Knowing member needs - and delivering on them

Measure membership value by programs, says Academy CEO

Is managing a physician organization like the AAOS really like herding cats? Actually, there’s not a lot of difference, AAOS Chief Executive Officer Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, told the fellowship yesterday—especially if you know what cats—or orthopaedic surgeons—like.

The key is delivering value by learning what members need and developing programs, products, and services that meet those needs.

“You have told us your needs: advocacy and representation, high quality education programs, clinical practice guidelines, programs to en­hance your image, and, of course, all at the most reasonable cost,” she said. Ms. Hackett then outlined how the Academy has responded to those needs.

AAOS Chief Executive Officer

Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE

Advocacy and representation

“From our presence on Capitol Hill to the halls of regulatory agencies, your Association is there to represent the specialty and advocate on the issues important to orthopaedic surgery and to your patients,” she said. In addition, the AAOS is also expanding efforts to bring legislative expertise to the state level.

“No, we haven’t won every battle,” admitted Ms. Hackett, “but we have eased your pain and minimized your losses in a tough, belt-tightening economy.”


Ms. Hackett pointed to the more than 1,800 educational sessions available during the Annual Meeting as an example of the Academy’s educational efforts. She also highlighted the special programming on industry relationships and the many online products and informational services designed to keep fellows up to date on the latest developments in orthopaedics.

“Your Academy offers an amazing array of tools to assist you in your daily practice,” she concluded.

Additional services

In the area of clinical practice guidelines and technology overviews, Ms. Hackett noted that four clinical practice guidelines have been prepared and 10 more are in process. Additionally, two technology overviews have been completed, with three additional technology overviews scheduled for release in 2009.

She also pointed to the Academy’s aggressive media relations program and public service announcements as part of the efforts to enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons.

Delivering value

“Value comes from spending your dues dollars on programs that enhance your practice, advance your specialty, and ensure the highest quality of patient care,” said Ms. Hackett. “The Academy is careful and works very hard to save you money.” Free Annual Meeting preregistration; member discounts on courses, products, and publications; and a stable dues structure were among the benefits she listed.

“As your CEO, I can attest to the value you get, not only for your dues dollars, but from each member of our professional staff,” said Ms. Hackett. “Our 240 extraordinary staff bring you more than 2,000 years of Academy experience. The AAOS is professionally stable and financially solvent.”

In closing, she expressed her thanks for the opportunity to serve. “You are,” she told the audience, “a wonderful, dedicated group of professionals who continue to be a pleasure to work with.”