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Presidential Update: AAOS Fall Meeting & AAOS Leadership Institute (ALI)

October 26, 2020

The AAOS accomplished two valuable programs last week. First, the Academy, in conjunction with the Board of Councilors (BOC) and the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), held a successful virtual Fall Meeting. Second, we rolled out the new AAOS Leadership Institute (ALI). These achievements required the focused and coordinated efforts of both volunteer leaders and Academy staff. This is no mean feat in the best of times, so it is especially gratifying right now considering our present environment. This environment continues to present many challenges. For example, we are busy fighting both the proposed reimbursement cuts contained in the CY 2021 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule and the escalating trend of insurance companies using prior authorization as a way to deny and delay care. All the while, we continue to deliver on our Strategic Plan.

The AAOS Fall Meeting is where the business of the BOC and BOS is done. This includes reviewing, editing and approving proposed AAOS resolutions, advisory opinions and bylaws amendments. It is also where the BOC and BOS select their new leaders, including those who will serve on the AAOS Board of Directors. Additionally, it is during the Fall meeting that BOS and BOC committees report on their activities to their respective organizations. It is impressive to see the amount of work being done on our behalf by these committee volunteers. Brian Wolf, MD, FAAOS, and the BOS Fellowship Committee deserve special thanks. The COVID pandemic precluded traditional in-person fellowship interviews, so Dr. Wolf and his committee organized a fellowship match based on virtual interviews. Kudos to Brian and his committee for getting this done!

I particularly enjoyed the speeches of the BOC Secretary nominees. The dedication and passion of these speeches made me proud to be an AAOS Fellow. Alfonso Mejia, MD, FAAOS; Chip Hummer, MD, FAAOS; and Alan Greenwald, MD, FAAOS, each gave impassioned speeches highlighting the Academy’s role in shaping the future of our profession. Each candidate would have made a great BOC Secretary, but we could only elect one individual, and Dr. Mejia will serve as the 2021 BOC Secretary. Likewise, the BOS elected a new member of its leadership team. That honor went to Armando Vidal, MD, FAAOS. Both Armando and Alfonso will make welcome additions to the AAOS Board of Directors (BOD) and continue the tradition of strong and effective BOS and BOC leaders.

The BOS and BOC also considered one proposed AAOS bylaws amendment, seven proposed resolutions, and one advisory opinion, and performed five-year reviews of seven resolutions. Chick Yates, MD, FAAOS (BOS/BOC Bylaw Review Committee Chair), and Stephen McCollam, MD, FAAOS (BOS/BOC Resolutions Committee Chair), did a masterful job of presenting their respective committee’s proposals and leading their respective deliberations. The product of their committees’ work was to approve the proposed AAOS bylaws amendment, the seven proposed resolutions and the advisory opinion. These were then presented to the entire BOC and BOS for discussion and for a vote of approval during the Joint BOC/BOS Business Meeting. All recommendations were adopted and will be presented to the BOD in December. They will then be presented to the entire membership for vote in May 2021. The details of the proposed AAOS bylaws amendment, advisory opinion and resolutions will be available to the Fellowship after the Board considers these matters.

The AAOS Leadership Institute (ALI) debuted last week. The ALI was conceived as an upgrade to the Leadership Fellows Program (LFP) and as an integral part of the new member onboarding process. It will expand the reach of AAOS leadership development by being available to any member who desires to learn more about how to serve the Academy. It represents an investment in developing the pipeline of future AAOS leaders and in maximizing the service potential of each member. Like any investment, it will not pay immediate dividends. However, all high-functioning organizations invest in leadership development, even in the midst of a pandemic.

The vision for ALI grew from a 2018 Academy task force and the implementation of the program has been led by several AAOS staff members. The program consists of four ascending levels, each one designed to provide leadership skills uniquely suited to AAOS service. Level 1, Member Engagement, serves as part of the Academy’s onboarding process and as a refresher for all members. It consists of three online modules outlining the Academy’s structure and functions and detailing member benefits. Level 2, Foundational Learning, is required for AAOS committee service. It consists of six online modules and webinars. Topics include strategic and creative/visionary thinking, governance, advocacy, diversity and communication skills. Levels 1 and 2 are open to all members.

Level 3, Refined Skills and Experiences, consists of online modules, webinars, mentoring and experiential learning via committee service. Topics covered include running effective meetings, implicit bias training, innovation and having difficult conversations. Level 4, Personalized Learning and Access, is the final tier of ALI. Topics include personal growth, self-assessments, and diversity and implicit bias training. Level 3 is limited to 20 members, while Level 4 is limited to 10 members. Both groups will be selected annually through the Committee Appointment Program (CAP) process. Initially, LFP completion or prior committee or council leadership experience will allow some members to proceed directly to Level 3 or 4. Levels 1 and 2 are available now through learn.aaos.org or you can find more information at aaos.org/leadershipinstitute. Levels 3 and 4 will roll out in March of 2021.

As you can see, last week was a noteworthy one for the AAOS and for you, our members. It is not the first good week that we’ve had together, and it will certainly not be the last. In general, our hard-working and dedicated members, volunteers, and staff aim to ensure that every week is a good one.

Thank you and stay safe.

Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS
AAOS President