December 2004 Bulletin

A look back at 2004: Achievements and commitments

A message from the CEO

Like many Americans, I find myself in full “holiday mode” right about now. Whether they observe Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or any other year-end holiday, almost everyone I know feels just a little overwhelmed, juggling work and family responsibilities with all the extra chores, social obligations, and preparations that come along with this festive season. At the same time, the realization that another year is ending encourages us to reflect on the accomplishments of the last 12 months; to thank our members, whose support we are grateful for throughout the year; and to make plans and set goals for the new year. I would like to share with you some of the highlights of 2004 for the AAOS. By Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE

During the first quarter of 2004, we welcomed more than 29,000 attendees to our 71st Annual Meeting in San Francisco on March 10-14, 2004. The event was an overwhelming success. We were proud to offer cutting-edge educational programs to orthopaedic surgeons from around the world who look to the Academy as their premier source of continuing education and networking opportunities. Special events—such as presentations by Presidential Speakers Catherine Crier and David McCullough, a playground build for a local elementary school and a highly interactive Town Hall Meeting—rounded out the week.

Expert Witness Program

Another highlight for the AAOS in 2004 was the launch of the Expert Witness/Professional Compliance program. This program, developed in response to your needs and feedback, demonstrates the commitment of the AAOS to the high ethical standards contained in our Code of Medical Ethics and Professionalism, and the Advisory Statement on Orthopaedic Medical Testimony. The program is being rolled out in two phases. Phase I involves making available to our members an Expert Witness Affirmation Statement, which is a pledge to adhere to a set of professional principles when giving evidence or serving as an expert witness. More than 6,000 members have signed this Affirmation Statement. Expert witness issues are also being highlighted in our various publications. For example, this issue of the Bulletin features an article on the dilemma an expert witness may face in balancing truth and justice. Phase II is the Professional Compliance Program, which is still under development. It will provide a procedure for AAOS fellows and members to file formal ethical complaints against those who they believe have provided improper testimony or otherwise violated AAOS’s ethical principles.

The Specialty Society Summit, held in San Francisco on October 17 (in conjunction with the 2004 Fall Meeting), brought together the leadership of AAOS, COMSS and the various specialty societies for frank, in-depth discussion on orthopaedic unity and developing a new model for specialty societies and the AAOS to work together to mutual benefit. It was an exciting, thought-provoking exchange of ideas, and the Specialty Society Project Team came away with a great deal of information that will be useful to them as they craft a proposal to revitalize relations between AAOS and the specialty societies.

Organizational structure

At Academy headquarters in Rosemont, a new organizational structure was unveiled in mid-October. As many of you may know, Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rosenthal, PhD, will be leaving AAOS on December 31, 2004, after nine years of service to the Academy. We thank Larry for his many contributions and wish him health and happiness as he enters a new phase of his life.

A new organizational structure will be implemented in January 2005. Under this structure, a three-member Executive Team will work closely with me to provide day-to-day management of AAOS. The members of the Executive Team are Mark Wieting, Chief Education Officer; Richard Stewart, Chief Financial Officer; and Robert Haralson, MD, Executive Director of Medical Affairs. Each of these experienced and talented individuals brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the Executive Team, and I am excited about working with them as we move the Academy into the future.

Commitment to value

At the 2004 Annual Meeting, I had the privilege and pleasure of addressing the Academy as its new Chief Executive Officer. Then, I vowed to focus on adding value to everything AAOS does to serve you. Throughout 2005, I promise to continue this commitment to value, knowing that there are many different organizations to which you could pledge your professional allegiance, and remaining grateful for the ways you support the work of the Academy. Our volunteers are committed, passionate and tireless workers for the good of the members. Our staff is an outstanding group of professionals who work diligently all year to provide the highest level of service to you, our members. To all of them, I extend my heartfelt appreciation and admiration.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a healthy, prosperous new year. See you in Washington, D.C., in February!

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