Published 8/1/2013
Michael F. Schafer, MD; Sandra R. Gordon

A Nation in Motion: Bravo!

As most AAOS fellows now know, the Academy has a national public awareness initiative, A Nation in Motion®, which was launched last year.

We have spent some time in this column asking you for help to make this campaign a success, and this time, we would like simply to offer a big, hearty “Thank you!”

We are so grateful to our campaign’s industry sponsors; to the AAOS fellows who have offered their stories; and to the patients who have shared their experiences. We also thank the AAOS members, leadership, and staff who have served as valuable sounding boards as we strategized and launched this campaign.

This campaign, as well as other public and media relations efforts by the AAOS, has a single goal: to promote the social and economic value of orthopaedic surgery. The results to date are outstanding, as the following facts and figures show.

AAOS public service advertising in shopping centers, airports, and transit centers reach more than 750 million people.

A Nation in Motion
The A Nation in Motion website (
www.ANationInMotion.org) has more than 600 patient stories, almost 70 surgeon stories, and 100 surgeon editorials (called Ortho-pinions) demonstrating the orthopaedic specialty at its best. The campaign message has also reached tens of millions of Americans through media placements; legislators on both the state and federal levels have received campaign materials supporting the value of orthopaedic surgery.

It’s not too late for you to get involved in this campaign. The 2014 Annual Meeting will feature a wall of the submitted surgeon stories; your story can be among them if you visit www.ANationInMotion.org today and answer the following four easy questions:

  • Why did you become an orthopaedic surgeon?
  • What is the most rewarding part about being an orthopaedic surgeon?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • In what volunteer activities or efforts do you engage that mean the most to you and those you serve?

You can also submit a consumer-focused Ortho-pinion, on a topic of your choice. And we encourage all AAOS members to urge their patients to submit their stories. There are so many ways to get involved, and we welcome your continued support.

Public service advertising
This year, the AAOS public service advertising print ads depict the value of orthopaedic care by telling the stories of five patients who have reclaimed their quality of life.

These print ads were produced in partnership with five specialty partners: the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons; the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; the American Spinal Injury Association; the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America; and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association.

The campaign also includes radio and television ads; together, these elements were distributed to more than 8,000 outlets across the country, including media outlets, airports, shopping malls, and transit advertising companies. The campaign has been delivered to more than 750 million people.

The value of orthopaedic surgery
More research is being conducted on the value of orthopaedic surgery. As they are published, the AAOS will publicize the results of studies and papers that quantify and emphasize the social and economic value of orthopaedic surgery in a methodical way, supported by research.

Media coverage
The AAOS brings the orthopaedic message to patients and the public through proactive, consistent media relations. Articles, press releases, and letters have appeared in national and local media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Sirius XM Doctor Radio, an AP Broadcast tweet, Arthritis Today, AARP, PRWeek, and many more.

The launch of the A Nation in Motion campaign included 39 local media placements, featuring John R. Tongue, MD, the AAOS immediate past president, and a patient. It also generated 430 radio news stories.

Social media
Social media is fertile ground for discussing the value of orthopaedics and engaging stakeholders as messengers. The Academy’s Facebook page continues to be the number one referral site for ANationInMotion.org and we are working to optimize the site with search engines so that visitors (an average of 3,000 per month) who need to be inspired and educated about their musculoskeletal health will find the resources they need.

Michael F. Schafer, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet; he can be reached at mschafer@nmff.org

Sandra R. Gordon is the director, public relations, at the Academy; she can be reached at gordon@aaos.org

Champions of the Cause
The AAOS would like to thank the sponsors of the A Nation in Motion campaign. Their support of this important public awareness initiative has enabled the Academy to make significant strides illustrating the value of orthopaedics—getting people back to work and back to doing the things they love.



Biomet, Inc.

Biomet, Inc.

DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.

DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.

Smith & Nephew, Inc.

Stryker Orthopaedics

Stryker Orthopaedics

Zimmer Reconstructive

Synthes, Inc.


Zimmer Reconstructive


New supporters are welcomed; it’s never too late to get involved. If you want to be a part of what is happening next in promoting the social and economic value of orthopaedics, have questions about this campaign, or would like to discuss ways to get involved, contact Sandra R. Gordon at gordon@aaos.org or 847-384-4030.