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FOS 2019 Annual Meeting Speakers
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Mary O’Connor, M.D.
Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Care
Yale School of Medicine

As the inaugural Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care at Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Health, Dr. O'Connor brings together the traditional disciplines of orthopaedics, rheumatology, spine and sports medicine with ancillary services such as nutrition, behavioral health and complementary medicine to create a Center focused on integration, innovation and invigoration of patients, providers and payers. Research is a critical activity and includes translational studies and those targeting biological therapies for musculoskeletal conditions.


After graduating from Yale University with a degree in biochemistry, Dr. O'Connor attended Drexel University College of Medicine and the completed her orthopaedic surgery residency and fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She joined the staff at Mayo Clinic in Florida (MCF) and held numerous leadership roles including Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (MCF), Medical Director for Philanthropy (MCF), member of the Executive Operations Team (MCF) and Medical Director of the Office of Integrity and Compliance for Mayo Clinic. She has also served as President of the International Society of Limb Salvage, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons and the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society. She is the Chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery Diversity Advisory Board and Chair of the Movement is Life Caucus, a multi-stakeholder group committed to decreasing musculoskeletal healthcare disparities.

Kristy L. Weber, MD
AAOS President


Kristy Weber, MD is the Abramson Family Professor in Sarcoma Care Excellence in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and attended college at the U. Missouri-Columbia and medical school at Johns Hopkins.  Kristy completed her orthopaedic residency training at the University of Iowa and followed that with a 2 year research/clinical fellowship in orthopaedic oncology at the Mayo Clinic.  She joined the faculty at University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center where she developed a large clinical practice in orthopaedic oncology and developed a basic science research program related to cancer metastasis.  Kristy was recruited to Johns Hopkins in 2003 as chief of the Division of Orthopaedic Oncology and Director of the Sarcoma Program and was promoted to Professor in 2009. 


She received the Kappa Delta national orthopaedic research award for this work in 2006.  Kristy has served on the Boards of Directors of many national orthopaedic and cancer organizations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society.  She spent 4 years as Chair of the AAOS Council on Research and Quality where she oversaw initiatives related to clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, appropriate use criteria, patient safety, biomedical engineering, biological implants and the development of orthopaedic clinician-scientists.  She has been President of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society and the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS), Secretary of the Orthopaedic Research Society and Critical Issues Chair on the AOA Executive Committee. 


Kristy is currently the first woman president of the AAOS (2019).  She was recruited to U. Penn in 2013 to serve as Vice-Chair of Faculty Affairs in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of the Sarcoma Program in the Abramson Cancer Center.  Kristy was selected for the Penn Academy of Master Clinicians in 2017.  A cornerstone of the Penn Sarcoma Program is the collaborative scientific research targeted toward developing new targets for the treatment of sarcoma across Penn Medicine, Penn Veterinary Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). 




Kathleen DeBruhl, Esq.
Kathleen L. DeBruhl & Associates: The Health Law Group
New Orleans, LA


Ms. DeBruhl’s practice focuses on the representation of healthcare providers, and in particular, physicians and their legal issues. Ms. DeBruhl’s multi-state clients include healthcare providers, specialty hospitals, medical staffs, ambulatory surgery centers, durable medical equipment providers, imaging facilities, and laboratories, and pharmacies. She possesses extensive expertise in a variety of healthcare areas, including substantial experience in general healthcare law, managed care contracts, physician practices, recruitment and contracting, antitrust, Medicare and Medicaid certification and reimbursement, audits and appeals, fraud and abuse, mergers and acquisitions, and the development of ancillary services and joint ventures such as ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, and specialty hospitals. 


Ms. DeBruhl is particularly experienced in providing strategic planning and advice to healthcare clients to build and develop healthcare projects, including organization of healthcare entities, joint ventures, construction, financing, management structures and investor syndication. She has developed integrated delivery systems, including ACO’s, physician specialty hospitals, and has facilitated the complex mergers of multiple physician practices. Her healthcare practice and expertise also spans both state and federal regulatory issues, including Medicare fraud and abuse enforcement and compliance issues, state fraud and abuse matters, insurance industry fraud and compliance, and federal Qui Tam ("Whistleblower") defense.


Ms. DeBruhl also serves as outside counsel to the Faculty Group Practice Plans of both LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.  Ms. DeBruhl was the initial counsel to organize both faculty group practices and obtained their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation.  Ms. DeBruhl has also served as special counsel to other academic medical centers.


Ms. DeBruhl has contributed her expertise as a co-author of national publications regarding the legal representation of physicians and speaks at regional and national seminars and conferences for both legal and healthcare associations.  She is rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell® and since 2009 has been recognized as a Top Lawyer in Healthcare in the New Orleans Area by New Orleans Magazine.



Kenneth M. Ford
Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition


Kenneth Ford is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) — a not-for-profit research institute located in Pensacola, Florida. IHMC has grown into one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion and resilience. Richard Florida has described IHMC as “a new model for interdisciplinary research institutes that strive to be both entrepreneurial and academic, firmly grounded and inspiringly ambitious.” IHMC headquarters are in Pensacola with a branch research facility in Ocala, Florida. In 2004 Florida Trend Magazine named Ford one of Florida’s four most influential citizens working in academia. Ford is the author of hundreds of scientific papers and six books. His research interests include: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-centered computing, and entrepreneurship in government and academia. Ford received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tulane University.

He is Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of AAAI/MIT Press and has been involved in the editing of several journals. Ford is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and a member of the National Association of Scholars. Ford has received many awards and honors including the Doctor Honoris Causas from the University of Bordeaux in 2005 and the 2008 Robert S. Englemore Memorial Award for his work in artificial intelligence (AI).

In 2012 Tulane University named Ford its Outstanding Alumnus in the School of Science and Engineering. In 2015, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named Ford the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award. Also, in 2015, he was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2017 Ford was inducted into the Florida Inventor’s Hall of Fame. In January 1997, Ford was asked by NASA to develop and direct its new Center of Excellence in Information Technology at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. He served as Associate Center Director and Director of NASA’s Center of Excellence in Information Technology. In July 1999, Ford was awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. That same year, Ford returned to private life and to the IHMC. 

In October of 2002, President George W. Bush nominated him to serve on the National Science Board (NSB) and the United States Senate confirmed his nomination in March of 2003. The NSB is the governing board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and plays an important role in advising the President and Congress on science policy issues. In 2005, Ford was appointed and sworn in as a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board. In 2007, he became a member of the NASA Advisory Council and on October 16, 2008, Ford was named as Chairman – a capacity in which he served until October 2011. In August 2010, Ford was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal – the highest honor the agency confers. In February of 2012, Ford was named to a two-year term on the Defense Science Board (DSB) and in 2013, he became a member of the Advanced Technology Board (ATB) which supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Representative James Grant
Florida House of Representatives
District 64- Tampa

James Grant was born in Tampa and raised on the same Carrollwood property his family has lived on for more than 75 years. He is an entrepreneur with a passion for creating technology solutions for the challenges in an ever-evolving and innovating marketplace. Those same principles are applied in his approach to governing, thereby introducing government to efficiencies that result from interoperability, while working toward his concept of Minimal Viable Government. 


James is the co-founder of a Health IT company and currently works to reduce the costs of healthcare.  He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Auburn University and a law degree from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.


He was first served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2014.   He returned to the Florida House by winning a special election in April 2015.   He previously served as Chair of the House Health & Human Services Committee and currently serves on the Health Care Appropriations Committee and the Judiciary Committee.  He is Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee. 


Wathen Strong, MBA, CMPE, CCS-P, CPC
Karen Zupko & Associates

Wathen is an executive professional with over twenty years of experience and leadership responsibility in healthcare operations, physician relations, mentorship, coding, compliance, and revenue cycle management.


Wathen most recently served as the Vice President of Operations at Methodist Medical Group. A sample of her key accomplishments as VP included creating a Coding & Compliance department from the ground-up with a team of multi-specialty certified coders, and implementation of coding education programs throughout the organization. She directed the ambulatory Epic roll-out, participated in the revenue cycle build, and helped facilitate Epic training for physicians & staff throughout the medical group. Wathen accomplished all of this while effectively leading 200 directors, managers and team members in the organization. Wathen has also earned Epic’s Access & Revenue Cycle Readiness certification.


In addition to her executive leadership experience, Wathen has an extensive background in orthopaedics operations management – having been the Director of Orthopaedics at HealthTexas Provider Network for Baylor Healthcare System from 2012-2014. Her tenure also includes academic institutional programmatic and department leadership, as she directed clinical operations of the Orthopaedic Surgery Clinic and Spine Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center from 2008-2009.


She holds a CCS-P certification from AHIMA; CPC credential from AAPC; and CMPE earned from MGMA. Wathen also has an Epic Access & Revenue Cycle Readiness certification.


Wathen holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dallas in Dallas, Texas, and a Bachelor’s degree in from Wright State University.


Wathen enjoys playing golf with her husband and is an avid sports fan.


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10/8/2020 » 10/10/2020
2020 BONES Society of Florida Annual Meeting

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