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National Recognition for St. Luke’s Bone Health and Ortho Care
January 02, 2019

St. Luke’s University Health Network has been recognized by the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) as a Star Performer in the AOA’s “Own the Bone” program. Since enrolling in the program in 2010, St. Luke’s has achieved Star Performer recognition seven times.


Own the Bone – which focuses on osteoporosis diagnosis and care following a fracture – is a national systems-based, multidisciplinary fragility fracture prevention initiative. Its web-based program and 10 prevention measures have transformed the way fragility fracture patients are treated.


“This recognition demonstrates to our growing patient demographic that we have a focused program in bone health to help combat the ravages of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone disorders,” says Dr. William De Long, St. Luke’s Chief of Orthopedics.


“St. Luke’s Orthopedic Care continues to surpass established benchmarks in orthopedic best practices and demonstrates to our patients and their families that we provide world-class care right here in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding regions. Our patients can be assured that they will receive world-class care in their own community.”


St. Luke’s recognition as a Star Performer is based on results it achieved with patients it enrolled in the Own the Bone program during the period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. Just 69 sites throughout the country received the lofty designation. They were recognized by the Own the Bone program in an advertisement that ran in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals 2019 guidebook.


To receive Star Recognition, Own the Bone-enrolled hospitals and practices must achieve a 75 percent compliance rate with at least five of the 10 prevention measures as follows:


  1. Nutrition Counseling – Improving calcium intake.
  2. Nutrition Counseling Increasing Vitamin D intake.
  3. Physical Activity Counseling Weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.
  4. Physical Activity Counseling Fall prevention education.
  5. Lifestyle Counseling Smoking cessation.
  6. Lifestyle Counseling Limiting excessive alcohol intake.
  7. Pharmacotherapy
  8. Testing – Bone mineral density with Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry.
  9. Communication – Physician Referral letter to report the patient’s fragility fracture, risk factors and recommendations for treatment.
  10. Communication – Patient education letter to explain bone health risk factors and recommendations for treatment.


According to the AOA, fragility fractures account for an estimated 800,000 hospital admissions per year – a number that is rising as the population ages. Furthermore, patients who have had a fragility fracture are two to six times more likely to have another fracture.


Dr. De Long points out that by St. Luke’s being recognized by this program, the Network and members of the community benefit.


“The ultimate goal of the Own the Bone Program is to change physician and patient behavior to reduce incidence of future fractures and positively impact osteoporosis treatment,” he says.