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Presidential Update: COVID-19 Advocacy Efforts & 2021 AAOS Board of Directors Slate

Last week, the AAOS was busy. The Office of Government Relations (OGR), the Nominating Committee, and the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR) were hard at work and their efforts produced notable achievements.

The OGR continued building support for H.R. 8702, the Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020. In fact, it formed and is leading a coalition of musculoskeletal organizations that are jointly offering their support for this piece of legislation. In a letter that is going to Capitol Hill today to the bill’s sponsors—which include Representatives Ami Bera, MD; Larry Bucshon, MD; Roger Marshall, MD; Phil Roe, MD; and Raul Ruiz, MD, among others—the coalition thanked them for introducing vital legislation that would mitigate Medicare cuts slated to go into effect in 2021 and allow for continued access to musculoskeletal services. Again, we ask that you lend your time to this effort by logging on to the AAOS Advocacy Action Center and contacting your federal representatives today.

After months of deliberation, and sorting through dozens of qualified candidates, the Nominating Committee announced its slate of candidates for the 2021 Board of Director positions. Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS, was selected for 2nd Vice-President. Dr. Bozic is the Chair of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the Dell Medical School. He is a nationally recognized leader in value-based healthcare payment and delivery models, with over 17 years of experience in adult reconstructive surgery. Kevin is the Immediate Past Chair of the AJRR and served as Chair of the former Council on Research and Quality (now, the Research and Quality Council). Those who know Kevin understand that he will be a strong voice for our organization and continue to drive our Strategic Plan, especially in the areas of quality and value-based care.

Michael L. Parks, MD, FAAOS, was selected as Treasurer- Elect. Dr. Parks is an adult reconstruction specialist and Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York. Michael is Immediate Past President of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and has served as a former member of the AAOS Board of Directors. Valerae O. Lewis, MD, FAAOS, was named to the Board as Member-at-Large (No age designation). Dr. Lewis is the Dr. John Murray Professor and Chair of The Department of Orthopaedic Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has served in many roles in the Education Council. Karen M. Sutton, MD, FAAOS, was selected to the BOD as Member-at-Large (Under age 45). Dr. Sutton is a sports medicine surgeon and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell College of Medicine. She currently serves on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board.

I am grateful for the time and effort that each member of the Nominating Committee devoted to this process. This is especially true for William Maloney, MD, FAAOS, who served as committee Chair and demonstrated steadfast leadership during this entire process. Each candidate selected by Dr. Maloney’s committee is aligned with our Strategic Plan and will work, in his or her own way, to deliver on the plan. My only beef with the candidates is that three of them (Drs. Bozic, Parks and Sutton) graduated from Duke. As I am a University of North Carolina Tarheel, there may be some tense Board moments during basketball season.

The AJRR released its 7th Annual Report available here. The Report includes actionable data on over 1.5 million patients and 2.1 million total joints, broken down by demographic data, descriptive clinical data and implant data for both primary and revision hip and knee arthroplasties. As a result of our data-sharing agreement with CMS, it also contains national trends and risk-stratified outcomes related to Medicare arthroplasties. Additionally, the Registry contains patient data from over 150 ambulatory sites. This is important, as greater numbers of these procedures are being performed outside the traditional hospital setting. Kudos to Bryan Springer, MD, FAAOS, and his team for their dedication and expertise in creating this report.

I would be remiss if I did not comment on the increasing prevalence of COVID in many of our communities. The experts were correct, and we are now going through the long-anticipated “second wave.” Many of our colleagues are having to curtail a portion of their clinical activities in order to preserve locally scarce resources. Fortunately, as a result of our efforts in March and April, we have a cogent roadmap on how best to maintain our ability to treat patients in a safe and responsible manner. The AAOS guidelines on how and when to safely perform essential surgery during the pandemic will prevent a repeat of last spring when the first reaction was a complete shutdown of all practice activities. Due to these efforts, we are more prepared than we were nine months ago to deal with COVID, and our patients will benefit from this.

Take care and be safe,

Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS
AAOS President