AO Access Steering Committee: final member elected

AO Access: Delivering the AO’s diversity, inclusion and mentorship initiatives

The AO Foundation Board has approved AO Access, establishing the diversity, inclusion, and mentorship initiative firmly within the AO. The AO Access Steering Committee, ratified by the AO Foundation Board on October 16–17, 2020, is off to a strong start, with the appointment of the first three task force leaders and members, and the rollout of the first AO Access activities.

Through AO Access, the AO implements a program bringing together the AO community, members, faculty, and leaders to support individuals in achieving their full potential. In parallel, institutional changes, allowing AO to become more diverse and inclusive, are of high importance. The AO is an organization that cares; having recognized the need to change, it is now on a path of transformation.

AO Access recognizes the value of experience and offers opportunities to connect people with different experiences and expertise, across clinical divisions and regions, across various identities (such as age, ethnicity, value systems, etc) to build up resources and to create an environment of trust—through a mentorship program, for example. Through AO Access, opportunities beyond teaching, such as mentoring, or conducting research, will arise.

There will be short-term and long-term goals, and application of methods and frameworks that have been proven to work. AO Access will learn with and from the best.

The organizational structure of AO Access facilitates establishing outcome measures and achievable goals, based on qualitative and quantitative methods. It ensures linkages with existing programs such as faculty development programs, the AO Program for Excellence and Education in Research (AO PEER) and fellowship programs, that are relevant and applicable to all regions, the clinical divisions and unit, as well as the AO institutes, including surgeons, operating room personnel (ORP), researchers, educators and staff.

The first three task forces that were identified as priorities are:

In the transition from the Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative (ODII) to AO Access, the management as well as the key members have transitioned to AO Access leadership positions. The remaining AO Access Steering Committee position, as well as all other task force leads and members, are to be recruited through an open call.

The first round for self-nomination through the open call for collaborations closed on September 9, 2020. The second round for self-nomination continues to be open for future collaboration. To get started, please complete this short survey.

Applicants through the open call based on self-nominations are anonymized in the first round of elections and only in the second round of review will more details be revealed, in order to ensure a diverse group of AO Access collaborators.

Each task force consists of one lead and three to four members. Those who have not yet been elected to a task force are part of a pool of contributors. The current AO Access team has been overwhelmed with interest and expects the specific regional experiences across the AO community to be of great value when gathering data and feedback for creating and implementing new processes, policies, and programs.

To become involved as a collaborator, or to learn more about AO Access before engaging as a collaborator, stay tuned to the AO website which will feature regular updates on activities and outcomes.  

Additionally, the third webinar in the AO’s series of inclusion, diversity, and mentorship webinars which will take place on November 7, at 09:00pm CET. This webinar focuses on mentorship programs, and how they apply to AO, with invited expert speakers sharing their knowledge, experiences, and expertise. The webinar will be a moderated panel discussion that will use our own AO mentorship data as a basis for a conversation around the challenges that need to be overcome and the opportunities that can be leveraged to ensure that AO’s ability delivers outstanding lifelong mentorship in parallel with best-in-class surgical education to our members. To learn more and to register, click here.

View the previous webinar here (you will be requested to sign in with your AO log-in).

AO Access Steering Committee

AO Foundation Board representative

AO Foundation President
Robert McGuire, MD

Diversity and inclusion representative

AO North America President
Amy Kapatkin, DVM, MS, DACVS
Professor of small animal orthopedic surgery
University of California-Davis

Mentorship representative

Jaime Quintero L., MD
Profesor Asistente
Depto. de Ortopedia y Traumatología
Hospital Universitario Clínica San Rafael
Bogota, Colombia

AO Executive Committee representative

Executive Director Education Development
Urs Rüetschi
AO Education Institute, AO Foundation

AO Access Management

Senior Program Manager Diversity, Inclusion and Mentorship

Tatjana Topalovic
AO Education Institute, AO Foundation

AO Access Task Force Leaders

Faculty and leader development

Samantha Morello, DVM, DACVS
Associate professor of large animal surgery
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Officer and faculty selection processes

Matthew J Allen, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS
Professor of small animal surgery
University of Cambridge

Mentorship and sponsorship

Marinis Pirpiris, MBBS, BMedSci, GradDipEpidBiostat, MEpi, PhD, FRACS, FAOrthA
President Australian Orthopaedic Trauma Society
President Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association Trauma Society
Associate Professor, Epworth Hospital

I am delighted to be part of the AO Access Steering Committee. I have had a long experience devoted to undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in my University Hospital San Rafael in Bogotá, Colombia since 1985. The AO has been part of my life since my training in trauma and orthopedics in São Paulo, Brazil; I also was privileged to have been mentored by a number of extraordinary individuals at different stages while serving in the AO since 1989.  Both as a mentor and as a mentee, I have been honored by the joy of long-lasting personal relationships that helped shape my professional career and my own personal and family life.

The corporate world focuses on serving customers, owning resources, being efficient, and growing, but organizations such as the AO shapes society, share knowledge and has an impact, in our case improving the results of treatment in our patients. Therefore, understanding how society is evolving is crucial in these changing times.

"Diversity and inclusion are a true commitment to survival during the years to come. Identifying the talent, empowering people by respecting what makes them different, and mentoring them through an institutional culture is really a challenge and I am honored to be part of this effort!"

Mentorship representative
Jaime Quintero L., MD

FacultyFocus 3 | 2020

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