Rivers sparkles at Opening Ceremony

By Carolyn Rogers

From the dramatic presentation of colors by the Illinois Institute of Technology Air Force ROTC Color Guard to the humorous and occasionally off-color remarks by comedienne Joan Rivers, Wednesday’s Opening Ceremony ranged in tone from dignified to uproariously irreverent.

AAOS President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, presents Joan Rivers with a gift acknowledging her efforts in helping spread the word about osteoporosis

AAOS President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, presents Joan Rivers with a gift acknowledging her efforts in helping spread the word about osteoporosis.

With a stage set suggestive of architect Frank Gehry’s stunning new concert pavilion, AAOS President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, and local chair William J. Robb III, MD, welcomed the Academy to Chicago for the first time in 36 years.

“Welcome to the City of Big Shoulders,” said Dr. Weinstein. “Chicago — immortalized in this poem by Carl Sandburg — has embraced the Academy after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the original site of our 2006 Annual Meeting.”

Dr. Weinstein thanked Chicago’s Convention and Tourism Bureau for “helping us make a significant financial contribution of approximately $650,000 to the relief fund for the hospitality workers of New Orleans, whose livelihoods were affected by the loss of our convention business.”

After recognizing Ollie Edmunds Jr., MD, and Ralph P. Katz, MD — who were scheduled to be the local hosts in New Orleans — Dr. Weinstein introduced Dr. Robb, who gave a warm welcome on behalf of the Chicago hosts.

Dr. Weinstein also acknowledged the 25th Anniversary of the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA), calling it the premier provider of hands-on continuing medical education in arthroscopy.” Dr. Weinstein cited AANA’s role in the creation of the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) as one of its major accomplishments. Since 1994, more than 4,000 orthopaedic surgeons from around the world have attended classes at the OLC — a joint effort between the Academy and AANA.

Also honored were the presidents of international orthopaedic societies, the Specialty Society presidents and members of the AAOS Board of Directors and Council chairs.

AAOS President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, details the Academy’s progress during the past year.

Special kudos also went to the 2006 Annual Meeting chairs: Colin F. Moseley, MD, Annual Meeting Committee; Lynn A. Crosby, MD, Exhibits Committee; William J. Maloney, MD, 2006 Central Program Committee; and J. Lawrence Marsh, MD, 2006 Instructional Course Committee.

Welcoming Argentina as Guest Nation
Dr. Weinstein welcomed Argentina — through the Argentine Association of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, as the 2006 Guest Nation. “The AAOT and AAOS have a long-standing history of mutual cooperation and education exchange,” he said. “The AAOT is one of the most active and educationally dedicated orthopaedic associations in Latin America and the world.”

Joan Rivers: “Beauty is bone deep”
Calling her “a very special patient who wanted to do something to help others prevent osteoporosis,” Dr. Weinstein introduced Emmy-Award winning T.V. talk host Joan Rivers. Ms. Rivers worked with the AAOS to produce print, radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) on osteoporosis

After screening the new “Beauty is bone deep” television PSA to much laughter and applause, Ms. Rivers crawled onto the stage — drawing more laughter, as well as a standing ovation.

“Four years ago, my bones began to click so badly that three dolphins tried to pick me up,” Rivers quipped.

Fortunately, she found orthopaedist Joseph M. Lane, MD, who told her she had osteoporosis — a disease that was shrinking her bones. She would have preferred that it shrunk other body parts, she joked, but she followed Dr. Lane’s treatment plan, which included vitamins, calcium supplements and exercise.

“And it actually worked!” she said. “That’s the exciting thing about this disease — osteoproisis can be reversed.”

Serious for a moment, Rivers said, “I plead with you as orthopaedic surgeons — when a patient gets a fracture, tell them to get a bone density test…Tell them I told you that it doesn’t hurt and you don’t even have to get undressed!”

Dr. Weinstein presented Ms. Rivers with a glass sculpture, engraved with her ad, as a token of appreciation. She accepted the award, adding “I’m going to make a fortune on eBay with this!”

Induction of Class of 2006
Michael A. Masini, MD, Chair of the Membership Committee, who introduced the class of 2006 and the new International Affiliate members, joked that he’d drawn the short stick as a presenter. “Joan Rivers is a tough act to follow!”

Frank B. Kelly, Jr., chairman of the AAOS Board of Councilors, welcomed the new class with his thoughts about “Listening, Learning and Living.”

“With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing,” Dr. Kelly said. “You’ll enjoy your practice more and provide better patient care as your listening and communication skills improve.”

Experience will become a fantastic teacher, Dr. Kelly said. “Learn from your continued study; learn from your colleagues; learn from your patients; learn from your own experience.”

Following Dr. Kelly’s remarks, Dr. Weinstein introduced AAOS CEO Karen Hackett, who discussed the Academy’s new governance structure, which is built around activities that members say are most important to them — education and advocacy, in particular.

AAOS CEO Karen L. Hackett, CAE, FACHE, discusses the Academy’s new governance structure, which is built around activities members say are most important to them.

Award presentations
Dr. Weinstein called upon Gunnar B.J. Andersson, MD, chair of the Academy’s Research Committee; Wendy Sire, national vice president of finance of Kappa Delta Sorority; and Thomas A. Einhorn, MD, vice chair of OREF’s Grants Committee to present their awards, which recognize outstanding contributions in musculoskeletal research.

Companies that have supported the AAOS with educational grants throughout the year were also recognized. In particular, Dr. Weinstein noted the companies that have provide multi-year support for various projects ranging from Orthopaedics Knowledge Online to the 75th Anniversary Project.

Other highlights of the meeting included a brief video of Tuesday’s safe, Accessible Playground build in Chicago’s Englewood community, highlights of a new film on patient-centered care and the unveiling of the Academy’s 2006 print, radio and television PSAs.

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