The COA’s various Committees are an integral part of the Association’s governance structure. They lead projects, policies, programs, and initiatives that support the COA’s Mission and Vision.

Each Committee is made up of a chair and members selected by the COA’s Nominating Committee. Together, their interests and expertise contribute to both the COA’s and the Committee’s goals and mandates.

All Committee positions are on a volunteer basis and serve a mandate of approximately three years, with the possibility of renewal. The Board of Directors or Executive Committee positions may involve longer mandates.

COA Committees meet either in person or via teleconference at various times throughout the year.

If you are interested in joining one of the COA’s Committees as a volunteer member, please contact
Cynthia Vezina: or 514 874-9003 x 3.

Ready to Get Involved?
Bias Considerations

Members in COA leadership positions (Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Committee Chairs) are strongly recommended to complete the following implicit bias and cultural safety training modules during their term.

All COA members are encouraged to complete these same modules at their own discretion.

  1. Harvard Implicit Association Test – Countries, Skin-Tone, Gender, Weight, Sexuality, Race, Age (Free)
  2. CIHR Unconscious Bias in Peer Review and Research – Applicable for Practice (Free)
  3. Indigenous Cultural Safety Training – Healthcare Module (Payable by COA for Board & Committee members upon request)
Nomination Process
  • An open call for nominations for 2nd President Elect, officer positions on the Board of Directors, and Committee Chair and Member roles is issued in the fall and winter each year.
  • Voting COA members* can nominate colleagues or themselves by completing the nomination form.
    • *Active or Active International membership categories are considered voting members.
  • A single nomination for an eligible candidate is all that is required to be considered for office. Multiple nominations or letters of support sent directly to the COA or Nominating Committee will not improve or influence a nominee’s candidacy.
  • Completed nomination forms are submitted directly to the COA head office. After the submission deadline, the list of candidates is sent to the Nominating Committee for review and selection.
Selection Process
  • After the submission deadline, candidates are contacted by the COA to confirm their interest in being considered for the role, and to submit a copy of their CV when applicable.
  • Completed nomination forms and corresponding CVs are sent to the Nominating Committee for review.
  • A short list is compiled by the Nominating Committee. Short-listed candidates may be contacted for additional information or questions.
  • The Nominating Committee selects final candidates from the short list.
  • To become final, the Nominating Committee’s recommendation will be first voted on by the Board of Directors, followed by a vote from the general membership at the Your COA business meeting.
  • Short-listed candidates for 2nd President Elect are automatically considered in the following year’s iteration (unless withdrawn).
Candidate General Criteria
  • The COA is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are seeking candidates who reflect the broadest range of COA membership, including but not limited to diversity of leadership experience, geography, gender, age, race, cultural heritage, seniority, practice setting and subspecialty interest.
  • We are especially interested in candidates with expertise in any of the following areas:
    • Leadership development/mentorship
    • Principles of equity, diversity and inclusion
    • Business development
    • Continuing professional development
    • Advocacy
Attributes of a COA President and Officer on the COA Board of Directors
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Consensus building – supports an environment of participative dialogue and compromise
  • Openly facilitates problem resolution
  • Strategic planning and risk management
  • Change management – understands how to set and manage expectations associated with change
  • Manages consistency of purpose and sees commitments through to completion
  • Clear sense of business acumen
  • Commitment to the COA and its Mission
  • Institutional knowledge – brings a considerable understanding of the COA, its core initiatives and its stakeholders
  • Global perspective on professional issues
  • Professional temperament
  • Effective communication skills
  • Willingness to travel and represent the Association’s members
  • Interest in representing the Association and speaking at international meetings
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the Canadian health care scene and ability to articulate same
  • Acceptance and adhesion to the COA Board Duties and Responsibilities
Attributes of a Committee Chair or Member
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Consensus building – supports and environment of participative dialogue and compromise
  • Openly facilitates problem resolution
  • Strategic planning and risk management
  • Change management – understands how to set and manage expectations associated with change
  • Manages consistency of purpose and sees commitments through to completion
  • Clear sense of business acumen
  • Commitment to the COA and its Mission
  • Global perspective on professional issues
  • Professional temperament
  • Effective communication skills
  • Institutional knowledge – brings a considerable understanding of the COA, its core initiatives and its stakeholders
  • Acceptance and adhesion to the respective Committee’s code of conduct and responsibilities

COA Leadership Opportunities

View current Year’s COA Committee Slate.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee addresses issues related to planning, programs, staffing, and the implementation of the Board’s strategic direction. It is also responsible for overseeing the Association’s order and structure during the periods in between Board meetings. The Executive reviews financial statements on a monthly basis and receives staff reports on all COA operations. This ensures that the COA leadership remains current on the relevant issues in a timely manner.

The Executive Committee is chaired by the COA President, and is made up of the President Elect, 2nd President Elect, Past President, Treasurer, Secretary, as well as the Chair of the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation. The CEO and Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives also support the Executive Committee.

The Executive meets a minimum of ten times annually, primarily by teleconference, with at least two in person meetings.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is chaired by the COA President and is made up of the members of the Executive Committee, regional representatives, and chairs of various Committees. The Board oversees the general direction of the organization, represents the interests of the membership, and upholds the Association’s reputation on a local, national and international platform. The Board is responsible for setting long-term goals and objectives that govern the future direction of the Association.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee

The CPD Committee establishes the COA’s overarching vision for orthopaedic education, and the method of its evaluation. The Committee oversees and manages the Association’s educational continuum, including the development and management of the Annual Meeting’s scientific program, continuing professional development (CPD), CME accreditation services, as well as collaborations with subspecialty societies, provincial orthopaedic associations, and affiliate groups.

The Chair of the CPD Committee also holds a position on the Board of Directors.

Surgeon and Internal Communications Committee

The Communications Committee develops effective internal communication programs that inform the membership of COA projects and programs, as well as current issues within the profession. The Committee is responsible for reviewing and developing content for the COA Bulletin, web site, social media, and other communications projects (newsletters, article submissions to other journals etc.).

The Chair of the Committee also serves as the Editor in Chief of the COA Bulletin and holds a position on the Board of Directors.

Standards Committee

The Standards Committee provides members with relevant and up-to-date information on national orthopaedic care, ensuring that members have access to the best, evidence-informed practice models, new orthopaedic research, innovation, and technologies. The Committee recommends ethically-appropriate methods of introduction into clinical practice, and monitors their implementation. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding the adoption of public position statements that inform members, and others, of the official stance of the Association on topics of concern. Examples of recent work by the Standards Committee include the statement on total joint patients having dental procedures, as well as the COA position statement on opioids and orthopaedic surgical practice.

The Chair of the Standards Committee holds a position on the Board of Directors.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is charged with the recruitment and retention of COA members across all categories. The Committee monitors membership satisfaction levels, data, demographics, and trends in order to develop services and benefit programs that cater to all membership classifications. Applications and candidacy for COA membership are vetted by the Committee.

The Chair of the Membership Committee holds a position on the Board of Directors

Practice Management Committee

The Practice Management Committee identifies areas of economic, social, and political activity that impact the practice of orthopaedic surgery in Canada, and subsequently implements strategic initiatives within these areas. The Committee formulates policy recommendations, overseas fee schedules, negotiations and comparative economic data between the provinces. They determine and retain information on working conditions and practice satisfaction across Canada, evaluate outcomes of implementation of COA recommended Models of Care and/or Best Practices’ “Tool kits”.

The Practice Management Committee membership includes representatives from each provincial orthopaedic association or society, which ensures real-time bidirectional exchange between the COA and the provincial organizations.

An example of recent work by the Committee is the resource document Charter for Orthopaedic Surgeons that outlines the roles and responsibilities of orthopaedic surgeons to patients, society, the medical profession, and themselves in the planning delivery of MSK care.

Finance and Audit Committee

The Finance and Audit Committee is charged with reviewing the Association’s financial reporting and making recommendations to the Board that improve the timely and accurate reporting of the organization’s financial health. The Committee reviews the budgets and financial projections, as well as the audited financial statements submitted by the Treasurer. It also makes annual recommendations on the appointment or reappointment of auditors to the Board. The Committee provides policy advice to management on any financial-related matters, including the investment strategy for all long-term investments.

The Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee also holds a position on the Board of Directors.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee develops a list of volunteers willing to serve on the various COA Committee positions as well as the 2nd President Elect position of the Board of Directors. This Committee is unique, as its members are nominated directly by the membership at the COA Business Meeting each year, and is chaired by the immediate Past President. Through the members’ nomination of the membership of this Committee, they have a direct influence on the composition of the Association’s leadership.

Exchange Fellowships Committee

This Committee is responsible for the development, evaluation, and promotion of the various travelling fellowship programs offered by and affiliated with the COA. They review applications for travelling fellowship positions and select the successful candidates to represent the COA on a fellowship tour. The Committee assists with the development of itineraries when Canadian orthopaedic programs and centres host visiting fellows participating in the exchange programs. The Exchange Fellowships Committee is made up primarily of members who have participated as COA travelling fellows in the past.

Who Are the COA Committees and What Do They Do?

Learn more about what the COA’s committees do, and how to get involved.

A brief description of each Committee is outlined below. If you would like further information or terms of reference for any of the Committees, please contact

COA Past Presidents (1945-2021)
2021 Mohit Bhandari 1983 Hans K. Uhthoff
2020 Mark Glazebrook 1982 Edward H. Simmons
2019 John Antoniou 1981 Robert B. Salter
2018 Kevin Orrell 1980 Glen E. Edwards
2017 Peter B. MacDonald 1979 Carroll A. Laurin
2016 Robin R. Richards 1978 Richard L. Cruess
2015 Bas Masri 1977 Ian Macnab
2014 Edward J. Harvey 1976 W. Robert Harris
2013 Geoffrey Johnston 1975 Jacques Robichon
2012 Emil H. Schemitsch 1974 David G. Landells
2011 Ross K. Leighton 1973 Robert N. Lofthouse
2010 Cy Frank 1972 Jean-Marc Lessard
2009 Peter J. O’Brien 1971 Olav Rostrup
2008 Marc J. Moreau 1970 Frederick P. Dewar
2007 Brendan D. Lewis 1968 F. Robert Tucker
2006 Robert B. Bourne 1967 Roger Gariépy
2005 Alain Jodoin 1966 R. Gordon Townsend
2004 Robert M. Hollinshead 1965 George F. Pennal
2003 William R. J. Rennie 1964 Frank P. Patterson
2002 Clive P. Duncan 1963 Ian W. Davidson
2001 Cecil H. Rorabeck 1962 Ulric Frenette
2000 D. William C. Johnston 1961 E. Wilson Ewart
1999 David P. Petrie 1960 William B. MacKinnon
1998 James P. Waddell 1959 J. Gordon Petrie
1997 Robert F. Martin 1958 George W. Armstrong
1996 André Beaupré 1957 Louis-Phillipe Roy
1995 Michael A. Simurda 1956 Harold H. Boucher
1994 R. Merv Letts 1955 John L. McDonald
1993 Morris Duhaime 1954 John R. Naden
1992 Marvin Tile 1953 J. Calixte Favreau
1991 Reginald H. Yabsley 1952 R. Graham Huckell
1990 Robert W. McGraw 1951 Freeman A. Brockenshire
1989 David E. Hastings 1950 Alexander Gibson
1988 James W. Wiley 1949 Robert I. Harris
1987 Charles Sorbie 1948 Joseph Édouard Samson
1986 John R. Huckell 1947 Joseph Édouard Samson
1985 Gordon W.D. Armstrong 1946 John A. Nutter
1984 John W. Hazlett 1945 John A. Nutter

COA Past Presidents

The COA presidency has been maintained by a long list of leaders, visionaries and pioneers from across the country.