Today's News

Thursday, February 14, 2002

AAOS honors achievements, celebrates advances in organization and education

The opening ceremonies for the 69th Annual Meeting of the AAOS paid homage to our country and those who serve, recognized the achievements of organizations and individuals and celebrated the future. From the first presentation of the U.S. flag and singing of the national anthem to the final remarks welcoming the class of 2002, the afternoon's activities were both inspiring and entertaining.

The welcome by AAOS President Richard H. Gelberman, MD, was followed by introductions of the International Presidents, Specialty Society Presidents and members of the AAOS Board of Directors. Local chair Robert W. Bucholz, MD, gave a "Big D" Texas welcome to all. A performance by the InFlight Dance Company of San Antonio, an integrated company of both able-bodied and wheelchair dancers, exemplified how movement to music is therapeutic for the body and uplifting for the spirit.

Also uplifting to the spirit were the stories of David Apple, MD, and Charles P. McConnachie, MD, winners of the third annual AAOS Humanitarian awards. Dr. Apple received the award for his work with the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which originally provided care and rehabilitation treatment for patients with tetraplegia and paraplegia and is now the nation's largest catastrophic care hospital. Dr. McConnachie was honored for his efforts to bring quality medical care to the underprivileged of Umatia, in the Transkei region of the Republic of South Africa.

Dr. Gelberman also unveiled the new television public service announcement for the AAOS. The spot highlights, in a humorous manner, the increasingly sedentary life of children and its impact on bone density. A video of the playground build was also shown.

Bonnie Warren, National Panhellenic Conference Delegate and a member of the Kappa Delta governing council, a nd Gary E. Friedlaender, MD, chairman of the Research Committee, presented the Kappa Delta Awards. Victor Goldberg, MD, vice-chairman of the OREF Grants Committee, presented the OREF Clinical Research award.

Richard R. Briggs, MD, chairman of the Membership Committee, introduced the Class of 2002 and International Affiliate New Members, and James W. Strickland, MD, delivered a welcome to the 598 new members.

In his formal address, AAOS President Richard H. Gelberman, MD, described "an interesting interval" in the Academy's recent history. He focused on the changes taking place, not only in society at large, but also within the practice of orthopaedics.

"A new generation of orthopaedic surgeons was emerging, one that different from previous generations in important ways," Dr. Gelberman noted, "far more interested in and far more dependent on new technological resources than were previous generations.

"It became clear that what mat-tered most is that the Academy concentrate its efforts on developing programs of sustained value to practicing orthopaedists," continued Dr. Gelberman. "The evidence-based initiatives that evolved underscore the concept that providing information-knowledge-is at the core of the Academy's mission."

In response to this call, Dr. Gelberman reviewed several new or recently-implemented programs that are part of a "multi-year, concen-trated effort to raise the level of effectiveness of the AAOS to new heights in education, in research, and in practice, as we approach our position as one of the most important professional organizations in medicine."

Among these programs are:

Other programs, including the development of a resource center to provide coding and compliance assistance, the creation of a practice management center on the AAOS Web site and the establishment of the Council on Academic Affairs, are designed to assess and report on advances in orthopaedic practice.

Dr. Gelberman also recognized the importance of a new grant, the OREF Clinician Scientist Award, which will provide a salary supplement of $50,000 for up to five years to enable clinician scientists to spend more time in the laboratory. The award was made possible by a significant donation to the OREF by Zachary B. Friedenberg, MD, and his wife, who were in attendance and honored by a long round of applause.

Turning to the future, Dr. Gelberman called attention to other initiatives, including the streamlining of the Board of Directors, the opening up of the resolutions and bylaws pro-cesses, the creation of a competency-based knowledge, experience and interest data base, and the introduction of a new leadership and mentoring program.

"Finally," said Dr. Gelberman, "we have invested substantially in the future of print and electronic education so that we can reach new levels of effectiveness in our core mission." Among these efforts are the new relationship with the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, which is now provided as a member benefit to each Academy member, and the new Orthopaedic Knowledge Online program.

"The Academy has truly become a knowledge-based organization, with a governance structure that is founded on the competency and skills of its members and the talent of its outstanding staff, one that effectively empowers the units that are closest to the action," concluded Dr. Gelberman.

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Last modified 15/February/2002