Editorial| Volume 4, ISSUE 3, P255-256, September 2018

Where are we now? Expanding AAHKS internationally

Open AccessPublished:August 16, 2018DOI:
      The year 2018 will be one to remember for the International Committee of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. As I write this article, our International Committee staff is reviewing the application for international member number 300!! It was just a few years ago (2012), when I was the Membership Chair during the presidency of Carlos Lavernia, MD, the number of international members was only 12. We have to congratulate Carlos for this vision and Bill Maloney, MD, for work as first International Committee Chair for this accomplishment. Membership has grown at an exponential rate over the last year, increasing membership by 45 members since the 2017 American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) Annual Meeting. Much of the work started by my predecessor Stefano Bini, MD, with the International Guest Society and cobranded meetings, laid the seed for this first growth. Our membership now spans the entire American continent from the southern cone of South America with members from Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile to the Central and North American continent. Over the next 2 years, I expect persistent growth from Mexico and South America. AAHKS' cobranded meetings in Lima, Peru, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, have supported our membership growth and confirmed the importance of these cobranded meetings as a way to promote AAHKS around the world as an organization for research and education.
      In May 2018, the International Committee had their first meeting in Spanish at the AAHKS Spring Meeting in Miami. The program was chaired by Carlos Lavernia, MD, a Miami native and had Miguel Cabanela, MD, from the Mayo Clinic and Eduardo Salvati, MD, from the Hospital for Special Surgery as guest speakers. Thirty-two Spanish-speaking international and fellow members were present for the 2-hour presentation. Dr. Cabanela's talk on the most important advances in hip surgery in the last 50 years was impressive. He took the audience on a time machine that discussed his experience and knowledge in joint preservation, replacement, and revision advances (or not so advances). Dr. Salvati's talk on his lifework on thromboembolic disease in hip arthroplasty was unparalleled. Everything that I know today about prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli around total hip arthroplasty has been investigated by Dr. Salvati and his team. I look forward to promoting future meetings like this during the Spring Meeting. Our goal is to harness the location of the Spring Meeting to attract international members from Europe to the East Coast and Asia to the West Coast. Plans are underway to have a similar program in New York City in May 2019.
      One of my priorities as Chair is to extend our international AAHKS educational programs. We currently have several programs that allow individual physicians (fellowships and scholarships) or entire societies to learn from AAHKS fellow members. For the CAOS (Chinese Association of Orthopedic Surgeons) combined fellowship with AAHKS, 2018-2019 will be the third year. At the completion of this cycle, a total of 41 Chinese fellows will have spent 3 months at 11 institutions in the United States. Evaluations have been very favorable. The fellows have reported that a majority of them feel that the program exceeded their expectations, and they have been very impressed with the host institutions.
      In addition, 2018 will represent the third year for our scholarship program through which a designated scholar from our guest society visits 2 centers over a 2-week period. Our plan is to continue to offer these educational opportunities to our international colleagues. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the centers for their help in maintaining this fellowship. Without your assistance this would not be possible.
      AAHKS has partnered with local international societies to cobrand meetings in their respective countries. In 2017-2018, cobranded meetings have been held in Argentina, Chile, China, Germany, Peru, and Ukraine. These cobranded meetings serve an important purpose in presenting AAHKS to the world. A 15-minute presentation is given highlighting our AAHKS Annual Meeting and our members' research. This brief overview gives the international audience access to the groundbreaking and up-to-date research presented by our members in Dallas.
      Plans are on the way to cobrand a meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, and another one in Israel in these upcoming months. One of last year's guest nations, Colombia, has asked us to cobrand a meeting with their ELCCR (Encuentro Latinoamericano de Cirujanos de Cadera y Rodilla), which is the largest joint replacement meeting in South America, in August 2019. I want to thank the following surgeons for volunteering for AAHKS cobranded meetings:
      Argentina: Dan Berry, MD, and Carlos Higuera, MD
      Peru: Rob Trousdale, MD, Adolph Lombardi, MD, and Kevin Perry, MD
      Ukraine: Stefano Bini, MD, Ran Schwarzkopf, MD, and Brett Levine, MD
      Germany: Brian Parsley, MD, Antonia Chen, MD, and Greg Golladay, MD
      Chile: Lowry Barnes, MD, Javad Parvizi, MD, and Rob Trousdale, MD
      China: Brian Parsley, MD, Antonia Chen, MD, Harold Rees, MD, Carlos Higuera, MD, Robert Sterling, MD, Cory Calendine, MD, Jonathan Garino, MD, Paul Manner, MD, Chun Hoi Yan, MD, Richard Rothman, MD, Sumon Nandi, MD, Brett Levine, MD, and Michael Huo, MD
      We will continue to use the speaker roster initiative to populate these meetings with different speakers. Please be on the lookout for invitations!
      The international committee of AAHKS is composed of 15 members from 5 continents. I would like to thank the international committee members for volunteering their time to meet and for their contributions over the past year.
      Arthroplasty Today continues its commitment to support our international members, and its open-access, on-line format is ideal for sharing up-to-date arthroplasty research and education throughout the world. International members represent 35 of the 175 reviewers for this AAHKS journal, and the September issue of Arthroplasty Today, each year, focuses on international submissions in addition to those from the United States.
      Finally, much of the growth experienced in these last years would not be possible without the help from our AAHKS staff. Josh Kerr has been instrumental in keeping the International Committee well aligned despite its multiple and somewhat overarching arms. Special thanks to the rest of the staff including Eileen Lusk, Patti Rose, Renalin Malvar-Ledda, and Sigita Wolfe for their contributions to the International Committee. The International Committee also would like to thank the ongoing support from the presidential line, especially our Immediate Past President, Mark Froimson, MD, for his support and our Executive Director, Mike Zarski, as his collaboration has been paramount for our growth.

      Appendix A. Supplementary data