‘Conquering Osteoporosis in our Community’ Emphasizes the Importance of Community in Health Care

At UC San Francisco, physicians play three important roles – patient care clinician, researcher and educator. They are reverentially known as “doctor’s doctors” as they train the next generation of physicians on a global basis. Last month, we brought this team of bone health experts together to address members of the community and discuss how bone health and osteoporosis shape patient care, research, and education at UCSF.

The location of the event, called “Conquering Osteoporosis in our Community,” was a no-brainer. The Women’s Health Complex at 1725 Montgomery Street combines the Bay Area’s leading OB/GYN practice, Golden Gate, with UCSF Imaging, providing those who live and work in downtown San Francisco with access to world-class health care. The UCSF Imaging Center at Montgomery Street offers screening mammography, ultrasound, and bone density (DXA or DEXA) scanning. Of the approximately 8,000 patients a year who visit UCSF Imaging at Montgomery, nearly 20 percent visit for bone screening alone.

Community members and health care professionals of all types – from Pilates instructors to physicians – participated and shared insightful perspectives in hopes of breaking new ground in addressing osteoporosis and care in San Francisco and beyond. We aimed to highlight the importance of bone screening – a preventative option that currently lacks awareness among many consumers – and other measures that people can take to address osteoporosis.

A number of UCSF physicians with specializations across the board participated in the event and spoke directly to members of the community. Aenor Sawyer, MD, MS, director of UCSF’s Skeletal Health Service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, provided important information about osteoporosis, while Thomas Link, MD, PhD, chief of musculoskeletal imaging in the Department of Radiology, discussed diagnosing the disease. Fellow radiologists Vinil Shah, MD, assistant professor of clinical radiology, and Galateia Kazakia, PhD, director of the Bone Quality Research Lab, spoke on osteoporosis treatment and future directions of treatment, respectively. Sharmila Majumdar, PhD, UCSF Imaging chief of research, addressed the audience via a pre-recorded video to discuss her musculoskeletal research.

We were also graciously joined by one of our patients, Jan, who shared information from the patient perspective. Alongside members of our UCSF Imaging leadership team, including William Dillon, MD, Mary Bobel, MBA, and David Sostarich, MBA, BSRT, and our Montgomery Street and DXA screening teams, Jan spoke candidly about her experience with bone density screening and time spent at the UCSF Orthopaedic Institute for osteoporosis treatment.

Because it truly takes a village to pull off such an event, we would be remiss if we did not thank some of our neighboring businesses for contributing food and drink especially crafted for us, including The Organic Wine Company, Young’s Market Company, Boulibar and La Mar Cebicheria Peruana.

We hope “Conquering Osteoporosis in our Community” helped to shed light on the importance of bone density screening and osteoporosis, a disease which leads to 1.5 million fractures annually in the United States. We encourage community members and physicians alike to keep the conversation going today, tomorrow, and into the future.

For more information about bone density screening, please click here or contact us at (415) 353-2573.

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