Associate Professor Michael Zychowicz, by invitation, represented the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners at the first Work Group meeting of the Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative (COAMI). The focus of the meeting was changing the paradigm of how osteoarthritis is viewed and treated, especially among healthcare providers. Work Group members discussed elements of a new vision for OA treatment and prevention, explored barriers and obstacles to achieving that vision, and identified opportunities for change. The meeting provided an opportunity to reach out to representatives of groups, including the American Diabetes Association, whose work overlaps with that of the OA treatment community and concluded with specific action steps and commitments from Work Group members.
Work Group members included orthopaedic nurses and surgeons, osteopaths, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and specialists in rheumatology, rehabilitation, and sports medicine. The group also included epidemiologists, researchers, and healthcare providers (such as family physicians, pediatricians and pediatric nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) who may not specialize in OA but are likely to encounter patients with OA in their practices. Although the meeting’s emphasis was on providers, a patient representative—and Work Group member—was present to contribute to the discussion of the treatment paradigm.
COAMI is being convened by the U.S. National Action Network of the worldwide Bone and Joint Decade, an international collaborative movement sanctioned by the United Nations/World Health Organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with musculoskeletal conditions and to advance the understanding, prevention, and treatment of these conditions.