The Orthopaedic Trauma Association is an educational and scientific organization devoted to the development and dissemination of knowledge about musculoskeletal injuries and related disorders. It is tax exempt under section 501 C3 of the US Internal Revenue Code.
As the pre-eminent scientific and educational organization devoted to musculoskeletal trauma in North America, the OTA recognizes its obligation to promote financial support for scientific research in this field. This mission is urgent considering the lack of financial support for this, and indeed all types of trauma research, relative to the heavy burden of injury to our society.
We believe that research is the path to more cost effective care for injured patients, and to more effective prevention of injuries, which are the most significant health problem of Americans under age 45.
The Orthopaedic Trauma Association’s success in becoming the major scientific forum for musculoskeletal trauma in North America is significantly due to crucial support, from a number of orthopaedic equipment suppliers and manufacturers, who helped us with financial aid and technical support for meetings and organizational costs, as well as by providing research funds which we have distributed through a peer-review process. During its establishment, the OTA has retained the respect of the orthopaedic community, and of industry, by remaining independent, in appearance and fact, from the manufacturers while also attempting to deal equitably with each of them.
We believe that it is essential to our credibility as a scientific orthopaedic organization that the actions of the OTA be free from both real and apparent influence of individuals or business organizations that stand to gain financially from recognition in OTA sponsored activities. Practical laboratory “motor skills” exercises are an invaluable part of our efforts to educate orthopaedic surgeons about the treatment of injuries. However, they are essentially impossible without the support of instrument and implant manufacturers. Thus we are committed to equitably distributing invitations to participate to all manufacturers of equipment which is appropriate to the instructional goals of a given exercise. However, to maintain didactic effectiveness, only a single manufacturer will generally be invited to participate in that exercise. (Opportunities will routinely be made available for other manufacturers who wish to display related equipment at the same meeting.)
The Orthopaedic Trauma Association wishes to recognize and encourage continuing contributions for research, teaching and other appropriate activities, from manufacturers of supplies and equipment related to the treatment, prevention and study of musculoskeletal trauma. We believe that our organization stands in a unique position in its ability to direct contributed funds to relevant research, specifically focusing on musculoskeletal injuries rather than other aspects of orthopaedics. This focus may represent an attractive opportunity for companies and individuals who wish to contribute specifically to musculoskeletal traumatology in recognition of personal or business connections with this field.
The OTA therefore established the following policies as guidelines for its efforts to obtain adequate financial support for musculoskeletal trauma research.
Costs of operating the association necessitate an aggressive approach to generating revenue to support association operations. Any revenue generating activities should not compromise the ability of the association to generate funds to support research grants which have traditionally been supported through corporate sponsorship. The following recommendations are intended to help generate corporate revenue to offset the association’s operating costs while recognizing those corporations that have generously supported the research committee’s endeavors in the past and to preserve the ability of the association to raise funds to support research grants in the future.
1. An annual appeal for research funds will be directed to representatives of related industries, focusing specifically, but not exclusively, on those who have been exhibitors and participants at our meetings.
2. Levels of support have been identified with concomitant benefits to the donor.
3. Specific conditions may be attached to the funds granted to OTA for research purposes, subject to the approval of the OTA Board of Directors. Such conditions must not conflict with our organizational policy of equitable dealings with each manufacturer and donor.
4. In all cases, the recipients of such research grants will be determined, according to its usual practice by the Research Committee of the OTA, with approval of the Board. Selection of grant recipients will be done without influence or participation by the donor. Use of funds will be subject to OTA policies regarding accountability, reporting, etc.
5. Publications and presentations will be expected to acknowledge support from the OTA, and in the cases of specifically named research grants as these may be co-named by the donor conditionally.
6. Contributors to the OTA’s Trauma Research Fund will be recognized by a listing in the annual OTA meeting program, and on appropriate posters displayed at our annual meeting, our specialty day meeting during the AAOS Annual Meeting, and at any OTA sponsored educational courses. Special recognition will be accorded to donors of named research grants, by displaying these grants prominently after the donor’s name. Formal presentation of any such awards will be made during our annual meeting. All such recognition must comply with ACCME regulations.
7. At this time, the OTA desires to limit donations to supporting peer-reviewed grants in support of research activities. (Presently, we choose not to support awards for past research, or competitions for papers on research topics, etc.)
8. Unrestricted educational grants will e considered Research Contributions in calculating the donor’s Level of Giving.
9. Directed Donations to the Research Fund will be allowed, under the following guidelines (See Appendix A).
10. It is unethical for company representatives to attend programs developed by other companies (ie, Labs, Symposiums). Company representatives are welcome to attend educational events held in the General Session room at the Annual Meeting.
11. Companies that sponsor labs at OTA events, should be limited to 1 representatives per 2 tables, unless otherwise agreed upon with OTA office staff.
12. The Chief Financial Officer of the OTA will
13. Sponsorship of individual events at the annual meeting by interested parties is permissible if the following conditions have been met:
Vendor Relation Policy Revised 2006 Page 2 3/29/06
Original Document November, 1993; Revised March, 2006