Published on 5/15/2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I hope this message is reaching you at a time where you and your families are healthy and that you are at least partially returning to the fulfilling aspects of practicing orthopaedics. As of May 7, 2020, I am taking over the AANA presidential helm at a very transitional and unprecedented time. We owe AANA Immediate Past President Dr. Larry Field a debt of gratitude for a fantastic year under his guidance. While we work to understand the financial impact on our lives, restart our clinical practices and continue to protect ourselves, families and patients while living with COVID-19, AANA is here to support you as it has for nearly 40 years. Beyond my role as AANA President, like each of you, I am first and foremost an AANA Member and I feel it is important to share the direction AANA is taking to Advance the Scope™.

Focusing on Value and Growth

The AANA5000 membership initiative, under the presidency of Dr. Larry Field, generated tremendous growth for AANA. The membership has grown 30%, with more than 5,700 members worldwide, from 2018 to 2020! Our immediate focus is now building on that success. To that end, we are bringing the value forward – resources, tools, education, networking – so that the 1,750 residents and fellows we represent are provided what they need to successfully complete their early years in practice and to help them get involved in education, research, teaching and leadership. To do this we are launching a Member Engagement initiative. Kicking off this program, and bringing a little levity to the current climate, AANA is hosting a Fellows Cocktail and Conversations virtual happy hour. AANA Fellow Members are invited to join a lively discussion hosted by Dr. Denver Stanfield – it promises to be both informative and highly entertaining. I am looking forward to the momentum and connections the Member Engagement program will bring. AANA membership is strong and we will further this initiative in 2020.

Without question, among the most valuable AANA assets are the academic trio consisting of the Arthroscopy; Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation; and Arthroscopy Techniques journals under the excellent leadership of Dr. James Lubowitz. This robust suite of peer-reviewed print and electronic journals are a global resource for translational, evidence-based research and emerging techniques. AANA is proud to provide these drivers of innovation to our membership.

Innovation is the Driver for Relevancy

The impact of the pandemic accelerated our needs for technology and innovation. AANA is resilient and pivoted from traditional educational formats to meet these changing demands. Through the delivery of robust, virtual educational content and the dissemination of time-sensitive information, AANA members were provided the tools to continue to thrive. Our online programs, live and pre-recorded webinars and virtual events can be easily found at www.aana.org.

We were all disappointed to hear of the recent cancellation of the 2020 AANA Annual Meeting to have taken place in Texas. The agenda that Program Chair Dr. Julie Dodds developed was fantastic. We are planning our next world-class annual meeting in Chicago on April 22-24, 2021, with Dr. Nikhil Verma as AANA’s next annual meeting program chair. We will also celebrate AANA’s 40th Anniversary!

The pandemic has also obviously impacted AANA Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) Courses. We are faced with the challenge of providing in-person, hands-on surgical skills training while ensuring the safety of our surgeons. Therefore, AANA is developing new hybrid courses and implementing the new AANA Safe Strides initiative. We will be sharing more information about these advances soon. We are committed to Advancing the Scope™!

Success Through Collaboration and Relationships

A cornerstone of AANA is our focus on collaboration and building strong relationships. We continue to improve our bonds with international and domestic organizations such as the Biologic Association, AOSSM, ISAKOS, OSET and more. We continue to enrich our partnership with industry as we look to advance AANA’s scope. A vital part of this success will be communication and knowledge transfer. We are bringing industry partners to the table for brainstorming and dialogue with the new Thought Leadership Summit. In addition, we continuously seek to build deep partnerships that generate new and innovative ideas that offer our membership unique opportunities.

AANA continues to provide tools that meet and exceed member needs. So much has already been accomplished in 2020 – the COVID-19 Practice Management Webinar Series; a partnership with the telehealth service OrthoLive; the AANA/Sawbones At-Home Kit; the Specialty Day 2020 All-Access Pass, advocacy that helps maintain favorable reimbursement and policies for our membership; and there will be more to come in the remainder of 2020. I am particularly excited about the Practice Service Organization (PSO), led by our best-practices task force and dedicated to launching new programs focused on advancing practices through reputation management; billing and coding support; employer/employee services; and the AANA Innovation Exchange™.

The New AANA

In the coming days you will be hearing about AANA’s significant transformation with an emphasis on sharpening our commitment to innovation, development and global awareness. You expect the very best from us, just as your patients expect the very best from you, and we believe we have captured that in this next major initiative. Keep your eye on AANA this week!

These are just a few of our most important initiatives, programs and services that are dedicated to supporting Orthopaedic Surgeons. None of this can happen in a silo, and none can be accomplished without a strong team. Please join me in congratulating our current group of accomplished leaders in orthopaedics. I am honored to be supported by the newly elected AANA Board of Directors:

Mark H. Getelman, M.D. – First Vice President
James W. Stone, M.D. – Second Vice President
Alan S. Curtis, M.D. – Secretary
John M. Tokish, M.D. – Treasurer
Larry D. Field, M.D. – Immediate Past President
Louis F. McIntyre, M.D. – Past President
Denver T. Stanfield, M.D. – Member At-Large
Pietro M. Tonino, M.D. – Member At-Large
Paul E. Caldwell, M.D. – Member At-Large
Nikhil N. Verma, M.D. – Member At-Large
Kevin F. Bonner, M.D. – Member At-Large
Mary K. Mulcahey, M.D. – Member At-Large
Joseph C. Tauro, M.D. – Member At-Large

On behalf of the AANA Board of Directors and the AANA Staff, I wish you all continued health, a thriving reentry into your practices and a peaceful return to the activities I know you have passion for with a steady road ahead. If you find yourself with a need that AANA can be a resource for, please don’t hesitate to email me at BrianColeMD@aana.org.

Sincerely,

Brian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A.
AANA President

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