Marjolein van der Meulen, PhD
ORS 2022 President
ORS abstract submissions opened last week for the 2023 Annual Meeting. My research group always plans summer experiments with an eye on the upcoming ORS deadline at the end of August, focusing on the final data and analyses needed to submit a strong abstract. We hope you are able to submit your science and join our community in sharing discovery and innovation. Our membership includes people from a wide variety of intersectional identities. The ORS is committed to supporting our community members with an inclusive and scientifically rigorous environment at our annual meeting.
Attending the ORS Annual Meeting is an important scientific milestone in the career of an orthopaedic researcher, particularly because many of our members only are able to attend when presenting. Experiencing the broad range of topics from our interdisciplinary community is stimulating. The in-person networking opportunities are invigorating, particularly after the prolonged isolation of the past several years. By February 2023, we hope to be having more “normal” interactions.
The 2023 Annual Meeting will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX. Meeting in a single hotel is an opportunity for our community to reconnect and interact. The location, at a major transportation hub, will provide easy access not only to our members in the Central and Southern US, but also to all other parts of the globe. The hotel gardens provide a lovely setting to plan future collaborations. In the evenings, I hope to run into you at the Media Bar in the Grand Atrium.
We have received inquiries specifically about the meeting location. Our meetings are planned many years in advance to identify an appropriate venue for sharing our science, provide affordable and accessible hotel rooms for attendees, and handle other logistics associated with a 3,000-member meeting. We strive to balance these meeting decisions with our responsibilities to uphold our values, support our membership, and be fiscally responsible. In 2019 the ORS did not meet our hotel obligations in Austin. We avoided substantial fiscal penalties by planning to meet in Texas again, and a lot has changed since that time.
As we plan for the 2023 meeting, we would like to emphasize our values. The ORS respects all society members including all races, ages, ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, incomes, religions, and all other forms of human diversity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are part of core values of ORS, which include supporting our members, no matter where they live, and ensuring high-quality and equitable care for the patients and communities ORS members serve, no matter where that may be. Our choice to host a meeting in a specific location does not infer support for local laws, policies, or candidates, but instead affirms that we will carry and promote our values and our science wherever we gather. For more information on the position of ORS on DEI initiatives, please visit https://www.ors.org/diversity-inclusion/.
Enjoy your summer rest, relaxation and research. And, good luck getting your ORS abstracts submitted!
As many members know, in Fall 2021 the ORS Executive Director, Brenda Frederick, announced her intention to retire. Since then, Koya Partners, an employment search firm, has conducted an extensive search for a new executive director.
We now are very happy to announce that Sharon C. Smith-Terry, MBA, will join the ORS as our next Executive Director, succeeding Brenda Frederick. Sharon is currently the Executive Director of the Neurocritical Care Society and Neurocritical Care Foundation through her employment at SmithBucklin, the largest association management company in the US. She has spent much of her career in healthcare, starting at Baxter in the Renal Division. Prior to her current position, Sharon held several roles at the American Hospital Association. Sharon will join the ORS starting on April 25. We look forward to the ORS membership getting to know Sharon. Read her bio here as a starting point and more communication will be forthcoming from Sharon as she begins the position.
As we welcome Sharon, I also want to recognize Brenda for her outstanding leadership of the ORS over the past 21 years. We are grateful for her outstanding dedication to the society and our membership. Brenda leaves an incredible legacy and strong future foundation for the ORS. We will miss Brenda and wish her successful new adventures.
Finally, thank you to Pete Gillen and George Theotokatos of Koya Partners, and the ORS Executive Director Search Committee: Susan Chubinskaya (chair), Peter Amadio, Susan Bukata, Ed Guo, Kurt Hankenson, Audrey McAlinden, Matthew Silva and myself. Their time and commitment to this process over the past seven months is much appreciated.
In 1988, I had recently moved to California for graduate school and had a poster presentation at a conference called the Orthopaedic Research Society. That meeting was an immersion into science and research; I came home to California energized and full of ideas.
Coincidentally, that was not my first stint in California. Twenty years earlier, my family arrived in Los Angeles for my father’s postdoc at USC, intended to be a temporary stay. Being an immigrant without family in the US profoundly shaped who I am today. As someone who spoke a foreign language at home, I was different. Being different is a strike against you as a kid. But, today, I realize that being different is an asset. My desire to fit in has shaped my views on inclusion, which is one of my core values today.
So, how did I arrive at the ORS and my career path? I have been helped and mentored by many people along the way.
First, I was fortunate to participate in research in Professor Robert Mann’s lab at MIT, working with a graduate student, Mike Murphy. Mike was my mentor for three years. I loved working in the lab. Looking back now, I am not sure how much, if anything, that I actually contributed, although I did learn how to design and machine widgets, which has been an invaluable skill. I think Mike might agree with my limited contributions. Years later, he shared that I turned out a bit better than he had expected, and he wasn’t joking.
In 1997 I attended ORS as a new faculty member, the same year that the ORS had its first female president, Adele Boskey. Adele was an amazing person who made many important scientific contributions, but really stands out for her human legacy. I was fortunate enough to call her a colleague, mentor and, most importantly, a dear friend.
The last part of my ORS journey that I’d like to share is about my peers. For the last 30 years, I essentially have had the same roommates at these conferences. In fact, this week, my roommate was one of the very first people I met in graduate school. What I hope you understand from this last story is exactly how important community is to me.
Part of why I’m sharing these stories with you is that in my tenure as president, these areas of inclusion, mentorship and community will be foundational in my leadership and decision-making. As members of this community, I also look forward to your investments and contributions to the ORS.
Before shifting and sharing my key priorities for the next year, I want to remind you of our strategic vision: A world without musculoskeletal limitations. This mission is achieved through four pillars: research, education, community and advocacy. Looking forward to the next year I see several immediate priorities during my term.
My first priority is to reinvigorate our ORS community post-pandemic. At this time last year our 2021 Annual Meeting was virtual. Thereafter came a string of meetings that were postponed. Only the Clinician Scholar Career Development Program (CSCDP) was offered as planned in 2021.
2022 has already started well with a stimulating in-person annual meeting. Those of us who were able to attend enjoyed seeing our community again and reconnecting. We have a series of smaller meetings this year, most of which were rescheduled from last year, including the Tendon Section Conference, Musculoskeletal Biology Workshop, International Section of Fracture Repair (ISFR) 17th Biennial Meeting, CSCDP and PSRS 6th International Spine Research Symposium. I hope you are able to join and engage with ORS colleagues at these smaller meetings.
My second priority is one that I emphasized when you elected me: professional development with continued emphasis on programming for mentoring & leadership training. The ORS excels at professional development, and we have had a lot of programmatic growth in this area, particularly for new and junior investigators. I would like to see these offerings expanded to include programs for multiple career stages including mid-career or post-tenure faculty and senior investigators. I also would like to see the ORS be more intentional about leadership training and opportunities. Professional societies such as the ORS play a pivotal role in developing leadership competencies, providing opportunities that our home institutions do not. You may not be aware, but we have refined our membership categories this year. This new membership structure will enable us to develop targeted data-driven goals and assessment of programs.
Finally, over the next year, we will need to welcome and integrate our new Executive Director in the ORS. The executive director is a foundational position for the whole society. We are extremely grateful for Brenda Frederick’s twenty-one years of service to the ORS. Change is always an opportunity, and we need to make the most of it this spring.
My parting thought to you encapsulates what the ORS has been for me: Come for the science, stay for the community.
Peter Amadio, MD
ORS 2021 President
I hope that all of you had a safe and happy holiday season. I like this time of year because for me it has always been the time of new beginnings and new hope- in the northern hemisphere days are growing longer, and although we still have winter chill and snows ahead (especially where I live, in Minnesota!), we also know that inevitably spring will follow winter, the blossoms will return to their branches, birds will build new nests in those branches, and the world will renew for another turn around the sun.
It is with this spirit of hopefulness that I look forward to our meeting in Tampa next month. Yes, we now have a new version of Covid, omicron, to deal with. But this time we are not fighting it alone, desperately seeking effective treatments. This time, we have vaccines and a host of novel therapeutics, which have had a clear and powerful effect in reducing the impact of the disease.
Our hard working ORS staff, under the able leadership of our Executive Director, Brenda Frederick, is moving full speed ahead with planning for the meeting, and the City of Tampa is ready to welcome us. I have no doubts about the scientific quality of the meeting. We have been able to draw from over 2000 abstracts to construct the program, and there will be many symposia and spotlight talks as well. This year’s keynote speaker, NIAMS Director Lindsey A. Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, will bring us the latest updates on the new course she is charting for NIAMS.
We are doing our best to make the meeting safe for all attendees. We will require proof of vaccination, and will require masks be worn by all registrants, staff, convention center staff, etc. at all times during the meeting. This is pretty much the same as what is expected of me as a clinician at work. I have been vaccinated and have received a booster shot. I use a mask and face shield when seeing patients, and they are masked as well. I wash my hands frequently. When I am at work, I feel very safe, and I will feel similarly safe welcoming you to Tampa next month. The weather should be glorious, and we will take advantage of the weather to gather outdoors where possible. I hope to see you there, but whether there or not, I wish you all a wonderful 2022.
In summer, an ORS member’s fancy turns to thoughts of abstract deadlines, and 2021 is no different. In 2022 we will resume our in person annual meeting, in Tampa, Florida, from February 4 – 8. Abstract submission opened June 30 and will remain open until August 30, followed in late fall by another window for late breaking abstracts. We realize that not all the ORS community may be permitted to travel due to imposed travel restrictions (government or institutional). However, ORS will provide the opportunity for those unable to travel to present their research.
Registration and housing will open October 4! As you will see, we have worked to hold the line on registration fees since 2020 (our last in person meeting), though with a few changes. There will be no early bird fees, just one fee for pre-registration and another for onsite. And we have added some new membership categories to better reflect the diversity of our membership in terms of roles and career stage, so some fees will not have a pre-covid parallel. We will be truly paperless, with an improved mobile app to guide you to all the sessions.
Our Scientific Program Committee is looking forward to once again reviewing your best work, and showcasing it at the premier forum for orthopaedic research in the world (OK, I’m biased!). Tampa is ready to greet you, and I am personally looking forward to welcoming all of you to ORS 2022. Have a great summer!
At least for our members in the northern hemisphere, summer has arrived in full. Summer is a season of growth, when the young shoots of spring begin to bear fruit. For many, it is the end of the academic year, graduations, and the beginning of a new career. For ORS, it is a time to begin in earnest work on the plans established at our annual meeting. Recently, your Board met to approve all of our Councils’ ‘SMART’ goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). We also welcomed our newest Council- that of our Sections, which will now have Board representation.
In keeping with the summer theme, I want to discuss cross-fertilization- an important thing for plants of course, to maintain genetic diversity, and also for organizations, to maintain diversity of ideas. Our Board brings together Councils that each focus on different thematic areas- outreach and Advocacy, addressing the diverse needs of our ORS member Community, Education programs that help our members be more productive and effective, presenting our members’ Research, external organizational Collaborations, and the scientific interests of our member-driven Sections. Together, our Councils create a cross fertilization matrix, designed to allow ORS to thrive, grow, and evolve to meet an ever-changing future. For example, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, led by Kharma Foucher, is housed within the Community Council but develops programs that help to embed our Society’s DEI goals in all the other Councils as well. These include identifying and then reducing barriers to participation of diverse communities within ORS; overcoming individual and systemic bias; recognizing and celebrating progress, as it is made; and promoting research on health disparities as a new topic area for ORS programming.
I am looking forward to progress from our DEI Committee and all our other committees through the summer and the coming year. I wish you all a wonderful, healthy and happy summer season, and remind you, as we all think about our goals for ourselves and our communities, for this summer and in future summers, of a wise saying: ‘the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today’.
Peter Amadio, MD
It’s been two months since our first virtual annual meeting, and I wanted to update you on what has happened since. Brenda Frederick and her team are hard at work to ensure a successful meeting in 2022 which, barring further and at this point unforeseeable pandemic issues, should take place at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida next February. It’s a fantastic location, perfect for getting back together socially after a year plus of social distancing. Of course, our Program Committee, chaired by Karin Payne, and our Annual Meeting Committee, chaired by Hani Awad, are diligently preparing yet another scientifically and educationally outstanding event. You can be sure that our exciting ORS ‘shark tank’, the business innovation competition, will be back for another round (PS- for a real shark tank, visit the Florida Aquarium, just a few blocks from the meeting site!).
In my Presidential address, I told you that I would focus on outreach, equity, diversity, and reducing disparities, while maintaining alignment with, and furthering, our 2025 plan. I am working with your Board and the Presidential line on several initiatives, including not only physical outreach to foster STEM careers in the communities where we hold our meetings, but also virtually, using online tools. One thing the pandemic has for sure taught us, is how to get work done using online tools! And we are moving ahead on several fronts with outreach to the orthopaedic community, focusing especially on the many subspecialty societies, with which we hope to form research and education partnerships. I am grateful to Roger Cornwall for all the energy he is devoting to this topic.
Our society does great work in maintaining a welcoming and diverse scientific community, and we have strong policies supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion within ORS. But, as recent events have shown, creating a welcoming organization is not enough. I encourage each of us to be role models within our own places of work, and in the communities in which we live. It’s important to speak out when we encounter harassment, bullying, or other inappropriate behavior, whether in a peer, student, superior, or, in the case of our clinician members, a patient. Together, in addition to making an ever better ORS, we can make this a better world as well.
Have a great spring!
Susan Chubinskaya, PhD
ORS 2020 President
The Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) Annual Meeting continues to be the most prominent international musculoskeletal research meeting in the world, featuring the top experts in the field. 2021 will be no exception. Despite the challenges in 2020: labs shutting down, research slowed, caring for family members, homeschooling our children, shifting to a work from home scenario, and more our community continued to accelerate musculoskeletal discovery – as much as 2020 would allow.
With the enormous amount of challenges experienced by all of us this year, one thing that has been consistent is the effort of the ORS Board of Directors, committees, and staff, who have spent the year focusing on ways to support our members and community during 2020. Those efforts will continue and be expanded into 2021 beginning with the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting, All Access, February 12 – 16, 2021.
Although ORS 2021 will be a virtual, it promises to be one of the most innovative and memorable meetings that will feature new programming, scientific sessions, and more! Innovating the annual meeting programing was a priority of 2020 identified as a key priority in late 2019. Little did we know at that time, that innovation was going to be an understatement.
We will miss seeing everyone face to face, but we realize that this meeting has a responsibility to not only provide quality science, quality programming, but inspiration, collaboration, networking, mentorship, and support. We hope that you make the decision to join us for the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting, All Access. Registration fees will be 50% less and all registrants will have access to ALL sessions 24/7 with the opportunity to connect with one another throughout the meeting. The ORS 2021 Annual Meeting will be broadcast in multiple time zones to accommodate our global community.
Lastly, there is still time to submit your work for presentation, please plan to join us!
Dear ORS Community,
We are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd and the many other recent acts of inhumane violence and police brutality directed toward black individuals. These events underscore the discrimination and racism that persist within our communities and our institutions. Racial inequities are pervasive and affect all aspects of society, including our own scientific and medical communities. Each of us has the duty, regardless of race or personal identity, to call attention to disparities and interrupt their effects and eliminate their source. To that end, the ORS is deeply committed to supporting our black members and other individuals from under-represented groups by fighting discrimination and prejudice within medicine, academia, and industry. Providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment is key to the success of our organization, our field, one another, and to achieving the ORS mission of accelerating musculoskeletal discovery to improve health.
ORS is dedicated to creating a community in which all members feel safe, supported, encouraged, included, valued, and respected and in which unacceptable behavior will not be avoided or tolerated by our leadership. Achieving this community requires dedicated and unparalleled commitment, one that must be navigated thoughtfully to ensure that every voice is heard, that our feelings can be shared, our own unconscious biases be identified, and end with a true commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Together, we can change the orthopaedic research community for the better. We ask for your support and participation in the ORS’s efforts to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where we respect, support, and encourage each other.
Susan Chubinskaya, PhD, President
Peter Amadio, MD, 1st Vice President
Marjolein van der Meulen, 2nd Vice President
James Iatridis, PhD, Past President
Edward Guo, PhD, Secretary
Matthew Silva, PhD, Treasurer
Brenda A. Frederick, Executive Director
Kharma Foucher, MD, PhD, Chair, DEI Committee
Deva D. Chan, PhD, DEI Committee
John Elfar, MD, DEI Committee
Arlyng Gonzalez-Vazquez, PhD, DEI Committee
Karl Lewis, PhD, DEI Committee
Sherry Liu, PhD, DEI Committee
Megan E. Oest, PhD, DEI Committee
Spencer Szczesny, PhD, DEI Committee
We are living in an unprecedented time and all of us are experiencing challenges like never before. Who would have thought in February at the ORS Annual Meeting that our lives would soon change so dramatically?
As time goes on, we are slowly starting to accept this new reality. We are beginning to deal with change and the challenges ahead such as reopening our labs, ensuring our teams stay connected, managing work/life/children balance, etc. We have also experienced some unexpected joys during this time including more family time and using technology to connect with colleagues, family, and friends both near and far.
The ORS leadership and ORS team want to assure you that we are continuing to provide opportunities for our community to stay connected, opportunities to share your research, and introduce new initiatives that will continue to accelerate musculoskeletal discovery and support our community.
In my Presidential Address I focused on innovation, relevance, and value as guiding principles for the first year of the ORS 2025 Strategic Plan. I would like to update you on a number of innovative ideas and activities that have recently taken place or are currently in development.
In early April we held the first ever virtual ORS Board of Directors meeting. The meeting was extremely productive and engaging, although we all missed face-to-face interaction and social gathering. At the board meeting we agreed to move forward with:
The ORS Ideas Bank
The ORS Ideas Bank gives the opportunity for members and others to share their thoughts and ideas with us. This form can be found on the ORS website and will be available throughout the year.
Future Faculty Poster Session
This new program will be open to senior post-docs, residents and fellows that are about to apply for their first independent faculty job. It will be part of our 2021 Annual Meeting programming. We shared this idea during one of our recent virtual social hours and it was met with great support from our associate member community.
Innovative Scientific Programming for ORS 2021
The ORS Research Council recently put a call out for innovative scientific programming ideas for the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting. We received 24 ideas altogether, ranging from new technological topics, bench to bedside topics, back to the basics, and scientific symposia. The winner of this contest was Bingyun Li, PhD from West Virginia University for his symposium idea on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of antibiotic-resistant musculoskeletal infections. Thank you to everyone who submitted your ideas! All ideas submitted are being considered for inclusion in the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting program.
ORS Virtual Scientific Sessions
All ORS members have the opportunity to share their research by organizing a Virtual Scientific Session. This need was clearly articulated by our early-career members. Please let us know if you are interested in organizing a session!
ORS Basic Science Course
LearnORS is a unique and valuable resource for our community. The following courses are currently available for individual and/or group subscriptions: the Art of Grantsmanship and, Principles of Clinical Research. The ORS Basic Science Course will soon be launched and will be offered at no cost to our community. Now is a great time to benefit from LearnORS when many of you work from home and many clinical operations are temporarily put on hold.
Virtual ORS Ambassadors Meet & Greet
This online meet & greet offered a great opportunity for new and established members of the ORS to meet their ambassadors and share their ideas for future symposia.
Virtual Social Hours
Finally, we are staying connected through multiple virtual social hours with different groups of stakeholders. During these events, people have shared their practices for working from home, daily routines that help people to get through the day, how they manage their teams, keep up on writing grants and papers, conducting various contests to keep members of their laboratories engaged, and many other creative developments.
In closing, now when many institutions consider re-entry strategies and we are transitioning to a new norm please take care of yourself, your families, stay connected, and let us know what else we can do to add value and remain relevant.
Dear ORS family, I am honored and privileged to be the 67th president and the 7th woman president of the Orthopaedic Research Society. Thank you for your confidence in me and the support you have provided through the journey that led to this moment. I joined the ORS in 1993 and the first meeting of the ORS that I attended was in 1994 in New Orleans. For me, the ORS has been a society of opportunities. It became a family.
ORS has evolved tremendously over these 27 years. Yet, its main constituents are still biologists, engineers, and clinicians, with representatives from industry, NIH, regulatory agencies and other entities being fully integrated. Nowadays, the ORS is a society with about 4,300 members from over 48 countries and my key goal is to ensure that the ORS remains relevant and brings value to ALL its members regardless the country of origin, specialty or career stage.
I’d like to take this opportunity and reflect on the ORS 2020 Annual Meeting in Phoenix. What a tremendous success this meeting was! I am sure that many of you have been inspired by amazing plenary speakers, Drs. Langer and Vunjak-Novakovic, and highly accomplished awardees. It was great to learn about innovations in research or participate in the amusing and provocative debate. How rich were the conversations at the posters or during professional development sessions! And of course, the block party! How much fun we all had. I would like to thank all of you for your contribution to the success of the meeting, and especially the members of the Boardand James Iatridis for his leadership, members of the program and annual meeting committees, members of all committees and councils, and of course, amazing ORS staff.
I am very excited to lead you through the first year of new ORS 2025 Strategic Plan with the ambitious mission and vision: to accelerate musculoskeletal discovery to improve health in order to achieve a world without musculoskeletal limitations. The Board remains adherent to the ORS CORE values that define what ORS is all about. Those are: Excellence & Integrity, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Innovation & Impact, Respect & Accountability, Connection & Collaboration, and Education & Career Development. Four key objectives of the ORS 2025 are Research, Education, Community, and Advocacy, with all of them being relevant and valuable to the members.
Working with the Board and Councils throughout the year we will make sure to accomplish year one priorities outlined in my presidential address. We plan to complete the alignment of the ORS organizational structure with newly developed strategic plan, innovate scientific program of the annual meeting to remain relevant to all constituents, develop new and maintain successful educational programs through advancing LearnORS, develop new and nurture existing strategic partnership, and continue our commitment to diversity, inclusion & equity. In order to assess whether we are achieving outlined goals we charged all councils and committees to develop metrics of success.
During my year of presidency, I plan to keep open communication with members and the community at large and invite you to share your thoughts and ideas either directly with me or through an idea bank that we hope to open on the ORS website. We want to hear from you and thus, considering alternative means of communication during the annual meeting and satellite events.
I am absolutely confident that with committed and engaged members, amazing Board, and highly professional and dedicated staff we will be able to accomplish our strategic priorities, maintain financial health, achieve new heights for the society and musculoskeletal research, and remain valuable and relevant to our members.
I look forward to the year ahead and representing you as your President.
James Iatridis, PhD
ORS 2019 President
The Board of Directors recently approved the ORS five-year strategic plan: ORS2025. ORS2025 defines a new mission, core values, and four main strategic objectives. The ORS Board, Staff, and Committee membership all provided input to create ORS2025 and we hope this will be an inspiration to focus and guide ORS activities. Now, more than ever, the ORS is committed to making an impact in the fields of musculoskeletal research and research related to orthopaedics.
The new mission “accelerate musculoskeletal discovery to improve health” highlights the purpose of the ORS, and the important role our members play in basic, translational and clinical sciences that improve the health of patients around the world.
With one in two people over the age of 18 affected by a musculoskeletal condition, our vision remains a world without musculoskeletal limitations. Although ambitious, it is possible to find cures for diseases that most have accepted as a part of life or the aging process. Improved treatments, medical devices, and preventive care can decrease the time we spend with limited mobility.
As we defined our mission and vision, it was also important to define our core values – what is most important to us as an organization representing our diverse community of scientists, engineers, surgeons, clinicians, and their teams from around the globe. After reviewing our core values, we realized they have as much to do with research and education as they do with the community we want to nurture and enhance.
- Excellence & Integrity
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Innovation & Impact
- Respect & Accountability
- Connection & Collaboration
- Education & Career Development
Lastly, ORS2025 defines our strategic objectives and what we must focus on to achieve our mission, strive towards our vision, and live out our core values. Our ORS2025 strategic objectives remain true to the foundation on which the ORS was established in 1954: Research, Education, and Communication. However, there are some notable updates that reflect the challenges of today and increased possibilities for the future.
Strengthen the ORS as the hub for musculoskeletal research and increase its impact
Empower current and future ORS members with the knowledge and resources needed to thrive in a dynamic musculoskeletal research environment
Cultivate a diverse, inclusive and engaged ORS community by increasing access and opportunities
To increase awareness and understanding of the burden of musculoskeletal conditions, the impact of research, and the importance of funding
As we roll out ORS2025 and work to define the work and action plans of the ORS this coming year, you will see a number of initiatives directed toward achieving our strategic objectives.
In addition, our Board and staff leadership are reviewing our governance structure to ensure that we have volunteer leadership to help move our objectives forward and achieve success.
Over the next few months we will share important information with you regarding our proposed new structure, the creation of new committees, their leadership, and specific goals and action plans related to each objective. We will also send out calls for volunteers to insure all ORS activities be involved from a broad sector of diverse ORS members, and look forward to your robust involvement.
This is an exciting time to be a part of the ORS community! We are committed to making an impact for you, your research, your career, your institution, organization/company, in the field of musculoskeletal science and orthopaedic care. All ORS activities happen through the hard work of our members, committees, councils, task forces, partners, patient advocates, and administrative team. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we thank you for being a part of the ORS.
On behalf of the ORS Board of Directors, I want to thank you. Thank you to each of you that are participating in the ORS 2020 Annual Meeting by presenting your research, participating as a spotlight or workshop speaker, organizing a research section meeting, or a research interest group. All of your scientific contributions are appreciated and what continues to make the ORS and our Annual Meeting the home of our diverse musculoskeletal and orthopaedic related research community.
I am happy to report that the ORS Scientific Program Committee, along with assistance from our Topic Chairs, have selected 359 abstracts to be presented as oral papers, 160 as moderated posters, and 1766 as scientific posters including 41 finalists for the coveted New Investigator Recognition Awards (NIRAs). It’s not too late to submit your late-breaking research for presentation at the annual meeting! The committee will be accepting late-breaking abstracts until November 18, 11:59pm (pacific).
Along with our abstract based scientific program, ORS will also feature 12 spotlight speakers 13 workshops, 6 Research Section Meetings (Spine, Tendon, Meniscus, Orthopaedic Implants, and Preclinical Models), and a new addition of Research Interest Groups (RIGs) The RIGs will focus on unique approaches, methodologies, diseases, or connections that inspire brainstorming across our multi-disciplinary groups.
Of course, the ORS Annual Meeting is about more than the science. The meeting will also feature keynote speakers, Kappa Delta and OREF award papers, career development programs, mentoring opportunities, while promoting innovation and celebrating excellence and diversity. To learn more about the ORS 2020 Annual Meeting be sure to check out our website for information about the above programming!
Lastly, be sure to register before December 16 to take advantage of our lowest registration rates and the opportunity to join the ORS during the registration process. Book your hotel, but only in the ORS Block. Our Board of Directors encourages all our meeting participants to book through the ORS website and stay at an ORS designated hotel. We’ve even rented out a special venue for all attendees staying in the ORS block to gather on Saturday night – our first ORS block party!
We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!!
I want to share a personal story about my early involvement with the ORS and ask you to reflect on your own relationship with the ORS and what being a part of the ORS community means to you.
When I was a young scientist finding my way, I didn’t really understand the mission of the ORS or my place in it, but I always felt a strong pull to be part of this community. In 1996, I was just completing my PhD with Van Mow (a past ORS President) at Columbia University. Dr. Mow expected huge commitments from his students, and you won’t be surprised to learn that I was a bit burned out. However, the pull of the ORS was so strong that, once I finished my PhD, I simultaneously pursued two dreams: to ride my bicycle across the country and to attend the ORS Annual Meeting which was in Atlanta that year.
The ride, and my future, remained a very unclear path. I rode on some very long and lonely roads to locations where I knew very few people. However, I knew some ORS members along my route. I visited Bob Sah and Kerry Athanasiou during my trip and learned two great lessons; 1) Bob and Kerry are both great bioengineers and wonderful people, and 2) When you reach out to fellow orthopaedic researchers, they very often welcome you and offer assistance. This great lesson in collaboration remains a core value of mine and of the ORS.
At the end of my 40-day journey I arrived at the ORS Annual Meeting in Atlanta. It’s worth mentioning that for most of my early career, I was best known for biking and not for my orthopaedic research! My post-PhD cross-country bike trip left me inspired by fellow scientists – and that ORS 1996 Annual Meeting made me feel connected to and supported by the ORS community. The ORS became my home society because the society built a Community that helped its members achieve Research that was more ambitious and of better quality than any one scientist or lab could do alone.
Since that time, the ORS Annual Meeting has grown. We run multiple research meetings, we offer robust Career Development activities and provide significant communications and research advocacy efforts. The ORS remains my home because my connection with the diverse and inclusive ORS community helps my career be more meaningful and my research to have greater impact.
I encourage you to provide your feedback via the ORS member survey. Your input will help us refine and improve our Society’s efforts to enhance the member experience as we support efforts to develop our ORS Community, showcase members’ Research, provide Career Development activities and enhance Communication and advocacy efforts.
The ORS is dedicated to maintaining the vibrant and diverse musculoskeletal research community by empowering its members with research and career development opportunities. The mentoring and training programs offered during the ORS Annual Meeting are among our most energetic and well-attended, but the ORS also offers ORS Ambassador symposia, webinars and other conferences all year round.
This year, we are excited to launch a new initiative: LearnORS. This interactive learning platform offers users a unique experience combining online education with live e-learning and allows users to access courses anywhere, anytime. The first course is now available! The Art of Grantsmanship consists of a series of 28 online lectures designed to help residents, surgeons, basic scientists, and engineers who are in the process of writing their first grant. Following the completion of the online course, users are encouraged to attend the in-person Grant Writing Course on February 7 in Phoenix, Arizona (directly preceding the ORS 2020 Annual Meeting).
Whether just starting your journey or considering critical next steps in your career, all ORS members are essential parts of our research community and your success represents the success of the ORS. The ORS Career Development Council continues to develop new investigators and associate member activities while also creating programs for established investigators.
The great unmet challenges in musculoskeletal research need research efforts by ORS members throughout their entire careers. Our research discoveries will have the greatest impact when critical innovations build on the sound foundation of research efforts of those who proceed us.
I am honored to be a part of our outstanding 2019 – 2020 ORS Board of Directors, and humbled to be your president this year. I greatly appreciate the trust you have placed in me as your president and look forward to working with all of you to advance the mission of the ORS!
I have attended our premier event, the ORS Annual Meeting, since 1992, a total of 28 years and consider the ORS my scientific home! During my year as President, I want to ensure that our membership remains strong, and that we continue to be the home for our diverse and dynamic research community. Thanks to all the ORS members and staff who worked tirelessly for the wonderfully successful ORS 2019 Annual Meeting in Austin! The success of our Annual Meeting remains critical to our health as a society and will remain a top priority.
As the Board meets throughout the year we will continue to focus our efforts to engage and empower our members and to promote and support innovation that will continue to impact our field. This spring, the ORS Board will also undergo a strategic planning process to develop our ORS2025 Strategic Plan. The ORS membership has incredible ideas and unbounded potential. We need your ideas in creating the ORS2025 Strategic Plan!
During the upcoming year as your President, I also plan to keep the lines of communication open and send regular updates on our initiatives as well as to listen to our members. We recently held a Northeast ORS Ambassador Meet & Greet event in New York City where the ORS Presidential Line heard from many ORS members. I also plan to host regular 12 at 12 sessions inviting 12 ORS members to meet and discuss several topics that the board and our committees will be focusing on this coming year.
To all of those who gave generously of their time to the ORS this past year and at the annual meeting by serving on a committee, section, task force, or by attending our various ORS programs and events – thank you! The true power of the ORS is the engagement and commitment of our members to serve a cause greater than any one of us!
I look forward to the year ahead and to working as your President.
Gloria Matthews, DVM, PhD
ORS 2018 President
Coming oﬀ a wildly successful Annual Meeting in New Orleans, tremendous thanks go to you, our members, the amazing ORS staﬀ, and the plethora of over-taxed, double booked, “will do it anyway” volunteer members that make it all not only possible, but excellent. The Annual Meeting success is essential to our identity as an organization as well as to the financial health of the Society, and I express gratitude on behalf of the entire Board of Directors for your participation and support.
I am privileged to be your President, and wish to share with you some key initiatives that will be launched and/or continued this year that are both critically important to the growth of orthopaedic research and also directly member-feedback derived. The first is with regard to preserving and growing funding in orthopaedic research at all career levels. The second involves expansion of the international presence and impact of the Society, while the third is related to the evolving relationship of the ORS with the AAOS and the clinical subspecialty organizations.
First, there is exciting news on the funding front. We have recently combined forces with our colleagues in the leadership of AAOS and OREF, heading to Capitol Hill to provide a strong, concise, positive, and unified message to Congress as well as to Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH, that the clinical and basic science research funding of musculoskeletal disease falls short of being commensurate with the personal and societal burden of these diseases.
Legitimizing these activities is the fact that we refuse to be amongst the complainers but are working to provide creative solutions to the challenging issue of government funding of research. These eﬀorts have real impact, and the experience of visiting the Hill is one I personally endorse. We have a strong partner in the AAOS for these eﬀorts. I would encourage anyone even slightly passionate about orthopaedic research to contact Chelsea Bahney in regards to ORS advocacy or Kurt Spindler, chair of the AAOS Research Development Committee. These individuals are both passionate and grounded, while being phenomenal advocates for our collective cause.
While the work on Capitol Hill largely benefits our US membership, we are also working on some pivotal partnerships, all of which will be open to our international members (and some directly targeting benefit to these members) that will enhance our existing portfolio of research awards, grants, and travel fellowships. These eﬀorts, which will be rolled out in the coming months, will be instrumental to broadening our worldwide presence while providing members both in the US and across the globe with exciting supplemental career building opportunities.
Along those same lines, as the ORS mission states, we are committed to the advancement of musculoskeletal research worldwide. ORS and the ORS sections have been enthusiastically engaged in collaborating with international organizations and institutions over the past five years (including ICORS, German Trauma Association, and now IFMRS, to name a few) and will continue to support international initiatives and members.
Finally, reinvention of the ways in which we engage and provide value to the multitude of clinician scientists that the ORS represents is timely. Toward that end, we are brainstorming with the new leadership of AAOS as well as other like-minded groups in the orthopaedic sub specialties to evolve our co-programming and educational delivery methods to both provide recognizable value for our clinician and clinician-scientist segment of the membership and also to take advantage of the benefits this segment brings to the broader membership.
You can expect to hear a lot more about these topics and initiatives in the near term, and I encourage you to get involved, be a great steward of the values we hold at our core (if you don’t know what they are, please find them on the ORS website), and reach out to the ORS staﬀ or your favorite Board member if you have suggestions, questions, or comments.
Rick Sumner, PhD
ORS 2017 President
I look forward to serving as the President of the ORS and working alongside the Board of Directors, Councils, Committees, Sections and staff. The primary purpose of the ORS is to advance musculoskeletal research worldwide. We can do this by promoting, supporting, developing, sponsoring and encouraging,
- research disciplines related to orthopaedics,
- educational activities, and
- a variety of channels for disseminating knowledge
This may sound familiar – it should. It is a paraphrase of the 1982 articles of incorporation for the ORS as a charitable organization and harkens back to the 1954 birth of our society. We are using our current strategic plan which articulates four primary goals to guide us in accomplishing this purpose (see http://www.ors.org/ors-2020-strategic-plan/):
- Empower…members with… knowledge and resources…,
- …improving the global musculoskeletal research environment…,
- Increase … funding for musculoskeletal research commensurate with societal burden, and
- Assure diversity, expertise and experience within our…membership
The hard work of many have contributed to the success and vibrancy of the ORS today. As we move through this year we will continue to focus on the needs of our membership and strive to advance the field of musculoskeletal research worldwide. There are many ways for the members to contribute to the ORS. One simple way is to share your thoughts about how to make the ORS even better with me, or other members of the Board of Directors.
The ORS Board of Directors would like to thank you for your continued contributions to the field of orthopaedic research. We are now a community of 3,800 members from around the world who have created a culture of sharing ideas, time, resources, and results.
Over the past several years, the ORS has been focused on building our community – not only in numbers, but in strength to ensure the long-term success of our members and the field.
What does ORS provide to our community?
- High-quality meetings and conferences: ORS Annual Meeting, ORS International Musculoskeletal Biology Workshop at Sun Valley, ORS PSRS Spine Research Symposium, ORS Ambassador Symposia, and Research Section meetings.
- Two society-owned journals; JOR and the new JOR Spine distributed to subscribers worldwide. As of August 2017, there have been over 430,000 individual JOR article downloads.
- Serves as worldwide forum for multi-disciplinary collaborations
- Provides opportunities to learn how to get funded, published, and promoted
- Provides funding opportunities for research and career development
- Recognizes scientific excellence and service to our community
- Provides opportunities for leadership and professional service
As we look to the year ahead, the ORS will be developing several new and exciting initiatives that we hope to announce at the ORS 2018 Annual Meeting. These initiatives are focused on providing our members with additional information and resources valuable to our community.
As we continue to look ahead, we will be sharing updates regarding steps that we are taking to ensure that we provide value to our members in hopes that you will make the decision to renew your membership in the ORS as we work to move forward together.
The ORS Ethics Policy serves as our guiding principles for ORS leadership; board of directors, chairs, committee members, editors, and associate editors of our various publications. The policy provides guidance regarding relationships with industry and how conflicts of any nature should be managed. To ensure compliance, Mathias Bostrom, MD, Farshid Guilak, PhD, Clare Rimnac, PhD, and Henry Donahue, PhD, all of whom have exhibited high ethical standards throughout their careers, have been appointed to serve on the ORS Ethics Committee.
It is important to note that not only does the Ethics Policy outline the guiding principles for leadership, but outlines aspirational ethics for our members, encouraging ORS members to uphold the highest standards.
As part of the ORS commitment to uphold our core values we ask that all ORS members read and agree to uphold the following ethics statement. We believe the statement exhibits the values of our society and of the entire orthopaedic/musculoskeletal research community.
ASPIRATIONAL ETHICS FOR MEMBERS OF THE ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
Ethical conduct extends beyond what is covered by this code, which consists primarily of enforceable rules about conflicts of interest. Ethics is not just about enforceable rules, but also about ideals and aspirational goals. An aspirational professional recognizes the importance of the moral relationships within her/his clinical and research work. Members of the ORS, as an integral part of the musculoskeletal community, should aspire to think and act ethically. Goals to consider both personally and professionally include:
- demonstrating integrity;
- respecting ORS members’ rights, dignity, cultures, and identities;
- striving for professional and scholarly competence in research;
- disclosing information in publications, podium presentations, and posters necessary to satisfy peer review, experimental reproduction of the study, and the ability to build upon another’s work;
- promoting the sustainability of the ORS through participation and leadership in the Society; and,
- engaging in good citizenship activities, including:
- regular attendance at ORS meetings,
- participation in peer-review of submitted abstracts and manuscripts,
- collaborative research and professional activities,
- scientific cordiality when interacting with fellow members of the ORS;
- and sharing of data, reagents, and experimental techniques.
All ORS members will have the opportunity to agree to strive to abide by the ORS aspirational ethics by updating your ORS membership profile. You can also do this within the membership renewal form.
To acknowledge your agreement, please follow the instructions below.
- Login into your ORS membership profile at https://ors.memberclicks.net/my-profile.
- Select EDIT to update your profile.
- Click to check the box next to the statement, I strive to demonstrate and agree to uphold the ORS Aspirational Ethics for Members of the ORS.
- Select Save
Please contact the ORS office at [email protected] if you have questions.
Farshid Guilak, PhD
ORS 2016 President
As my term as President has come to an end, I would like to thank all of our members for their continued support of the ORS research community. I would also like to thank everyone who attended the ORS 2017 Annual Meeting, which provided the perfect venue for me to wrap up my presidential year. The ORS community is vibrant and thriving – our membership is at its highest ever, and the Annual Meeting has become not only the best venue to present our science but also the ideal site for networking and forming collaborations that will help us far beyond our time at the meeting.
Over the last decade, the ORS has focused on the needs of our members and has greatly expanded its activities and scope. Traditionally, the primary activities of the ORS were the annual meeting and the Journal of Orthopaedic Research (JOR). The Annual Meeting has since expanded from being based mainly on presentations of submitted abstracts and workshops to include invited spotlight sessions, outreach programs, professional development and training programs, scientific debates, as well as a keynote speaker. This year, we were fortunate to have Dr. Jennifer Doudna present a riveting keynote speech on the past, present, and future of CRISPR/Cas9, in what may have been the highest attended session in ORS history. The meeting also included a very lively debate on Regenerative Medicine vs Orthopaedic Implants, by Drs. Brian Johnstone and Joshua Jacobs.
Although the ORS Annual Meeting remains as the most important of all of our ORS programs, we have also worked to diversify our portfolio to include new initiatives to help move the field forward. One of our major initiatives over the past few years has been the formation of ORS “Sections”, which promote the common interest of ORS members in specific areas of research related to orthopaedics and the musculoskeletal system. Sections are a means of increasing communication and interaction among individuals of similar interest within the framework of a larger organization. Currently, we have over 700 members that have chosen to join a Section. Our Sections currently include Spine, Meniscus, Tendon, Preclinical Models, Orthopaedic Implants, and Fracture Repair. As we move forward to assist in developing these communities, we will offer various Section “Satellite Meetings” that will be held globally to help us to meet our mission of advancing musculoskeletal research worldwide.
Most importantly, the ORS is in excellent financial health. We are at our highest membership in history, recently experiencing a 35% increase in members. The Finance Committee and Board of Directors have worked together to align our budget and spending with the ORS Strategic Plan, ORS 2020. This has helped us to prioritize our efforts and spending on what is important to our members.
As part of our excellent financial health, we recently renegotiated a favorable contract for the publication of JOR, which is thriving under the editorship of Dr. Linda Sandell. Furthermore, we will soon launch a new open access journal, JOR Spine, which will provide a home for the spine community to publish their work, while providing a new source of revenue to the ORS.
All in all, this has been a spectacular year for the ORS, and I would like to thank the phenomenal members of our Board of Directors, our hundreds of member volunteers, and the highly dedicated ORS staff for making all of this possible. This is truly an exciting time for the ORS and for our musculoskeletal research community!
As I pass the torch of the ORS presidency to Rick Sumner, I wish him well and much success as he leads the ORS and the Board of Directors to continue the huge momentum we currently have. Thank you for your continued support to the ORS and to the research community. Together we can move the field forward!
The strategic plan for ORS 2020 highlights our five core values; scientific excellence and integrity, collaboration, partnership, diversity, and advocacy – core values that serve as the foundation for the Society. As an organization, these core values represent the guiding principles of the ORS, and we are committed to each as we seek to fulfill our mission.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will address each core value and share with you some of the new initiatives of the Society in each of these areas to advance musculoskeletal research worldwide.
Scientific excellence and integrity is clearly something that we all strive to achieve; however, excellence in itself is very hard to define, and it is often very difficult to measure. The traits of scientific excellence are often exhibited by the number of publications, citations, impact factor, awards, and funding. Although true, I believe that scientific excellence is something more. It is bridging the gap, moving research forward, innovation, collaboration, high ethical standards, tenacity, patience, service and commitment. To each of us, excellence will be a bit different, which is of course a critically important feature of innovation and progress in the field. Over the next few years ORS will be focusing on educational and professional development programs that will focus on ensuring that our members exhibit scientific excellence and integrity. ORS members will continue to be recognized as the experts in the field of musculoskeletal research and key to the future of orthopaedic patient care and treatments.
One part of our commitment to promoting scientific excellence and integrity is the development of ORS Sections. To our community, these newly formed Sections promote a common interest in specified areas of research – such as Spine, Meniscus, and the most recently approved Pre-Clinical Models Section. Sections also strongly encourage interaction, innovation, and diversity – all ORS core values. Sections are a smaller community, within the larger ORS community. I believe the benefits of these smaller communities within the ORS will accelerate research in these areas, provide new opportunities to collaborate, address common challenges and seek solutions. In this regard, our vision is that the ORS will remain the premier organization focused on our strong and diverse musculoskeletal community, providing continuing opportunities for transdisciplinary research bridging the gap between basic, translational and clinical research.
Throughout 2016, we anticipate the formation of three additional Sections and will integrate the sections into our overall scientific programming; annual meeting, regional topical meetings, online educational opportunities, and more. The ORS is committed to innovation as we move towards 2020, and I believe that this is achieved by all of us working together to achieve a larger goal – one that will benefit our community and make an impact to improve the field altogether.
I encourage you to consider joining a section and getting involved in our research community. To learn more about ORS sections, or to propose the formation of a new section, please feel free to contact me or our Executive Director, Brenda Frederick. Together we can move the field forward.
In 2013, the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) made a commitment to expand and enhance our interactions with our global community by increasing our engagement with members living outside the US, partnering with like-minded and mission-driven organizations, and involving key stakeholders in this endeavor. It was in that same year that the informal collaboration of orthopaedic research societies, who had organized the triennial Combined Meeting, first organized in 1992, established a formal coalition now called the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Societies (ICORS).
ICORS is chaired by Ted Miclau, MD, who, as President of the ORS in 2013, led the way to formalize this organization. ICORS includes orthopaedic research societies and organizations such as the Australia/New Zealand ORS, British ORS, Canadian ORS, Chinese ORS, European ORS, Japanese Orthopaedic Association, Korean ORS, Taiwan ORS, and the Orthopaedic Research Society, among several others. ICORS also includes two Associate Scientific Member organizations, the International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Society and the AO Foundation.
Currently, there are three organizations that are in the process of becoming an ICORS member organizations and are considered candidate members: Asian Pacific ORS, Turkish Orthopedic Research Council, and the Indian Orthopaedic Research Society. ORS is very proud to be a founding member of the ICORS and is pleased to be a part of this larger and diverse orthopaedic community. Organizations seeking to get involved in ICORS can contact the ORS business office.
Next week, ICORS will have its inaugural meeting September 21 – 25, 2016 in the beautiful city of Xi’an, China. ICORS 2016 will be hosted by the Chinese Orthopaedic Research Society who has organized an excellent scientific program that will highlight workshops, scientific papers and posters, as well as an excellent social program. Despite the long history of the Combined Meeting, which many of you may be familiar, this meeting will mark the first official ICORS meeting.
ICORS has several goals, in addition to serving as a forum for the global community in all areas of musculoskeletal research. In addition to overseeing the tri-annual, ICORS will support the development of new Orthopaedic Research organizations globally. Furthermore, ICORS recently established a new designation of Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research (FIOR) intended to recognize the efforts and contributions of members from each ICORS member organization. Fellows will be honored in Xi’an during a special ceremony. The ORS has selected a small group of leading researchers to be honored in Xi’an, where each will be inducted as a Fellow. I would like to congratulate those selected and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in the field, along with representatives from each ICORS member organization. ORS nominated Fellows include:
Orthopaedic Research Society
Adele Boskey, PhD
Brian Johnstone, PhD
Theodore Miclau, MD
Mathias Bostrom, MD
Farshid Guilak, PhD
Regis O’Keefe, MD, PhD
Susan Chubinskaya, PhD
Edward Schwarz, PhD
Mauro Alini, PhD
Christopher Evans, PhD
X. Edward Guo, PhD
James Wang, PhD
Stuart B. Goodman, MD, PhD
Rocky Tuan, PhD
It has been said that research has no boundaries, and I agree this is true. I would like to congratulate and encourage all ORS members who are reaching out beyond their own labs, departments, institutions, and countries to collaborate on a global level. Together, we are moving the field forward and will continue to change the field of orthopaedics.
As a member of the ORS for more than 25 years, I can easily say that it is the most scientifically diverse society to which I belong. In the end, though, diversity evokes something much more. To me, it is not only about acceptance and respect of our differences – whether they be related to gender, race, age, etc., or the vast diversity of our research and disciplines – but also about the understanding that diversity serves as a catalyst for our success.
Originally founded in 1954 by a select group of orthopaedic surgeons, the ORS now embraces a wide variety of investigators dedicated to the field of musculoskeletal research, including engineers, scientists, orthopaedic surgeons, veterinarians, as well as other healthcare professionals, statisticians, research staff, and others. As our field rapidly progresses, we find that many of the research questions we face cannot be solved by a single discipline and require expertise from several scientific and clinical areas. For this reason, a large proportion of our research is now truly interdisciplinary and involves collaborative teams from around the world. These global collaborations serve as great examples of diversity acting organically in advancing research.
However, diversity goes beyond the areas of our research, our disciplines, and our country of origin. Science benefits when it reflects the diversity of our society in every way – including members of each race, gender, gender identification, ethnicity, age, ability, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and more. These multiple facets of diversity have made ORS the unique organization that it currently is today; however, we, as a global research community, need to strive to be more diverse and inclusive in order to achieve our mission to advance musculoskeletal research worldwide. Diversity in itself is a core value of the ORS and one that is supported through our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
But why are the issues of diversity and inclusion so important to the ORS? Simply put, it is now clear that diversity is a critical catalyst for our success, both as individuals and as a community. A number of recent studies have shown that diverse teams function more effectively and efficiently than those that more homogeneous. For example, a study by McKinsey & Company has shown that ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform peer organizations, while gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to do so. Organizations that meet explicit diversity criteria are 45% to report a growth in their market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to capture a new market (HBR). A study by the Catalyst organization showed that companies with more women on their boards (particularly 3 or more) showed higher financial performance, and these companies outperform their peers over a long period of time. Indeed, new research by Bersin/Deloitte has shown that among more than 128 different management practices, those that predict the highest performing companies were focused on inclusion. Diversity and inclusion can also greatly enhance the perception of the organization by its members. As shown by Deloitte Australia, when members believe that their organization is highly committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel highly included, they are 80% more likely to agree that the organization is “high performing”. In this extremely competitive research environment, we as members of the ORS, cannot afford to be anything but “high performing”.
What are we doing about it? ORS plays a critical role in nurturing a new pipeline of investigators and increasing diversity of age by providing a wealth of programs designed specifically for the new investigator that includes mentoring, professional development, and grant writing. The number of associate members within ORS has increased substantially and now includes more than 600 student/trainee members.
While we have made tremendous progress in training an outstanding and diverse orthopaedic research community, a major proportion of traditionally under-represented professionals are leaving the field at higher levels of advancement. For example, the NSF reports while women have earned about half of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees since the early 1990s, they make up less than 25% of full-time faculty in these fields. Similarly, while women make up 48% of medical school graduates, an AAMC report has shown that orthopaedic surgery departments have the lowest proportion (16%) of full-time female faculty of all medical school departments. Similarly, under-represented minorities make up only about 4% of full-time faculty in research-intensive institutions. The presence and involvement of a diverse professional community, particularly as visible role models in leadership positions, is vital to keeping our research pipeline flowing and competitive.
Up until 2004, ORS leadership was primarily male dominated. Since that time, however, the ORS Board of Directors has seen an increase in the proportion of women on our Board to the current level of approximately 50%. This effort was led by the ORS Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), whose goals are to mentor, foster, encourage, and inspire women in orthopaedic research and to advise and support women in their professional development. Through the efforts of the WLF, ORS has benefited from the great and more diverse leadership and become more diverse in our program faculty, award winners, committee chairs and members. The continued activities of the WLF provide an outstanding model of success in developing other ORS programs focused on diversity and inclusion. The work of WLF shows the impact of intentional focus on cultivating diversity, within the ORS and beyond.
The same intentional focus is needed in other areas. We still have progress remaining to assure diverse representation among many underrepresented groups. To address the issue of overall Diversity at the ORS, the Board of Directors commissioned a Task Force on Diversity, headed by Dr. MaCalus Hogan. The charge of this Task Force was to develop a Diversity Statement and to define ways to increase diversity and inclusion in our community. ORS is committed to ensure diversity and inclusion and hopes to launch new programs and processes to ensure we are headed in the right direction. Not only do we demand that the aspirations for ORS define diversity and inclusion, but that we exhibit diversity and inclusion in all that we do.
It is clear that diversity and inclusion are no longer options in professional communities, but are in fact a necessity for us. Diversity – in all its forms – serves as a competitive advantage and a catalyst for the success of the ORS. I, along with our entire Board of Directors, am committed to leveraging and expanding our diversity in all its forms to ensure the success of the ORS.
Together, we can move the field forward.
As we look forward to the year ahead, the ORS Board of Directors continues to focus on new initiatives that serve to ensure the long-term success of the Society. The enduring growth and development of the Society remains a high priority, with an emphasis on the scientific and professional needs of our membership.
One of the most important roles that the ORS plays is to provide various forums for the dissemination of knowledge in the field of orthopaedic research. As a reflection of our continuing growth, we are excited to announce that the ORS Board of Directors recently approved the launch a new Open Access journal, the Journal of Orthopaedic Research – Spine, which will serve as a key tool for the dissemination of spine research for our community of investigators in the field. This journal represents the first new ORS journal since the formation of JOR and fills an important niche that is currently lacking in the spine research community. While JOR –Spine will be overseen by our Publications Advisory Board, it will operate separately from JOR. JOR – Spine will have its own editor and editorial board and will be listed independently on PubMed and ISI for indexing purposes.
We look forward to the launch of the new journal later this year. We will be seeking an editor-in-chief for JOR – Spine, who will be responsible for overseeing the scientific content and editorial board of the journal. For those of you who may be interested in applying for this position, please watch for a call for applications coming out shortly, with an application deadline of March 8, 2017.
We are also excited to announce that the Board also recently approved the continuation our relationship with JOR publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, who will also publish JOR – Spine. Through the efforts of the publisher, the Editor-in-Chief, Linda Sandell, and the JOR associate editors, JOR continues to provide a home for our members to publish their research and to make it available to a large and global community. Dr. Sandell has introduced many new features in the JOR, including increased numbers of review articles, special issues (Spine, Tendon, and Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis), and has improved the processes overall to ensure rapid publication of the research accepted for publication.
In the New Year, we anticipate a number of new initiatives and improvements to JOR, as well as the launch of JOR – Spine. This is truly an exciting time for the ORS and for our musculoskeletal research community!
In closing, I would like to thank those involved in the publisher selection process and in the development of JOR – Spine, including Robert Sah, MD, PhD, Linda Sandell, PhD, James Iatridis, PhD, Jennifer Westendorf, PhD, Rick Sumner, PhD, Morna Conway (independent consultant), and ORS staff members Amber Blake and Brenda Frederick.