AAOS President Tony Rankin, MD; MORE award-winning writer Cathy Shufro; and nominating fellow Augustus A. White III, MD, are pictured during the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference this past May.


Published 8/1/2008
Frank B. Kelly, MD

From tykes to Tiger

AAOS media efforts address childhood obesity and much MORE!

With childhood obesity at epidemic levels, the AAOS and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are working together to help overweight and obese children manage their growing waistlines and the effects on their bones and joints.

The AAOS and the AAP have produced a joint print public service announcement (PSA) to help parents encourage their children to eat healthier and exercise more.

“The high incidence of obesity in children and adolescents is still a huge cause for concern,” says AAOS President Tony Rankin, MD. “Incorporating physical activity and a healthy diet into a child’s daily routine certainly creates a strong musculoskeletal frame, which is a step in the right direction. This new ad aims to educate both children and adults about changing their exercise and eating habits, so they can live stronger and healthier lives.”

The print PSA, available in English and Spanish, has been distributed to more than 2,500 newspapers and magazines nationwide. The ad is available in both posters and postcards as a free resource to all AAOS members. To order posters and postcards in English, call Pat Julitz at (847) 384-4036 or e-mail julitz@aaos.org

MORE Award entries
I encourage all AAOS fellows to help promote the field of orthopaedic surgery and enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons by submitting nominations for the 2009 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards. The MORE Awards are presented during the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference each May in Washington, D.C.

These awards recognize and honor efforts by journalists to further the public’s understanding of musculoskeletal health issues and encourage healthy behavior in the care of bones, joints, and muscles.

If you have ever been involved in or have come across any interesting orthopaedic-related stories in the media lately—especially ones that you think stand out as the “best of the best” and worthy of Academy recognition—let us hear from you.

MORE Awards are given in the following categories:

  • National Consumer Print Journalism (newspapers, magazines, Internet)
  • Local Consumer Print Journalism (newspapers, magazines, Internet)
  • National Broadcast Journalism (television, radio)
  • Local Broadcast Journalism (television, radio)
  • Advocacy Journalism (newspapers, magazines, Internet, television, radio)

The Advocacy Journalism category is new this year; nominations in this category promote musculoskeletal health programs at federal, state, and local levels as well as emphasize the importance of research funding for the advancement of orthopaedics.

The entry deadline is Oct. 31, 2008. Entries must have been published or broadcast between Oct. 1, 2007, and Oct. 1, 2008, to be eligible. The competition is open to all journalists, freelance writers, editors, and producers in print, broadcast, or online media; rules and entry forms can be downloaded from www.aaos.org/moreawards

Send any stories you consider candidates for a MORE Award to the Academy’s public relations department in Rosemont.

Last year, Augustus A. White III, MD, notified the Academy staff about a great article in the Brown University Alumni Magazine. “The view from the OR” was written by freelance journalist, Cathy Shufro, about two orthopaedic surgeons serving in two different wars (Iraq and Vietnam). Dr. White submitted the article and, after three rounds of judging, the article was given a 2008 MORE Award.

Tiger and his ACL
Last year, the children’s roller shoe known as Heelys® generated mass hysteria in the media and a flood of requests for orthopaedic spokespersons. This year, Tiger Woods and his torn ACL put Academy spokespeople in the spotlight. AAOS members were quoted in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and a growing list of other local papers and television stations.

Two of our spokespeople, Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD and William N. Levine, MD, were quoted in articles about Woods that appeared in more than 350 print and online publications. Dr. Levine was also a guest for a live “in-studio” interview on the CBS Early Show where he discussed “Boomeritis” and the type of injury Woods may have sustained. This is the perfect time to remind everyone that when the Academy’s media relations people call you, the quicker you get back to them, the more expert exposure the AAOS can offer.

Because many of you do interviews with local and national media that we are not aware of, I invite you to submit any questions you might have about handling the media and to share comments on interviews that you thought were particularly good or challenging. Sharing this type of information helps us all. Your questions and comments will be discussed in future Just the Bare Bones columns.

Frank B. Kelly, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. He can be reached at fkelly@forsythstreetortho.com

Here’s this month’s media tip to help make your next interview a little easier and better.

When talking to a reporter in person or on the phone, at the end of the interview always take the opportunity to mention the AAOS patient-centered Web site: www.orthoinfo.org

Usually, before wrapping up the call or interview, the reporter will ask if you would like to add anything else. Always answer with a resounding “YES,” then say, “I encourage everyone to visit the Academy’s patient-centered Web site, www.orthoinfo.org

“You can find accurate, easy-to-understand information on a variety of orthopaedic topics and conditions at www.orthoinfo.org

If time is an issue with the reporter, a short, to-the-point response is: “For more information on (the subject of your interview), go to www.orthoinfo.org"

I recommend that you visit orthoinfo.org and familiarize yourself with its content. The wealth of information on the site can help make your interviews more “user friendly.”