Each year, orthopaedic surgeons from around the world attend the AAOS Annual Meeting to learn the latest in musculoskeletal research, skills, and technology, as well as connect and network with colleagues. However, one of the highlights for me is the one-day event that gives our orthopaedic community the opportunity to give back to the local community within the annual meeting host city.
Since 2000, the Academy has helped build 17 safe and accessible playgrounds in Annual Meeting host cities. Last year, the AAOS Board of Directors challenged the Communications Cabinet to develop a smaller-scale community event designed to foster orthopaedic surgeon–community interaction while also encouraging bone and joint health awareness.
The 2017 Annual Meeting unveiled a new community event
An advisory group of orthopaedic surgeons from the Communications Cabinet, the Leadership Fellows Program, San Diego (the 2017 Annual Meeting host city), and staff worked together to create a new program called Communities in Motion—an extension of the Academy's A Nation in Motion® public awareness campaign.
In partnership with San Diego Youth Services, the pilot Communities in Motion event was held on Tuesday, March 14, at the Spring Valley East Communities Center—the site of the Academy's 2011 Family Fitness and Fun Park. The event featured a series of interactive "challenge" stations, highlighting cardio/aerobic activity, core strengthening, and other exercises. A team of AAOS volunteers came out to support the event and help beautify the playground by building new planters.
Communities in Motion was a tremendous success, with orthopaedic surgeons showing more than 100 children and adults how to have fun and build healthy bones. We didn't just tell the participants that they need to exercise…we gave them the tools and understanding to do so in their own homes and nearby parks. Each participant also received nutrition tips, healthy recipes, an illustrated workbook that outlined more than 30 exercises, and a bag with portable exercise equipment including yoga blocks, jump ropes, resistance bands, and hula hoops.
To make the Communities In Motion message available to everyone and everywhere, the Academy also launched a virtual park accessible at www.anationinmotion.org/communities. The new interactive tool features adventure stops for different patient-friendly, bone and joint health educational materials and exercises.
The fun will continue at the 2018 AAOS Annual Meeting
Next year, the Academy membership will travel to New Orleans for the 2018 Annual Meeting, and we will bring this event to the children and families of The Big Easy. But we need your help.
You can read more about the event, including the different levels of giving and how the Academy plans to recognize generous contributions, at www.anationinmotion.org/communities (scroll down and click on "Communities in Motion: The Event").
Support the event by pledging at http://bit.ly/2bV3Xm6.
Furthermore, limited volunteer opportunities will be available closer to the event date. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Leeb, director, AAOS public & media relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kayee Ip, digital public and media relations strategist, AAOS public relations, at email@example.com. You also can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know obesity greatly impacts the musculoskeletal system and can lead to osteoarthritis, among other lifelong health conditions. As orthopaedic surgeons, it is our role to encourage our patients to get up, get out, and get moving for better bone and joint health. I hope you'll join me in supporting Communities in Motion in New Orleans.
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, is the chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.
Get Your Communities in Motion Workbook
Limited copies of the Communities in Motion workbooks are available free of charge. To receive a copy, send your name and address to email@example.com.
Call for "Ortho-pinions"
Interested in becoming an expert contributor to Communities in Motion? Submit a relevant Ortho-pinion at www.anationinmotion.org/share-story.