Champions of the Quarter

Each quarter, AJRR highlights individuals from participating hospitals who have championed AJRR enrollment and have demonstrated outstanding cooperation and professionalism while helping to implement the Registry into their institutions. Selections for Champions of the Quarter are made based on nominations and are voted on by AJRR staff. To nominate someone from your hospital, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

May 2017

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Cindi Hoffner from Mercy Medical Center - Cedar Rapids in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Ms. Cindi Hoffner is the Total Joint Registry Registrar at Mercy Medical Center - Cedar Rapids. She ensures complete and accurate data abstraction, Cindi Hoffner v2collection, entry, and reporting for the total joint replacement patient population, and contributes to organizational performance improvement, medical staff performance improvement, patient safety, and risk management. Ms. Hoffner began working at Mercy 13 years ago as a Data Entry Specialist for their existing total joint registry program. Because of that experience, she was able to learn from the ground up how to build the workings of a strong base for her institution's system, and therefore apply it to her work with AJRR. Ms. Hoffner has participated in numerous clinical research studies and papers with Mercy's orthopaedic surgeons.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?

A: Currently, I love the challenges of getting our own personalized version of the AJRR built at Mercy. We have our dedicated internal AJRR team to work on the logistics related to interfacing with our EPIC documentation system and with the Operating Room staff's documentation of critical data such as the surgical approaches and manufacturer specifications. Implementing AJRR data submission is not a one-person job. I couldn't have done this without the help of my Quality Analyst, Theresa Mahoney and my Program Coordinator, Linda Weiler. We have also had great assistance from the Clinic Manager to train all the staff and providers about the Level III patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) data collection process within the clinic. We are all anticipating our next step of development as we move on to Level II patient risk factors, comorbidities, and complications data.

Q: Do you enjoy working with AJRR staff? If yes, why?

A: Yes, I do enjoy working with the staff at AJRR, especially Steve Hamada. He has been a great addition to the team and has helped solve several of our problems. I have a lot of respect for the whole AJRR staff! They were very helpful in our early stages of implementing the AJRR.

I am a pretty intense person and I have extreme attention to detail. I am so passionate about making sure that we have good clean data in the AJRR. We do not want to create a "garbage in and garbage out" type of system. My goal is to work with the AJRR staff, on both the large and small details to ensure our data is very valuable.

Q: How long have you been working with AJRR, and what is your role in the data submission process?

A: We started working with the AJRR in April 2016, and signed our initial contract on August 8, 2016. We began the process of submitting Level I data in November 2016. My role in the data submission process is to basically evaluate so that we "dot all of the i's and cross all of the t's." Whether that means working with our internal hospital team, or with the AJRR staff, it's imperative that we have impeccable data submitted to this national Registry. I figure if everyone around the country does this, the AJRR will grow to be the best of the best over time.

Beyond that, I have taken on the responsibility of working with our providers and staff in the hospital and clinic to get the AJRR program implemented. Our surgeons do over 1,000 total joint replacements annually. We have collected Registry data for this population for over 20 years now and I am proud to be a part of our continued commitment to tracking total joint replacement outcomes.

Q: What do you think is the most valuable aspect of Registry participation?

A: Being part of a national database is a very appealing aspect of the AJRR. I think it is great that the system has been built into the unique levels of data collection of I through III. It has been easy to articulate the various aspects of the Registry to our key stakeholders as we have rolled it out. Ultimately, it is our hope that the reported data will become valuable to all the participants as the database grows over time.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies or is there something about yourself that might surprise us?

A: I love volunteering. For example, I created about 72 hand-tied blankets for the kids participating in the Tanager Place program that serves kids of various ages needing assistance. It ended up being about double what I had anticipated, but it was such a rewarding experience. I am also an avid scrapbooker. I have scrapbooks dating back over the events of the past 25 years from births to graduations and many special activities in between. It's a great way to showcase the great times in our lives.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: It takes a few months to get up and running with the Registry. Due diligence, and having a strong team working together are critical pieces of the AJRR puzzle.

February 2017

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Christine Brown, MSPT, from Dignity Health in Sacramento, CA.

christine brown2Ms. Christine Brown, MSPT, is the Regional Service Area Director, Rehabilitation Services and Orthopedic Programs at Dignity Health. She oversees six hospitals in the Sacramento area, four of which are currently participating in the AJRR. In addition to joint replacement programs, Ms. Brown oversees speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and neuropsychology programs. She follows joint replacement patients throughout their entire episode of care, from when the patient is considering surgery to long after the surgery is completed. Her favorite part of her job is the people that she works with. Each of her colleagues possess a variety of skills and work in many different departments, but they all have the same mentality to give great patient care. They don't see themselves as an individual stepping stone, but as a part of the bigger picture. Ms. Brown is a member representative of the newly formed AJRR California State Registry Committee.

Q: How long have you been working at Dignity Health?

A: I started at one hospital 18 years ago as a physical therapist, since that's what I'm trained in. I was a supervisor of the outpatient clinic. Over time, I worked my way up to become the director of rehabilitation at that hospital and started working with the orthopaedics program. A few years ago, I assumed a regional position in Sacramento, which is where I am now.

Q: How long have you been working with AJRR, and what is your role in the data submission process?

A: My introduction to the AJRR was through the merging of the California Joint Replacement Registry (CJRR) in 2015. I began working with CJRR a few years before that. The transition has been very smooth thanks to AJRR staff being so responsive and enthusiastic.

My initial data submission role was to onboard hospitals to CJRR and develop an electronic method of submitting their data. Since my institutions perform almost 2,000 joint replacements a year, paper submission was not an option. It took a while to find an interface to manage the process, but we were able to get it up and running. I currently meet regularly with other Dignity staff to see if the process is running smoothly. I hope to get every Dignity Health hospital to participate in not only AJRR, but more registries of many specialties.

Q: What made you want to be a member representative of the California State Registry Committee?

A: When I was approached by the committee to be a member representative, I was honored. Many of the other representatives are surgeons, so I'm able to give a different perspective on situations and decisions. I've been involved with bringing facilities onboard and know the different challenges that Registry participants face, so I think that it's great that I was given the option to offer my point of view to the committee and make a positive impact.

Q: What do you think is the most valuable aspect of Registry participation?

A: I think that the most valuable aspect is the ability to receive valid evidence of how your joint replacement program is functioning. You're able to see how your surgeons perform compared to national benchmarks, and you can find the different measures that they excel at or need work on. The Registry informs you on what areas to discuss with surgeons without just saying that you have anecdotal evidence.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I like to compete in triathlons in my free time, and I've participated in a couple half-Ironman triathlons in the past. I competitively play tennis, and enjoy gardening as well. I own a greenhouse with over 300 orchids growing inside. It's an interesting way for my 11-year-old daughter to study biology and explore.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: I would say that while submitting data is important, it's also incredibly important to utilize the data as it comes back to you in the dashboards. Take the time to learn what it's saying about your program, and show what you've found to your surgeons and patients. People get so caught up in the submission process that they don't think to use the data, and they're really not getting the full benefits of their Registry participation.

November 2016

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Reyna Diaz, MPH, from Keck Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, CA, and Mr. Jim Cronk, MSA, RN, from Trinity Health in Livonia, MI.

Reyna-Diaz-2Ms. Reyna Diaz, MPH, is the Clinical Project Manger of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA. Some of her job responsibilities include dealing with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and collecting patient-reported outcome (PRO) surveys. She oversees all research projects in her department. Ms. Diaz has been working at Keck Medicine of USC for 11 years, and three years in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Her current role in AJRR participation is validating data with the Keck Medicine of USC IT department before submission.

Q: Do you enjoy working with AJRR staff?

A: Absolutely. I call my region's Data Analyst very frequently. She's super responsive and always just a call away. It can sometimes be difficult to convey your entire message through email, so the AJRR staff's flexibility is beneficial.

Q: What are three things to describe the Keck School of Medicine of USC?

A: I'm a University of Southern California alumni, so I may be biased in answering this question. A USC Trojan is scholarly, skillful, and ambitious. I think that those three traits also represent the Keck Medicine of USC faculty's commitment to drive quality and provide the best patient care.

Q: What is the best vacation you've been on?

A: The best vacation is anything with a beach. I recently went to Cabo San Lucas. IT was great because it was a short flight and was so relaxing.

Q: What is your favorite movie and book?

A: My favorite novel is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It's a very motivational book about a shepherd boy that overcomes his trials. As far as movies go, I would say the Wizard of Oz. I must have watched it a million times.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: Don't be afraid to use AJRR resources to maximize Registry participation. They have several guides and informational documents on their website, so be sure to look around to see that you haven't missed anything.

 Cronk-2Mr. Jim Cronk, MSA, RN, has been working at Trinity Health in Livonia, MI, since April 2016. As a Director of Clinical Transformation in Trinity Health's Unified Clinical Organization, Mr. Cronk leads a team helping the not-for-profit Catholic hospital system coordinate orthopedic services, such as total joint replacement, throughout the 93-hospital, 22-state health system. Working with medical leaders across the country, Mr. Cronk and his team members facilitate processes and data interpretation for the purpose of continuous improvement as Trinity Health works to build a people-centered health system. In these roles, the team also encourages networking and best-practice sharing between Trinity Health's 93 hospitals and its System Office. His favorite part of his job is his admiration for his peers and colleagues - the leaders, clinicians, physicians, and others who share a deep commitment to the quality and safety of the care delivered to patients. Trinity Health just recently started submitting to AJRR in order to benchmark itself nationally in the care and service to its patients undergoing total joint replacement in a Trinity Health facility.

Q: What are three things to describe Trinity Health?

A: When you work at Trinity Health, you see examples of people and behaviors that demonstrate an undeniable devotion to the people who rely on us. These people ensure our Catholic health care ministry is compassionate, transformative, and healing.

Q: What is the best vacation you've been on?

A: My favorite vacation was a family trip to Colorado Springs. It was great being exposed to all of the natural beauty.

Q: If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?

A: I would interview the evangelist Billy Graham. He's been an icon of faith for our country. I would like to ask him how he stayed so committed to his mission.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: AJRR staff is very helpful and available. In these days of fast-paced change in health care, the more that we can learn about external services like registries, the better, and AJRR staff makes it easy to learn more. It's important to collaborate with outside organizations so that we can all improve the quality of patient care. 

July 2016

This quarter, we would like to recognize Dr. John Tongue from Legacy Health System in Oregon, and Ms. Cheryl Dykstra from National Surgical Healthcare, Inc. in Chicago, IL.


john formalDr. John Tongue is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and is the President of Cascade Orthoaedic Group, a private practice in Tualatin, OR. Dr. Tongue has served as the President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), North Pacific Orthopaedic Society, Oregon Association of Orthopaedists, and the Western Orthopaedic Association. He also serves as a trustee for the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS). Dr. Tongue writes reviews for three journals, and teaches AAOS Communication Skills Workshops across the country.

 Q: Do you enjoy working with AJRR staff? If yes, why?

A: Yes, I've collaborated with AJRR Medical Director Dr. David Lewallen on many projects over the years. He's a great 'idea guy' and an innovative thinker. Last fall I realized that Legacy Health System's five hospitals still had not joined the Registry. I arranged for Dr. Lewallen to speak at our Oregon state meeting, and then with Legacy's decision-makers in Portland. He did a masterful job, addressing everyone's issues and skepticisms. That session led to our Legacy hospitals finally choosing to sign AJRR contracts.

Q: What do you like most about AJRR?

A: I've been a proponent for all registries for a long time now. I have followed the difficulties posed by our U.S. legal system that initially slowed development of AJRR. Perseverance by our leaders and the lessons learned from registries in England and Australia have had finally given us 'critical mass' to accelerate our registry development. It's essential to have this type of health care data, especially with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers demanding quality initiatives.

Q: What is the best vacation you've been on?

A: The best vacation I've ever been on was Africa with other orthopaedic leaders for meetings, safari camps, and game drives, as well exploring cities like Cape Town. On the first trip our son and his wife were able to join us; that was probably the best trip.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

A: Whoever my wife Nancy says she likes best. She would probably go for either Robert Redford or Tom Hanks.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

A: I love water, and live by a beautiful lake near Portland. I've been a flat water canoe racer, white water kayaker, and am an avid fly fisherman. I'm also swimmer, but Nancy swims circles around me. Oregon lakes and streams are some of the perks of living in the Great Northwest.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: People's initial reaction to change is often skepticism or just plain "no." They find a reason to disagree. If you're sold on the value of the AJRR's research and data, and want your hospital to join, you have to be persistent. This isn't an easy process; it may take 6-8 months or more. Multiple groups within each hospital need to buy in. The benefits are clear, but the choice to actively participate requires a surgeon to step up and be an AJRR champion.


Cheryl-Dykstra-ProfMs. Cheryl Dykstra is the Director of Information Systems Applications at National Surgical Healthcare, Inc. in Chicago, IL. She coordinates the main electronic records operations in 11 surgical facilities across the country. Ms. Dykstra has a team at the corporate level, but also works with employees at the hospital level. She is responsible for educating, providing resources, giving standards, and laying out a roadmap for these 11 institutions. Her favorite aspect of her job is that she gets to talk to people from all over the United States; she isn't confined to one city or region. She also enjoys her commute; by taking the "L" train to work in the Chicago Loop, she is able to multitask and read or check emails. Ms. Dykstra has been working with National Surgical Healthcare, Inc. for three years.

 Q: Are you still involved with AJRR participation and data submission? If so, what is your role?

A: We're still getting the last facilities at National Surgical Healthcare, Inc. up and running with the Registry, so I've been working with sites and answering any questions they may have about data submission. Some of the work has been taken over by on-site employees, but I still act as a resource to these new AJRR participants.

Q: What do you like most about AJRR?

A: The best part about AJRR is that they are a very thorough company. Everything is written down; there are guides and documents for the major processes, which makes things very easy to follow.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

A: I would like Sigourney Weaver to be cast as me. She plays smart, strong women, and I would like to think that that's how people see me.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

A: I play the bass clarinet in two concert bands. I also used to be in a marching band, but I had to give that up.

Q: What is your favorite movie or book?

A: My favorite book series is Outlander. I recently started watching the Outlander TV show as well; I appreciate the Scottish history in the story. If I had to choose a movie, I would go with Victor Victoria, starring Julie Andrews. I like all of her work.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: Make sure that you read all of the materials that AJRR provides. There may be certain Registry processes that seem unintuitive that are explained in a guide featured on their website.

April 2016

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Eileen Poletick from Morristown Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System, in Morristown, NJ, and Ms. Lisa Wied and Ms. Judy Weibel from Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI.

EPoletickMs. Eileen Poletick has been working at Morristown Medical Center on and off for 25 years. She started out as a per diem staff nurse, but her current title is Research Coordinator for the Department of Orthopaedics. The title is somewhat of a misnomer, because Morristown Medical Center doesn't conduct a lot of funded Orthopaedic research; it's mostly investigator initiated studies. Ms. Poletick handles the orthopaedic surgery department's quality-reporting, using what she calls a kind of "alchemy" to combine clinical and administrative data. She enjoys having a thoughtful manager who encourages his employees to search for the answers to difficult but important questions. Her role in the AJRR data submission process is checking over the data and identifying where each data point lives. She also educates and creates awareness to the surgeons and gets them interested in working with AJRR.

Q: Do you enjoy working with AJRR staff? If yes, why?

A: Yes, I can't say enough about AJRR staff responsiveness. I ask tons of questions, and staff members always get back to me the same day. Whether I call or send an email, an AJRR staff member is always there with an answer. Level III (patient-reported outcomes) is still a work in progress, but I have a very long wish list for the project and look forward to using the platform to the fullest. I also enjoy working with the other User Group members. AJRR has a winning group of people on the Unet Advisory Board, and Joe Greene's presentation on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) at the meeting in March was incredibly helpful to Atlantic Health System as we begin our move towards Level III data submission.

Q: What are three words to describe Morristown Medical Center?

A: Not counting prepositions, I would describe Morristown Medical Center as having the "Soul of a Community Hospital." We're a 700-bed teaching hospital, yet we still have maintained a connection to our roots and community. Our system goal is to be a trusted network of caring. Morristown Medical Center has a picture of the original hospital from over 100 years ago; it looks like a house. We've grown to consist of multiple locations, and have received a lot of recognition, such as being listed as a US News & World Report "Best Hospital" in four specialties including orthopaedics. Morristown Medical Center is accomplishing great things while staying integrated with the community.

Q: What is the best vacation you've been on?

A: Israel is by far the best vacation I've been on. Twenty years ago, my sister and I took our families to Israel and rented a van to drive around the country. The part I enjoyed most was seeing artifacts and structures that were sometimes as old as 5,000 years. In America, we usually consider 200-year-old objects in museums to be old, so this was a whole new level.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

A: I didn't get my bachelor's degree until my late 30s. Shortly after that I received my masters, and then got my doctorate in nursing practice in my 50s.

Q: If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?

A: It's hard for me to choose just one. There are a lot of courageous women I would like to interview, like Florence Nightingale and Amelia Earhart. I would love to ask them about what motivated them and made them brave enough to take a different path in life.

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: Make a good friend in your Information Services (IS) department. They're the pivot point of data flow from us to the AJRR. While it's one thing to collect data, it's another thing to find out where it is. It can be located on a plethora of systems; there are data everywhere. That's why it's so important to make these connections.

Ms. Lisa Wied is the Administrative Director, Orthopaedic Center and Ms. Judy Weibel is the Director, Information Systems at Gundersen Health System. Lisa has been working at Gundersen for 15 years, while Judy will be approaching 27 years this May. They both love being able to serve their patients and staff and making a positive impact on the lives of others. Gundersen Health System is in the process of data submission, and both Lisa and Judy, along with others within the Orthopaedic Center will be responsible for various levels of the AJRR data submission (by Information Systems) and analysis (by their Orthopaedic Team).

                                        LWied                                                                                                                                         JWeibel






Ms. Lisa Wied                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ms. Judy Weibel

Q: What do you like most about AJRR?

A: Our experience to date has been great. It's really important for us to be a part of a National Registry and have benchmarks for our Orthopaedic Department. The aspect we like most about the AJRR is that it gives us opportunities for expanded quality improvement so we can continue to provide our patients with exceptional care.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

A: Lisa: I would definitely want Melissa McCarthy to be cast as me. 
    Judy: I can see myself being portrayed by Julia Roberts in a movie about my life.

Q: If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?

A: Lisa: Without a doubt, I would have to choose Marilyn Monroe.   
    Judy: I would be most interested in interviewing Pope Francis.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

A: Lisa: My background is not in healthcare - I "grew up" in the competitive culture of office machine dealers. Serving patients has been wonderful. It's a nice change of pace! 
    Judy: I've gotten a hole in one before!

Q: If you could pass on one piece of information to a new AJRR participant, what would it be?

A: The process of implementation is extremely smooth and easy with the staff at AJRR leading you through each step. They have been very helpful and responsive during our data submission process; don't be afraid to ask any questions that you might have!

November 2015

This quarter, we would like to recognize Ms. Michelle Davis from Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, La.

Michelle Davis black and lighter croppedMs. Michelle Davis has been working with Ochsner Health System for 18 months. She is the Clinical Operations Manager of Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery, and some of her responsibilities include guiding day-to-day physician practice operations and overseeing the budget. She also manages a support staff of nearly 50 employees. Ms. Davis enjoys learning about the clinic side of health care administration, since her experience comes from the inpatient side.

Q: What made you decide to renew your site's subscription with AJRR?

A: We were already enrolled when I came on board; four hospitals in Ochsner Health System were pilot hospitals for AJRR. However, I saw the benefit in a National Registry, so for the past few months I worked to make sure that the appropriate staff saw the amendments to our contract. That way, Ochsner Health System could renew their subscription.

Q: Would you recommend enrollment with AJRR to others?

A: Yes, I would. The AJRR staff is very professional, and I never heard a single complaint from other Ochsner Health System staff that worked with them. Our research coordinator worked closely with the AJRR team and had nothing but positive things to say about the experience.

Q: What do you like most about AJRR?

A: AJRR is a great organization to assist with our data coordinating and gathering. There are many perks from participating in a Registry; the benchmark numbers are helpful for not only orthopaedists, but for hospitals in general. I'm happy that we served as pilot hospitals and are now are able to continue being involved.

Q: What do you enjoy doing during your free time?

A: My two favorite pastimes are playing sports and shopping.

July 2015

Each quarter, AJRR highlights individuals from participating hospitals who have championed AJRR enrollment and have demonstrated outstanding cooperation and professionalism while helping to implement the registry into their institutions. Selections for Champions of the Quarter are made based on nominations and are voted on by AJRR staff. To nominate someone from your hospital, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This quarter, AJRR would like to recognize Ms. Natalie Reed from Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, Ore., Mr. Joseph Greene from University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wis., and Dr. Gary Wyard from Twin Cities Orthopedics in Waconia, Minn.

NatalieReedMs. Natalie Reed has been working for Willamette Valley Medical CenterCenter for the past 15 years. She was a physical therapist at the hospital for most of her time there but has been the Joint Replacement Institute of Oregon Program Manager for the last five years. In this position, she has many responsibilities including daily program operations, data collection, and working closely with other hospitals and staff; however, she really loves educating and working with patients and their families by serving as their "go-to" person.

Q: What made you decide to enroll your site in AJRR?  

A: It is important to be part of the national registry to benchmark metrics to improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients undergoing joint replacement surgery. We need to be part of this movement to provide the best care to our patients.

Q: Would you recommend enrollment with AJRR to others? 

A: Absolutely, for anyone performing these procedures, they need to be part of the registry moving forward.

JoeGreeneMr. Joseph Greene has been working for the University of Wisconsin Hospital Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation since 1991 as the Program Manager in Outreach and Development. In this position, Mr. Greene oversees regional relationships with providers, independent practices, and health systems. He also assists in raising philanthropic funding and manages many projects that improve the healthcare service delivery like managing their relationship with Epic and developing UW Hospital's orthopedic population health initiatives within the UW Health System.

Q: What made you decide to enroll your site in AJRR?

A: Although our interest likely began with the need for us to have an effective mechanism to identify patients with specific types of implants, we recognized the need to report to an external registry for many other purposes like improving quality and safety, along with increasing interest of payers and the government in requiring reporting now and in the future. It is very important for us to be able to evaluate our overall total joint service against other relevant benchmark institutions. In our opinion, the AJRR will be the best resource and the best mechanism for our program and other programs to accomplish this goal.

Q: Did you enjoy working with the AJRR staff? If yes, why?

A: Definitely. The AJRR is realizes how important it is to leverage new healthcare information functionality and EMR technology to improve outcomes and quality across not only an individual institution, but also across the entire country from a population health perspective. They are tackling some very challenging questions and projects right now that often have no defined road map. So, you have to create one and learn quickly. They enjoy the opportunity to create a registry that is very usable, and that will mean a lot to quality patient care in orthopedics. 

Dr.WyardDr. Gary Wyard has been an employee at Twin Cities Orthopedics since 1978 as the Chief Medical Officer. In this position, Dr. Wyard's main job is to peer review within the organization as well as supervise initiatives on quality of care issues, outcome measures, patient satisfaction and PROMs. 

Q: Would you recommend enrollment with AJRR to others?

A: I definitely would recommend enrollment with AJRR. I know the AJRR's mission is to have at least 90% of procedures, and I believe that would be a benefit of the orthopedic community and the community that the orthopedic surgeons service. 

Q: What do you like most about the AJRR?

A: It's mission. I am also impressed with the structure of its board; it is one of the reasons we joined AJRR. There are other high profile doctors in our community that have been very active with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), also various people from the Mayo Clinic, including some of AJRR's governance leaders, who directed me in the direction of selecting AJRR. 

April 2015

Ms. Karla Barber


Ms. Barber has been working for Centura Health for the past 17 years and is currently the Director of Clinical Value Analysis. She serves as a liaison with physicians, clinical areas, and vendors to facilitate the resolution of clinical issues and is an integral part of the facility-based senior leadership decision making body. She also served as a panelist for the first AJRR User Group Meeting.

Q: Do you enjoy working with the AJRR staff?

A: Absolutely! They are easily accessible, positive, encouraging, and extremely knowledgeable!

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I enjoy serving as a patient advocate from a corporate level and impacting our whole patient population from a system perspective.

Ms. Judy Casper


Ms. Casper has been working for MOSH for the past two years as the Clinical Data/Research Coordinator. In this position, Ms. Casper manages all data entry, submission, abstraction, management, and reporting for all internal and external orthopedic databases and registries. Ms. Casper was also on site at the AJRR User Group Meeting as a panelist.

Q: What made you decide to enroll your site with AJRR?

A: It was a really easy decision. MOSH's physicians and management set a very high standard for themselves and for the facility. Participation in AJRR supports that standard.

Q: What do you like most about the AJRR?

A: The potential for data-driven change that it affords. The AJRR has taken on a monumental task, and I believe they even surprise themselves when it comes to how successful they have been. It speaks to a well-conceived plan that is being effectively executed.

Ms. Kim Kimberling


Ms. Kimberling has been working for Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth for the last nine years as the Orthopedic Service Line Coordinator and has been working for the Texas Health Resources system for the last 10 years. In this position, Ms. Kimberling oversees the operational management, strategic planning, quality management, and customer engagement for our Orthopedic Service Line.

Q: Are you still involved with AJRR participation and data submission? If so, what is your role?

A: Once I receive a data file, I perform some formatting changes, check for any missing fields or inaccuracies, and submit the data to AJRR. I also run reports AJRR has available through their site and share the information with our Orthopedic Quality and Data Management Committee.

Q: What do you like most about the AJRR?

A: Their great staff! They have been very responsive to any questions I had during the enrollment and data submission process.

Ms. Susan Mehle


Ms. Mehle has been working for HealthEast Care System for 19 years and is currently the Director of Data Science. She analyzes large organizational data sets to answer specific questions and improve outcomes for patients and their families. Ms. Mehle also served as the Moderator at the first AJRR User Group Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. last month.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?

A: I really enjoy sitting down with my internal customers - surgeons, clinicians, administrators, etc. - and reviewing what my team has found in the data that we can use to improve what we do.

Q: Would you recommend enrollment with AJRR to others?

A: YES! The more coverage we have across the U.S., the better our results will be. It becomes a matter of public health, and as keepers of that data, it is our responsibility to see it's used to improve the health of our communities. The data that comes back is also useful and important in operations for the hospital as well.

January 2015

Ms. Cheryl Talamo


Ms. Talamo has been working for Doylestown Hospital for the past 16 years and is currently the Director of the Orthopaedic Institute. She enjoys the challenge that coordinating a joint program presents. Ms. Talamo holds a Master's degree in Physical Therapy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and her participation has been integral in AJRR's pilot studies.

Q: What made you decide to enroll your site in AJRR?

A: One of our physicians went to a national conference and encouraged us to explore joining the AJRR, even though it was still in its infancy phase. Without hesitation, we wanted to be involved in the registry. AJRR's purpose of improving quality of care was strategically in line with our Joint Program and Doylestown Hospital

Q: What benefits have you seen since joining the registry?

A: By being a pilot facility for Level II and Level III data, I have had the ability to see firsthand the benefits of the Registry. The Registry not only provides a database for implant tracking, but will have the ability for facilities to collect quality measures throughout the continuum for benchmarking.

Ms. Gwen Gratto-Cox


Ms. Gratto-Cox has been working for Southeast Georgia Health System for two years overseeing daily research activities and ensuring compliance with research protocols while enjoying the opportunity to assist physician investigators in offering cutting edge treatment options to patients in their own community.

Q: What do you enjoy most about AJRR?

A: AJRR has provided the orthopaedic community with a versatile and invaluable tool. With the option to enter data electronically, manually, or a combination of both, it is well suited for use with electronic health record systems of varying capability.

Q: Would you recommend enrollment with AJRR to others?

A: Absolutely! This is the best initiative for improving the outcomes of total joint replacement on both the local and national level.

October 2014

Mr. Alan Willis


Ms. Erin Almeda


Each month since the inception of the Register, we have been highlighting individuals from a participating hospital who have demonstrated outstanding cooperation and professionalism while helping to implement the AJRR registry into their organization. This quarter, we are pleased to share with you two individuals who are true AJRR Champions.

Alan Willis is the Director of Surgical Services at Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center in Marshalltown, Iowa and has oversight of 10 operating rooms and two endoscopy rooms.

Besides overseeing the implementation of the AJRR registry, Mr. Willis has demonstrated success with leading multiple departments involving Surgical Services and producing new service lines while improving upon others, to include five da Vinci Robot programs, Joint Camp, Bariatric Program, Open Heart, ENT,
Wound Care, and a regionally recognized medical training lab. Additionally, he has assisted with multiple anesthesia service reorganizations that produced better service-line delivery for patient, physician, and staff satisfaction outcomes.

Mr. Willis is a tenured leader promoting staff and physician relations, possessing a well forged acumen for customer service. In addition to operational oversight of the inpatient and outpatient surgical experience, he is assisting with the planning and implementation of the new construction of phase I building project of their Outpatient Surgery Center.

Mr. Willis’ busy career and life remains grounded with the assistance of his wife, Dawnett, of 25 years and their four children’s various activities. Thank you to Mr. Willis and his team for your participation and support!

Erin Almeda has a degree in Health Management and Policy from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Business Administration from Rivier College. She has worked at Concord Hospital in Concord, New Hampshire for twenty seven years serving in various project management and strategic capacities to develop and implement new clinical programs. She is currently the Director of Program Development for the

July 2014

Dr. Brian Silvia


Ms. Ann Morstadt


This month we are proud to feature champions from two hospitals with academic affiliations. Dr. Brian Silvia is with the Boston Medical Center (BMC), a 496-bed academic medical center located in Boston’s historic South End. This hospital is the primary teaching affiliate Boston University School of Medicine. BMC is one of our 7 participating hospitals from the Boston area. Ann Morstadt is with Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, which includes Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Community Memorial Hospital of Menomonee Falls, and St. Joseph’s Community Hospital of West Bend. Froedtert Hospital is one of two academic medical centers in Wisconsin, and the only one in eastern Wisconsin.

As assistant professor in orthopaedic surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Silvia has been instrumental in moving the AJRR initiative forward at BMC. He earned his medical degree at the University of Connecticut where he also completed a PhD in the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology. After completing his internship and orthopaedic residency at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Silvia continued his fellowship training in Adult Reconstructive Surgery at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland, UK.

Ann Morstad is the manager of clinical quality and patient safety at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, where she has worked for more than 14 years. Part of a unique office that bridges College Physicians and Froedtert Hospital, she oversees a variety of strategic projects. Her group is having fun developing and testing the data sets for the American Joint Replacement Registry, while coordinating with the Department of Orthopaedics. Ms. Morstad has a BS in biology from Carroll University and an MS in health communication and management from Colorado State University. She earned certification as a Patient Safety Officer from Duke University and is about to complete certification for the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety.

March 2014

Ms. Jennifer Perkins


Ms. Alana Burns


This quarter, we are pleased to feature two amazing champions from Illinois, our home state and one of the leading states in terms of hospital enrollment. Under the direction of Jennifer Perkins, RN, BSHA, ONC, Memorial Medical Center in Springfield was one of the first hospitals to join AJRR, signing up over two years ago. Alana Burns, BS, of NorthShore University HealthSystem has been a strong advocate for AJRR and oversaw the enrollment of the four hospitals in her system which are in the northern suburbs of Chicago and include Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park, and Skokie Hospitals. Both champions are also spearheading their hospitals’ efforts with AJRR staff on our Level II/Level III pilot program.

Jennifer Perkins is the Orthopedic Services Program Coordinator at Memorial Medical Center. Jennifer has worked as an RN at Memorial, a Magnet-designated hospital, for more than 20 years, most of which has been directly involved with orthopedics. She obtained a BS in Health Administration in 2006 and will begin an MBA program this summer at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a member of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, and holds certifications in Orthopaedic Nursing and Lean Six Sigma. As the Orthopedic leader in the area, Jennifer attributes Memorial’s success to the opportunity to partner with their physicians and collaborate with outside entities, such as AJRR, in efforts to continually raise the standards and improve patient quality of care.

Alana Burns has been Manager of Orthopaedic Research and Outcomes at NorthShore University HealthSystem since 2012. Prior to her current position, Alana had eleven years of research experience specializing in Orthopedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Her start in Orthopedics began at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where she managed their Sports Medicine Clinical Research Department for more than five years. Alana attended Michigan State University on a full basketball scholarship, graduating with a BS in Physiology. She will complete her MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the University of Louisville in May 2014. In addition to her research endeavors, she is a sought after motivational speaker and mentor for Type 1 Diabetics.

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The Register

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#4: 2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report Cover


AJRR 2017 Annual Report Figures PowerPoint


The Register

Sign Up for AJRR's Particpant E-newsletter Registry Insider


#4: 2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report Cover


AJRR 2017 Annual Report Figures PowerPoint