Affinity Strategies

Client Spotlight: United States Bone and Joint Initiative

Wendi Howard
April 12, 2023

The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) is an outgrowth of the US Bone and Joint Decade 2002 – 2011, and part of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, formerly called The Bone and Joint Decade (BJD). They have a global campaign to improve quality of life for people with musculoskeletal conditions and to advance understanding and treatment of these conditions through research, prevention and education. 

The USBJI aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on Americans, regaining optimal function in their daily lives, and lowering societal and economic cost
  • Increase awareness of the importance of musculoskeletal treatment and prevention strategies
  • Increase funding for musculoskeletal research
  • Increase musculoskeletal education for all students, trainees and providers of healthcare

What is Musculoskeletal Disease and who does it impact?

Musculoskeletal diseases affect more than one out of every two persons in the United States age 18 and over, and nearly three out of four age 65 and over. Trauma, back pain and arthritis are the three most common musculoskeletal conditions reported, and for which health care visits to physicians’ offices, emergency departments, and hospitals occur each year. The rate of musculoskeletal diseases far outstrips that of circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases, which affect about one in three persons, with the majority reporting relatively easily treatable conditions such as chronic hypertension or hay fever and bronchitis. Musculoskeletal impairments will increase over the next 25 years, as they are most prevalent in older segments of the population. By 2040, one in five persons in the US will be age 65 or older and approximately equal to the cohort age 18 and younger. 

The cost of treating major musculoskeletal diseases, which often includes long-term pain and disability, is also greater than for treatment of many other common health conditions. Yet research dollars to identify causes, create new treatments, and reduce pain and disability remain much lower than that of other health conditions. 

Toby King was the first Executive Director of USBJI from 2002 until he passed away in December of 2020. After 18 years of Toby as the driving force for the organization, the Executive Committee brought on Affinity Strategies in late 2021 to keep USBJI on track with their goals and mission of moving forward. New Executive Director Wendi Howard said, “Toby lit the torch for the USBJI movement and we are here to proudly carry those initiatives into the next decade and beyond through research, prevention and education.” 

To learn more about USBJI’s initiatives such as BMUS, Young Investigator Initiative (YII), and Project 100 visit We are proud to share USBJI’s new website in the summer of 2023 to further highlight the goals and mission of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.