The National Osteoporosis Foundation is launching the Healthy Bones/Healthy Cities Initiative to provide education and patient management support for family physicians, internal medicine doctors, gynecologists, ER physicians and advanced practice providers to help diagnose and treat osteoporosis.
In the US, one in two women and one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime and many will die or be forced into nursing homes as a result. Osteoporosis fractures are responsible for more hospitalizations than heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer combined. Yet this common, costly and growing problem is often left undiagnosed and untreated.
“We are excited to launch this program in Houston — a city that understands that health and vitality are at the center of living the independent, dynamic, high-contributing life we all envision,” said Elizabeth Thompson, CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Houston Methodist, UTHealth, and MD Anderson. Houstonprovides an outstanding base for the launch; with high quality of existing medical care, a focus on healthy aging — from the Mayor’s Pledge for Successful Aging to the UTHealth Consortium on Aging to the Huffington Center on Aging — Houston understands that addressing matters in a proactive way will create the structures, systems and impact needed.”
Healthy Bones/Healthy Cities will activate in eight to ten cities over the next three years to:
- Help prevent and reduce osteoporosis
- Help those with osteoporosis make and sustain changes to improve their health and reduce their risk of fracture (and death)
- Collect data on patient care improvements
- Ensure access to high quality care for those with osteoporosis.
While the initiative is being activated at the local level, it will have a far-reaching impact regionally and nationally to bring about true change for this healthcare crisis.
The program will train a minimum of ten healthcare practice providers per community; at the end of the program NOF will have trained and engaged a minimum of 100 new “bone enthusiasts.” Using a “teach one, train one” model, each community leader will train 10 colleagues in their region to share information about osteoporosis, bringing the educated cohort to at least 1,000 health care providers over the period of the program.
Approximately 10 million Americans age 50 and above have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density, placing them at increased risk for bone fracture. Yet 84 percent of older Americans who suffer bone breaks are not tested or treated. If no action is taken, by 2040, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for more than three million fractures annually resulting in $95 billion in costs.
About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a leading community-focused health organization, is dedicated to the prevention of osteoporosis and broken bones, the promotion of strong bones for life and the reduction of human suffering through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research.
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