Design Day at the Arthur Ashe Charter School. (Left) A student shows the location of playground equipment on his drawing, held by McCall G. McDaniel, MD. (Top) Participants display their drawings, which will be used to help design the playground.


Published 12/1/2013
Michael F. Schafer, MD

Why We Build—Bones and Playgrounds

Celebrate the 15th Safe and Accessible Playground Build

It’s inherent in us, as orthopaedic surgeons, to want to build and to fix things. We treat the results of playground injuries and falls. We want to help improve the quality of life and mobility of our patients. That’s what we do. And, for the past 14 years, Academy members, industry partners, and allied healthcare professionals have come together to build a Safe and Accessible Playground as a legacy to the Annual Meeting’s host city.

In 2014, the AAOS Annual Meeting returns to New Orleans—a city that bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina’s impact when the super storm struck the Gulf of Mexico in 2005. Powerful storms and flooding damaged much of the city, decimating entire communities and forcing schools to close, like New Orleans Charter Middle School (NOCMS), a FirstLine School dedicated to preparing students for college and fulfilling careers.

After the storm, many New Orleans residents, businesses and schools were displaced. Two years later, NOCMS reopened as Arthur Ashe Charter School serving students in grades K-8 in a temporary facility. At the time, fewer than 50 students were enrolled. More than 7 years after Hurricane Katrina, the school and its more than 400 students were able to move into a new, permanent campus in the Lake Park neighborhood of Gentilly in New Orleans. But, even though these children now have a school, what they still need is a safe and accessible play space of their very own.

On Nov. 19, 2013, more than 30 children gathered at the Arthur Ashe campus during the Design Day event, with crayons and markers in hand, to draw the playground of their dreams. Scott F.M. Duncan, MD, chairman of the department of orthopaedic surgery at Oschsner Health System, and McCall G. McDaniel, MD, the Tulane University School of Medicine, met with students and parents to talk about the importance of building strong bones for life and playground injury prevention.

From Drawings to Reality
On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, I hope you will join your colleagues in improving the quality of life for the children and neighbors of Arthur Ashe Charter School by building a Safe and Accessible Playground. This build is a memorable way for the orthopaedic community to give back. It is a chance for us to trade in our surgical nails, screws, and rods—the tools we use to rebuild bodies—for construction-grade hammers, drills, and ratchets to build a safe and accessible play space benefitting the very deserving children of New Orleans.

Come to the playground build for the children of Arthur Ashe so that they have a fun space in which to play. Come build camaraderie with your colleagues within the orthopaedic community. And, come see why we build.

Buses will run between the build site and the Morial Convention Center from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The ribbon-cutting will take place at approximately 2:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on-site, and it will be a fun day filled with music and high energy.

Design Day at the Arthur Ashe Charter School. (Left) A student shows the location of playground equipment on his drawing, held by McCall G. McDaniel, MD. (Top) Participants display their drawings, which will be used to help design the playground.

No experience is necessary to participate; seasoned project managers will be on site to oversee the build. Annual Meeting attendees will receive a meeting badge ribbon at the playground build site. All volunteers will receive detailed information via email approximately 1 to 2 weeks prior to the event.

Help make the Academy’s 2014 Safe and Accessible Playground Build possible by volunteering just a couple hours of your time or an entire day. Find out how you can get involved by visiting, or by contacting the AAOS public relations department by phone at 847-384-4036, or by e-mail at

Michael F. Schafer, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.

2014 Safe and Accessible Playground Build Sponsors
(as of Nov. 6, 2013)

The Academy appreciates the generosity of the 2014 Safe and Accessible Playground Build sponsors.

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors
Alexandra’s Playground
Arthrex, Inc.
DePuy Synthes
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)

Bronze Sponsors
Aesculap, Inc.
Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery
American Society of Orthopaedic Assistants
Arthrex, Inc.
Dr. Leon S. & Karyn Benson
Bonutti Technologies
DJO Global
Dr. Stuart & Lisa Hirsch
Dr. Stephen & Sonny Hurst
Dr. Frank B. & Lawson Kelly
Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
Paragon Medical, Inc.
Pro-Dex, Inc.
Dr. Michael F. & Eileen Schafer
Symmetry Medical, Inc.
Tecres S.P.A.
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc.

Wright Medical Technology