American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ CEO Karen Hackett announces her retirement

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ CEO Karen Hackett announces her retirement

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ROSEMONT, Ill. (Sept. 21, 2016)—Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE, announced that she will retire from her position as chief executive officer of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), after 14 years at the organization’s helm, effective April 14, 2017.

Throughout her tenure, Ms. Hackett has overseen a number of major developments at the Academy, including the opening of the Orthopaedic Headquarters in Rosemont, Ill. in 2015. She has worked directly with the AAOS Board of Directors and executive management team to oversee a staff of 250 employees and manage an annual budget of $60 million.

“Karen’s leadership has been instrumental to the Academy’s success and growth,” said AAOS President Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD. “Thanks to her bold vision, valuable insight and exceptional dedication, the Academy has created educational programming and new initiatives that continue to support and champion our members, all while navigating unprecedented change in the health care arena.”

“I have been so proud to be the CEO of an organization representing such a devoted, dedicated and driven group of physicians,” said Hackett. “I thank the AAOS Board of Directors, volunteers, members and staff for the opportunity to serve this dynamic organization.”

Under Hackett’s leadership, the Academy created new quality and performance standards, including guidelines and appropriate use criteria for 18 orthopaedic conditions; hosted an inaugural National Surgical Patient Safety Summit (NSPSS), bringing together 150 representatives from medical professional associations, insurers, health care systems, payers and government agencies to develop surgical care, research and education standards; oversaw numerous legislative and national policy advancements on behalf of orthopaedic surgeons and patients; and fostered ongoing unity among the various orthopaedic specialties and industry stakeholders. In addition, the organization produced yearly, award-winning public service campaigns on injury prevention and safety topics, including distracted driving and walking; a traveling “Wounded in Action” art exhibit; and a website and activities related to the organization’s 75th anniversary.

Prior to joining the Academy as CEO in 2003, Hackett was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Previously, she served as vice president for the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, senior manager for Ernst and Young and director of technical services for the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Hackett is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and a past chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors (2010-2011). She also is board certified in health care management and an ACHE fellow. Hackett earned a master’s degree in business administration from Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.

Hackett has been honored for her tremendous career accomplishments. In 2009, she received the Samuel B. Shapiro Award, presented by the Association Forum of Chicagoland to a chief executive officer for outstanding service and accomplishment in association management. In 2011, she was selected for induction into the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Hall of Fame; that same year, Lewis University honored Hackett with the Alumni Achievement Award in the field of Business.

The AAOS Board of Directors has retained executive search firm Korn Ferry to lead the search for a new CEO.



About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.

Visit AAOS at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.


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