedic patients. These awards would be presented at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference.
Dean Schueller, MD, former chairman of ARC, is optimistic about Dr. Lajam’s upcoming tenure. Claudette will be a dynamic leader for the ARC. She has lots of ideas, initiative, and energy as wellas a clear vision of the potential of the ARC.”
Julia Williams is a senior manager in the AAOS office of government relations. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Being an AAOS Congressional Ambassador Is as Easy as ‘ABC’ …
- Alert your member of Congress
- Bond with your member of Congress and
- be Consistent with your member of Congress
For more information on becoming an AAOS Congressional Ambassador, visit www.aaos.org/Advocacy/GetInvolved.