Osteoporosis Australia’s CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky, has won the 2019 International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) President’s Award for his exceptional contribution to the field of bone research. The award, presented at the World Congress of Osteoporosis in Paris on April 5, acknowledges outstanding commitment and contribution to advancing education and awareness in osteoporosis. Mr Lyubomirsky is only the third Australian to receive the award.
“This award is reserved for individuals who set an example and advance the bone field in line with the principles of the International Osteoporosis Foundation,” IOF President Professor Cyrus Cooper said in presenting the award to Mr Lyubomirsky.
Reflecting on the achievement, Mr Lyubomirsky said the “great honour recognises our significant achievements in the bone health arena to date and further signals the importance of doing more to help reduce the impact on patients, their families and the healthcare system.
“We must all, collectively, take action to prevent fractures,” he said.
An estimated 165,000 fractures were due to poor bone health in 2018. Up to 70 per cent of the overall cost of osteoporosis relates to direct fracture costs, yet many patients (up to 80 per cent) remain undiagnosed and untreated following a fracture. Reducing fracture numbers is a core commitment of Osteoporosis Australia.
The IOF award recognises Mr Lyubomirsky’s significant work and key achievements in raising the profile of bone health in Australia, including:
- Developing and launching the Know Your Bones online self-assessment for consumers, in partnership with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and subsequently achieving more than 50,000 self-assessment completions.
- Creating an Inaugural Community Risk Report, using Know Your Bones data, launched by federal Health Minister Greg Hunt in the lead-up to World Osteoporosis Day in October 2018.
- Bipartisan political support for World Osteoporosis Day awareness with federal politicians in 2018 and 2019.
- Engaging with federal and state health ministers to advocate for re-fracture prevention services in Australia.
- Submissions to the Australian government seeking funding for a range of fracture and prevention and screening initiatives.
- Osteoporosis Australia’s development of a National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis on behalf of the federal government involving broad stakeholder input.