CEO: Orthopaedics leads the way

In her report to the fellowship yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, pointed to the example that the AAOS sets for other medical associations in addressing such thorny issues as accountability, disclosure, compliance with ethical standards, and developing clinical practice guidelines.

Chief Executive Officer
Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE

Noting that “the Academy is a good steward of financial resources,” Ms. Hackett said, “Few organizations have been able to hold the line on a dues increase for seven years … or keep membership levels at an impressive 97 percent of board-certified orthopaedic surgeons in the United States.”

As a member of the American Society of Association Executives, Ms. Hackett said she learned “what a leader orthopaedics is in setting standards of professionalism and holding membership to the highest level of ethics and excellence.” She went on to describe three areas of accomplishment.

Professional compliance
“Few other organizations have such a thorough and fair process for ensuring that every member meets the high standards of professionalism you demand from your colleagues,” said Ms. Hackett. Even though the AAOS has a membership of more than 36,000, only 19 cases of professional compliance violations have been presented to the Board of Directors.

“The bad, or even slightly bruised, apples in the orthopaedic barrel are few … very few,” she said. “But, the mechanism is in place when it is needed.”

Disclosure of conflicts of interest
Turning to the “ethical minefield surrounding conflict of interest and disclosure,” Ms. Hackett expressed pride in the Academy’s efforts to enhance transparency and promote ethical relationships. She pointed to the role of the Committee on Outside Interests in developing new policy directives on relationships with industry and the disclosure of those relationships.

“A system of consulting fees and grants from industry can be made transparent and ethical,” she said.

Clinical guidelines
“What a leader your Academy is in tackling the problem of practice disparities with the development of clinical guidelines,” said Ms. Hackett. The release of evidence-based clinical guidelines on treatment of pulmonary embolism and Achilles tendon rup¬≠tures and plans for the systematic development of guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment, and repair of major injuries and conditions in orthopaedic patients are examples of orthopaedics as a leader in medicine, she said.

On behalf of the 240 Academy staff in the Rosemont and Washington offices, Ms. Hackett expressed pride in the difference orthopaedic surgeons make in the lives of their patients.

“You and your Academy are true leaders in American medicine and we are honored to partner with you in every endeavor,” she concluded.