AAOS Bulletin - December 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

The AAOS Bulletin undergoes a metamorphosis

Richard F. Kyle, MD

Communications is mission-critical.” To achieve our mission—to serve the profession, champion the interests of patients and advance the highest quality musculoskeletal health—the AAOS must deliver clear, consistent messages, using the most appropriate vehicle to our target audience, whether that audience is comprised of our members, our patients, our legislators, our industry partners or the general public.

Revamping AAOS communications and branding to meet that goal has been high on my agenda during the past year. It was the focus of our Spring Workshop and is supported by our chief executive officer Karen Hackett. You’ll see the results at the 2007 Annual Meeting in San Diego, where many of these initiatives will be unveiled. I think you will be amazed, excited and energized by the transformations, just as I have been.

The impact of this focus on communications is already being felt. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reversed its initial recommendations on the work values for total hip replacement, total knee replacement and hip fracture treatment. A key aspect of that success was our partnership with the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS). Also vital to our success was the ongoing communication at so many levels—between the AAOS and the AAHKS, between the leadership and the membership, and between our two organizations and CMS.

Coming soon…AAOS Now!
Keeping you—the AAOS fellow—in the know is the challenge faced by our member communication activities. Since 1953, the AAOS has published the AAOS Bulletin as our official member magazine. This is the last issue of the Bulletin as it now exists. After 53 years, the AAOS Bulletin is getting a new name, a new look and a new slant on delivering information about all aspects of orthopaedics.

At the 2007 Annual Meeting, AAOS Now, a totally redesigned—and truly exciting—member newsmagazine will make its debut, bringing you accurate, timely, relevant and cutting-edge information on clinical, socioeconomic and practice management issues in orthopaedics every month. AAOS Now will reflect the entire orthopaedic community—not just the AAOS—and it will enable us to reduce the number of publications you currently receive from the AAOS.

S. Terry Canale, MD, who will serve as editor of AAOS Now, promises that the new publication will include identifiable sections, easily readable columns, subspecialty society updates, special features for specific audiences such as residents, and ongoing CME information. It will also highlight critical issues in Washington, D.C., that affect our practices and our ability to deliver high-quality patient care, ensuring that you are kept up-to-date on the latest developments in Congress and with CMS.

Terry has also assembled a stellar editorial advisory board, committed to bringing you cutting-edge information on research and new technologies, the latest developments on the regulatory front (both state and federal), clinical news and viewpoints, and practical practice management advice. You’ll get information that you won’t find anywhere else. And, as a monthly, AAOS Now will get the latest news to you on a timely basis. Reports from Council and Committee liaisons to the Communications Cabinet will identify “hot topics” for coverage in AAOS Now to keep members current.

I must acknowledge the outstanding staff support that has benefited both the AAOS Bulletin and AAOS Now. Director of publications Marilyn L. Fox, PhD, and managing editor Mary Ann Porucznik and their staffs have done a great job in pulling together this new publication on a very tight timeframe so that it can debut at our Annual Meeting.

Kudos are also due to Frank Kelly, MD, chair of the Communications Cabinet. As head of our communication effort, Frank carries on the excellent work done by his predecessor, Stuart Hirsch, MD. He is supported by Sandy Gordon, director of public relations and staff liaison to the Cabinet, whose outstanding commitment to quality communications underlies so many communication initiatives—from the Legacy of Heroes and eMotion exhibits to our public service announcements and the Annual Meeting playground builds.

Frank has established two oversight groups—the Member Communication Oversight Group, chaired by Andrew M. Wong, MD, and the Public Relations Oversight Group, chaired by Nicholas DiNubile, MD—to ensure that all communications align with our strategic plan and support our mission and vision.

Branding the AAOS
As part of reorganizing our communication efforts, the AAOS also went through an extensive process to examine our “brand.” The AAOS has a strong, positive identity among many constituencies, including our members, other medical societies, our patients and the general public. The branding project allows us to reinforce this identity and strengthen our connections with these audiences. It acknowledges our past and our traditions, but also looks forward.

Under the leadership of Chief Education Officer Mark Wieting and a core group of volunteer leaders and key staff, the AAOS undertook a major effort to examine our brand and to see how it fits our mission and vision statements. As a result, you will notice the AAOS at the 2007 Annual Meeting will “look” different—fresher, more contemporary, more unified.

But though the visual expression of our name and seal may be different, the message is the same: The AAOS is a strong, professional, and accomplished organization, a unifying partner in the world of orthopaedics that is committed to the advancement of musculoskeletal health. This brand will be consistently applied and displayed on all of our communication vehicles and programs.

Reaching out

Our public communications efforts are also critically important. To achieve our goals, we must reach out to the public and engage them in supporting our efforts—whether for increased musculoskeletal research funding or for tort reform. There are no better advocates for orthopaedics than our patients and their family members who have benefited from our care. We must be able to identify and communicate the value of orthopaedic care in improving people’s lives and in reducing the long-term burden of disease.

These public communications efforts include our ongoing series of public service announcements (PSAs), which you will see at the Annual Meeting. The two PSAs pictured here were developed in conjunction with specialty societies (The Knee Society and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association [OTA]). The television PSA reinforces the importance of patients and physicians communicating with each other.

In addition, we are examining the possibility of developing a patient magazine that you can use in your offices. In conjunction with the specialty societies, we are also upgrading the information on our patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection (YOC). YOC is a major information resource for your patients on musculoskeletal disease and is easily accessible to your patients and the public.

See you in San Diego!
The San Diego Annual Meeting also provides us with the opportunity to highlight our joint efforts with the military. Recently, I accompanied Andrew N. Pollak, MD, chair of the Board of Specialty Societies, on a trip to Landstuhl, Germany, where I was both impressed and sobered by the excellent care given to our wounded soldiers. In conjunction with the OTA and military surgeons, the AAOS has established collaborative efforts in research through the Extremity War Injuries Symposium and hopes to help care for wounded soldiers through a visiting surgeon program in Landstuhl.

As we say goodbye to 2006 and to the AAOS Bulletin, we welcome in 2007 and our new communication and branding efforts. The 2007 Annual Meeting in San Diego is not only in a beautiful setting, but it promises to be an exciting meeting—from the launches of our new brand, new PSAs and new publication AAOS Now to the cutting-edge education program and the developing advocacy efforts.

Happy New Year to you and your family! See you in San Diego!

Richard F. Kyle MD

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