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A Message About COVID-19 from Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS, AAOS President

March 20, 2020

During this challenging time, the AAOS is committed to staying out in front of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, out of caution for our attendees' safety and awareness that so many of you are needed in your communities, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Meeting.

Now, more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that you remain safe and are well-equipped to provide care to patients who require urgent or emergent surgeries. While we continue to look for ways to bring you the latest in virtual orthopaedic education and research from our Annual Meeting, we have also prioritized the development of a hub where AAOS members can easily access a wide range of relevant and credible COVID-19 resources and information.

This new resource contains information on COVID-19 topics that many of you have identified as significant to our profession. At this time, they include the following topics and more:

  1. Recommendations for postponing elective surgery
  2. Effective practice management (including the use of telemedicine)
  3. Ways to ensure the safety of patients, staff and physicians
  4. Understanding policy changes around coding and regulation
  5. Ongoing advocacy for issues affecting musculoskeletal healthcare

We know that our members are being greatly impacted by this virus in so many ways. The regulatory world surrounding your practices and hospitals continues to shift, and you face new stressors and demands from families, colleagues and loved ones. Our hope is that the AAOS can help guide and advocate on your behalf during this trying and difficult time.

As the crisis continues to grow in the United States, the risk of contracting the virus increases. We know that the number of seriously ill and dying patients will grow. The shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) is dire and may worsen. As orthopaedic surgeons and leaders in our hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, and communities, we should do everything we can to assist in the crisis by following national, state and local guidance about delaying elective procedures so that resources can be deployed to more critical patients. There is a social responsibility to preserve vital resources for those with the greatest need. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently provided guidance on the issue of elective surgery. By postponing elective treatment to a later date, we are also following the recommended guidance to maintain social distance which should help reduce further spread of this disease.

As such, we will continue to provide COVID-19 information on our website at the COVID-19 Member Resource Center and through our publications and social media channels as new details emerge.

On behalf of the entire AAOS leadership, we remain committed to our members and patients by focusing on our organization's core values of leading to serve, shaping our future and excellence together.


Sincerely,

Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS
AAOS President