The COFAS Celebrates its Second Anniversary
Timothy R. Daniels, M.D., FRCSC
President, The Canadian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
The second anniversary of the Canadian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (COFAS) will be celebrated at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) in Calgary this June. Over the past two years, the Society has made significant advancements and has achieved national and international recognition. During the inaugural meeting in June of 2002 in Victoria, BC, the following Mission Statement was developed:
The COFAS is a group of orthopaedic surgeons who aim to promote excellence in clinical foot and ankle care in Canada by:
Serving as the primary organization dedicated to foot and ankle clinical care, education and research in Canada.
Functioning as the leading resource for education of the Canadian public, orthopaedic surgeons, the general medical community, government, and industry on foot and ankle care.
Promoting research in foot and ankle care.
Serving the members as a forum for discussion of problems unique to foot and ankle care in Canada.
Developing resources that will help Canadian orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons in addressing local practice-related issues such as quality improvement, coding, reimbursement, legislation, cost of care and access to care.
In each area of the Mission Statement, the following accomplishments were made:
- Serving as the primary organization dedicated to foot and ankle clinical care, education and research in Canada.
The COFAS has been recognized as the primary organization committed to and responsible for orthopaedic foot and ankle care in Canada by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and the International Federation of Foot and Ankle Societies (IFFAS).
The COFAS will appear in affiliation with other international societies on the cover of the esteemed journal Foot & Ankle International. The COFAS (along with the AOFAS) will represent the North American section of the IFFAS (International Federation of Foot and Ankle Societies). A COFAS member will now be part of the North American Board of directors giving us a vote on international issues related to foot and ankle care.
- Functioning as the leading resource for education of the Canadian public, orthopaedic surgeons, the general medical community, government, and industry on foot and ankle care.
The COFAS held its first international educational meeting in April of 2003 in Vancouver, B.C. This was coordinated by Dr. Alastair S. E. Younger who invited both national and international speakers. The second international educational meeting was held in Toronto in April of 2004 coordinated by Drs. Tim Daniels, Johnny Lau and David Stephen. This meeting attracted over 250 participants and the topics ranged from didactic lectures to advanced and innovative surgical techniques. The COFAS plans to hold these educational forums annually - alternating between Vancouver and Toronto.
Dr. Elly Trepman organized the first COFAS Symposium at the 58th Annual COA meeting in Winnipeg in October of 2003. This meeting focused on scientific papers and business arising from the COFAS. It was well attended and proved to be a successful forum on which to present foot and ankle research that is currently occurring in Canada.
The COFAS has established the Foot and Ankle Rotation Specific Objectives for Canadian Universities to incorporate in their curriculum.
- Promoting research in foot and ankle care.
With the help of Drs. Johnny Lau and Mark Glazebrook, the COFAS has established a longitudinal prospective study assessing and comparing the outcomes of ankle arthrodesis and arthroplasty. Currently over 100 patients are registered this study will produce interesting outcome and comparison results over the next 10 to 15 years. A registration package can be obtained by contacting Dr. Mark Glazebrook (
). The COFAS would encourage any orthopaedic surgeon who performs ankle arthrodesis or ankle arthroplasty to register their patients for this unique and important study.
The COFAS has established a web site with the help of Drs. Alastair Younger and Johnny Lau. The web site is found as a link on the COA website.
- Serving the members as a forum for discussion of problems unique to foot and ankle care in Canada.
A visitor to the web site can access information on the society, research, publications and meetings. Members have also been exchanging interesting cases via e-mail a formal Member-Chat Room is yet to be developed.
- Developing resources that will help Canadian Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons in addressing local practice-related issues such as quality improvement, coding, reimbursement, legislation, cost of care and access to care.
Drs. Huw Rees and Elly Trepman have established a comparison of the current foot and ankle reimbursement fees in all the provinces and territories across Canada. This useful information has been presented to the various orthopaedic societies in each province. Given that reimbursement fees are negotiated at a provincial level, large discrepancies do exist in the remuneration levels across the country.
The COFAS has observed a correlation between the provinces which offer higher reimbursement rates and their ability to successfully recruit and maintain a critical mass of foot and ankle subspecialists. The COFAS strongly believes that inadequate reimbursement for foot and ankle procedures is the primary deterrent in our attempts to recruit more surgeons, thereby providing improved health care to Canadians.
The Canadian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society has enjoyed a very productive two years. It has become a well-established and respected society worldwide. This year, the COFAS will be holding an election of new Officers at the upcoming COA meeting in Calgary. We urge you to get involved it is your future.
Members at the 6th Biennial Foot and Ankle Symposium. From l to r: Drs. Stuart Miller, Alastair S.E. Younger, Elly Trepman, Glenn Pfeffer (AOFAS President), Timothy R. Daniels (COFAS President), Lew Schon, Mark Glazebrook, Johnny Lau.