Nine years ago, the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) brought the musculoskeletal community together in a unified effort to raise awareness of the burden of musculoskeletal disease. Much has been accomplished, but as the decade draws to a close, it is clear that much remains to be done. So, the USBJD will continue beyond 2011, under a new name—the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI). The global Bone and Joint Decade also has received a mandate to continue this important work, worldwide.
Organizations and their members have used the USBJD as a springboard to raise awareness, forge new collaborative relationships, build partnerships, and generally support the advancement and expansion of musculoskeletal awareness, care, and research. The list of accomplishments includes the following:
- Publication of The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States: Prevalence, Societal and Economic Cost, in print and online, and with an Executive Summary suitable for the public and policymakers
- Establishment of the Young Investigators Initiative to increase the number of clinician scientists; of the more than 190 participants, 84 have obtained musculoskeletal research funding totaling more than $60 million
- Outreach through Project 100, to increase formalized instruction in musculoskeletal medicine in medical schools
- Development of public education programs, such as Fit to a T, Protect Your Bones & Joints, and Experts in Arthritis, that have reached more than 13,000 patients
- The 2009 Global Network Conference, which assembled the worldwide musculoskeletal community, advocated on Capitol Hill, provided a forum to present the most important advances in major musculoskeletal conditions, and created a roadmap for the future.
The USBJI will continue efforts to promote and facilitate collaboration among the public, patients, and organizations to improve bone and joint health through education, research, and advocacy. The primary areas of focus will be awareness and advocacy, access to high quality musculoskeletal care, data assessment and dissemination, and interdisciplinary forums and programs.
For more news, visit www.usbji.org
Toby King is executive director of the USBJD. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org