April 2002 Bulletin

Enthusiastic support growing for Bone and Joint Decade

A worldwide effort to improve the health-related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders, the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 (BJD) is enjoying growing support from many national organizations and the news media.More than 750 national and international patient, professional and scientific organizations and journals support the initiative, and BJD National Action Networks in 48 countries are creating goals and agendas.

Partners, programs, publicity

Academy member Stuart L. Weinstein, MD chairs the National Action Network in the U.S., and works with 14 national organizations to plan and execute programs. "We’re very excited that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently voted to join our coalition," he said. Other partner organizations include the American College of Rheumatology, American Physical Therapy Association, Arthritis Foundation and National Athletic Trainers’ Association. All 50 states have also endorsed the BJD, due in large part to the work of the Academy’s Board of Councilors.

AAOS Vice President of Educational Programs Mark W. Wieting noted a number of groups have created programs and projects under the Bone and Joint Decade umbrella, just as the AAOS labeled its eMotion Pictures under the BJD banner. "Our most exciting recent development is that we’ve voted to incorporate the Bone and Joint Decade as a 501 (c) (3) organization and will adopt bylaws and begin operating by the end of February," Wieting said.

A recent article in Fortune Magazine mentioned the Bone and Joint Decade, and noted the importance of bone and joint health for people in middle age. "There is a lot of enthusiasm for the topic," Wieting noted.

Key strategies, goals

Key strategies and goals the Bone and Joint Decade seeks to achieve include:

Huge impact on society

Musculoskeletal conditions have a huge impact on society. In the U.S. alone, about 36 million people have a musculoskeletal impairment that often restricts their ability to perform the routine tasks of daily living, and musculoskeletal impairments are the number one reason people visit the doctor. Joint diseases such as arthritis account for half of all chronic conditions in the elderly. Worldwide, musculoskeletal conditions are the most common cause of physical disability and severe long-term pain.

For more information about the Bone and Joint Decade, visit the program’s website at: http://www.usbjd.org/.

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