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Letter From the Director
To: Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Contributors and Friends of the Intstitute.
From: David H. Janda, M.D., Director
Since our last Update, we have been extremely productive at the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine as is evident in our before mentioned review. All of us at the Institute continue to focus our efforts on the role of injury prevention within our society. Injury is an equal opportunity event that transcends age, gender, race, nationality and continental shelves. It is of epidemic proportion on a worldwide basis. Unfortunately the vast majority of the public throughout the world, as well as governmental and industry leaders are significantly behind the curve as it relates to the issue of injury. Many of us believe injury is the most
under recognized major public health epidemic facing the world today. Over 150 billion dollars a year are spent in healthcare on injury in this country, the vast majority of which are preventable. Sixty-two million individuals will sustain an injury alone, the vast majority of which are preventable. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, I believe that we are making significant strides in informing the public about this issue and what can be done to prevent this pervasive issue of injury. It is the purpose of my book,
The Awakening of a Surgeon, to send a wakeup call to the public, medical professionals, industry leaders, and governmental bodies about the magnitude of injury and what we can do to make a difference in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our communities, and in society as a whole.
As I mentioned in our last Institute Update, this year we did not hold the auction and the symposium. As you are well aware, our auction and symposium are our only fundraising events that we have for the Institute on an annual basis. With all of our ongoing studies, as well as my time commitment to the book,
The Awakening of a Surgeon, the hours could not be donated to the event that are necessary to present an outstanding symposium, as well as auction experience for all involved.
It should be noted however, the sales of, The Awakening of a Surgeon, are being utilized to support our ongoing efforts at the Institute. I have truly been blessed by the response to the book by the general public, our supporters at the Institute as well as the media. As was mentioned in the publications and media section of the Update, we have had an enormous positive response from the media. It should be noted that without the media’s help over the last 12 years, our message of injury prevention and healthcare cost containment would never have reached the public’s doorstep in any significant manner. As was mentioned in the body of the report as well, I was honored that Ms. Oprah Winfrey had chosen the book and myself to be a part of her summer safety presentation to the public. In one day we reached twelve million people as it relates to the issue of injury prevention. In addition, many TV outlets, radio outlets, and print media outlets have featured the book and our message in their presentations to the public. It should also be noted that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has been extremely supportive of our efforts at the Institute and of the book. The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons highlighted our research, as well as the book, in their press conference focusing on children’s sports injuries. In addition a note of thanks should be given to the Don Joy Corporation, and in particular, Mr. Les Cross, Mr. Michael McBrayer, Mr. Kelly Cahill, and Mr. Ken Zisholtz, all of who supported an event hosted by Don Joy at the Academy’s meeting. Don Joy purchased copies of the book which were given to the registrants. It should be noted that the book was distributed to Academy members from twenty-six countries throughout the world.
The feedback from the general public has been enormous. Dozens upon dozens of letters have been delivered to the Institute as well as myself on the impact the book has made in individuals lives. It is truly humbling to note that the book has made such a profound positive impact upon so many people. My hope is that as individuals read the book and pass on information about the book to others we will benefit thousands of more individuals by the book and its message. It should be noted that the book is now in its second printing under the auspices of Sleeping Bear Press. I would hope that all the friends of the Institute would obtain copies of the book and disseminate the book to their friends, their families, their neighbors and their communities. There is a two-fold benefit to this approach. The funds to purchase the books would go to a worthy cause, that being the Institute, and the message of the book, as well as the information could benefit every individual that took the time to read the book. The book can be obtained, as well as reviewed, on the Institute’s website at
www.ipsm.org. The foundation of the book is basically a journey of the good, the bad, the ugly and the eye opening experiences that I have encountered over the past twelve years in my journey and awakening in the world of preventive medicine. It is my hope that at the conclusion of the book, the reader will be inspired to integrate at least some of our prevention concepts as well as our underlying philosophy in their daily life. In a nutshell, our philosophy is to “Dream Big and Dare to Fail”. I cannot think of a more fitting example as to what happened several weeks ago as I was asked to be a part of the Oprah Winfrey Show. From the outset I was told by dozens of individuals that the book would sell very few copies and would not make a difference in individuals lives. I was also told that a book on injury, let alone prevention would never obtain any type of media exposure and no one would be interested in the concepts presented. Well, it should be noted that I heard the same doomsayers and naysayers when I founded the Institute twelve years ago when individuals told me the Institute would never fly, we would never publish any studies, we would never have anyone of any prominence join our Board of Directors, let alone Advisory Board, and that the Institute would fail within a year. Well, twelve years after the Institute was founded it is still going strong and I must say that the media response, as is evident in our update has been profound. As I sat next to Oprah Winfrey during the first commercial break, I thought of all the negative comments that a number of individuals had made about me writing a book on prevention and the fact that the media would never support my or the Institutes efforts. I also remember a number of individuals telling me that Oprah Winfrey, let alone anyone on her staff would never take the time or the effort to read The Awakening of a Surgeon. As I sat there talking to Oprah over one of the breaks I could only think of Norman Vaughns philosophy of “Dream Big and Dare to Fail.” Norman Vaughn was the chief dog musher for Admiral Byrd and at the conclusion of Admiral Byrd’s successful trip to Antarctica he named the largest peak after Norman Vaughn. When Norman Vaughn turned 89 years of age he then went back to Antarctica to climb that same peak. It was the feeling of his family, friends, and colleagues that Norman Vaughn would die in trying to climb that peak. His family sent two guides with him to carry his dead body home, knowing that with his heart and lung difficulties he would never be able to climb to the summit of that peak. Norman Vaughn proved all of those individuals wrong and when he was on that summit one of his guides asked him how he accomplished such a feat with such terrible heart and lung difficulties. Norman Vaughn simply looked at the guide and said “ Life is all about your attitude. If you dream big and dare to fail, you can accomplish anything you want in life.” Well, my summit was that Wednesday afternoon in Chicago with Oprah Winfrey. I could only think of all the folks that told me that the Institute would fail. That we would never get any exposure. That the book would never get any exposure and the book would never see the light of day and would never succeed. On that Wednesday afternoon, Oprah Winfrey, Dave Janda, the Institute, and The Awakening of a Surgeon touched twelve million people’s lives. If there is a message to take away from The Awakening of a Surgeon, and from this update it is to “Dream Big and Dare to Fail.” Don’t let individuals full of negativity and that are trying to obstruct you from accomplishing your goals get in the way. Always find a way around them because if you do your life, your family's life, your community’s lives and society will be better off for your efforts.