American Bone Health began in 1990 as the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education (FORE) as a 501(c) 3 in Oakland, California by members of the medical community and patient volunteers who were beginning to understand the devastating effects of osteoporosis on a population that was living longer.

American Bone Health is a community-based organization focused on public education and advocacy. Its reach is dramatically increasing through the recruiting, training and nurturing of a national network of peer educators who provide local programs in their communities to raise awareness and generate healthy actions among consumers to improve bone health and reduce osteoporosis and fractures.

As American Bone Health grows its national network of volunteer peer educators, its leadership in promoting bone health and osteoporosis awareness strengthens as does the organization’s ability to be a resource for professional education and technical assistance, consumer awareness and advocacy.

  • Timeline and Notable Accomplishments

    • 1990 FORE founded by local nephrologists and community activists. Began DXA testing and clinical research trials.
    • 1992 FORE started publishing semi-annual FOREFront newsletter.
    • 1996 FORE published first physician’s clinical guidelines.
    • 1996 FORE began landmark community screening program.
    • 1999 FORE became accredited CME provided
    • 2000 FORE started bone density licensing course certifed by the State of California.
    • 2002 FORE led a summit for a National Osteoporosis Awareness Campaign Plan for the US Administration on Aging (published in 2004).
    • 2003 FORE led the strategic planning process for stakeholders resulting in  A Promise of Lifelong Bone Health to address osteoporosis in California.
    • 2005 FORE published the photo-essay book Faces of Osteoporosis, reflecting the diversity of osteoporosis.
    • 2005 FORE sponsored symposium on Athletic Energy Deficit.
    • 2006 FORE published Compromising the Competitive Edge: Athletic Energy Deficit (AED) Impacts Bone Health.
    • 2006 FORE begun an Ambassador Program to educate middle and high school coaches about Athletic Energy Deficit.
    • 2006 FORE published results of a community-based osteoporosis education and screening intervention for 4,500 underserved older adults.
    • 2007 FORE recruited over 300 women age 50-90 who had a fracture to study their bone quality.
    • 2007 FORE launched American Bone Health.
    • 2007 American Bone Health formalized its Bone Health Hotline.
    • 2008 American Bone Health published the validated FORE Fracture Risk CalculatorTM.
    • 2008 FORE convened partners to create an effective community-based intervention for Latinos.  
    • 2009 American Bone Health sponsored a national awareness media campaign with CBS-TV.
    • 2010 FORE modified the FORE Fracture Risk Calculator for use with large patient populations.
    • 2010 FORE recognized by the Mature Market Research Center for innovative service for older adults and their families.
    • 2010 American Bone Health conducted 3.3K Walk Tall for Life in San Francisco.
    • 2010 American Bone Health launched a Spanish language awareness campaign with Univision San Francisco to use the FORE-Fracture Risk Calculator – Español.
    • 2010 American Bone Health received innovation award from The American Public Health Association for its awareness campaign with CBS-TV.
    • 2011 published award-winning Do It Right! and Prevent Fractures! booklet showing proper body mechanics.
    • 2011 American Bone Health partnered with Women in Government on 3.3K bone health walks and consultations in Denver, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Charleston.
    • 2011 American Bone Health launched The Bone Health Lecture Series at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
    • 2012 Chinese Bone Health fairs held in San Francisco and New York City.
    • 2012 American Bone Health, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, convened an interdisciplinary panel to review and discuss strategies to improve bone development and reduce the incidences of AED in children.

  • Our Results

    Formal Peer Educator Training began in 2010.

    • In 2011 the volunteer force grew by 30% in 18 states holding over 150 programs in their communities and reaching over 6,500 individuals during the year.
    • In 2012, network grew by another 30% with Peer Educators in 19 states, holding over 175 programs.
  • The Beginnings - Densitometry and Clinical Studies

    FORE was the first organization in the area to begin bone density testing and as research in the field of osteoporosis intensified, FORE became a clinical site for phase 3 and phase 4 investigational studies of the developing treatments for osteoporosis.

    In 1995, the FDA approved the first treatment (Fosamax) and the first portable bone density machine that tested the non-dominant forearm. The results of the portable machine proved to be highly correlated with the results of central bone density tests of the hip and spine (DXA). These two breakthroughs gave FORE new opportunities to take this screening and education to thousands who would otherwise not have had access to diagnosis.

  • Community Screening

    In 1996, FORE began a landmark program that would distinguish them from any similar non-profit or for-profit organization. In partnership with a major west coast drug store chain, FORE began taking portable bone density testing machines into drugstores throughout Northern California and adjoining states. The response was strong and the results startling. Almost half of the men and women tested had low bone density placing them at increased risk for future fractures. This advance warning of risk allowed patients to develop prevention and treatment plans with their physicians.  The community screening program reached over 120,000 men and women at grocery and drug stores, work sites, health fairs, senior centers, HUD housing, churches and doctors’ offices. Many of these patients would not otherwise have had access to bone density screening. In partnership with Bank of America, FORE also conducted the largest employer work site osteoporosis screening program in the country, and has presented its findings at numerous national scientific meetings. 

  • Professional Education

    When osteoporosis treatments became available, FORE developed professional education programs for clinicians to help them understand the implications of the disease and manage their patient population. In 1996, FORE published Guidelines of Care on the Treatment of Osteoporosis -these were among the first clinical guidelines published, and certainly the first to address a wide range of patient groups. 

    By 1997, FORE was sponsoring 4-6 professional education programs per year bringing world-renowned speakers to discuss emerging topics in bone health. FORE held annual Primary Care Physician conferences and Allied Health Practitioners conferences, plus smaller group discussions, and case study dinners. In 1998, FORE launched its web site and was accredited by the California Medical Association to provide Continuing Education for physicians.

  • Community Education

    Always working to help consumers and patients understand how to prevent bone loss and broken bones with sensible and easy to use information and tools, FORE launched American Bone Health in 2007 to expand its community outreach efforts. Knowing the importance of one-on-one interactions, volunteers are trained as Peer Educators to conduct bone health programs in their communities. The Peer Educator network has grown to reach thousands of people each year.