AAOS Bulletin - February, 2006

AAOS adopts new governance structure

Stuart L. Weinstein, MD

In June 2005, the AAOS Board of Directors finalized a new mission and vision statement (see page 50) and defined the Academy’s organizational goals for the upcoming two-year cycle.

To achieve these goals, the Academy must have a sharply focused governance operation with a complementary staff structure.

In December 2005, the Board completed the strategic planning process by adopting a new governance structure for the AAOS.

In shifting to this new structure, the Board ensured that no member will be disenfranchised. Every member whose committee or council assignment is altered by the new governance structure will have the opportunity to participate in a new role. The new governance structure gives council and committee chairs maximum flexibility and enables them to make changes (recommend a new committee or form project teams) as needed to accomplish their goals. The new governance structure includes three councils and one cabinet (see outline on p. 49).

Council on Education

All of the Academy’s educational activities—for members, patients or the public—will be under the Council on Education, headed by Alan M. Levine, MD. This council is charged with planning, organizing, directing and evaluating the Academy’s multi-faceted educational programs in clinical orthopaedics, basic science, practice management, and patient and public education.

Consolidating all educational efforts in one central unit will generate maximum synergistic opportunities and avoid unnecessary duplication. The Patient Education Committee, the Leadership Development Committee, the Patient-Centered Care Project Team, practice management and our patient education Web site—Your Orthopaedic Connection—will now report to this Council.

Council on Advocacy

The Council on Advocacy—chaired by David A. Halsey, MD—will plan, organize, direct and evaluate all of the Association’s legislative, regulatory and health policy programs and initiatives. This new council will formulate a unified advocacy agenda for the Association and for specialty societies interested in advocacy. It will also be responsible for integrating academic advocacy issues into its activities.

The new Advocacy Resource Development and Coordinating Committee will report to this council. This new committee will provide necessary expertise and contacts with federal governmental, regulatory and legislative agencies. Committee members will have an in-depth understanding of issues, as well as relationships with agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Quality Forum and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. This committee will work closely with the Board of Councilors (BOC) and the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS[COMSS]). Ideally, it will provide leadership training for members interested in advocacy and work with federal agencies.

Council on Research

The third council will be the Council on Research, Quality Assessment and Technology, led by Joshua J. Jacobs, MD. This council will provide the analytic and evidence basis for organization-wide issues addressed by the Councils on Education and Advocacy. It will house the Evidence-Based Practice Committee, which will be responsible for guidelines and quality measures. The Council will also examine the important issues of “quality assessment” and technology, which are essential to “pay-for-performance” and “value-based purchasing.”

The council will continue to oversee the unified research agenda and the American Joint Replacement Registry initiative. Through its interaction with specialty societies and the Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement and Practice Management Committees, it will enable members to incorporate essential reports and quality measures into their practices. A new project team under this Council will provide information on technology assessment, an issue identified by our members as important to their practices.


The current Communications Council will undergo a fundamental change in structure, becoming the new Communications Cabinet. Recognizing that the communication function of the Academy is “mission-critical,” the cabinet will plan, organize, direct and evaluate AAOS communication vehicles; undertake special communications projects; and provide communication and media relations expertise to the other councils, the BOC and the BOS (COMSS).

Because it will serve the entire organization as the single voice of the Academy, the new cabinet will report directly to the Board of Directors and the chief executive officer will have direct oversight of its staff.

Academic Affairs

The Board gave very careful consideration to the role of the current Council on Academic Affairs when considering the new governance structure. An important goal of this restructuring is to maintain and strengthen the vital relationship with our future members (residents, candidate members and new fellows).

To avoid overlap and duplication, the Board realized that this important objective could be better achieved if it was incorporated in the new units. As a result, these functions will be incorporated under the Membership Committee. The expanded role of this committee will include servicing the needs, not only of current members, but also of our important future members.

Diversity and women’s health

Two other areas are of note in the restructuring. The Diversity Committee, which had been a Board committee, is now an advisory board. Because diversity and culturally competent care are organizational goals, they will be incorporated into every Academy activity.

The Diversity Advisory Board will provide guidance to the AAOS in working with members to understand and respond to diverse patient populations, to enhance delivery of culturally competent care and to support efforts to diversify the orthopaedic workforce. A member of the advisory board will serve on each council and cabinet.

Women’s Health Issues is also represented in the new structure as an advisory board, with representation on each of the Academy’s structural units to provide appropriate input on women’s health issues. The advisory boards enable us to address issues of common concern and to bring issues forward to an established committee, council or project team for review or action.

Patients and the public

In line with our mission and vision, the new governance structure establishes a new Patient and Public board committee, advisory to the entire organization. This committee will gather information from patients on their musculoskeletal needs and how the Academy can best serve their needs, provide advice and counsel on initiatives and programs that affect patients and the public. It will also provide input and feedback to the various councils on issues related to patients and the public.


The implementation plan developed by staff will be effective immediately following the Annual Meeting. As the Board concludes this important strategic planning initiative, members should be reassured that the structural changes will increase the Academy’s flexibility to react to changing member needs and our external environment.

We will continuously monitor member needs to ensure that we provide the programs, products and services you want and need. The new governance structure is flexible and can be changed if the external environment, member needs or other factors change.

Stuart L. Weinstein, MD


New AAOS volunteer structure

Council on Education

Includes the following:

• CME Courses Committee

• Evaluation Committee

• International Committee

• Leadership Development Committee

• Patient-Centered Care Project Team

• Patient Education Committee

• Practice Management Committee

• Publications Committee

• Includes: Print publications and
electronic/online publications

• Annual Meeting Committee
Dual reporting: Board and Council on Education

Council on Advocacy

Includes the following:

• Coding, Coverage, & Reimbursement Committee
Includes: 1) CPT Coding, 2) Electronic Medical Records, 3) Coverage Policy

• Medical Liability Committee
Includes 1) Medical Liability Reform Oversight Committee, 2) Professional Liability Committee

• Political Action Committee

• Advocacy Resource Development and Coordinating Committee

Council on Research, Quality Assessment, and Technology

Includes the following:

• Biomedical Engineering Committee

• Biological Implants Committee

• Evidence-Based Practice Committee
Includes 1) Guidelines, 2) Quality Measures

• Occupational Health and Workers' Compensation Committee

• Research Development Committee
Includes 1) Clinician Scientist Program, 2) Kappa Delta Awards

• Technology Assessment Project Team

• Patient Safety Committee
(includes Infection Comm. activities)

• Guidelines Oversight Committee

Communications Cabinet

Composed of the following:

• Chair

• Education Council Liaison

• Advocacy Council Liaison

• Research Council Liaison

• BOC Liaison

• BOS/COMSS Liaison

• Board Patient and Public Committee Liaison

• Diversity Advisory Board Liaison

• Women's Health Issues Advisory Board Liaison

Board Committees

Include the following:

• Finance Committee

• Committee Appointments Committee

• Membership Committee
Subcommittees: Candidate, Resident and Fellow

• Committee on Professionalism

• Judiciary Committee

• Ethics Committee

• Patient and Public Committee

• Annual Meeting Committee
Dual reporting: Board and Council on Education

• Advisory Boards
Diversity Advisory Board
Women's Health Issues Advisory Board

Reports to the Fellowship

• Nominating Committee

• Bylaws Committee

• Resolutions Committee

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons®

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons®

Strategic Plan 2005-2007


AAOS will be the authoritative source of knowledge and leadership in musculoskeletal health.


AAOS will serve the profession, champion the interests of patients, and advance the highest quality musculoskeletal health.


The goals that follow are designed to advance the AAOS vision and mission and serve as the basis for all evaluations of achievement and performance.

Programs, Products, Services

1. To advance its mission, AAOS will offer programs, products, and services that reflect and respond to the evolving needs of current and prospective members, other health care providers, and patients. Business plans are developed for all new programs, products, and services.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

1.1 conduct a member needs assessment every two years

1.2 conduct periodic assessments of the needs of other health care providers and patients

1.3 analyze programs, services, and educational offerings at least annually to ensure the relevance of the strategic goals to the organization and to members’ needs

1.4 ensure that new programs are in place to address those programs that are of high importance to members but low in satisfaction rates

1.5 address professionalism and ethics

Public Policy

2. To advance its mission, AAOS will develop a unified advocacy agenda to provide focus to and direct public policy activities and initiatives.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

2.1 give priority in the agenda to medical liability reform, patient centered care, patient safety, reimbursement, unfunded patient care and patient access to specialty care, and important emerging issues.

2.2 include in the agenda a plan to manage members’ expectations about public policy issues and outcomes as well as a plan to ensure that members view AAOS as their primary source of knowledge for public policy/advocacy

2.3 strengthen the AAOS Political Action Committee (PAC) by increasing the number of members who contribute by 5% by 2007.

Research and Scientific Affairs

3. To advance its mission, AAOS will modify its research agenda to reflect those matters most important to members, patients, and other health care providers.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will include in its agenda:

• technology assessments/cutting edge research assessments

• implant product standards

• evidence-based training

• advancing knowledge in musculoskeletal basic science


4. To advance its mission, AAOS will be positioned as the premier association for orthopaedic surgeons and will be recognized as the authoritative voice for good musculoskeletal health.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

4.1 develop a unified external communication plan to ensure that all communication activities and programs focus on raising public awareness of the role of orthopaedists and emphasizing the importance of good musculoskeletal health,

4.2 develop and disseminate patient education materials focused on evidence-based information.

4.3 develop a unified internal communication plan to ensure that internal communication activities and programs raise member awareness of AAOS through promoting AAOS value, including education, advocacy, and research initiatives that are unique to AAOS and differentiate it from other organizations involved in musculoskeletal care.


5. To advance its mission, AAOS will establish annual goals for each member category and develop programs to match the needs of members.


6. To advance its mission, AAOS will foster diversity.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will work with members to:

a. understand and respond to the diversity of the patient population

b. promote delivery of culturally competent care

c. support efforts to diversify the profession and the orthopaedic work force


7. To advance its mission, AAOS will advocate for unity and for opportunities to collaborate with the orthopaedic specialty communities.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

7.1 include subspecialty interests in educational programming

7.2 advocate for subspecialty interests

7.3 provide for a place within its governance structure for representatives from specialty orthopaedic organizations

7.4 reach out to other orthopaedic–related organizations as appropriate

Fiscal Affairs

8. To advance its mission, AAOS will remain fiscally strong.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

8.1 tie the annual budget to the AAOS strategic plan

8.2 require business plans for all new initiatives

8.3 adopt an annual balanced budget

8.4 increase the Permanent Fund to a minimum of $25,000,000

8.5 ensure a unified fundraising agenda across the organization

8.6 develop assessment criteria which, at least annually evaluate all of the work of AAOS that is to be incorporated into the budget.

Structure and Governance

9. To advance its mission, AAOS will have a sharply focused governance operation supported by a contemporary staff structure.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

9.1 identify and implement organizational changes in the volunteer structure

9.2 identify and develop future leaders

9.3 align the staff structure with the volunteer structure

Approved by the AAOS Board of Directors June 3, 2005

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