October 1996 Bulletin

Academy messages reach millions through print, electronic media

Whether you read the New York Times or Laramie (Wyo.) Daily Boomerang, USA Today or Montana Standard, Good Housekeeping or Time, you've probably seen the Academy's name in an article and maybe several times.

More than 4,400 newspapers and magazine articles with information credited to the Academy appeared in newspaper and magazine articles between June 16, 1995 and Sept. 30, 1996. The combined circulation of the publications was 833 million copies.

Information from the Academy also was mentioned in 166 television and radio programs with a combined audience of 51 million viewers and listeners.

Some media placements on TV are just a fleeting mention on a news program, but others include appearances of fellows on high-profile network televisions programs such as ABC-TV's "Good Morning America." Nicholas DiNubile, MD, appeared on the show, discussing runners' knee problems; Carol Frey, MD, discussed foot injuries and athletic shoes; and Letha Griffin, MD, was on twice, discussing prevention of sports injuries. Viewers of "CBS This Morning" saw Peter Slabaugh, MD, talk about back problems and Sandra Abda, MD, discuss prevention of women's foot problems.

Fellows also have appeared on local TV programs, including Bernard Morrey, MD, in Rochester, Minn.; Wendell Erwin, MD, Houston; Angela Smith, MD, Cleveland; and Lance Weaver, MD, Nashville, Tenn.

Most of the information appearing in the media is the result of proactive "pitching" news releases and topics. However, the Academy also fields a large number of requests from the media for information and for contact with experts on orthopaedic issues.

The staff generates news and feature stories from scientific papers and exhibits at the Annual Meeting, presentations at the annual science writers seminar and the annual national public education programs.

This year, the staff also developed a special program for the Olympic Games, providing the media background information and anatomical drawings on common sports injuries. The department also worked closely with the American Medical Association to arrange for orthopaedic surgeons to participate in a sports medicine hotline conducted by USA Today, just before the start of the Olympic Games.

Orthopaedics '96, the Academy's sixth annual science writers seminar, will be held in New York City on Oct. 15, 1996. The nine presentations will include the announcement of the Academy's new national public education program on fitness for the elderly, called "Keep Moving for Life." Developed by the Committee on Public Education, the basic message of the program is that people with musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis must engage in moderate physical activity at least 30 minutes daily. This message will be actively promoted to the media, public agencies and private organizations during the next year.

Working with the Committee, the department is updating the Academy's patient education brochures, producing several in Spanish and developing a series of clinically-oriented patient education booklets. The department also is assisting the Committee on Health Care Delivery in developing two brochures on managed care issues "Choose the Health Plan that Lets You Choose" and "Don't Wait Until It's Too Late, Ask Questions Now."

The Bulletin magazine; AAOS Report and No Bones About It, a monthly staff newsletter, are also produced by the staff.

At the 1997 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the staff will manage a press room operation for the media, conduct daily press conferences and produce the Academy News, a daily newspaper for those in attendance. A post-Annual Meeting newspaper with highlights of the activities, will be produced by the staff and mailed to active fellows.

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