Local contacts find site, partners, support
Without the assistance of the Nevada Orthopaedic Society (NVOS) and its president Fred C. Redfern, MD, there almost wouldn’t be a playground build at the 2009 AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Dr. Redfern’s business and personal contacts in the community were key both in identifying a site and in finding partners and support.
Dr. Redfern had participated in playground builds before, and his daughter, Laura, had coordinated a playground build as president of her high school student organization. Their contacts with the local Rotary eventually led to Jessica Bretzlaff, executive director of Communities in Schools, North Las Vegas. Communities in Schools connects needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school, and prepare for life.
In talking with Ms. Bretzlaff, Dr. Redfern learned that Communities in Schools was developing a daycare center for Nevada Partners, a nonprofit organization that provides education, employment, and training services to youth, adults, and dislocated workers. Dr. Redfern described the AAOS Safe, Accessible Playground Build program and encouraged Ms. Bretzlaff to contact the AAOS so that a site visit could be scheduled.
A state senator helps out
Another key contact emerged—Steven Horsford, the executive director of Nevada Partners and an incumbent state senator running for re-election. Senator Horsford had received a campaign contribution from the recently established NVOS political action committee (NVOS Bone PAC). With the assistance of the NVOS BonePAC lobbyist, Dr. Redfern and AAOS representatives met with Sen. Horsford to discuss the playground build.
Although other sites for the playground had been proposed, the Nevada Partners’ North Las Vegas location identified by Dr. Redfern through his community contacts was the best option. The NVOS also reached out to local orthopaedic vendors and businesses to support the playground build. The Clark County Medical Society and several other organizations have committed to providing financial, in-kind, and volunteer support.
The effort demonstrated by the NVOS surpassed all previous state society support. “The NVOS acknowledges the support the AAOS has given it to become a strong society, and is grateful for this opportunity to give back to the AAOS,” said Dr. Redfern.
Addy M. Kujawa is manager of public relations for the AAOS. She can be reached at email@example.com
Now it’s your turn
To make the Academy’s 10th playground build a success, the AAOS needs you! Join hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, industry partners, state and specialty society representatives, and Las Vegas community members on Tuesday, Feb. 24—the day before the Annual Meeting begins—to build a safe, accessible playground for children with and without disabilities.
The day begins at 7 a.m. and ends at approximately 3:30 p.m. Buses will run between the Sand’s Expo Center and the playground site from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Music, breakfast and lunch will be provided. No experience is necessary to help; seasoned project managers will be on-site to oversee the build. Whether you spend just an hour or two or the entire day, you will long remember the great time and the joyful faces of the neighborhood children.
Add your name to the volunteer roster by calling Pat Julitz (847) 384-4036 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Meeting attendees will receive a ribbon for your meeting badge at the playground build site. All volunteers will receive detailed information prior to the event. See you there!