The evening of election day I took a red-eye and went to Washington, D.C. This was a pretty cathartic trip for me, as it turns out.
I got a ticket into the new Smithsonian Museum of History and Culture of African America. This facility is a combination of the history of African Americans in our country starting from the early slave trade through the revolutionary times and the Civil War. Beyond that, there is a great series of displays regarding historical events in terms of the gaining of civil rights in the United States. The upper floors have a rich tableau of the contributions of African Americans in history, science, music, theater, sports, and cultural life. I spent four hours in the museum and it was a celebration and a recognition that our country has gone through difficult times and the perseverance and the triumphs that have occurred have been hard fought and will continue in the future by necessity and by the priorities and desires of the citizens of our country.
STATUE OF OLYMPIANS
DR. DIAO IN MEDITATION ROOM
The primary reason for my trip to Washington, D.C. was to be a guest at the 9th annual Movement is Life Caucus. This annual caucus addresses musculoskeletal health care disparities that exist in the United States. These disparities tend to impact underserved populations, both urban and rural, women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos. The goal of this caucus is to have a multidisciplinary conversation, workshop, and to devise work produce with the focus on improving musculoskeletal health in these populations. The focus is on healthy lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and the role that behavioral and environmental changes can have in improving health care. The focus of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity as these relate to musculoskeletal health is emphasized.
Upon the invitation of the Zimmer Biomet group, primarily as a follow up to the ASSH annual meeting in Austin, I attended the entire Movement is Life caucus. This caucus was a truly impressive meeting, with inspirational and informative talks given by MD’s, public health officials, attorneys, and civic leaders. They focused on health disparities from a very broad perspective, from mentorship to small area variation of quality of life and quality of care, access to healthcare, access to food, ways to improve community-based outreach to reduce obesity and increase movement, and the like. Workshops focused on as disparate topics as telemedicine, community engagement, and the use of wearable technology, and helping improve wellness.
Additionally, I got to meet over the kick off dinner Bonnie Simpson-Mason, the founder of the Nth Dimensions program which is in its twelfth year now. This program is specifically designed to “address the dearth of women and underrepresented minorities in orthopedic surgery,” and “to address and eliminate health care disparities for all communities” by helping develop individuals and train future leaders.
This program was featured in the AAOS Now December 2016 edition on page 13.
I have attended many medical meetings and conferences. This meeting was unique and incredibly impactful to me. My awareness of these disparities grew tremendously. I attended the kick-off dinner and met a variety of inspirational people, some of whom had been my mentors from decades past and some of whom are new acquaintances of mine. All were committed to this general cause and all have been working in their own disciplines and across disciplines to improve health care in these populations. There was firm recognition also of how politics and priorities can affect health care, but nonetheless, trying to do programs and affect policies that would work across geography and the ups and downs of the political landscape.
There were some fantastic lectures and very interactive workshops. I also had the opportunity to reconnect with mentors from my residency at Harvard.
DR. DIAO WITH AUGUSTUS WHITE III, M.D.
I believe that Zimmer Biomet would be an able and operative partner for the ASSH Touching Hands domestic outreach program. I informed the leader and steering committee members of the Movement of Life caucus and the Nth Degree program about the Atlanta outreach that was organized by John Seiler, and there was incredible enthusiasm and support for this program. I believe for the 2017 programs, participation or, at a minimum, observation by the Movement is Life caucus and the Nth Degrees programs would be extremely beneficial and would help to both messages the ASSH initiatives, and build collaboration for future programs.
I will volunteer the San Francisco Surgery Center, of which I am the founder and medical director, to have a domestic Touching Hands outreach program scheduled in San Francisco on November 11, 2017. I will volunteer surgical care with my team to the needy and under-served on that day. I hope to have representatives from this program participate in this event.