AAOS Bulletin - June, 2006

State societies recognized during NOLC

Florida, Connecticut share “Society of the Year” honors

By Susan A. Nowicki, APR

The Florida Orthopaedic Society (FOS) and the Connecticut Orthopaedic Society (COS) shared the honors as State Societies of the Year, and the co-executive directors of the Missouri State Orthopaedic Association (MSOA) were recognized for their accomplishments during the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) in May. Members of the AAOS Board of Directors and leaders of the Board of Councilors (BOC) were present to extend their congratulations.

State orthopaedic societies play an integral role in helping to achieve political change. They also provide both a forum to discuss concerns and opportunities for continuing medical education and mentoring. In 2003, the BOC State Orthopaedic Societies Committee established an annual awards program to recognize their achievements. The 2006 award winners were selected by the committee, which reviewed and ranked all nominations.

The awards were presented by Dwight W. Burney III, MD, chair of the BOC; Alan S. Routman, MD, chair of the BOC State Orthopaedic Societies Committee; and AAOS President Richard F. Kyle, MD. Each winning state society received a recognition plaque and a $1,000 check from the AAOS; plaques and $250 checks were presented to each of the winning executive directors.

“State orthopaedic societies form the foundation of our house of orthopaedics,” said Dr. Burney. “We are glad for the opportunity to recognize and honor their efforts.”

State Society of the Year – Florida

The FOS was recognized as a State Society of the Year for its legislative accomplishments, community service and expansion of member benefits. In presenting the award, Dr. Burney said, “The FOS introduced legislation in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to address the expanded scope of practice for podiatrists in Florida, who had redefined their scope of practice to include the entire lower extremity. If passed, the FOS-supported legislation will limit podiatrists’ scope to the foot and ankle.”

On hand to accept the State Society of the Year Award for the FSO were (l to r) Fraser Cobbe, executive director; Adam S. Bright, MD, Patrick M.J. Hutton, MD and Brian Ziegler, MD, councilors from Florida; and Mark Fahey, MD, FSO president. Alan S. Routman, MD, chair of the BOC State Orthopaedic Societies Committee, looks on.

FOS also supports an active political action committee (PAC) in the state. The Florida Orthopaedic PAC continued to expand operations during the 2006 cycle, participating in 19 state races.

The FOS has also seen substantial member growth and now represents more than 1,100 members.

Dr. Burney pointed out that the FOS is active in the community, recently sponsoring an osteoporosis screening booth at the Florida Medical Association annual meeting. The society has also forged a relationship with the Florida Department of Health Osteoporosis Education Program and will continue to explore opportunities to partner in educational activities and events in the future.

FOS has also reached out to the Bones Society of Florida and signed an agreement in November 2005 to provide management services to that group, which includes 100 orthopaedic practice administrators throughout the state. This allows FOS to coordinate the whole spectrum of advocacy, practice management education and resources available to orthopaedic surgeons and their practices in Florida.

In accepting the award, Mark E. Fahey, MD, FOS President, announced that the society would donate the $1,000 award to the Mississippi Orthopaedic Association (MOA) to help support an MOA playground build in a hurricane-damaged community in Mississippi.

State Society of the Year – Connecticut

The COS was named State Society of the Year for its legislative accomplishments, resident development program and programming for member physicians. In his award presentation, Dr. Burney said, “This state society has made tremendous strides in its legislative involvement, resident development, programming for members and sponsorship levels. It is truly a model for other state societies.”

The COS developed a key contact program and used it to gain recognition as an important resource to legislators and policy makers in the state. The COS also implemented a direct mail campaign to gather contacts and developed a specialized database to maintain the key contacts and legislators representing physicians in various districts. This database allows COS to communicate—by both fax and e-mail—alerts to members on current legislative happenings and to disseminate model letters they can use to communicate with legislators and other legislative calls to action. Thirty orthopaedic surgeons serve as key contacts in the legislative arena.

Accepting the COS State Society of the Year Award from AAOS President Richard Kyle, MD (far left) and BOC Chair Dwight Burney, MD (next to Dr. Kyle), is Frank Gerratana, MD, and Michael P. Connair, MD (holding plaque), both councilors from Connecticut. Looking on is Dr. Routman (center).

The COS saw member involvement in this program grow by 20 percent since its inception in 2004. COS President Robert A. Green, MD, noted, “The success of the key contact program can be seen by the defining role our members played in defeating expanded scope of practice legislation proposed by podiatrists. Due to our involvement and representation, the Connecticut State Medical Society now defers to our society in matters directly affecting orthopaedic surgeons in Connecticut.”

Dr. Burney also congratulated COS on its establishment in 2005 of an education foundation that donates $10,000 per year to two orthopaedic residency programs in the state. This innovative program provides training and education opportunities to residents to encourage involvement in their professional organizations. Residents from each of the residency programs in the state are invited to represent their institutions as guests on the society’s board of directors. Each month two residents are invited to attend board meetings to listen to concerns and issues of practicing orthopaedists in the state and provide feedback from a resident’s perspective. Financial contributions from COS members are supporting the program.

The society also offers educational and practice management programs to members and their office staff. Member attendance at these programs has grown significantly, and 60 percent of membership now participates in the society’s annual meeting.

In accepting the award for the society, Frank J. Gerratana, MD, BOC member from Connecticut, announced that the group would donate its $1,000 award to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Further, he said the COS would donate an additional $1,000 to the William W. Tipton Jr., MD Orthopaedic Leadership Endowment.

Executive Director of the Year – Missouri

Brian Treece and Mary Phillips, who share duties as executive director of the MSOA, were jointly recognized as Executive Directors of the Year. They were nominated for the award by MSOA Secretary Douglas W. Kiburz, MD, who said, “Brian and Mary have directed the revitalization and renaissance of the MSOA. Through their strategic initiative and hard work, Brian and Mary have enhanced the association in four key areas: organization, advocacy, communication and membership.”

Brian Treece (far left with plaque) and Mary Phillips, co-executive directors of the Missouri State Orthopaedic Association, receive Executive Director of the Year awards from Dr. Burney. Looking on are Drs. Kyle and Routman

Since Brian and Mary joined MSOA, the association has seen a dramatic increase in both membership and political activity, and its presence in statewide and national forums has also grown, Dr. Kiburz noted. “We also have a strong organizational structure in place—something we did not have previously. That has improved our professionalism, allowed more aggressive representation on legislative issues, increased the communications between MSOA and orthopaedic physicians on important issues and association news, and created a growing and dynamic orthopaedic physician organization,” he said.

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