1. Voss, Robin Smith

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As we start this New Year, I wanted us to look at NAON in a strangely scientific manner. Who would ever imagine that you could take a piece of coal, put it under a great deal of pressure, and turn it into a beautiful diamond? Imagine taking a caterpillar, letting it wrap itself in a cocoon, and later it becoming a magnificent butterfly. If you can turn a lump of coal into a diamond or a caterpillar into a butterfly, then shouldn't it be easy to take something of great value, such as NAON, and turn it into something even bigger and better?

FIGURE. Robin Smith ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. Robin Smith Voss, BS, MHA, RN, AACHE, TNCC-P, NAON President, 2004-2005

Well, I believe we, NAON, are a diamond in the rough-a butterfly in the making. I have been amazed this year to see our many accomplishments and the work that we have done. But I never want us looking back and resting on our laurels. I want us only looking back to see where we were, so that we can look into the future and determine the next steps we need to take to elevate ourselves to the next level of success. The caterpillar works diligently to spin its magnificent cocoon, which is an incredible work in progress for such a small creature, but in the end the result is worth the effort as the beautiful butterfly is revealed. The pressure exerted on coal is tremendous, but once again, the end result is well worth standing up to the pressure. Moving NAON forward to a successful and prosperous future will also be an incredible work in progress, and there will be great pressure exerted upon us. I believe that we are up to the task. We can rise, phoenix-like, from where we are today to a new and greater level.


We have the skills, talent, and dedication in this association to take NAON down a road of endless possibilities. Sometimes a new and ever-changing road can be scary, but if we have a focus on our end results then we know that around the bend the future will shine brightly for all of us. We can take NAON to new heights, just as the butterfly would soar immediately after shedding its cocoon.


I am excited as I look to our future. Our work with the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons continues to grow, as do our legislative and research initiatives. We have recently hired a new Director of Education; his excitement and commitment to advancing our educational programs, products, and venues, will facilitate NAON's growth. It is exciting to see it all converge, knowing that we are all part of this progress.


Although some of our members have retired or left orthopaedics in the past couple of years, I believe we are now on the upswing. We are implementing steps to increase retention and recruitment, and with your continued work and support I can only believe that we will see change and growth occur. Members speak with excitement in their voices as they discuss new programs and plans and venturing into areas that we have not previously undertaken. Again, for some of us these changes will be scary, but we must remain focused on the anticipated results. The endless possibilities that are available to us will become clear!!


We must not limit ourselves. We should not leave an existing card unplayed. We must be willing to look at every available alternative and determine its strengths and weakness and be willing to be innovative risk takers. We must be a fluid and flexible association so that we are ready to react to any situation that arises at a moment's notice. Immediate results are expected in this day and age; therefore, we must refrain from allowing politics to overwhelm us; we must be ready and able to react in order to survive and grow. We can do it; again, the possibilities are endless. Like the lump of coal that becomes a diamond, or the caterpillar that transforms into the butterfly, NAON will also evolve into something bigger and better.