Last week I sent our membership a somber note concerning the mass shooting in Tulsa, Okla. At that time, details were evolving and next steps were not entirely clear. I want to again ask for a moment of silence in honor of the loss of two members of the Orthopaedic community: Dr. Preston Phillips and Dr. Stephanie Husen. Also killed in that senseless violence was Ms. Amanda Glenn, a staff member in the orthopaedic clinic, and Mr. William Love, a patient. The pain of this event hits close to home for all who work in the medical environment and go to work every day to help others.
Today I want to provide an update regarding OTA’s response to the tragic firearm violence that is occurring across the U.S. This week, the leadership of the OTA, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) met to discuss attainable actions in improving firearm safety. The result of that call is a commitment to work together to endorse the ACS Firearms Safety Strategy and recommendations, and to increase collaboration in advocacy. I understand there are members of our association with differing viewpoints. However, as health care providers devoted to the care of the injured patient, and as leaders in injury prevention, we can all agree that the reduction of firearm violence falls within our mission. I ask that each member of the OTA continue to respect the opinions of our colleagues, and that we find middle ground where we can commit to helping reduce the senseless violence that occurs too frequently in the United States.
Michael T. Archdeacon, MD