Steven L. Frick, MD, meets with children and parents at Central Avenue Elementary School, where the 17th Safe and Accessible Playground Build will be held on Tuesday, March 1.


Published 2/1/2016
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Help Build a Safe and Accessible Playground in Orlando

Dreams really can come true for Central Avenue Elementary School and community
Every day, we orthopaedic surgeons help restore our patients' mobility. We encourage our patients—especially children—to build strong bones for life with exercise and physical activity.

For the past 16 years, the Academy has demonstrated our commitment to bone and joint health by donating a Safe and Accessible Playground to the host cities of our Annual Meetings. Safer play structures help prevent children from getting severely injured on the playground. Accessible playgrounds enable children with and without disabilities to play together.

A lasting legacy
In 2000, hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons, allied health and industry partners, and community volunteers first joined forces with the Academy to give back to the communities we serve. As Academy members, we should remain proud of the accomplishments of our volunteers then and now. On a recent visit to Magnolia Elementary School in Orlando, Fla., the first playground our volunteers helped erect stands tall. According to school officials, the site still serves hundreds of children every day.

Next month, with the 2016 Annual Meeting, the AAOS returns to Orlando to continue to foster safe and accessible play. Join us on Tuesday, March 1, as Central Avenue Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., is magically transformed with the 17th Safe and Accessible Playground Build. Once complete, the playground will serve thousands of children from both the school and the surrounding community.

In December 2015, my good buddy Steven L. Frick, MD, a pediatric orthopaedist and chair of orthopaedics at Nemours Children's Hospital, met with nearly two dozen children and parents at the school during Design Day. Dr. Frick talked to the groups about what orthopaedic surgeons do, the importance of bone and joint health, and how play helps build strong bones for life. Students and community children were eager to share what play meant to them and what their dream playground includes.

Steven L. Frick, MD, meets with children and parents at Central Avenue Elementary School, where the 17th Safe and Accessible Playground Build will be held on Tuesday, March 1.
The Academy's first playground build at Magnolia Elementary School is a lasting legacy of safe and accessible play.

Lend a helping hand
Volunteer to assemble a lasting legacy for Central Avenue Elementary School—a gift the families in the community will be able to appreciate for years. Enjoy great music and fun as you help to assemble playground equipment under the direction of seasoned project managers. No experience is necessary to help. Buses will run from the Orange County Convention Center, Level 1 Lobby, and the build site between 7:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Register as a volunteer at

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.

2016 Safe & Accessible Playground Build Sponsors
(As of Jan. 6, 2016)

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

Bronze Sponsors
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Basil & Amirra Besh
Bonutti Technologies
Dr. David L. & Gail Cannon
Danna Gracey
Dr. Howard R. & Phyllis G. Epps
Dr. David & Katie Halsey
Dr. Stuart A. & Lisa Hirsch
Dr. Stephen & Sonny Hurst
Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
Drs. Elizabeth Matzkin and Eric Smith
National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
Paragon Medical, Inc.
Dr. Alan & Elizabeth K. Reznik
Drs. Lawrence Robinson & Jane Benton
Dr. Michael F. & Eileen Schafer
Tecomet, Inc.
Tecres S.P.A.
Dr. Gerald R. & Robin K. Williams