President's Message

By David R. Diduch, MD
VOS President

VOS President

David R. Diduch, MD

VOS President

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Virginia Orthopaedic Society E-newsletter!   We have created this as a member benefit in an attempt to improve communication among Orthopaedic surgeons in the State of Virginia.  We hope that this electronic format will be timely, informative, and helpful to you in your Orthopaedic practice. We hope that through active communication we will bolster our voice in the state legislature on issues that affect you at the grass roots level in your practice.  

It may be somewhat less than obvious to you in your practice, but issues at the state level probably affect you more than any other when it comes to insurance, liability reform, reimbursements, and various policies. The Virginia Orthopaedic Society employs a lobbyist team under the direction of Cal Whitehead to act on our behalf for issues year around at the state level.  Cal is extremely competent, experienced and committed. He has done an outstanding job representing the Society and we have seen some notable progress on legislative issues.

Motivation in the current climate to repeal the Certificate of Public Need (COPN) at least in some form is very ripe. As President, I testified before The Health and Welfare Institution subcommittee and received a warm welcome. The feedback has been very strong and the Medical Society of Virginia  has been supportive of our efforts. We are going to continue to push hard for COPN reform and repeal.  At a minimum we are optimistic that the ban on “in office” MRI’s will see some action in the near term.

Also along the legislative front, the Society is going to institute a “Legislator of the Year Award” in appreciation of the support and access of key legislators. Please plan to attend the annual legislative reception, 6pm January 17, 2007 at the SunTrust Building in Richmond, VA.

The other issue that has been most active legislatively involves the physical therapists. I think we have reached a compromise agreement that everyone can be happy with that prevents the physical therapists from changing the scope of practice issues for at least 7 years.  It grants them two weeks to see patients before a physician referral is necessary. Please see the report from Cal Whitehead for further details.  Much effort and time went into this cooperativerelationship that I think will help us to avoid some of the unpleasant battles that we have witnessed in other states, usually with unwelcome results for physicians.

The Governor proclaimed October 12-20 in 2006 Bone and Joint Decade Awareness Week in Virginia and a press release was issued. Please encourage your partners and colleagues to join the Virginia Orthopaedic Society. Currently roughly 50% of Orthopaedic surgeons in the State of Virginia are members. The greater our membership base, especially as a percentage of those available for membership in the state, the stronger our voices are heard at the state level. Also please support your state based Orthopaedic PAC (Political Action Committee).  Contributions are deductible as a business expense but not as a charitable expense.  This directly funds our legislative and lobbying efforts.

The 60th Annual Meeting is set for Charlottesville, Virginia in May 4-6, 2007at the Omni.  Additional information is under Dr. Chhabra’s report.  The Agenda has been revamped to enhance participation from practicing Orthopaedic surgeons around the state to draw upon their expertise and improve networking type relationships.  Please plan to attend for what I am sure will be a very memorable and informative meeting. Other benefits that we plan to create are the creation of an expert witness pool that would be member only access should members have needs for such services in the future. 

We have been able to secure CME credit for our 2006 Annual Meeting that is available on the web. This is really a very painless way to achieve 6 hours of credit and I think it is an excellent added member benefit. We also hope to use this format as a way to post jobs on behalf of members around the state.  Membership is free to all residents so this is a good way to get exposure for your practice to potential partners that are completing their training.   It has been my pleasure to serve this year as your President.  A special thanks to all of the members of the Board of Directors who serve as I do in a volunteer capacity. I hope that many of the rest of you will get involved further with the State’s Society as it really is your voice in the state on Orthopaedic issues.
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