Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons, advanced health practitioners, and industry exhibitors will gather in Chicago on September 12-15, 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) at AOFAS Annual Meeting 2019. From the first meeting of seven professional colleagues in 1969, AOFAS has grown into a thriving community of more than 2,300 foot and ankle orthopaedic specialists from around the world.
In January 1969, orthopaedic surgeon Melvin H. Jahss, MD, invited six colleagues to his home to discuss the formation of a society dedicated to the foot and ankle. At that gathering, Dr. Jahss along with Nathaniel Gould, MD, Nicholas Giannestras, MD, Robert Joplin, MD, Hampar Kelikian, MD, Paul Lapidus, MD, and Joseph Milgram, MD, laid the groundwork for the American Orthopaedic Foot Society (“Ankle” was added to the name in 1983). Their goals were to improve foot and ankle care through education, research, and innovation, and to make foot and ankle a premier specialty in orthopaedics.
“There is often reference made to the ‘humble’ beginnings of the AOFAS,” said J. Chris Coetzee, MD, AOFAS president and foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon at Twin Cities Orthopedics in Minneapolis-St. Paul. “However, looking back, even though the start was small there was nothing humble about it. Our Society was created by giants in orthopaedic surgery and the leaders of the time in foot and ankle surgery.”
The AOFAS Founders’ Meeting was held on May 17, 1969, at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago with 46 members in attendance. At the time, there were no foot and ankle fellowships and very few instructional courses focused on foot and ankle surgery. AOFAS offered the first opportunity for foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve their skills and exchange ideas.
Now, a half century later, nearly 1,200 foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons and advanced health practitioners will come together in Chicago for AOFAS Annual Meeting 2019. The AOFAS Annual Meeting educational program features presentations from pioneers in the specialty highlighting the evolution of foot and ankle surgical techniques over the past 50 years. The program also includes full-day sessions for orthopaedic residents and allied health practitioners, clinical symposia, scientific research presentations, and invited speakers. AOFAS history will be infused throughout the meeting with photo slideshows, social media contests, trivia, video interviews with past presidents, and the option to purchase an AOFAS 50th Anniversary commemorative book.
“While celebrating the first 50 years, we should also embrace the excitement and challenges facing us in the next 50,” Dr. Coetzee added. “Each year and each decade will bring its own issues, and the AOFAS will continue to grow as long as we adhere to our founding principles: outstanding teaching, informed discussion, strong advocacy, and ongoing outreach.”
For more information about the AOFAS Annual Meeting 2019 in Chicago, visit aofas.org/annualmeeting, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.
About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at aofas.org.
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