Opening Ceremony highlights anniversaries, accomplishments
By Jennie McKee
The Annual Meeting got off to an invigorating start at yesterday’s Opening Ceremony, with a rousing performance from the 1st Marine Division Band and the presentation of colors by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Color Guard. The festive, energetic atmosphere continued throughout the ceremony, which focused on honoring orthopaedists, celebrating specialty societies’ anniversaries, showcasing the new Academy public service advertising (PSA) campaign, and much more.
After a welcome by local Co-Chairs Richard D. Coutts, MD, and Richard F. Santore, MD, AAOS President Richard F. Kyle, MD, introduced Thailand as the 2007 Guest Nation. Dr. Kyle noted that the Academy and the Thai Orthopaedic Association “have a long-standing history of mutual cooperation and education exchange.” Dr. Kyle then welcomed the international presidents, the Specialty Society presidents and the AAOS Board of Directors, as well as the council and cabinet chairs. Special thanks went to the 2007 Annual Meeting chairs: Andrew H. Schmidt, MD, Central Program chair; Paul J. Duwelius, MD, Instructional Course chair; Lynn A. Crosby, MD, Exhibits chair; and Colin B. Moseley, MD, chair of the Annual Meeting committee.
Dr. Kyle congratulated the members of three orthopaedic associations having important anniversaries this year: the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association (25th anniversary), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (25th anniversary), and the Western Orthopaedic Association (75th anniversary).
Orthopaedic companies that have made significant contributions to the Academy were also recognized, in particular the four Diamond Level companies, whose grants exceeded $200,000; DePuy (DePuy Orthopaedics, DePuy Spine, and DePuy Mitek), Pfizer, Smith & Nephew, and Zimmer. Said Dr. Kyle, “I think all of us involved with the Academy realize that we partner with industry to advance the art and science of orthopaedics” and added that “we are grateful to all of the companies that have helped us in so many ways.”
The Academy’s achievements
Recalling his remarks at last year’s Annual Meeting, where he emphasized the concept “Together We Are One,” Dr. Kyle reported on the Academy’s efforts to foster unity in the orthopaedic community during 2006. He pointed to successes such as the one-on-one meetings with more than 95 percent of the specialty societies to establish effective dialogue and to identify partnership opportunities. In addition, 12 of 23 continuing medical education courses are being cosponsored with specialty societies. Dr. Kyle also touched on the Academy’s efforts to reach out to regional and state societies as well as sister organizations, including the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).
Thanks to the united efforts of the AAOS and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reversed its decision to reduce the reimbursement for total hip and knee arthroplasty and femoral neck fractures. “This was a powerful statement about working together on critical issues that benefit not only specialists but also generalists who perform these procedures,” said Dr. Kyle.
In an area of which he is “most proud,” said Dr. Kyle, the AAOS is continuing to work with the military to obtain research dollars for war injuries. He recognized the Board project team, under the leadership of Andrew N. Pollack, MD, “for coordinating and advancing research efforts for the care of our wounded warriors,” and called for a moment of silence to honor Brian Allgood, MD, an AAOS member killed in Iraq earlier this year.
Dr. Kyle also addressed the communications initiatives, under the direction of Frank B. Kelly, MD, Communications Cabinet chair, including the new member publication AAOS Now, a new patient education program, the AAOS patient education Web site Your Orthopaedic Connection, and investigations into a possible patient-oriented magazine.
New PSAs take center stage
Noting that the showing of the Academy’s new public service announcements is the part of the Opening Ceremony that many members look forward to, Dr. Kyle pointed out that the new print ads are on display at the convention center, at the San Diego airport, and across the country. Dr. Kyle focused on three of the new print ads—one promoting knee health, co-created with The Knee Society; one focused on preventing all-terrain vehicle-related injuries, co-created with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association; one encouraging communication between patients and physicians that asks “Talk much with your doctor?” The “Osteophyte” television ad—showing a patient and doctor receiving counseling for their communication difficulties—was screened.
Awards and thanks
In her address to the fellowship, Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, AAOS chief executive officer, discussed the Academy’s branding efforts. “A brand,” she said, “is more than a logo—it’s the sum total of your experience with an organization…what you have come to expect from the AAOS.”
The new look was intended to “set the AAOS apart” as a partner, a resourceful expert, a results-driven leader, and a unifying force “to improve musculoskeletal health for patients,” said Ms. Hackett. She noted that the “O” in the updated AAOS logo represents unity, and the three elements within the “O” signify the collaborative efforts between the AAOS, the Board of Councilors and the Board of Specialty Societies. In addition, it connotes the Academy’s emphasis on education, advocacy and research. The new branding will be applied to all of the Academy’s communication vehicles, including the Journal of the AAOS and AAOS Now.
Joining Dr. Kyle for the presentation of the Kappa Delta Society and OREF Awards were Gunnar B.J. Andersson, MD, chair of the Academy’s Committee on Research Development, Lil Leslie from Kappa Delta Sorority and Thomas A. Einhorn, MD, OREF vice chair, grants.
Dr. Kyle then extended his thanks to those who contributed to the Academy’s annual playground build, saying that “hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons, their families, orthopaedic nurses and our industry partners joined with the city of Chula Vista in San Diego County to leave a legacy to our host city. We built a safe and accessible playground in Eucalyptus Park—a place where children with and without disabilities can play together.” A short video of the playground build followed.
2007 Academy inductees
Following the playground build film, David M. Drvaric, MD, chair of the membership committee, introduced the class of 2007, and Thomas F. Varecka, MD, delivered the new member address (see page 6).
Before adjourning the meeting, Dr. Kyle encouraged attendees to attend the Ceremonial Meeting, the Business Meeting and the Town Hall Meeting. He urged them to visit the Exhibit Hall and take part in the AAOS Sunrise 5K Run. Inductees stayed after the meeting officially adjourned to be welcomed to the Academy by Dr. Kyle and to hear a presentation about the Academy by Melvyn Harrington, MD, a member of the current class of Leadership Fellows. A reception for the class of 2007 followed.