Summit Spotlights Local Osteoporosis Efforts

New Collaborative Effort Announced on World Osteoporosis Day

In conjunction with World Osteoporosis Day, five health care and research organizations will come together to host a regional summit on this “silent” disease and to announce a regional initiative to enhance orthopedic research and patient care in West Michigan.
The World Osteoporosis Day Summit: Working Together for Better Bone Health will be held Tuesday, October 20, from 4 to 6 pm at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The summit brings together leading West Michigan health care and research organizations-Van Andel Institute and its affiliate TGen, Orthopedic Associates of Michigan, Spectrum Health, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine-in a collaborative initiative to address prevention, treatment, and research in osteoporosis.

Working Together for Better Bone Health creates a regional partnership linking leading West Michigan health organizations in the study of osteoporosis. The event will provide practical information about bone health, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis, and will highlight the work of sponsoring organizations.

The event will also kick-off the Translational Orthopedic Research Program-a new collaborative effort of the sponsoring organizations, which will unify basic, applied, and clinical research programs to create a Center of Excellence for Orthopedic Research with the major goal of positively impacting patient care in West Michigan.

Osteoporosis-which literally means “porous bone”-afflicts one in two women and one in four men in the U.S. The disease slowly weakens bones over time, often causing fractures to occur easily.

  • Osteoporosis is the leading underlying cause of fractures in the U.S., particularly in the elderly.
  • In Michigan, 1.5 million people over the age of 50 have low bone mass or osteoporosis- a figure estimated to grow to 1.9 million by the year 2020. (www.michigan.gov)
  • The cost of osteoporosis statewide was $410 million in 2000 and is expected to increase to $7.1 billion by the year 2015. (www.michigan.gov)

Unless substantial improvements are made in the underlying bone health of Americans, the incidence of osteoporosis and related fractures is expected to increase significantly-the number of hip fractures could double, perhaps even triple by 2040, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Keynote speaker Laura Tosi, MD, director of the Bone Health Program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. will be joined by leading researchers and healthcare providers from each sponsoring organization.

The event is free and open to the public. Register online at www.vai.org or by phone at 616-234-5712.

About World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day, October 20, 2009, provides an important focal point for informing and educating the general public, professionals, and policy-makers about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease that still suffers from poor understanding and under-treatment. More information about World Osteoporosis Day is available through the National Osteoporosis Foundation at www.nof.org.

About the Keynote Speaker

Laura Tosi, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and director of the Bone Health Program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She works to increase physician awareness of bone health issues for women and children, with the goal of reducing debilitating bone injury as the population ages.

About the Sponsors

Van Andel Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), the research arm of VAI, is dedicated to probing the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of over 200 researchers in 18 on-site laboratories, in laboratories in Singapore and Nanjing, and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Visit www.vai.org.

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.tgen.org.

Orthopedic Associates of Michigan
Orthopedic Associates of Michigan (OAM) is the largest private orthopedic practice in Michigan.  OAM is a comprehensive orthopedic center providing multidisciplinary assessment.  Having fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons in all specialties, OAM provides care for all ages (from head to toe, infants to elders) and for all musculoskeletal problems.  OAM provides cutting edge care and is recognized nationally and internationally for outstanding care, leadership, and research, which legitimizes the results. OAM has two locations at 230 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids MI 4950 and at 1111 Leffingwell Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. They can be reached at 616-459-7101. To learn more, please visit www.oamichigan.com.

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, a collection of seven hospitals and more than 140 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and  multispecialty physician groups with more than 400 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with nearly 500,000 members. Spectrum Health’s 16,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care. The organization provided $111.1 million in community benefit during its 2008 fiscal year. As a system, Spectrum Health has earned more than 100 awards during the past 10 years. Visit www.spectrum-health.org.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Founded in 1964, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine was among the first established community-based medical schools, with a curriculum that emphasized a patient-centered philosophy. The College of Human Medicine provides students with comprehensive training in clinical settings that most closely parallel the environment in which many physicians practice. During the third- and fourth-years of the program, students complete a series of required and elective clerkships at one of MSU’s seven community-based program sites located in Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Saginaw, Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula. www.humanmedicine.msu.edu