executive director's message

Remembering the Past and Looking to the Future

Dr. Vander LugtBy Lee Vander Lugt, DO, FAOAO

How time flies. In just six weeks we will be in Nashville for the 57th Postgraduate Seminar.  The program of lectures and educational offerings should be useful to all attendees.  The city has undergone significant changes in the past few years and the venue will provide the opportunity to relax and sightsee when you are not in the academic sessions.

Recently anyone who attended the 2016 Annual Meeting received the 75th Anniversary publication “The American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics – 75 Years of Quality Healing.”  We have been privileged to receive many positive comments regarding the publication.  Please take time to look through this work and reflect on our impressive history.  If you did not attend and would like a copy, please contact Crystal Cruey at crystal@aoao.org.

As you ponder our past, I encourage each of you to also look to the future.  Your Board of Directors will be holding a “mini” strategic planning session in Nashville focused on membership benefits and opportunities in the AOAO.  To assist in that process, several questionnaires have recently been sent to our members and residents.  Please take time to honestly complete these surveys.  We value each of your opinions!

The Single Accreditation System continues to be a work in progress.  Currently the AOAO has 41 residency training programs at various stages of accreditation by the ACGME.  Memorial Hospital in York, PA has elected not to participate in the Single Accreditation process and will not be taking any new residents.  The Des Peres program in St. Louis intended to affiliate with the program at St. Louis University, but the details could not be worked out between the two institutions.  There is some concern that during the most recent orthopedic review committee meeting, no osteopathic programs moved into initial accreditation.  Citation letters have been drafted by the review committee and those citations are being addressed by the residency programs.  The AOA continues to offer resources to all our programs as they work through the ACGME standards moving to accreditation.

At the recent AOA Midyear Board of Trustees meeting, the bylaws changes approved by our members last October were submitted for approval.  We also submitted a change in our residency training standards.  Both of these documents were approved.  The AOA, through their President Dr. Boyd Buser, recently released some important information regarding changes to OCC and AOA membership.  These changes are significant and now available online so take time to study them.

In January the AOA hosted an Affiliation Realignment Retreat.  The AOAO is considered a “specialty affiliate” of the AOA.  The purpose of the retreat was to review the current affiliation agreement, but more importantly to look towards the future needs of the specialty and state affiliates in this rapidly changing environment at the AOA, including the Single Accreditation System.  I have been appointed to serve on a task force to take an in depth look at the ideas shared at the retreat and put together a proposal to submit to the AOA Board of Trustees for their consideration.

The AOAO Skills Lab held in January 2017 was another huge success.  All of the comments were very positive from both the attendees and the faculty.  We continue to evaluate the location and the timing of the lab and also consider expanding the number of opportunities for our members.  A special thank you is due Gary Ulrich, DO for his vision for this project and his continued leadership in its organization.

I hope to see many of you in Nashville.

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