Sgt. Evan Cole (left) and Col. Richard A. Schaefer, MD, at the MORE Awards luncheon during the 2009 National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference.


Published 10/1/2009
Frank B. Kelly, MD

AAOS salutes unsung heroes

Nominations encouraged for 2010 art exhibit, journalism awards

I had the privilege of meeting an extraordinary young man, Sgt. Evan Cole, during the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference in May 2009. A casualty of the ongoing Middle East conflict, Sgt. Cole is one of the many wounded and recovering soldiers coping with the daily reminders of war. Severely injured in Iraq, he has undergone more than 20 surgeries to restore mobility and function to his extremities.

The AAOS presented Sgt. Cole with an “Award of Special Recognition” during the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards luncheon. Sgt. Cole and his surgeon, Col. Mark W. Richardson, MD—reunited for the first time since Dr. Richardson assessed Sgt. Cole’s wounds in Balad, Iraq—were honored, along with the MSNBC journalists who told Sgt. Cole’s story in “Wounds of War.”

Sgt. Cole’s injuries are an all-too-common outcome of war, but his outlook and sense of purpose are extraordinary. His experience reminds us all of the unique and personal stories behind each statistic and how crucial our work as surgeons is in the lives of these brave soldiers.

I was proud to be a part of this AAOS event honoring those who make a difference. Please help us recognize more heroes in 2010 as part of the following programs.

Wounded in Action: An art exhibition of orthopaedic advancements
At the 2010 Annual Meeting, AAOS will host Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements. This exhibit celebrates those who have sustained orthopaedic injuries in the service of our country. The exhibition also recognizes orthopaedic surgeons who, throughout history, have risked their own safety to care for our troops, to save lives and limbs, to advance medical treatments, and to conduct research and learn from war so that treatment of the injured—whether civilian or military—improves.

The exhibition is open to all interested artists—not just military personnel, orthopaedic surgeons, or those personally injured in war. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15, 2009. For more information, visit

MORE awards
AAOS deeply values public education and annually recognizes journalists who help spread accurate information on the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic injuries and conditions. These awards recognize excellence in accurate reporting on musculoskeletal health issues and health behaviors in the care of bones, joints, and muscles.

If you have read or seen a remarkable story that accurately depicted orthopaedic surgery or educated the public on how to prevent or treat their musculoskeletal injuries, contact the AAOSpublic and media relations department at

You can nominate reporters, writers, producers, and editors for their top-notch reporting. The entry deadline is October 30, 2009; to learn more, visit

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