Spring 2017 Issue

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Legislative News

VOS Visits the General Assembly for White Coats on Call: A Resident’s Perspective

By Jacob Riis, MD
VCU Department of Orthopaedics

Legislative NewsIt is an often spoken maxim that ‘silence gives consent.’ While silence is the weakest form of consensus, we as physicians too often fail to make our voices heard in an arena where meaningful change can occur.  This year, at the annual White Coats on Call, I had the opportunity to lend my voice to several issues before the Virginia Legislature and be part of a group of physicians who were speaking for our patients, ourselves and our career field.  We met with several legislators and key staff members to discuss issues of importance to both the practice of medicine and the future of medical access in our community.  As a physician on the cusp of entering practice, the encounters in the capital further impressed on me the responsibility I have to my patients. The importance of recognizing how policies that are written and enforced without physician participation can lead to a lower level of care was eye-opening.  While the design of government often lends itself to deliberate steps rather than to rapid change, being exposed to and part of the political process allowed me to further grasp the critical nature of my participation.  Providing expert insight to our elected leaders is an opportunity to change the way in which they view their constituents.  I would encourage my fellow residents and attending physicians to continue to make their voices heard in years ahead, and I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Orthopaedic Society and Virginia Commonwealth University in the 2017 ‘White Coats on Call.’



On January 30, 2017, VOS representatives joined the
Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) to visit the General Assembly for White Coats on Call.




Please Support ORTHO-PAC, YOUR Political Voice!

By Lauren Schmitt
Senior Manager of Government Affairs
Commonwealth Strategy Group

Donate to Ortho-PacORTHO-PAC is our specialty’s political marketing machine in Virginia. We use it to support key legislators who are pro-physician and pro-patient. Contributions give us access to legislators so we can advocate our positions on Certificate of Public Need reform, worker’s compensation, scope of practice, office regulations, reimbursement matters and other critical policies that directly affect orthopaedic surgeons.

2017 is an important election year in Virginia. Voters will elect a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates. It’s a crucial time to support ORTHO-PAC to raise the visibility and profile of orthopaedists, connect you to legislators and candidates in your district, and continue to build productive relationships with key General Assembly members and staff.

The chart below shows how the Virginia Orthopaedic Society’s ORTHO-PAC stacks up against other Virginia political action committees (PACs). As you can see, we fall short in our total and number of contributions compared to peer specialties. Our VOS Board members give generously, but we need all our members to support our legislative and political activity.


Specialty/PAC Parent Organization 2016 Total Income 2016 Average Contribution # of 2016 Contributions
Anesthesiologists / VaSAPAC Va Society of Anesthesiologists $73,844 $279 265
Chiropractors / CPAC Va Chiropractic Assn $40,050 $67 594
Radiologists /
Virginia Radiology PAC
Va Chapter, American College of Radiology $26,726 $1,670 16
Ophthalmologists / EYE-PAC Va Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons $22,305 $744 30
Orthopaedists /
Va Orthopaedic Society $17,200 $956 18
Physical Therapists / VPTA-PAC Va Physical Therapy Assn $9,767 $76 129

For more information about General Assembly races and money in politics, visit Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP):


Please join your colleagues and make a contribution to ORTHO-PAC today.




End of Session: COPN Update

By Laura B. Schmitt
Senior Manager of Government Affairs
Commonwealth Strategy Group

The 2017 Virginia General Assembly has come to a close and adjourned on Saturday, February 25. While we were not able to pass any significant COPN reform bills this session, we made a lot of progress and continue to gain momentum. Thank you to everyone who contacted your legislators and let them know that the current COPN program needs to change! They have clearly heard us and are committed to addressing the issue. The Senate Education and Health Committee is going to study COPN reform over the next year; we have had a few Senators emerge as true COPN reform champions. We are confident in their future leadership on this issue.

The House of Delegates continues to be supportive of reform. Leadership of the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee has expressed frustration with the lack of movement on this issue over the past few years. As a result, they have let us know they are ready to move forward with reviewing individual project exemption bills next year. They have told us that Virginia is "open for business" and anyone who has a specific project that would need a COPN exemption should come to them with legislation for 2018. 

We are pleased with the progress in both chambers and are excited about the prospects for the 2018 legislative session. We will get to work soon on preparing for next year. If you are interested in legislation that creates a COPN exemption for your project, please contact the Coalition. We look forward to working with all of you to continue the campaign!

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VOS 70th Annual Meeting


VOS 70th
Annual Meeting

April 21-23, 2017

The Boar's Head Inn
Charlottesville, Virginia

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