Silos: Not for Musculoskeletal Health
Just as Marc has been influenced by his specialty, so have I by orthopaedics, a field in which today’s leaders see the need to foster collaboration, diversity, and global outreach. USBJI shares these values which is what drew me to this organization and is why I am so enthusiastic about its future. I am a practicing pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who enjoys taking care of patients, performing basic science and translational research focused on gene discovery. One of my personal goals is helping in the effort to bring low cost treatment for clubfoot and other pediatric musculoskeletal disorders to the developing world.
The burden of musculoskeletal disorders has never been more evident to me than in my travels globally, teaching in more than 65 countries. I have seen the effects of neglected clubfoot in childhood leading to pain, deformity, and negative stigmata as adults. The effects in many countries of musculoskeletal trauma, infections, and inflammatory arthritic conditions in patients without access to care is devastating. Through the efforts of many devoted pediatric orthopaedic surgeons working together, engaging those in different disciplines, and empowering local champions in different parts of the world, tens of thousands of clubfoot children, who had no access to care before, now receive treatment. It is this same spirit of teamwork, problem-solving, and engagement that is essential for the continued success of the USBJI.
Focusing on common ground means breaking down silos that exist in all specialties. While the USBJI is an organization of organizations committed to improving the care of patients with musculoskeletal disorders, breaking down silos is not easy. Silos exist because people like them. It is comfortable to exist within a space where you an expert. Getting out of the comfort zone, as difficult as it is, is paramount for success in the broader sense. One of the USBJI’s challenges has been and remains the breaking down of silos in the care of patients with musculoskeletal disease.
As President of USBJI, one of my main goals will be to encourage greater interaction among our constituent organizations to promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary care for musculoskeletal disease. As part of this effort we are reaching out to new societal and industry partners to raise the priority of musculoskeletal health through collective action. In addition, we will be a more active partner in the global community through engagement with the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (GMUSC) through task forces, advocacy, and global outreach.
I am truly honored to serve as president of USBJI and look forward to working with all of you to keep our organization strong and continue the fight to raise the priority of musculoskeletal health. I am proud of what this organization has accomplished but fully understand the work that lies ahead. Together we are stronger.