Children were fitted with soft casts to give them an understanding of what a broken hand or wrist feels like.


Published 2/1/2015
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Resolve to Help Prevent Playground-related Injuries in 2015

Bringing the Academy’s Safe and Accessible Playground Build to a Las Vegas Community

Since 2000, the AAOS and partners have proudly sponsored Safe and Accessible Playground Builds in our Annual Meeting host cities to help minimize the number of traumatic playground-related injuries. Each site serves as a lasting legacy and tribute to the care orthopaedic surgeons provide to children with bone and joint conditions and/or injuries.

During the December 2014 Design Day event at Palabra Viva Las Vegas church, local orthopaedic surgeons Abdi Raissi, MD, Hugh L. Bassewitz, MD, and Michael L. Lee, MD—all board members of the Nevada Orthopaedic Society and physicians with Desert Orthopaedic Center—volunteered as Academy spokespersons. They talked to children and parents about the importance of safe exercise and play to help build strong bones for life.

Afterward, approximately 30 children put crayons to paper and drew pictures of their dream playground. Their drawings will shape the blueprints of the Academy’s one-day, all-volunteer Safe and Accessible Playground Build community project on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

As a profession, orthopaedic surgeons resolve to minimize or alleviate the physical pain that bone and joint conditions and/or injuries can cause. The Academy’s Safe and Accessible Playground Builds would not be possible without the continued generous support from our sponsors—allied healthcare and industry partners, orthopaedic specialty societies, and AAOS members—who make this program possible.

As members of a greater community, let’s resolve to use the tools of our trade—hammers, drills, ratchets, and nails—to leave behind a reminder of the Academy’s commitment to safe play and injury prevention this year. The one-day build also would not be possible without the orthopaedic surgeon volunteers who generously put in sweat equity when so much of their time is required during Annual Meeting.

The AAOS is grateful for the engagement of both sponsors and volunteers.

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.

Palabra Viva—a church community providing services as well as educational, charitable, and recreational programming to more than 1,500 Spanish-speaking adults and children each week—looks forward to providing a play space for children of all abilities.

Children were fitted with soft casts to give them an understanding of what a broken hand or wrist feels like.
The children’s drawings will shape the blueprints for the new playground.

Volunteer just a couple hours of your time or an entire day. Build Day begins at 8 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m. Buses will run between the Venetian/Sand’s EXPO 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.

Interested in volunteering?
Visit or contact the AAOS public relations department by phone (847-384-4036) or email (

Annual Meeting attendees will receive a “Playground Volunteer” meeting badge ribbon at the build site. All registered 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

2015 Safe and Accessible Playground Build Sponsors
(As of Dec. 30, 2014)

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

Silver Sponsors
Alexandra’s Playground
Arthrex, Inc.
DePuy Synthes
Dr. Alan & Gittel Hilibrand
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery
Zimmer, Inc.

Bronze Sponsors
American Society of Orthopaedic Assistants
Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Basil Besh
Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
Dr. Stephen & Sonny Hurst
Dr. Frank B. & Lawson Kelly
National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
Paragon Medical, Inc.
Dr. Alan Reznik
Dr. Michael F. & Eileen Schafer
Symmetry Medical, Inc.
Tecres SPA