AO Trauma Latin America
In Latin America, the history of the AO Foundation began in the early 1970s, with the first AO courses being held in Mexico and Brazil.
In June 1998 the AO Foundation established AO Latin America (AO LAT) as an official regional affiliate during its AO Trustees Meeting in Davos. The founders of AO Latin America included José Soares Hungria Neto, Gottfried Köberle, Cleber Paccola, Jaime Quintero, Fiesky Nuñez, Carlos Sancineto, Marcelo Somarriva, and Alberto Fernandez.
In the beginning, the new AO LAT affiliate had a number of challenges to overcome, including how to deliver the standards of fracture care in developing countries where the health system infrastructure was limited. Despite these challenges, AO LAT grew considerably in the years that followed. Today, it is an important affiliate of the AO Foundation, delivering numerous educational activities in 17 countries.
AO Trauma history of Latin America
AO Trauma has representation from each of the five AO regions on its international board. In 2009, Sergio Fernandez became the first chairperson of AO Trauma Latin America, and the first representative to have a seat on the AO Trauma International Board.
In 2011, Mauricio Kfuri was elected chairperson of AO Trauma Latin America who was there for 2 terms until 2017. Today, the AO Trauma Latin America board members are Juan Manuel Concha (Chairperson), Carlos Mario Olarte (education), Emilio Fantin (community development), William Belangero (research), and Antonio Machado (regional director).
Over the past years, AO Trauma Latin America has evolved. The number of active AO Trauma members remains stable after doubling the amount in the last years; the region has more than 500 faculties across 17 countries. The regional website has a new face, more appealing and friendly, hundreds of videos on AO principles that are presented in either Spanish or Portuguese, the two main regional languages.
AO Trauma Latin America is offering in 2018 its 6th rewarding course with specimens for their Faculty. A new research platform conducted by William Belangero has been developed to put together investigation data from surgeons of the region. 8 webinars are being held every year in Spanish and Portuguese. A Newsletter is been released every month since 3 years now.