About Us

AOFAS History


From the first gathering of seven orthopaedic leaders in 1969, the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society has grown into a thriving organization of more than 2,400 foot and ankle orthopaedic specialists from around the world. Learn more about the Society's history below.


Own a piece of AOFAS history! The limited-edition 50th Anniversary commemorative book is available for purchase. Order your copy today.

AOFAS 50th Anniversary book cover50th Anniversary Book

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the AOFAS and 50 years of exceptional foot and ankle education, innovation, and camaraderie. In honor of this milestone, AOFAS created a commemorative book highlighting the events, achievements, and people that have made the Society and specialty what they are today. Order this high-quality, hardcover book for your mentors, your institution, or yourself for just $25 (plus shipping). 

Place Your Order

Preview the book below:

50th Anniversary Movie

Featuring interviews with past presidents and leaders of the AOFAS, the 50th Anniversary Movie chronicles the Society's rich history and advancements in the foot and ankle field.

Special thanks to Treace Medical Concepts, Inc. for their support of the AOFAS 50th Anniversary movie.


Presidential Timeline


2019-2020: William C. McGarvey, MD

  • Created framework for AOFAS accreditation for foot and ankle fellowships
  • Developed an online repository of COVID-19 resources to provide members with the latest information during the pandemic
  • Rolled out new online resident and fellow education materials and programs during COVID at no cost to all trainees
  • Pivoted Annual Meeting to “AOFAS at Home” virtual meeting and launched first virtual course on Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Partnered with AAOS to develop the first subspecialty society channel on the Orthopaedic Video Theater
  • Selected Charles L. Saltzman, MD, as new FAI/FAO Editor-in-Chief to onboard in October 2020
  • Fortified the AOFAS position with the AMA by electing several new officers to the Young Physicians, Resident, and Fellows Sections in the House of Delegates
  • Established the Conflict of Interest Task Force and Committee on Health Outcomes, Registries, and Data (CHORD)
  • Began creation of a global outreach speakers bureau to provide educators to international societies
  • Entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Foot and Ankle Special Interest Group of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy to collaborate on educational offerings for physical therapists

2018-2019: J. Chris Coetzee, MD

  • Celebrated the AOFAS 50th Anniversary with commemorative book and video and largest gathering of past AOFAS presidents ever at the Annual Meeting
  • Highest attendance at an AOFAS Annual Meeting, with more than 1,200 orthopaedic surgeons, residents, and allied health practitioners
  • The Foundation, under President Scott Ellis, MD, successfully concluded Campaign 50 to raise $3 million
  • Inaugural year for the Wright Medical Fellowship Scholarship Fund, which provided funding to 34 fellowship programs to support training for 56 foot and ankle fellows
  • Engaged a new investment advisor and updated the investment policy statements in accordance with the new financial policies
  • Created the AOFAS/OFAF Corporate Mission Partner program to recognize industry supporters
  • Instituted complimentary membership dues for Resident Scholars
  • Added a new MD Affiliate membership category for non-orthopaedic surgeon physicians
  • Launched redesigned AOFAS.org and FootCareMD.org websites, along with a members-only online community, AOFAS Connect

2017-2018: Thomas H. Lee, MD

  • Governance relationships updated: organized a Council structure for easier communication with Committees; formed an Advisory Group to establish a methodology for selecting committee volunteers; initiated Committee Chair leadership training; and developed a Strategic Plan through 2023.
  • AOFAS/AAOS/APMS/ACFAS Podiatry Task Force formed
  • OFAR began enrollment and database accumulation
  • New Foundation honors instituted: Women’s Leadership Awards (US/Canada and international) and the Pillars of the AOFAS recognition program
  • New Surgeon in Training, International Surgeon in Training, and Allied Health/Associate membership categories created
  • Guest Nation Program introduced at Annual Meeting with China as the first honoree

2016-2017: Jeffrey E. Johnson, MD

  • OFAR platform built out for registry enrollment
  • Consumer awareness campaign and FootCareMD microsite launched to educate the public about foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons and the care they provide
  • Branding initiative created new logos and taglines for AOFAS and Foundation
  • Supported the VA Provider Equity Act and protected the definition of “physician” in proposed legislation
  • Worked with AAOS and industry on CMS change in DRG for total ankle replacement
  • Foundation hired first full-time development staff and expanded Campaign 50 funding initiatives
  • Inaugural Women’s Mentoring Reception held at Annual Meeting
  • Financial restructuring of AOFAS and the Foundation
  • Elaine Leighton, MPH, CAE, assumes Executive Director position​

2015-2016: Mark E. Easley, MD

  • Largest registration for free-standing annual meeting
  • Office suite expanded to accomodate program and staff growth
  • New online open access journal Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics (FAO) opens
  • Physician Resource Center launches as new member benefit
  • Research expands with OFAR patient-reported outcomes registry infrastructure
  • Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam celebrates its 15th year
  • Foundation's Campaign 50 nears $1 million in donations/pledges
  • Lousanne "Zan" Lofgren, CAE, 2005-2016 executive director retires
  • Susan Oster, CAE begins as executive director

2014-2015: Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD

  • AOFAS offices move to new Orthopaedic headquarters building in Rosemont, Illinois
  • Launch of new association management system provides technology upgrade for improved efficiency and reporting and platform for future member benefits
  • Plans developing for expanded research opportunities through Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Outcomes Research (OFAR) network 
  • FAI offers second scored and recorded CME exam
  • Patient education content expanded on FootCareMD.org with Spanish language translations
  • Social media presence significantly increases website traffic
  • AOFAS contributes to "Choosing Wisely" program
  • Foundation launches Campaign 50 to raise $3 million by 2019

2013-2014: Steven L Haddad, MD

  • ACCME awards six-year accreditation to AOFAS as CME provider
  • AOFAS hosts Triennial IFFAS Scientific Meeting in Chicago
  • Record breaking registration: 1,124 for AOFAS Meeting and 1,191 for IFFAS Meeting
  • Largest exhibit hall and largest number of abstracts received for IFFAS/AOFAS Meetings
  • 170 residents and fellows attended IFFAS and AOFAS Meetings, including 45 Resident Scholars
  • Bylaws amended to recognize Osteopathic and Canadian board certification for Active Membership
  • Guidelines approved on endorsement of other organizations' meetings
  • FootCareMD patient education outreach expanded with 70+ new articles 
  • Journal CME program launched with scored and recorded CME exam for FAI articles
  • Released new video -- "Who are orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists?"
  • Decision made to contribute to "Choosing Wisely " program

2012-2013: Lew C. Schon, MD

  • Membership tops 2,000
  • 814 registrants at Annual Meeting, a 26% increase over 2012
  • 43% increase in Pre-meeting Course registrants
  • Attendance at Research Forum and Young Physicians Forum doubles
  • International attendance at Annual Meeting increases to 38%
  • 167 residents and fellows at Annual Meeting, including  43 Resident Scholars
  • Largest exhibit hall ever
  • SAGE begins publishing Foot & Ankle International, January 2013
  • Members receive free online access to FAI archives to first issue in 1982

2011-2012: Judith F. Baumhauer, MD, MPH

  • Decision to transition FAI to SAGE as new journal publisher in January 2013
  • Launch of patient-reported outcomes research pilot study
  • Applications for 2012 fellowship match increased and exceeded number of positions offered
  • Webinar Series launched with nine broadcasts offered in 2012 without charge to members and residents
  • Annual Meeting registration hit all-time high; largest exhibit hall to date with 22 new companies
  • 37% increase in abstract submissions over 2011
  • 28 residents attended Annual Meeting as Resident Scholars
  • Live auction held at Annual Meeting to raise funds for OEF
  • Highest Specialty Day attendance in 10 years
  • Membership growth continues

2010-2011: Keith L. Wapner, MD

  • Conflict of Interest policies adopted for CME programs
  • Fellowship applications for 2011 match increased 43% over 2010
  • 31 residents attended the Annual Meeting as Resident Scholars
  • New Research Forum and Young Physicians Forum offered at Annual Meeting
  • AOFAS.org website upgraded; new FootCareMD.org microsite added for patients and the public
  • First "green paper-lite" meeting with electronic syllabus
  • "Speed dating" presentations increased opportunities for more podium presenters
  • AOFAS recognized OEF for 10 years of support in "Changing Lives, Sharing Knowledge "

2009-2010: Charles L. Saltzman, MD

  • New resident outreach initiatives approved -- Resident Scholarships, Visiting Professor Program, Resident Review Courses; funding provided by the Outreach & Education Fund (OEF)
  • 21 residents awarded scholarships for Annual Meeting
  • Successful ACCME reaccreditation achieved for AOFAS-sponsored educational programs
  • Agreement with Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons to develop foot and ankle content for Orthopaedia; editor-in-chief and editorial board appointed
  • Successful fellowship match administered
  • Position paper on Total Ankle Replacement Surgery approved
  • Performance evaluations for Board members, committee chairs and committee members instituted

2008-2009 Robert B. Anderson, MD

  • 2008 Membership Assessment Survey data guided strategic planning
  • First OEF fundraiser honored Dr. Anderson; attendance included all but three of living AOFAS presidents
  • AOFAS Position on Podiatry Statement accepted by AAOS
  • Survey on resident education completed with 100% response rate
  • Membership totaled 1,736
  • Branding initiatives started
  • Policies and Procedures for Education Courses and Meetings adopted
  • Bylaws amended to send biographical information on Nominating Committee’s slate to members in advance of business meeting

2007-2008 Steven D.K. Ross, MD

  • David Thordarson, MD selected as FAI Editor-in-Chief following open search process
  • Successful negotiation with AAOS for four AOFAS educational meetings/year with 30-day non-compete window
  • Position Statement on Podiatry submitted to AAOS
  • Board of Directors’ governance practices enhanced
  • Revamped Web site launched with new integrated association management system to strengthen infrastructure
  • Optional afternoon CME sessions offered at Summer Meeting
  • Survey of orthopaedic residency programs undertaken to gather data on resident education in foot and ankle

2006-2007 Lowell H. Gill, MD

  • Military experiences in Afghanistan presented by Major (P) Scott B. Shawen, MD at Summer Meeting
  • Military Visitation Program held at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  • 2006 Membership Assessment Survey conducted to guide strategic planning
  • Board adopted Position Statement on Podiatry under guidance of Steven Ross, MD
  • Updated patient-education brochures introduced

2005-2006 James W. Brodsky, MD

  • Board adopted new management model with in-house Executive Director and staff; governance training for AOFAS leadership
  • Lousanne “Zan” Lofgren, CAE selected as Executive Director; professional staff hired
  • Office moved to suite in AAOS building in Rosemont, IL
  • New business infrastructure and Web site with Web-based registration and transactions
  • AOFAS and OEF incorporated in Illinois
  • Renewed relationship with AAOS leadership and staff
  • Membership Assessment Survey conducted to guide strategic planning
  • AOFAS attained seat on Board of Governors at American College of Surgeons
  • AMA House of Delegates reaffirmed AOFAS delegate seat
  • New Bylaws ratified by membership
    ACCME four-year re-accreditation attained
  • FAI publishing contract with Data Trace renewed
  • Decision to reinstitute fellowship match through National Resident Matching Program
  • Board established transparency initiative for appointments and elections; biography- documented online ballot for Nominating Committee
  • Decision to dissolve AAOFAS

2004-2005 Mark S. Myerson, MD

  • Strategic discussions on future and organizational models
  • Decision to move from association management company in Seattle to free-standing organization model in Chicago area
  • Initiatives undertaken to increase international participation and recognize academic diversity
  • E. Greer Richardson, MD became FAI Editor-in-Chief
  • Traveling Fellowship Awards Program established

2003-2004 Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD

  • First Pre-Meeting Course offered in conjunction with Summer Meeting
  • Web site, FootcareMD, created for public education
  • OEF approved by IRS as separate 501(c)(3) organization
  • Decision to make composition of AOFAS and AAOFAS boards identical
  • AOFAS tag line created: "Reconstruction, Sports, Trauma and Technology"
  • Industry guidelines established
  • Committee structure revamped and number of committees reduced
  • Decision to support specialty society position in AAOS Washington office

2002-2003 E. Greer Richardson, MD

  • AOFAS hosted IFFAS meeting in San Francisco, Sept. 2002
  • Strategic plan solidified by Board of Directors; Bylaws updated
  • OEF continued to expand fundraising
  • FAI publishing services moved to Data Trace

2001-2002 Pierce E. Scranton, Jr., MD

  • Outreach & Education Fund (OEF) set up to advance education, research and humanitarian endeavors
  • OEF supported first AOFAS Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam to treat lower extremity injuries and deformities
  • Volunteers for first Vietnam project were Drs. Scranton, Richard Coughlin, Robert Veith, and Naomi Shields
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained

2000-2001 Michael J. Shereff, MD

  • Fundraising efforts initiated under Pierce Scranton, MD and Judy Smith, MD
  • AOFAS collaborated with AAOS on patient education Web site Your Orthopaedic Connection
  • AOFAS Web site revamped
  • AOFAS introduced scope of practice resolution at AAOS Board of Councilors
  • FAI advertising services moved to Data Trace Publishing Company

1999-2000 Thomas O. Clanton, MD

  • “2000 A.D. – Year of the Diabetic Foot” launched at Summer Meeting
  • AOFAS, AAOFAS, AAOS, and American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons Position Statement on Care of Lower Extremities adopted
  • Work began for standardized foot and ankle curriculum in all orthopaedic residency programs
  • FAI management and publishing moved in-house at AOFAS office in Seattle

1998-1999 Ronald W. Smith, MD

  • Summer Meeting in Puerto Rico with Program Chair Robert Anderson, MD
  • The Diabetic Foot – theme for the year; Outreach project was Special Olympics
  • Outreach to national organizations, including AAOS, AMA, American Diabetic Association and Arthritis Foundation
  • Saving the fellowship match program a major issue
  • College International de Medecine et Chirurgie du Pied (CIP) is closed; IFFAS founders meeting held in Kyoto, Japan

1997-1998 James A. Nunley, MD

  • 1998 Annual Summer Meeting theme: “The Current State of Total Ankle Replacement” eventually led to FDA review of mobile-bearing ankle replacements
  • Summer Meeting featured presidential guests Hakon Kofoed, MD of Denmark and Beat Hintermann, MD of Switzerland
  • Reception on ship in Boston Harbor during fireworks for presentation of Tall Ships
  • Research Grants Program awarded first grants
  • Membership survey conducted
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained

1996-1997 G. James Sammarco, MD

  • AOFAS initiated program for professional relations with other foot and ankle societies
  • Initial steps to form International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies (IFFAS)
  • Membership increased substantially; Doctors of Osteopathy brought into membership
  • AOFAS mourned death of Vice President Francesca Thompson, MD

 1995-1996 Donald E. Baxter, MD

  • ACGME accreditation attained for foot and ankle fellowships
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained
  • Visits to foot and ankle societies in Brazil and Japan on behalf of the AOFAS
  • American Association of Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons (AAOFAS) incorporated in California, Feb. 1995
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained

1994-1995 Robert S. Adelaar, MD

  • AOFAS office moved to Seattle under Richard Cantrell and Associates
  • Public relations program continued under Carol Frye, MD, chair, and Thomas Clanton, MD, ex-officio
  • Dialogue with podiatric hierarchy on common grounds for advancement of the foot and relationship between societies
  • Kenneth Johnson Memorial Lectureship developed by his fellows
  • American Association of Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons (AAOFAS), a 501(c)(6) trade organization, formed to educate payors and physicians on orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons

1993-1994 Lowell D. Lutter, MD

  • AOFAS -- first orthopaedic specialty organization to attain seat in AMA House of Delegates
  • Decision to move AOFAS office from Chicago to Seattle under management of Richard Cantrall and Associates
  • Name of Foot and Ankle journal changed to Foot & Ankle International
  • Decision to fund research project on Heel Pain under direction of Glenn Pfeffer, MD
  • Decision to develop public relations program under Thomas Clanton, MD and Public Education Committee
  • AOFAS mourned death of Past President and FAI Editor Kenneth Johnson, MD
  • Dr. Lutter appointed FAI Editor-in-Chief

1992-1993 William G. Hamilton, MD

  • Presided over the 23rd Annual Winter Meeting in San Francisco, March 1993, and 9th Annual Summer Meeting in Asheville, NC, August 1993
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained

1991-1992 John E. McDermott, MD

  • Annual Summer Meeting featured first Board meeting with committees
  • Outreach trip to Far East brought Complete Foot Care Course to Singapore and Taiwan
  • AOFAS sponsored first independent Sports Injuries Course
  • 33 foot and ankle fellowships offered
  • Corresponding Membership category approved
  • Cantrall Communications, Seattle, provided public relations and course management
  • AAOS Specialty Society Office provided administrative services
  • Membership reached nearly 750

1990-1991 Michael J. Coughlin, MD

  • First Advanced Foot Course held under joint AAOS/AOFAS sponsorship
  • Series of Foot & Ankle Resident Review Courses held in multiple cities
  • AOFAS public information office opened by Cantrall Communications, Seattle
  • AOFAS launched public relations program to interface with AAOS and public
  • First AOFAS membership directory published
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained
  • Committees revamped with assigned tenures

1989-1990 Lamar L. Fleming, MD

  • Banff -- site of first Summer Meeting held in Canada
  • Membership totaled 500
  • 17 foot and ankle fellowships; efforts initiated to increase number of fellowships

1988-1989 Kenneth A. Johnson, MD

  • Past presidents’ terms on Board reduced from five years to three years
  • Two Members-at-Large added to Board
  • Fellowship match implemented with National Resident Matching Program
  • Kenneth Johnson, MD becomes FAI Editor-in-Chief

1987-1988 Andrea Cracchiolo, III, MD

  • Elections moved to Annual Summer Meeting
    Summer Meeting opened to all orthopaedic surgeons
  • First open Summer Meeting held in Santa Fe, July 1987, with 215 registrants
  • Dr. Cracchiolo served 18 months, longest term of any AOFAS President

1986-1987 R. Luke Bordelon, MD

  • Second members-only Summer Meeting held in Vail, July 1986, 49 members present
  • First Complete Foot Care Course held in Milwaukee with faculty from orthopaedics, nursing, physical therapy and pedorthics
  • ACCME re-accreditation attained

1985-1986 John S. Gould, MD

  • Son of a past president elected to same office
  • First Annual Summer Meeting (members only) held July 1985, Greenbrier Hotel, with Robert Adelaar, MD, program chair
  • AAOS dissolved society affiliation agreements to allow societies to meet independently
  • COMSS developed plan for AAOS Annual Meeting reorganization
  • Affiliate Membership category eliminated; Candidate Membership category approved
  • AOFAS office moved to Park Ridge, IL with AAOS, Oct. 1985

1984-1985 Wallace E. Miller, MD

  • Decision to hold first independent AOFAS Summer Meeting in July 1985
  • AAOS established Council of Musculoskeletal Specialty Societies (COMSS); John Gould, MD and Kenneth Johnson, MD to represent AOFAS

1983-1984 William S. Stryker, MD

  • Program and Membership Committees appointed
  • Drs. Miller and Gould appointed to re-evaluate committee structure
  • AOFAS office moved to Rochester, MN under Kenneth Johnson, MD, April 1984

1982-1983 Roger A. Mann, MD

  • Annual meeting in Anaheim drew 562 registrants
  • Membership voted unanimously to change name to American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), March 10, 1983
  • Administrative office transferred to Renaberke Associates, Chicago, Summer 1983
  • ACCME accreditation attained to sponsor Category 1 CME credit

1981-1982 Donald M. Qualls, MD

  • First issue of In~Stride newsletter published; John McDermott, MD, editor
  • President J. William Fielding, MD served February to April 1981; resigned to assume AAOS leadership position

1980-1981 Richard H. Kiene, MD

  • First issue of Foot & Ankle journal published
  • 11th Annual Meeting held in Las Vegas, February 1981
  • Symposium of the Foot and Ankle held in April 1981

1979-1980 J. Leonard Goldner, MD

  • Associate Membership category established
  • Secretary-elect and Treasurer-elect positions added to Board of Directors

1978-1979 Henry R. Cowell, MD

  • Board voted to establish Foot & Ankle journal
  • J. L. Goldner, MD became chair; Melvin Jahss, MD named editor

1977-1978 Arthur W. Trott, MD

  • Liaison Committee for Continuing Medical Education approved AOFS annual meeting for Category 1 CME credit
  • ABOS agreed to include at least one foot question on oral exams
  • Past President N. Giannestras, MD served as program chair
  • Membership totaled 212

1976-1977 William H. Blodgett, MD

  • AMA Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education evaluated AOFS meeting for Category 1 CME credit
  • AAOS extended CME accreditation to affiliate organizations’ programs

1975-1976 James E. Bateman, MD

  • First Canadian to assume AOFS leadership
  • Corresponding members invited to first International Meeting of the Foot Society

1974-1975 Moore Moore, Jr., MD

  • Corresponding Membership category approved
  • Membership totaled 173

1973-1974 Melvin H. Jahss, MD

  • Dr. Jahss’ presidential address published in Orthopedic Clinics of North America
  • Placement of AOFS members on AAOS committees encouraged

1972-1973 Robert L. Samilson, MD

  • AOFS agreement signed with AAOS as its first affiliate organization
  • Vice President position added to presidential line

1971-1972 Nathaniel Gould, MD

  • First AOFS publication appeared in Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research, June 1972
  • Initial Klinkicht Award Paper presented by G. James Sammarco, MD on Biomechanics of the Ankle: A Kinematic Study

1970-1971 Nicholas J. Giannestras, MD

  • Bylaws approved; AOFS incorporated in Illinois; 501(c)(3) tax-exemption status attained
  • First scientific meeting held in San Francisco, March 6, 1971
  • Official AOFS pin presented to Active Members; membership totaled 149

1969-1970 Robert J. Joplin, MD 

  • Founders meeting held May 17, 1969, Chicago
  • First elected President of the American Orthopaedic Foot Society (AOFS)