Published 1/1/2010
Frank B. Kelly, MD

Raising community awareness of orthopaedics

One of my partners was asked recently to give a presentation in our community. As the time for his talk grew closer, he began asking around the office for advice and/or materials. I thought he just needed a place to start. I suggested he check out the Community Orthopaedic Awareness Program (COAP) materials on the AAOS Web site. When he did, he was impressed with the professional, time-saving presentations available.

But why hadn’t he known about the COAP materials, I wondered, and how many of my peers aren’t aware of this excellent resource?

Timely topics for public education
Next time you are invited to speak to a group of people in your community or at a medical institution, start with a visit to

COAP consists of a toolkit, ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations, scripts, digital video patient stories, and digital audio and video public service announcements on more than a dozen timely topics. The presentations and scripts can be personalized with your name and practice information as well as edited to fit your audience and time, making it easy to promote orthopaedics, your practice, and musculoskeletal health. All resources are free and ready for immediate download and use by all AAOS members.

COAP materials cover the following topics: 10 Common Orthopaedic Injuries; Common Hand Injuries (developed in partnership with the American Society for Hand Surgery); Injury Prevention; Osteoarthritis and You; Patient-Centered Care; Patient Safety; Pediatrics (developed in partnership with the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America); Preventing Winter Sports Injuries; Sports Injuries; Understanding Back Pain; Understanding Osteoporosis; Arthritis; Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving: Let’s Exercise!; Save Your Knees; and Scoliosis (developed in partnership with the Scoliosis Research Society).

Presentations include educational information about prevention and treatment options. The toolkit offers tips and techniques on how you can bring the information to the community. It also has additional resource lists such as Web sites and book suggestions, PowerPoint tips, general presentation tips and techniques, and sample questions and answers.

The statistics, which are updated annually, tell one piece of the story, and I’ve found that my own anecdotes easily round the presentation to make it more personal. Recently updated images in the presentations make them even more polished and professional.

When the opportunity to present presents itself
You may be invited to share your expertise with a local audience, seeking ways to educate people about their health, or looking to promote your practice. COAP presentations fit the bill, and are ideal for use at:

  • Senior centers
  • Career night or health fairs at local schools
  • Parent-teacher sponsored events
  • Hospital events, such as health fairs (the public relations or media department of your hospital should be aware that you are interested in obtaining media training and acting as a spokesperson on orthopaedics)
  • Civic or business organization meetings (such as the Lions Club, Kiwanis, or Rotary)
  • Debates and panel events at scientific meetings or annual conferences
  • Speakers bureaus, as a method of interacting with the community
  • Internet or Web site blogs

Easy to obtain, simple to use
All COAP presentations are available free of charge. Get your copy using one of the following options:

  • Download the presentation from the AAOS Web site
  • Contact Pat Julitz by e-mail at julitz@aaos.org or by phone at (847) 384-4036.
  • Stop by the public relations booth at the 2010 Annual Meeting where an AAOS staff member will be happy to show you how to use the COAP materials to promote your practice.

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