President's Perspective September 2018

John S. Steinberg, DPM, FACFAS

College: The Product, The Package, The Experience
John S. Steinberg, DPM, FACFAS
ACFAS President

As I write this, your American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) Board of Directors just returned from a very productive summer board meeting. I think each of you would have been proud to be in that meeting room to see the heavy lifting being done by the committees, leaders, staff and board members of this great College. ACFAS is aggressively and efficiently pursuing our mission and vision by using the many talents and resources that are the strength of this membership organization.

ACFAS…The Product
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society, but when it comes down to it, we really are a “special interest group.” We are an exclusive organization with very specific membership criteria that ultimately require board certification. Our focus is to rally the combined strength of our 7,600 members for education, research and advocacy in foot and ankle surgery. We operate this organization with comparably low annual dues and take great care in efficiently directing our $6.5 million annual budget. About 40 percent of our budget comes from your dues, which covers the many projects that generate no revenue, such as consumer education, public relations, clinical consensus statements, research and public policy. Our strategic plan very specifically outlines the College’s priorities and how we utilize our human and financial resources. This “strategic compass” is regularly updated based on the member and practice surveys you complete every three years.

ACFAS…The Package
Your ACFAS is lead by a handful of dedicated volunteer leaders and just 14 paid full-time staff members. The volunteers of ACFAS include an 11-member board, 16 committee chairs, nine regional presidents, 173 committee members and more than 200 others who assist as faculty, authors, reviewers, task force members, etc. Our Chicago headquarters is efficiently run by a CEO who is regarded as one of the best in the industry, Chris Mahaffey, MS, CAE, FASAE, who has been with ACFAS since 2003. He, along with our entire staff, provide the support and institutional memory necessary to guide the volunteer leadership.

ACFAS…The Experience
Each of you need, and gets, something different from this College. Some of you are heavy consumers of our educational materials and conference offerings, while others may lean on advocacy efforts to assist you with hospital credentialing, etc. ACFAS has abundant educational offerings, many of which are focused toward hands-on learning for advanced foot and ankle surgical techniques. Our education committees design and refine these programs to consistently elevate your daily surgical practice.

The Annual Scientific Conference is undoubtedly our most visible educational product. This landmark meeting for the profession continues to improve upon itself and to set new records each year. The 2018 Nashville conference was no exception with 1,720 DPMs attending and an overall attendance of 2,950. If you haven’t experienced an ACFAS Annual Scientific Conference recently, I highly recommend you plan to attend the February 14–17, 2019 edition in New Orleans and see the best and brightest of this profession!

Another key element of the ACFAS Experience is The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery (JFAS). We publish JFAS every other month and are proud of the increasing quality and quantity of material this  journal is contributing to the scientific body of knowledge for our specialty. In our recent member survey, JFAS was rated our number two service offered by ACFAS (83 percent), only behind our CME  programs at 87 percent.

As the current Fellow at the helm of this great College, part of my job description is to field concerns and complaints from our members. I welcome “activist investors” who are motivated to speak up on behalf of the betterment of the College. We welcome, consider and often act on these member concerns. If YOU have something constructive to suggest for the future of this College, please contact me at

Educational Opportunities