April 2001 Bulletin

President opens electronic channel to AAOS members

The following is an interview with Richard H. Gelberman, MD, AAOS president.

One of the priorities that every AAOS president has on his agenda is strengthening communications with the members–making them more aware of what the AAOS is doing. How are you going to approach this priority?

We are going to use the power of electronic communications. We already keep the members informed about AAOS activities and Board of Directors initiatives electronically by putting the AAOS Report and the Bulletin on our home page. Now, I am going to establish a personal dialogue with the members, electronically. We’re calling it "Update from the President."

How will you do this?

Whenever there is an important issue that is considered by the Board of Directors or that surfaces at a Board of Directors’ retreat, I will send an e-mail to all members who have given the AAOS their e-mail address.

How is this different than reading what’s on the AAOS home page?

These will be short, focused messages that don’t overlap with what is in the AAOS Report or Bulletin and they are not tied to the publication schedules of those publications. Most importantly, members will not have to search for the Update from the President; it will be sent directly to their computers.

Do you have an example of an issue you want to discuss?

Take, for instance, the coming April retreat of the Board of Directors. We’re going to discuss the AAOS in 2005 project. I want to start informing the membership about what we are planning and why. The AAOS recognizes that members have less discretionary time. We also recognize that many members would prefer to work on a specific subject in which they have an interest and for a specific length of time, rather than being a member of a committee that is involved in many different projects and for three to six years. So, we are developing the concept of creating project teams, composed of members who have expertise in certain areas. That means establishing a competency database of members with the ability and interest in certain areas. Those are some areas of a larger issue that I would like to cover in short, personal messages.

What is the larger issue you mentioned?

It’s the reorganization of the AAOS to accomplish its goals in 2005 and beyond. It’s everything from the functions of the Councils to satisfying the needs of the academic constituency in the organization.

The AAOS already has an electronic news service sent directly to members–the AAOS News Updates. Is this to replace that communication?

To the contrary, the AAOS News Updates service, which has been very useful to members, is going to be expanded and renamed. In addition to short reports on daily news events, this service also will contain important actions taken by the Board of Directors and Councils, shortly after they occur. This information will be included with the news reports in the service that will be renamed AAOS Headline News.

How soon will these electronic services begin?

Members recently started to receive the Update from the President and the AAOS Headline News. I urge all members who have not done so already to give the AAOS their e-mail addresses so they can receive these messages. We want to keep every member informed about what the AAOS is doing and why.

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