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2019 AAOE Awards of Excellence Winners


2019 AAOE Awards of Excellence Winners

To recognize those who have gone above and beyond, AAOE created the annual Awards of Excellence program. The Awards of Excellence are presented to deserving individuals and practices that embody the best in our industry. 

Selected through a nomination and peer review process, the 2019 award winners were announced during the AAOE Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, May 5-8, 2019.

Congratulations to our award winners!


Collaborate Champion
Sami Spencer, FACMPE, CMM, CEO, Missoula Bone & Joint and Surgery Center

AAOE Collaborate is a tool for members to communicate directly with peers, sharing experience and information to make each person and the industry better. 


This award recognizes an AAOE member who has consistently contributed on Collaborate and been highly visible on the platform, providing valuable information in a positive and knowledgeable manner that benefits other members while supporting the AAOE mission and values. 


The 2019 Collaborate Champion is Sami Spencer, FACMPE, CMM, CEO of Missoula Bone & Joint and Surgery Center in Missoula, Montana.


Spencer's nominator says, "Sami has always been forthcoming with advice and willing to share forms on the old Listserv platform and now on the current Collaborate online community. Collaborate has only been available for about a year-and-a-half, but if you search the library and discussion archive Sami already has 397 results, including 78 library entries!"



Volunteer of the Year
Craig Henry, MHA, Practice Administrator, Hand Center of Louisiana

Volunteer of the Year recognizes an AAOE member who has made exceptional contributions in a voluntary capacity to support the organization’s goals.

The 2019 Volunteer of the Year is Craig Henry, MHA, Practice Administrator of the Hand Center of Louisiana in Metairie, Louisiana.

Henry was nominated for his work as the Chair of the Membership Council, which was hard at work during the past year increasing awareness of AAOE membership through efforts such as reaching out to state and national societies, as well as university to engage healthcare-focused students.

His nominator says, "Craig engages all members of the Membership Council and collaborates well with the AAOE staff. His ideas and presentations are well thought out and he gains approval without much hesitation. He is an asset to the organization through his knowledge, commitment to volunteering, and passion for mentoring."


Practice Professional of the Year
Michael Jones, Director of Operations, Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster

Practice Professional of the Year recognizes an AAOE member who is employed in a full-time position as a staff member of a practice or organization. This person is dedicated to the mission and vision of the practice or organization and has made significant contributions.

The 2019 Practice Professional of the Year is Michael Jones, Director of Operations for Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Jones was nominated for his leadership of the practice's management team. He was recognized for his ability to motivate his team, improve the organization's culture, and provide an extraordinary orthopedic service to the community. Most recently, he expanded the practice's orthopedic urgent care service line, which has already shown success in the first six months. 

His nominator says, "I am thankful to have such a great mentor to help me grow in healthcare management."


Practice Executive of the Year
Dorothy McClure, CPC, CPPM Practice Administrator, Oxford Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Practice Executive of the Year is awarded to a member who, as the lead staff person or executive, has consistently gone above and beyond at his or her practice. The award is granted based on the recipient’s ability to motivate others, stimulate positive activity, and serve as a catalyst for exceptional results.

The 2019 Awards of Excellence recipient is Dorothy McClure, CPC, CPPM, Practice Administrator of Oxford Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Oxford, Mississippi.

McClure's nominator says that she has had a major impact on the practice in the three years that she has been there. Her efforts include improving office communication and increasing the practice's involvement in the community. Her nominator adds, "Dorothy is the type of administrator that gets the job done, and any office would be happy to her. But we are not willing to share!"


Innovation Award
Tammie Simao, CMPE

The Innovation Award recognize an individual, orthopedic or subspecialty practice, or a hospital department that has developed an innovative solution to improve delivery of care, patient satisfaction, or physician/employee satisfaction, and can be replicated to benefit the entire orthopedic community.

The 2019 Innovation Award winner is Tammie Simao, CMPE.

Simao was nominated for her implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) program in her practice, an approach that her nominator says requires a "thoughtful, deliberate, and structured implementation." Her nominator explains that this system is typically implemented from the top down, starting with the owners and bosses of the practice, but Simao successfully implemented it from the bottom up, starting with staff. Her nominator adds, "Tammie has successfully made the changes necessary by leading the charge with her team and her practice to be innovative in finding a way to operate the business of medicine in a more efficient manner."


President’s Award
Jim Kidd, CMPE, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Bone & Joint

The President’s Award is presented to an AAOE member who has provided exceptional support to the President in the execution of his or her duties. The recipient is chosen at the sole discretion of the President. This year’s recipient is Jim Kidd, CMPE, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Bone & Joint in St. Peters, Missouri.

Kidd was recognized for his work as Annual Conference Committee Chair for AAOE's 50th Annual Conference.

“The conference committee requires a leader whose focus is always on the end goal of giving the members what they need, ensuring the vendors and sponsors are recognized, and welcoming the contributions from the committee,” says AAOE Past President Karen Sollar, CMPE, Chief Executive Officer of Webster Orthopedics in San Ramon, California. “To accomplish these goals, as is with many goals that we set, it takes someone who is passionate about what they do, driven by making a difference, remains calm under pressure and never lets the team see them sweat. This leader must be willing to sacrifice what it takes to get the best results."


Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael Berkowitz, Administrator, KSF Orthopaedic Center 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year to an AAOE member who has dedicated significant time and energy to the association. This year’s recipient is Michael Berkowitz, Administrator for KSF Orthopaedic Center in Houston, Texas.

This year's winner worked as an administrator for more than 28 years and was instrumental in growing his practice from three or four physicians to 15. When local hospitals began recruiting his practice’s doctors, he helped rebuild and grow the practice to being the third largest independent orthopedic group in Houston.  

Known as the Father of Texas Bones, he knew how important it was for administrators to come together and discuss the issues they face to learn from each other. He organized local Houston groups before eventually starting Texas Bones. He was also active in AAOE and was part of the Advocacy Council for several years.


Throughout his career, his mentorship helped younger and newer administrators grow in their career. 



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