AOFAS Named to 2008 Associations Advance America Honor Roll

CONTACT:

Peggy Reilly
Outreach Programs Manager
847-384-4379
preilly@aofas dot org

AOFAS News Release
January 2, 2008

Rosemont, IL - The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) has been named to the 2008 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership, Washington, DC.

The AOFAS received the award for its Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam. The 2007 project marked the sixth year that AOFAS members have traveled to Southeast Asia to perform surgery on children and adults with disabilities, including club foot, cerebral palsy, polio, and traumatic deformities. More than 60 patients, mostly children, were operated upon during the 2007 project, and more than 350 patients have received surgery without charge since 2001. Conditions easily treated at a young age in the U.S. are neglected in Vietnam due to distance to good medical care and the cost of care. Those who have surgery can now live normal lives.

The orthopaedic surgeons, who volunteer for two weeks and pay their own travel expenses to Vietnam, are motivated by the opportunity to "give back." Working together in the clinics and operating rooms, the AOFAS members and the Vietnamese orthopaedic surgeons share their knowledge and build relationships. The project also includes a co-sponsored conference in Hanoi that brings together 180 Vietnamese orthopaedic surgeons for presentations by both AOFAS members and Vietnamese surgeons. Simultaneous translation allows all to understand.

This project advances America by providing specialized medical care to a very poor segment of the Vietnamese population --- a country in which America fought a difficult and unpopular war several decades ago. By reaching out and performing needed and much appreciated service, AOFAS member surgeons are serving as goodwill ambassadors. They are also sharing mutual professional interests and building relationships with orthopaedic colleagues on the other side of the world. Doctors who once served as military surgeons on opposite sides during the War in Vietnam now work side by side in the operating rooms.

The AOFAS project is funded by contributions from individuals and corporations to the Society's Outreach & Education Fund.

Now in its 18th year, the prestigious Associations Advance America Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward – with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public.

"The AOFAS' program truly embodies the spirit of the Associations Advance America campaign. It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase this activity as an example of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society," remarked Associations Advance American Committee Chair Matthew D'Uva, CAE.

Members of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society are orthopaedic surgeons (MD or DO) who have extensive training in the diagnosis, non-surgical care and surgical treatment of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves with a special interest in the foot and ankle.

The AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. It creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government, industry and the national and international health care community.

To find an AOFAS orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon in your area, go to www.aofas.org.