Expert storytellers promote accurate and positive orthopaedic care through journalism
Earlier this summer, AAOS recognized 23 orthopaedic stories with a 2018 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Award. Winners were selected for their accurate reporting of musculoskeletal health breakthroughs, treatments, common conditions, safety concerns, and injury-prevention efforts. Those honored included writers, producers, and freelance journalists from print, broadcast, and online media outlets.
As a member of the Communications Cabinet, I reviewed the 2018 MORE Award entries, many of which made me incredibly proud to practice orthopaedics. Through the MORE Awards program, Academy members and communications staff continue to build relationships with journalists and help identify future story ideas.
Our members help patients regain mobility by providing them with high-quality orthopaedic care that enables them to get back to doing what they love. Several MORE Award–winning stories are a great reminder of that. They not only inspire patients to fight for their mobility but also educate the public about the latest bone and joint health treatments available, and most importantly, the content provides them with expert, authoritative advice on preventing various orthopaedic-related injuries and conditions.
Michael Brice-Saddler was honored for his article in The Washington Post about Camp Open Arms, along with a complementing two-part series by Alanna Delfino and Kathleen Cairns that aired on FOX News Baltimore. The stories featured pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Joshua Abzug, MD, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, who created a three-day camp for children with debilitating orthopaedic conditions, including limb abnormalities. The camp provides the children a safe space to engage in physical activities that build their confidence along with others who have similar musculoskeletal health challenges.
With the United States in the midst of an opioid epidemic, I was encouraged by a Fox News Chicago story that highlighted the efforts of Ritesh Shah, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon in Morton Grove, Ill., who endeavors to find ways to perform orthopaedic surgery with little to no narcotics. The winning story featured patient Greg Dytko, who ran two miles six weeks after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Dr. Shah stressed the importance of getting patients moving as soon as possible after surgery. “If we can get patients off narcotics quickly or help them minimize or eliminate their use altogether, they can get back to living a healthy life and being productive members of our society,” he explained.
Jessica Kartalija and Miranda Stepp were honored for their report on CBS Baltimore about 8-year-old Lal Ding, who received a new, functioning hand and arm using a bone, joint, and growth plate from his foot. Lal was born with a radial club hand, a genetic condition that also left him without a thumb.
The creator of the procedure, Simo Vilkki, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, traveled from Finland to Baltimore to work with hand specialists James Higgins, MD, and Ryan Katz, MD, of the Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, to perform Lal’s surgery.
The 2019 MORE Awards competition is now open for entries. Members are encouraged to nominate bone and joint health news stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To qualify, entries must be published between Oct. 1, 2017, and Oct. 1, 2018.
For more information about the MORE Awards or to explore other ideas for relationship-building with journalists, email Kelly King Johnson at email@example.com. AAOS considers the media to be its partner in disseminating accurate musculoskeletal health information to the public and patients.
Jennifer M. Weiss, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.
2018 MORE Award winners by category
- Michael Brice-Saddler, The Washington Post
“Maryland Camp Offers a Boost for Children With Physical Disabilities”
- Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
“When Sports Injuries Lead to Arthritis in Joints”
- Kirsten Fleming, The New York Post
“The Epidemic That’s Ruining Youth Sports”
- Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping
“3-Year-Old’s Story Reminds Us Why Toddlers Should Never Play on Trampolines”
- Sarah Toy, USA Today
“Trampolines: A Safe, Fun Activity for Your Kids? Just the Opposite, Doctors Say”
- Kristen Dahlgren, Lauren Dunn, Katie Boyle, Susan Wagner, and the NBC News Medical Unit, NBC News
“New Arthritis Treatment Could Be a ‘Game-Changer’”
- Angela Davis, CBS Minnesota
“Mayo Researchers: ACL Injuries Need 2 Years to Heal”
- Alanna Delfino and Kathleen Cairns, WBFF Baltimore
“Camp Open Arms: One-of-a-kind Camp for One-of-a-kind Friends”
- Jessica Kartalija and Miranda Stepp, CBS Baltimore
“Baltimore Surgeon Gives Boy New Hand Using His Foot Bones”
- Johnnie Weeden Jindrich, WQAD News 8
“Let’s Move Quad Cities: Man Gets Double Knee Replacement After Losing 80 Pounds”
- Sylvia Perez, Fox Chicago
“Chicago Doc Finds Way to Perform Surgery with Little or No Narcotics”
- Maria Simbra, MD, CBS Pittsburgh
“Doctors Finding Ways to Combat Pain Medication Addiction”
- Lara Spencer, ABC’s Good Morning America
“A Closer Look at Hip Abnormalities: Screening Kids and Pre-emptive Exercises for All Ages”
- Kathy Walsh, CBS Denver
“It’s Amazing: Combat Veteran Amputee Gets Permanent Prosthesis”
- Joshua A. Krisch, Fatherly.com
“Your Kid Will Dislocate an Elbow. Here’s How to Fix It”
- Patricia Mertz Esswein, Kiplinger.com
“Joint-Replacement Surgery Gets Boomers Back in the Game”
- Amanda Esch Loudin, ESPN.com
“Does Taking Ibuprofen for Pain Do More Harm Than Good?”
- Anna Medaris Miller, USNews.com
“Am I Really Shrinking?”
- Steven Reinberg, Healthday.com
“ACL Tears on the Rise Among Kids, Especially Girls”
- Karen Asp, Prevention
“Strong Bones, Flat Belly—Here’s How”
- Roger Robinson, Runner’s World
“Here’s How I Returned to Racing After Knee Replacement”
- Maggie Finn Ryan, Women’s Health
“The Bizarre Condition That Could Be Making Your Finger Lock Up”
- Devon Schuyler, Men’s Health
“Everything You Need to Know About Hip Pain”