President’s Message – November 2020

Orthopaedic Surgery holds a pivotal and comprehensive role in medicine. With its unique and proven potential to allow our patients to ‘live longer, happier and more productive lives’ our specialty provides an essential service to the public.  Yet during the emergence of the CoVID -19 pandemic our specialty, together with our partners in Musculoskeletal Medicine, was a ready target for governmental access restrictions. Furthermore, this year has seen social unrest call into question many values previously taken for granted in our country. In the medical arena healthcare as a basic right delivered by an increasingly inclusive workforce to patients regardless of age, gender, race and beliefs has emerged as an indisputably important agenda. The results of these changes set in motion are impossible to predict at present, but passively sitting them out is likely not a success strategy.

To cope with these and other unpredictable challenges I hope that we Orthopaedic Surgeons as the leading experts of musculoskeletal care will rapidly close rank across subspecialties, seniority, employment models and geographic location to speak with one voice. Further, I see a real need for all of us Orthopaedic Surgeons to get effectively organized.  For this to succeed we need improved access to real time information pertinent to our specialty from various input sources nationally and on a state level.

As incoming President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association I see this organization as ideally situated to provide all of us practitioners with a reenergized platform for effective information exchange as well as representation on a State and National levels through our newly forged collaborations with the AAOS and WSMA and other organizations. I hope you will join us at our newly developed REOP meetings which will be locally cohosted CME events around our great state starting in 2021. While in virtual format during time of the pandemic, we look forward to presenting diverse topics in an appealing interactive and time effective format throughout the coming year. Also look forward to workshops dealing with insurance, malpractice, practice management and legislative issues that we at the WSOA are looking forward to bring to your screens via digital media in the coming year. To get us started in these initiatives we are proud to have received a special grant by the AAOS to better reach all of our Orthopaedic Surgeons everywhere in Washington.

Finally, I want to take the occasion of the beginning of my term as President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association to recognize our Immediate Past President Nick Rajacich for his tremendous efforts and decisive leadership during critical times and our Board for their unwavering dedication and vision. And I do look forward to meeting our Orthopaedic Surgeon community around the state and hope that all of you will join our WSOA movement to help us represent Orthopaedic Surgery and its positive impact on patients in the face of rapid evolving challenges.

Jens Chapman, MD
WSOA President, 2020-2021

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Thank you for attending the WSOA 2020 Annual Meeting

The board would like to thank all of our speakers and attendees who joined us virtually on Thursday, September 17. We are grateful for your support!

We also want to wish a hearty congratulations to the winners of the WSOF Resident and Fellow Abstract Competition.

First Place: Jie Yao, MD, University of Washington: Reducing Opioid Quantities for Arthroscopic Debridement Procedures Does Not Result in Increased Utilization of Clinical Resources

Second Place: Derek Nhan, MD, University of Washington: Factors Associated with Success of the Ream-and-Run Arthroplasty in the Young Patient with Glenohumeral Arthritis: Minimum 5-Year Follow-Up

Third Place: Shaun Chang, MD, University of Washington: Comparing rerupture rates in primary ACL reconstruction procedures using hamstring autografts > 8.0mm and < 8.0 mm

Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract and/or presented at the annual meeting!

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Please Join Us for the 2020 WSOA Annual Meeting

The 2020 Washington State Orthopaedic Association Virtual Annual Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 2020
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Online via Zoom

Registration is now closed. This year’s line-up included:

  • Joseph A Bosco, III MD, FAAOS, AAOS President
  • John T. Gill, MD, FAAOS, Chairman, Orthopaedic Political Action Committee
  • John Lynch, MD, MPH, Medical Director, HMC Infection Prevention & Control
  • Alan Greenwald, MD, FAAOS, AAOS BOC Councilor
  • Sean Graham, WSMA Director of Government Affairs

View and download the full meeting schedule here.

Please join us for our first ever virtual meeting, an evening of hot topics and timely updates followed by our popular abstract competition. Registration is included in membership dues; due to the pandemic, we are waiving registration fees for non-members. ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND.

The WSOA board has been working hard to represent the needs of orthopaedic surgeons during the pandemic, and we need your support now more than ever. We have decided to offer 50% off all dues for the remainder of 2020. Support your state orthopaedic association- join/renew today and donate to the WSOF!

2020 Washington State Orthopaedic Foundation Research Awards
Donations made to the Washington State Orthopaedic Foundation fund the Research Awards Competition. Show your support today by clicking on the button below!

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AAOS COVID-19 Member Resource Center

To all of our colleagues:

The Washington State Orthopaedic Association (WSOA) wants to make sure you are aware of the AAOS COVID-19 Member Resource Center. The frequently updated page includes a variety of information, including: practice management resources, a telemedicine guide, regulatory updates, advocacy priorities and recommendations regarding elective surgery. In particular, we recommend reviewing correspondence from AAOS to congressional leadership. There is also a list of policy options for states to address COVID-19 that the AMA is compiling.

For a snapshot of state activity occurring across the country, check this Stateside COVID-19 State & Local Government Report. From activating retired physicians and licensure portability, to good Samaritan protections and seeking Section 1135 waivers, states are undertaking a variety of efforts.

Resources also include how distressed small businesses (like medical practices) can apply for loans from the Small Business Administration. Click here for a summary of the third COVID-19 Package, which just passed the House of Representatives and will soon be signed into law. Click here for the Small Business Administration loan programs one-pager that details what is available to small businesses and private practices at this time.

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WSOA ASC Position Letter

Below is the letter that the Washington State Orthopaedic Association sent to Governor Jay Inslee regarding ambulatory surgery centers.

March 26, 2020

Dear Governor Inslee:

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases our health care system will be facing an unprecedented surge in the need for urgent and emergent medical care in the coming weeks. The number of patients that will require assessment for respiratory illness and potential treatment and hospitalization could very easily exhaust our emergency medical resources, hospital and ICU beds and all the components required to manage this pandemic. To make matters worse, there is a national shortage of protective equipment that caregivers for that will need in order to protect themselves from being infected by this potentially deadly virus.

While this is going on, we will still see a number of medically “well” patients with injuries that will need care. These may include fractures, tendon lacerations and other injuries which may require urgent surgical treatment. Although this type of care can be provided in a hospital setting, it may be a more effective use of limited hospital resources to triage these patients to an ambulatory surgical center (ASC). ASCs have already distinguished themselves for the efficiency and low cost of care as well as excellence in safety and patient outcomes.

The Washington State Orthopaedic Association believes that outpatient surgical centers may well play a crucial role in providing needed care during the pandemic when hospitals are being strained to cope with the patients with viral illness. We believe that outpatient surgical centers should be supplied with necessary protective equipment (PPE) to allow them to accomplish that mission. We also believe that surgical centers should make maximal effort to conserve such equipment to the benefit of everyone in the health care system.

The American College of Surgeons addressed this in a March 13 document entitled “COVID-19: Recommendations for Management of Elective Surgical Procedures” by stating that during the COVID-19 pandemic hospitals may “shift elective urgent inpatient diagnostic and surgical procedures to outpatient settings when feasible.” The CDC has also made that recommendation.

WSOA is aware of several ASCs that have largely or completely shut down. There also have been reports of hospitals requesting that privately owned ASCs give up their PPE so as to maximize the hospital supply. While we understand the need for that equipment at the hospitals, we wish to remind that ASCs may well play a very important role in managing the upcoming crisis.

We would also suggest that “cohorting” healthy patients with musculoskeletal injuries at ambulatory surgical centers would decrease the likelihood of disease transmission by separating them from the hospital environment where COVID-19 patients will be screened and treated.

We appreciate your attention to this matter.

Nicholas Rajacich, MD, FAAOS
President, Washington State Orthopaedic Association

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