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Meet AAOE President Ron Chorzewski

Tuesday, May 16, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyssa DelPrete, AAOE Communications
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At the AAOE 2017 Annual Conference, orthopaedic practice executives from across the country gathered for four days of networking and education. It was a time to reconnect with old friends, meet industry peers, and gain key knowledge and insight to tackle the challenges of the year ahead.

The Annual Conference also kicks off the new volunteer term of service for AAOE committees, the board of directors, and officers. The presidential gavel was passed this year to Ron Chorzewski, MBA, PT.

To help members get to know him a bit, Chorzewski took some time recently to discuss his experience as an orthopaedic practice executive and his involvement in AAOE, as well as provide his thoughts and hopes for the upcoming year.

Chorzewski is the Executive Director of Agility Orthopedics in Stoneham, Massachusetts, but he started his career on the clinical side as a physical therapist.

“I practiced clinically for about a decade, and then I gradually transitioned into rehab management,” he shares. “Then I got a little bit further into rehab management, so I was doing more management than treatment.”

This transition presented him with a critical decision about his career path.

“[As a clinician] when you have a patient in front of you, the most important thing is the patient, but sometimes as an administrator the [problem you are handling] is the number one deal,” he says. “So there was a conflict there, and I felt like I really had to make a decision between either being a clinician, maybe being a PA, or being an administrator and pursuing my MBA.”

With three young children at home, he decided to move forward with obtaining an MBA. While undergoing his studies, he gradually moved towards orthopaedics, having worked closely with orthopaedic surgeons during his time as a physical therapist.

He remarks that the move to an administrative career was a “great decision.” In describing the difference between his clinical and administrative roles, he says, “I feel like my hat is constantly changing, and it’s helped me build and round out my skills in a way that has been very helpful for me.”

This shift in career path also led him to AAOE.

He learned about AAOE through his physicians at a previous position. “I was immediately introduced by my physicians to AAOE, and they strongly encouraged me to participate and get involved.”

This participation has proven valuable. “Since starting here, I really have not missed a conference. I found it to be one of the most important things I can do to support my physicians and direct the practice in the direction they want to go.”

He adds that his time as a volunteer has been critical to his experience as a member. “One of the things I think is really important is to take the risk and join a committee. You’re making connections with your peers, you’re learning information that you otherwise wouldn’t have known, and it’s positioning you to be better in your job.”

Becoming a volunteer is one of Chorzewski’s key pieces of advice for AAOE members. “If you think of the 1,400 members in the association, if everyone just committed to doing a little bit of the work each month, then we would be an unstoppable organization.”

In addition to volunteering, he stresses the importance of utilizing AAOE resources that are available to members.

“I think that the industry is heading in a direction where administrators need to know what’s happening at the federal and at the state level in order to do their jobs effectively,” he says. “With your involvement in AAOE, you’ll have your finger on the pulse through resources that are available to you at the federal and state level to facilitate changes in the industry that you feel are necessary, and to comply with rules that are being put in place on a fairly regular basis.”

Due to healthcare’s constantly changing landscape, having the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in the industry is key. For this reason, Chorzewski points to AAOE webinars as crucial resources.

“The webinars are coordinated in such a way, when there’s something new happening in the industry, there’s going to be a webinar on it,” he explains.

When Chorzewski is not in the office or serving for AAOE, his focus is on his children, his spiritual life, and his art. He describes his art as “non-traditional oil paintings,” which consist of paintings that he arranges in antique boxes.

He is also involved in his church, where he serves as the head usher, leads a religious education class, and is involved in their Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. “That pretty much takes up most of my Sundays,” he says.

When reflecting on his journey as an AAOE member, volunteer, and eventually president-elect, he describes it as an organic progression. “What ends up happening is you get involved, you get to know the people in your committee, and then you move to a different committee. That’s what happened to me.”

It is ultimately those relationships that have made his experience as a member, and an administrator, successful. “Having the friendships and relationships of the people that I’ve met on the board and through the organization have been transformational for me as an administrator.”

He hopes to motivate all members to take a leap of faith to get more involved and take an active role in shaping their own AAOE experiences.

“The thing that excites me the most is having the opportunity to inspire members to become more active,” he shares.

From a clinician to an administrator, a new member to an involved volunteer, Chorzewski has continued to take on new roles and challenges throughout the course of his career. As he steps into his newest role as AAOE President, the future looks bright. 


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