Greetings from Northeast Indiana! I hope everyone had a great 2019. The beginning of 2020 has certainly been one we will never soon forget.
I am writing all my fellow Orthopaedic colleagues around our state to inform them of some news regarding the Indiana Orthopaedic Society. Over the last several years those of us on the Board of Directors have identified the need for a shift in direction of our/your society. We have replaced our previous Executive Director during the 2019 calendar year. She has been replaced by Kellye Mitros of South Bend, IN. She is our acting director for the foreseeable future. She has hit the ground running with many projects on her plate, including this new website.
Upon shifting directions, we have become aware of some significant financial difficulties with the Society. We are quite confident that these can be corrected. In early 2020, during multiple discussions, we had decided as a board that foregoing the 2020 Spring Meeting in French Lick would be in the best financial interest of the long term health, revitalization, and refocus of the society. In retrospect, it seems that our decision would have been made for us based on our current national crisis.
We are currently planning on a standard Fort Wayne meeting in the spring of 2021.
Societies like ours, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, have and will need to continue to evolve in how they provide value for your dollar. In addition to providing educational opportunities to our members, we also are highly focused on staying involved in our state and federal governments. In my opinion this is our most important function in our current climate. We, as orthopaedic surgeons, need a voice at the table for the profession and our patients. Many of the Board of Directors are intimately involved (and extremely talented) in this. Your membership dues make this possible. Many of these legislative issues have a definite impact on your practice. Most importantly, these can have major impact on our patients. We have seen in recent years that our voice has and is making difference. Most recently, members of our board have played a significant role in assisting our state politicians in providing a framework for a return of elective surgeries to our state.
In addition to our involvement in legislative issues, we also continue to provide an opportunity for all of us to remain “networked.” This is particularly important for our younger surgeons to have new and ongoing relationships with our “seasoned” colleagues. Multiple implications can be identified regarding this, but our malpractice system in Indiana provides an obviously important one. The way we network has changed due to technology. I anticipate some changes to our society to assist this important function as well.
Our society also directly communicates with the Academy on many issues that affect us all. We learn from other states via the Academy on issues they have already dealt with around the country. We are also provided with two Board of Councilor positions (Dan Lehman, M.D. and Jeff Soldatis, M.D.) in the Academy that are directly entwined in this communication. Without this communication, we would all be individuals fending for ourselves and our patients. Most recently, for instance, they have made us aware of some significant changes proposed to the bylaws of our Academy that could have profound effects in our future representation.
Many of our Board of Directors have also participated annually in National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference allows us to have a voice directly with our federal legislators. I personally attended this summer and was amazed (and sometimes overwhelmed!) at the personal interactions we had with our senators and congressmen/women on the Hill. We definitely make an impact with our advocacy!
I invite all of my colleagues to renew their membership for all the reasons above (including many that go unmentioned). I also encourage everyone to identify partners who are not involved in membership. Encourage them to join or at minimum support our society. Letters of recommendation are optional. Advanced practitioners are also encouraged to join for a discounted fee.
We encourage everyone to support the society! We need help with the “heavy lifting” from all of you so that we can protect our practices, our patient’s interests, and maintain a collegial relationship with our Academy, legislators, and peers.
Make the best of the rest of the year! Stay safe and look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting in Fort Wayne. Please contact me, or any board member with your questions, concerns, ideas, etc. We are always open to new ideas to keep the Society fresh and relevant.