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 Weekly Member Update - August 3, 2012


Volunteer's Note

One Question: Inbox Overload?

One Question Results

Opportunities in Leadership: Apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees

AMA's ERA Toolkit Can Help Save You Time and Money

Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) Opportunity

AMA Membership Update

OREF Invites You to Submit Grant Proposals

Thank You to AFSH Donors

More Work To Be Done Following ACA Decision


Volunteer's Note

The Finance Committee would like to present an update on recent business matters related to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

In this work, I am joined by the rest of the Finance Committee: W. P. Andrew Lee, MD, Daniel J. Nagle, MD, Edward Akelman, MD, Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, MD and Mark C. Anderson, FASAE, CAE.

This group is responsible for the financial well-being of our Society.  It meets regularly to review financial statements, reassess investment strategy and ensure that your dues and donations are used in the most prudent manner.  I'm happy to report that based on multiple recent developments, the Hand Society is on strong footing financially:

1. The yearly audits of the financial standing and budget of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand as well as the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand were recently completed.

The external auditors gave both the Hand Society and Foundation the highest possible ranking for this review.  There were no concerns noted.

We owe great thanks to ASSH Finance Director, David Hood, CPA and Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, for their continued excellence in these financial matters.

2. As most members know, the Hand Society recently purchased its own building to ensure we will have a designated home.

One fortuitous occurrence was the withdrawal of funds from investments just prior to the downturn in stock portfolios in 2010.  This money was invested in an extremely secure building in Chicago that will foster growth for our Society.  The building is in an up-and-coming neighborhood of Chicago that has already seen development spring up around the area, including a boutique hotel next door.

As we look back on the history of the Hand Society, this will be a landmark event.  A committee consisting of Drs. Weiss, Nagle, Lee and Mark Anderson oversaw the design and construction of our building renovation.  We look forward to having all members use this facility for research, education, and outreach in future years.  If you happen to be in Chicago, make sure to stop by the offices. I am sure the staff would welcome you warmly.

3. Our investments are carefully administered by Vanguard Investments.  As many members know, this is a large investment firm that has extensive experience with non-profit organizations like ours.

The Finance Committee recently met with Vanguard advisors to take a fresh look at our investment strategy.  The Finance Committee unanimously voted to continue its relationship with Vanguard for both the ASSH and the AFSH.  Despite the tumultuous financial climate, Vanguard has met the relevant benchmarks over the past three years.

Vanguard shares a co-fiduciary relationship with our organization.  This means Vanguard does not make money on the investments advised.  In addition, the management fees we pay Vanguard are low when compared with other medical organizations our size.  Vanguard will continue work with the Finance Committee on a regular basis to ensure investments are secure and principled, while offering opportunities for growth.

In conclusion, we would like to assure all ASSH members that the Finance Committee works throughout the year to safeguard the assets and investments of the Hand Society and Foundation.  Your dues and donations are central to the future of the Society, and we will continue our efforts to ensure they are maximized.

James Chang, MD
Chair, Finance Committee

One Question: Inbox Overload?

The staff and volunteer leadership of ASSH work hard to make sure our communications are timely and relevant, and between Weekly Member Update, Correspondence News, Meeting Updates and other announcements and communication, often we end up sending four or more emails to members per week to keep you informed and to promote learning opportunities.

This seems like a lot, and none of us are strangers to the over-crowded inbox and drudgery of skimming through the weeds to find the good stuff.

We're considering cutting back on our messages by combining information, but since email is our primary tool of communication, we first want to make sure that we're optimizing its use to best suit member preferences.

Help us by taking this week's One Question: Tell us where the sweet spot is for your inbox.

One Question Results

Have you purchased a tablet computer this year, and if so, which one?

I have not purchased a tablet         35%

iPad                                                 55%

Android                                             7%

Kindle Fire                                         1%

Other                                                2%

AFSH Logo.jpg
Opportunities in Leadership: Apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees

The American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) funds vital research and education projects that lead to ground-breaking innovation in upper extremity surgery and treatment.

The AFSH Nominating Committee, chaired by Daniel J. Nagle, MD, would like to invite all Active Members to apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees.  Applicants should be committed to the Foundation's Mission and also be willing to contribute and raise funds to support that mission.
Open positions on the board include Vice Chair and Trustee-At-Large (fewer than five years membership).

If you are interested in joining a group that plays a key role in shaping upper extremity care, complete the online application by August 15, 2012.  For more information, contact Alexzandra Wallace (

AMA's ERA Toolkit Can Help Save You Time and Money

Want to save nearly $10,000 thousands per physician annually on claims?  Accepting Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA) and automating your claims process can:

  • Speed up payment.
  • Save time spent on manual processes such as opening mail, filing and phone calls to health insurers.
  • Eliminate lost EOBs and expedite filing to secondary payers.
  • Free up time for revenue-enhancing functions such as ensuring correct payment.  Read more.


Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) Opportunity

Hand Surgery/Hand Therapy

Nicaragua: Two certified hand therapists and two board-certified hand surgeons are needed October 20-27, 2012.  PTs and OTs provide clinical training as part of a team.  Please contact the program department for more information.

AMA Membership Update

AMA rules stipulate that in order to qualify for a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, 25% of our members must be AMA members.  Currently, we are six members shy of the 25% mark. 

Thank you to the ASSH member who notified us this week that he joined or rejoined the AMA since January 1, 2012: 

Richard M. Howell, MD 

Have you joined or rejoined the AMA since January 1, 2012?  Please let us know by contacting so we can track the progress of your AMA membership.  ASSH will reconcile our membership list with the AMA to get credit for our members.
Have your voice heard: Join the AMA.

OREF Invites You to Submit Grant Proposals

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) is accepting proposals for individual and institutional grants.

Individual clinicians and investigators, including residents and fellows, can apply through September 14, 2012, for 2013 research grants and awards.  Learn more.

Institutions can apply through October 17, 2012, for 2013-'14 fellowship and residency enhancement grants, available through the OREF Clinician Development Program.  Learn more.
Heidi Taylor Bloom, MD
Mark A. Deitch, MD
Frederick F. Fakharzadeh, MD
Mark A. Gurland, MD
Gary M. Pess, MD
Mark Ross, FRACS
Steven S. Shin, MD
Thank you to the following donor for its generous contribution to the AFSH in support of Resident/Fellow Conference Travelling Scholarships:
Thank you to the following donor for its generous contributions to the AFSH in support of Resident/Fellow Conference Travelling Scholarships as well as the Presidential Guest Lecture:

Did you know you can support the Foundation (AFSH) through automated monthly payments? Visit to complete an auto-pay form, or contact

More Work To Be Done Following ACA Decision
from AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD's "On the Road" blog

Whenever I speak to groups of physicians, the topic of most interest is the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the law, the question I am frequently asked is "What comes next?"  Read more.