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President Bush Issues Bone and Joint Decade Proclamation

Release Date: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2002

ROSEMONT, IL – President Bush has issued a proclamation designating the years 2002-2011 as National Bone and Joint Decade.

"I call upon the people of the United States to observe the decade with appropriate programs and activities; and I call upon the medical community to pursue research in this important area," the President states in the proclamation. "National Bone and Joint Decade, 2002-2011, envisions a series of international initiatives among physicians, health professionals, patients and communities, working together to raise awareness about musculoskeletal disorders and promoting research and development into therapies, preventative measures and cures for these disorders. Advances in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research of musculoskeletal conditions will greatly enhance the quality of life of our aging population."

The President recognized the efforts of federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, as well as industry and private professional and voluntary agencies engaged in research in this area.

"Thanks to the hard work of these dedicated researchers, we have made great progress in understanding and treating musculoskeletal disorders," the President says. "I commend their efforts and encourage them to pursue diligently further research that will help those suffering from these disorders."

The full text of the proclamation is found in the Federal Register March 26, 2002, and at the White House Web site.

"This is a tremendous boost to our ongoing efforts to reduce the burden that musculoskeletal conditions place on society," said Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, from Iowa City, IA. Weinstein is chair of the National Action Network for the Bone and Joint Decade in the United States. "The economic impact has been estimated at more than a quarter of a trillion dollars each year, and the human impact is equally enormous. The musculoskeletal system gives us support and the power to move. When things go wrong, people are in pain and their lives become limited. The goal of the Bone and Joint Decade in the U.S. is to keep people moving, to enjoy fuller lives."

The National Action Network of the Bone and Joint Decade in the United States is made up of 59 patient and physician health care organizations, and is led by a Steering Committee. Work to date has identified the burden of disease on American society. Efforts are now focused on building projects and activities that will ultimately reduce that burden.

"The Decade will emphasize education, prevention and research, and we intend to help empower patients to participate in decisions about their musculoskeletal care," said Weinstein.

"Worldwide, 38 national governments have endorsed the Decade, and more than 750 organizations, health ministries, medical groups and journals have signed the declaration of support," he continued. "With the world’s aging population, musculoskeletal conditions will increase, so our program of education and research will have an impact around the world."

The global Web site for the Decade is at and the U.S. site is The U.S. Web site details why the Decade is important and itemizes the burden of disease data.

"The U.S. steering committee, leading the U.S. National Action Network, have recently created the United States Bone and Joint Decade, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation to move this work forward."

Organizations forming part of the Bone and Joint Decade in the United States and represented on the Steering Committee include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Chiropractic Association, American College of Rheumatology, American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation, American Osteopathic Association, American Physical Therapy Association, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Arthritis Foundation, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Osteoporosis Foundation, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Shriners Hospitals for Children, United Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation.

Toby King
United States Bone and Joint Decade
Phone: 847-384-4010