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Published 8/1/2007
Annie Hayashi

“Fit to a T” program promotes bone health

Do you have an hour to help community members understand the importance of being “Fit to a T”? Not only is the United States Bone and Joint Decade’s (USBJD) National Action Week (Oct. 12-20) just around the corner, but National Osteoporosis Day is Oct. 20. The “Fit to a T” program is a great way to educate your patients and neighbors about bone health.

“Fit to a T” is designed to promote bone health and educate participants about osteoporosis prevention. It has been offered by AAOS members throughout the country and in many venues—from physician offices to auditoriums. The program is suitable for men and women of all ages, but women 40 years and older are the target audience.

Stephanie E. Siegrist, MD; Susan Bukata, MD; and Edward Puzas, PhD, have presented five “Fit to a T” programs in the greater Rochester, N.Y., area. “Completing the series took some time, but was worth the effort. It provides a public service, a professional service to colleagues, and an incredible opportunity to market my practice and interests,” says Dr. Siegrist.

Along with her two colleagues, Dr. Siegrist planned the sessions, taking advantage of the free, ready-to-use materials available through the USBJD. The materials include a PowerPoint presentation with slides, speaker notes, and hand-outs—“Fit to a T” booklets with easy-to-follow presentation points, Self-Assessment Risk Questionnaires, and bibliography and reference materials—for each participant.

Getting started
Guidelines for organizing a “Fit to a T” session are available at
www.usbjd.org/rd/?Fit2TPlanning. The following simple steps will get you started:

  • Choose your location. “Fit to a T” sessions have been held at libraries, fitness centers, auditoriums, hospitals/physician offices, and even in a rehearsal room for a ballet troupe!
  • Choose your date and time. Make sure you are not competing with other major community events—sporting events, town hall meetings, school concerts.
  • Make sure your venue has a liquid crystal display (LCD) projector and screen. This enables you to show the computerized PowerPoint presentation.
  • Complete and submit the “Material Requirements Form.” The USBJD will send you everything you need—free!

Promotion pointers
Dr. Siegrist says that, although the materials for “Fit to a T” were “fairly self-contained,” she took some additional steps to make sure her programs would be a success.

  • Promote the event to the media. Realize you are competing with many community activities and peoples’ busy schedules. About 6 to 8 weeks before the first program, she sent press kits to the media and notified the community calendars.
  • Promote the program to area doctors. Dr. Siegrist sent USBJD-supplied promotional flyers and bookmarks to primary care physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, and other interested physicians.

The three presenters took turns speaking to keep the program interesting and fresh. “We all fielded questions during the very popular Q&A time,” she says.

Other physician-led sessions have included patients speaking about their own experiences with osteoporosis and regaining their bone health.

Straighten Up, America!
An alternative to the “Fit to a T” program is the free “Straighten Up America!” public education initiative focused on spine health.

The program is offered in different formats for adults and for young people. It includes a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation, back-strengthening exercise demonstrations, and an easy-to-do back exercise routine with recommendations for healthy lifestyle changes.

For more information, visit www.usbjd.org or www.straightenupamerica.org.

Annie Hayashi is the senior science writer for AAOS Now. She can be reached at hayashi@aaos.org.