October 1999 Bulletin

Name new Washington office director

Nick Cavarocchi, director of the AAOS Washington office, has announced his intention to step down in December 1999. He has served admirably in that position since his hiring almost 20 years ago by 1979 AAOS President John J. Gartland, MD, and Executive Director Charles Heck, MD. Nick plans to continue his primary business, Nick Cavarocchi and Associates, a lobbying firm. He, along with Joyce Briscoe, an AAOS staff member since February 1990, will move up to the second floor of the AAOS Washington office as an independent entity.

For the past six months, an extensive search for a new director was conducted by William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, executive vice president, and his staff, along with the active participation of the AAOS presidential line. On August 27, the presidential line unanimously concurred with the decision to offer the position of director of the AAOS Washington office to David A. Lovett. He was contacted and has agreed to accept the position.

David has served for the past seven years as the deputy director of the AAOS Washington office. He has demonstrated that he is knowledgeable and articulate about the important legislative, regulatory and legal issues facing orthopaedic surgeons and their patients. He has frequently spoken at state and regional orthopaedic meetings, and has provided excellent and timely advice and counsel to AAOS committees, as well as to individual orthopaedic surgeons.

Prior to his service to AAOS, David was legislative director to former U.S. Rep. Frank Annunzio of Illinois (1982-1990) and legal counsel for the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (1990-1992). He earned his BA from Brandeis University in 1978 and his JD from Northwestern University in 1981.

David has hit the floor running in his new role as director in the Washington office. In recent years, this office has taken on an expanded role due to the increasing involvement of the federal government in the day-to-day practice of healthcare. Rising costs of healthcare have effected this change, and has given medical specialty societies no choice but to respond by escalating their own involvement in the legislative process. David is eminently qualified to repre- sent the interests of both the physicians and their patients as solutions to the cost and development of technology are determined by payers, employees and government.

In addition to representing the AAOS on Capitol Hill to the legislature, the role of the Washington office has broadened to include active involvement with regulatory agencies such as the Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration and Department of Justice, as well as research agencies such National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Similarly, there are direct encounters with the Administration (Executive Branch). Since the formation of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an official Political Action Committee (PAC) will now be coordinated through the Washington office. Not only will this include solicitation of funds from the membership, but more importantly, the wise distribution of these funds to effect favorable outcomes regarding AAOS policy and positions.

Much of what is accomplished in D.C. is achieved through coalitions with other medical and nonmedical groups, providing a large support base for specific issues. David has been very effective for us in this mission, as demonstrated by the Patient Access to Specialty Care Coalition, the Practice Expense Coalition, and, just this past year, the effort to obtain passage of H.R. 1304, the Campbell-Conyers bill on antitrust relief.

The mission of the AAOS is now, and always will be, primarily education. However, given the socioeconomic political climate that has evolved, there is no way we can afford to ignore our nation's capital. It must be an effective presence from both the strategic point, as well as cost. This will be enhanced by an even closer working relationship with the Councils on Health Policy, Research and Scientific Affairs, and Communications.

The AAOS Washington office was nurtured and supported by Nick Cavarocchi for the past 20 years, and has resulted in a highly respected presence in D.C. Dave Lovett is committed to continuing this effort, along with the support of the AAOS leadership and you, its members. Let's give Dave a strong vote of confidence as he works in our behalf in Washington, as well as those staff departments in Rosemont, Ill.

Robert D. D'Ambrosia, MD

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