President's Perspective October 2019
We Are ACFAS!
Christopher L. Reeves, MS, DPM, FACFAS
It’s autumn and we find ourselves in the middle of the college football season. It’s a passion of mine, and while it may not be for you, there are lessons and analogies to be drawn from this culture as much as the game itself. Coming from Georgia and living in Florida, I’m a diehard University of Georgia and Southeastern Conference fan, yet I just finished watching Penn State win a home game under the lights. There is an uninhibited passion that pours out of “Happy Valley” and most college towns on game days. For those of you who have never witnessed what I am speaking of, I encourage you to find a video of a Beaver Stadium “white out,” turn up the volume, watch and listen to over 100,000 fans clad in all white screaming “We Are Penn State!” It’s people of different backgrounds and cultures with a common interest coming together for one purpose. It’s a scene repeated across the country in places like Athens, Ann Arbor, Columbus, Lincoln, and many other college towns.
Maybe, this is the point where you ask, where is he going with this? The answer is simple. If many people from varying backgrounds can come together and dress the same and find the same cadence in their cheer, can’t we expect 7,700 plus ACFAS members to come together and say, “We are ACFAS!” and pull in the same direction?
The passion and pride that I see ACFAS members demonstrate for our College shows that we absolutely can — and do! Part of my role as ACFAS President is hearing and promoting all the accolades for the College, while at the same time, listening to what members want to see us do better. Even in conversations of varied opinions, there’s always the common thread of wanting ACFAS to remain the profession’s pre-eminent foot and ankle surgical organization. This is the same passion we witness in on the gridiron, in postgame TV, and armchair coaches blogs.
Football teams all need a few things to maintain excellence: a potent offense, a solid defense, mistake-free special teams (the unsung hero of a winning program), solid coaching, and excellent recruiting. ACFAS is no different. We always demonstrate a solid offense with our strong and nationally recognized educational programs. We have a strong defense demonstrated by success in state scope and privileging battles, recent collaboration with other surgical associations, and an aggressive research plan. We have solid coaching as seen by our selfless volunteer leaders and dedicated staff. And our recruitment succeeds in building stronger residencies and fellowships. All these elements and people stand behind our mission and strategic plan to advance our mission with a culture of “there is no end to the good one can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
What about our special teams unit—the unsung hero? Since our inception, education and research has been our center focus, but we are asked by you to do so much more. Over the last 20-plus years, the College has constantly promoted FACFAS though national public relations campaigns. For instance, one of ACFAS’ best-kept secret is its “Marketing Toolbox,” filled with infographics, PowerPoint presentations, fill-in-the-blank press releases, and referral tools to help you promote your practice. These free grassroots promotional tools are an extension of our national efforts to spread the word on a local level of who YOU are and what YOU do. But, local partnerships are needed to strengthen the patient relationship and referral patterns. ACFAS headquarters has established the game plan and playbook with its marketing efforts and tools, but there is power in numbers—we need you to execute the plan, “take the ball,” and work together as a team on a regional level to continue to build awareness of the profession to the public. Will you help us expand referral audiences and create personal connections with referral sources in your local areas?
So, when you go into your “stadium,” be it a private or group practice, a hospital, or a military base, consider what YOU can do for your ACFAS team with all the offense, defense, and special teams at your disposal. Wear purple! Wave the ACFAS flag! Show you are a proven leader and a lifelong learner who changes lives every day. WE ARE ACFAS!