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The 2013 Safe and Accessible Playground Build in Chicago serves as a safe haven for children to play in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.
Courtesy of KaBOOM!


Published 10/1/2014
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Strengthening Bones, Joints, and Communities

2015 Safe and Accessible Playground Build heads to Las Vegas

As many AAOS members know, since 2000, the Academy has been building playgrounds in Annual Meeting host cities. Our patients and their orthopaedic conditions are unique, as are each of the 15 Safe and Accessible Playgrounds the AAOS has built. Each site is specifically designed for the children and the community where it is located, and the footprint of each build site is as different as individual fingerprints. Each site is a lasting legacy and tribute to the care orthopaedic surgeons provide to children with bone and joint conditions and/or injuries.

As orthopaedic surgeons, we minimize or alleviate the physical pain that bone and joint conditions and/or injuries can cause. Similarly, the AAOS-built playgrounds strengthen communities with limited resources by providing them with a playground site that uniquely and safely will serve the community for generations to come.

With each playground build, participants use tools very similar to those we use in our trade—hammers, drills, ratchets, and nails—to leave behind a reminder of the Academy’s commitment to safe play and injury prevention. We remind communities about the importance of exercise and physical activity. The effect of our messaging is evident in the success of each build site.

Over the years, the Academy’s Safe and Accessible Playgrounds have weathered hurricanes, become integral community meeting grounds, served as safe havens for children living in areas riddled with violence, and become respites for those in underserved neighborhoods. Each continues to thrive.

When we revisit sites of past builds, we are reminded that we not only strengthen bones and joints. Through the playground build, we also strengthen communities.

But the Academy’s Safe and Accessible Playground Builds would not be possible without the continued generous support of our sponsors—allied healthcare, industry partners, orthopaedic specialty societies, and AAOS members. The one-day build also would not be possible without the orthopaedic surgeon volunteers who generously put in sweat equity—even through torrential rains, freezing temperatures, or heat waves—when so much of their time is required during Annual Meeting. We are certainly grateful for the engagement of both groups.

You can help make the Academy’s 2015 playground build a success. As you begin to think about your travel plans for Las Vegas, consider arriving in time to help build. Join hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, industry partners, state and specialty society representatives, and Las Vegas community members on Tuesday, March 24—the day the Annual Meeting begins—to build a safe and accessible playground for children with and without disabilities.

Volunteer just a couple hours of your time or the entire day. Build Day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at approximately 2:30 p.m. Buses will run between the Sands Expo Center and the playground site from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Music, breakfast, and lunch will be provided. No experience is necessary to help; seasoned project managers will be on-site to oversee the build.

The 2013 Safe and Accessible Playground Build in Chicago serves as a safe haven for children to play in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.
Courtesy of KaBOOM!
Children enjoy taking the bus at the 2007 Safe and Accessible Playground Build in San Diego.
Courtesy of KaBOOM!
The water slide at the 2012 Safe and Accessible Playground Build in San Francisco.
Courtesy of KaBOOM!

Find out how you can get involved by visiting www.aaos.org/playground or by contacting the AAOS public relations department by phone at 847-384-4036 or by email at publicrelations@aaos.org

Annual Meeting attendees will receive a meeting badge ribbon at the playground build site. All volunteers will receive detailed information prior to the event.

I hope to see you there!

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet. He can be reached at ahilibrand@gmail.com

2015 Safe and Accessible Playground Build Sponsors
(as of September 4, 2014)

The Academy appreciates the generosity of the 2015 Safe and Accessible Playground Build sponsors.

Silver Sponsors
Alexandra’s Playground
Arthrex, Inc.
DePuy Synthes
Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
Dr. Alan & Gittel Hilibrand
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America

Bronze Sponsors
American Society of Orthopaedic Assistants
Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Stephen & Sonny Hurst
Dr. Frank B. & Lawson Kelly
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
Paragon Medical, Inc.
Symmetry Medical, Inc.