Weekly Member Update - March 12th, 2010

March 12th, 2010

A Message from the ASSH President

A column from President Robert M. Szabo, MD, MPH

News from the IFSSH
Congratulations to an ASSH Member
Resident and Fellow Scholarships
HVO Volunteer Opportunity for Orthopaedic Surgeons - Mongolia
Call for Applicants: Research Division Director
Foundation Announcements
Upcoming Research Grant and Award Deadlines

ASSH Courses and Meetings

Self-Assessment Exam Registration - Deadline April 2, 2010
2010 Master Skills Series: Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist
General Orthopaedic Review
Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery

Healthcare Reform News

SGR Update - From AMA
Third SGR extension passed by Senate - From AMA

A Message from the ASSH President

Many of us, myself included, are at the AAOS Annual Meeting in New Orleans this week, focusing on continued education and learning the latest in research to support the best outcomes.  This reminds me of the circle of support that must occur to bring high quality education to the practicing hand surgeon.  It all starts with evidence based research and the funds which support it – funds like those granted through the AFSH, which in turn is supported by so many of our members.  I’ve asked Peter Stern, MD, President of AFSH to report on the incredible progress of the Foundation – with your help - and its efforts to fund the research that is forging new paths of excellence in our field.

Bob Szabo

During my tenure with the AFSH, activities and projects have greatly expanded. I have been proud to see the mission of our Foundation - to fund the highest quality research and education in hand and upper extremity surgery - fulfilled through many avenues.

Here are a few highlights of AFSH activities in 2009:

  • AFSH President, Fred Fakharzadeh, MD and a cadre of AFSH volunteers led the annual campaign, bringing in support from 18% of our Active members.  In all, over $625,000 in donations and pledges was collected.

  • The Future in Hand Campaign ended with approximately $4.25 million in pledges and donations.  Proceeds will fund quality, upper extremity research for years to come.

  • The first Andrew J. Weiland medal went to Kevin Chung, MD.  The award honors a mid-career scientist who has contributed significantly to the body of upper extremity research.

  • The first Clinical Trials and Outcomes Planning Grant was awarded to support the work of Brent Graham, MD and the eight members of SHOW (Surgery of the Hand Outcomes Workgroup).  SHOW is developing an NIH-worthy grant submission for a multi-center clinical trial in the area of hand and upper extremity surgery. 

  • The Research Committee awarded $80,000 to fund three basic science and two clinical research grants.  In recent years, approximately $300,000 in seed grant funding has been distributed to worthy research projects leading to over $2.5 million in federal research funding. 

  • A grant from AFSH to the ASSH website has supported the transfer of information from Eatonhand to www.assh.org.  Dr. Eaton’s donation of intellectual content greatly expands patient information on the site.

Plans for 2010 include:

  • The initiation of the Military Surgeon-Scientist award.  Generous funding from Integra and other industry supporters will support the research of hand surgeons in the military. 

  • Continued support of volunteerism by funding of Hand Surgery Overseas, through Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and

  • Funding for the HVO-AFSH Young Surgeon Overseas Program, giving young hand surgeons the opportunity to volunteer in underserved countries.

  • Support of the Adrian E. Flatt Residents and Fellows Conference.

  • Raising visibility of the AFSH’s work through a welcome reception during this year’s ASSH Annual Meeting, on Thursday, October 7 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Entertainment will be provided by the Sagittal Band - Mark Baratz, MD, David Ring, MD, Chris Allan, MD, Maximillian Soong, MD, Aaron Smith, Matt Kennedy, and Allison MacLennan, MD. 

  • Underwriting the first Robert E. Carroll Founders Lecture during the Annual Meeting, to honor the life and work of this pioneering educator, mentor and friend. 

Finally, and most important, I want to sincerely thank all of those members who have supported the AFSH and made the above possible.

Peter J. Stern, MD
Chair, American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand



News from the IFSSH

Read the latest IFSSH Newsletter.

Congratulations to ASSH Member Amy Ladd, MD!

She was recently selected to receive the RJOS/OREF/DePuy Career Development Award in Women's Musculoskeletal Health Grant.  The $50,000 award is intended to help train and develop female orthopaedic surgeons to improve knowledge in the area of women’s musculoskeletal health and enhance the understanding of gender and diversity differences in the outcomes of orthopaedic procedures.  Dr. Ladd will be accepting the award at the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society luncheon today, March 12, in New Orleans.  Her grant is entitled "Thumb CMC Joint in Women: Anatomy and Function in Symptomatic and Early Arthritis Subjects."

Resident and Fellow Scholarships Now Available!

Through the generosity of the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand and our corporate sponsors, Stryker and OsteoMed, Residents and Fellows have the opportunity to win a scholarship to this years’ Residents and Fellows Conference and Annual Meeting.  Learn more on our website.

HVO Volunteer Opportunities - Mongolia
for a complete list of opportunities, please visit us at www.hvousa.org.

Orthopaedic surgeons needed for 2 - 4 weeks to train faculty and residents in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.   Specialty areas include pelvic and acetabular trauma, knee arthroscopy, pediatric orthopaedics, hand surgery, and other sub-specialty areas.  Contact the program department for more information.

Call for Applicants: Research Division Director  - Deadline to apply is March 19, 2010

The application for the Research Division Director position on the ASSH Council is now available.
Qualified candidates will have knowledge of, and commitment to, the ASSH Mission, Vision, Values and Goals as well as availability of time and energy to direct and coordinate the functions of all committees within the Research  Division.  Information about the qualifications, time commitments and specific duties can be found on the ASSH website.

If you are an interested candidate, or know someone well-qualified, please visit the ASSH website to learn more or complete the application.   *Please send all supporting material via email to Alexzandra Wallace at awallace@assh.org, or fax it to (847) 384-1435.*

Foundation Announcements

The AFSH partners with Health Volunteers Overseas to fund the AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Overseas program.  If you have considered applying, be sure to do so no later than March 31, 2010. Learn more about hand surgery through HVO.

Future In Hand pledge statements were sent to our partners in the capital campaign with a current balance due.  Contact the central office at (847) 384-8300 if you have questions about your statement.

Upcoming Research Grants and Awards Deadlines

OMeGA Fellowship and Residency Grants - Deadline March 24

OMeGA Medical Grants Association’s application period is now half over, so hand programs looking for additional funds should apply now. 

As a reminder, programs can apply for orthopaedic fellowship grants up to $75,000 and residency/general education grants up to $5,000 for the 2010-2011 academic year.  Funds are awarded through a consistent, non-biased process, based on objective criteria, and independent of program size, personnel, or affiliation.  One point to mention: while we use one application for all fellowship categories, criteria is weighted differently, or not at all in some cases, to reflect sub-specialty differences.

Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, March 24 at 5pm CST.  Programs should visit the website to begin the application process.  Any questions should be directed to info@omegamedicalgrants.org.

2010 Clinician Scientist Development Program - Deadline March 31

AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Overseas Program - Deadline March 31

Basic Science and Clinical Research Grants - Deadline April 1

The Weiland Medal - Deadline April 1

Military Research Grant - Deadline April 1

Hand Surgeon-Scientist Award - Deadline December 1

ASSH Courses and Meetings

Can’t remember if you’ve already registered for a course? Login at www.assh.org, select "Members" then “My Transactions” in the left column.  If you’ve registered, your registration will appear on this list.  From here, you can also add sessions/tickets to an existing registration.

Self-Assessment Exam
Registration Deadline: April 2, 2010

This examination is offered as a convenient self-education exercise by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is available to the health care professionals focusing on the care of the hand and upper extremity. Designed to assist the physician in reviewing basic principles of hand care, the exam also helps to keep the physician abreast of new developments and concepts within the specialty.  Cost for members is $155 and cost for nonmembers is $195.

The ASSH designates this educational activity for a maximum of 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (TM).  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. NOTE: Only those who return a completed answer sheet for computer scoring by June 11, 2010 (postmarked) will be eligible for CME.

Registration Deadline                                                                 April 2, 2010
Examination book (Book 1) mailed to registrants                         April 19, 2010
Answer Sheet Deadline                                                                June 11, 2010
Discussion book (Book 2) mailed to registrants                            July 30, 2010

All registrants are confirmed by email. If you have not received email confirmation by April 5, 2010 please contact the ASSH Office via telephone at (847)384-8300 or email ddecker@assh.org.

2010 Master Skills Series: Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist
May 21 - 22, 2010
Orthopaedic Learning Center - Rosemont, IL
Registration Deadline: May 6, 2010

The Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist course is designed with an emphasis on adult learning with a case-based format, along with a hands-on cadaver workshop to provide you with the most current trends and techniques in trauma.  Learn more about this program and review the registration fees by visiting the Trauma of the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist webpage.  Or, register now.

General Orthopaedic Review
July 15, 2010
Renaissance Downtown Hotel - Chicago, IL
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2010

Co-Sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)

This one-day review course, brought to you by the AAOS and ASSH, prepares you for the general orthopaedic questions on the combined CAQ exam in Hand Surgery. Held just one day prior to the ASSH Comprehensive Review in Hand Surgery course, this is a convenient opportunity to review generally accepted principles of orthopaedics across the specialties and to prepare you to maintain your certification. A skilled faculty of experienced clinicians will focus on what you need to know in all the other specialty areas of orthopaedics for the exam.  Review registration fees and program details on the General Orthopaedic Review webpage.  Get started by registering online today

Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
July 16-18, 2010
Renaissance Downtown Hotel - Chicago, IL
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2010

The ASSH Comprehensive Review Course is designed as an advanced review course and update for practicing hand surgeons.  The course will review the topical concepts of anatomy, biomechanics and pathology as well as diagnostic and treatment methods relating to hand and elbow surgery.  The faculty are recognized experts in hand surgery and have been selected for their knowledge, expertise and contributions relating to the subject matter they present.  Learn more about this program and review the registration fees by visiting the Comprehensive Review Course webpage.  Or, register online today

Healthcare Reform News

SGR Update - From AMA

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are now negotiating changes to the Senate-passed health system reform bill that would address concerns House members have with that legislation. These efforts are complicated by the procedural restrictions that would apply to the budget reconciliation bill that Congress intends to use as a legislative vehicle for making those changes. One of the outstanding issues is the scope and authority of the proposed Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which would make recommendations to Congress for reducing the rate of growth in overall Medicare spending if total spending exceeds a new, program-wide expenditure target. This new target system is very stringent and does not apply equitably across Medicare provider groups. Further, the "fast-track" authority the bill would grant these recommendations would require a three-fifths vote in both chambers for Congress to overturn them. Given medicine's experience with Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, the AMA has consistently voiced its opposition (PDF) to this proposal as currently constructed and is aggressively lobbying for substantial changes in the IPAB provisions.

Once legislative language for the reconciliation bill containing refinements to the Senate health reform plan becomes available, the AMA will assess whether the changes being proposed are sufficient to address its outstanding concerns. To read more headlines in reform news, visit the AMA's web page.

Third SGR extension passed by Senate - From AMA

On March 10, the Senate passed H.R. 4213, a bill to extend certain tax policies and stimulate job growth, by a vote of 62-36. The bill includes provisions that would further extend current Medicare physician payment rates until Oct. 1. The legislation will now be sent to the House where amendments are possible. Consequently, it is not certain if this extension of Medicare payment rates can be signed into law before the current Medicare physician payment freeze expires on April 1.

The AMA has made it very clear that it does not support another routine, short-term patch to the Medicare payment formula that only addresses the immediate crisis while producing steeper cuts in the future and raising the costs of permanent reform. The AMA is continuing its vigorous advocacy for permanent repeal of the SGR formula, and encourages physicians to maintain pressure on their legislators by calling the AMA grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354.