Education & Academic Affairs

The Leon M. Root, MD Pediatric Outreach Program

Over 25 Years of Serving Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Communities in NYC

Hospital for Special Surgery’s Leon Root, MD Pediatric Outreach Program (POP) is a community based, early detection program designed to prevent long-term musculoskeletal disorders and severe joint disability in children from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Through free school screenings POP evaluates children for musculoskeletal and primary care issues as well as educates parents and children about pediatric musculoskeletal health.

The Program also provides invaluable training in cultural competency to orthopaedic residents and fellows. In addition, the POP screenings provide residents and fellows with the opportunity to examine a large number of healthy children, enabling them to better identify those affected by musculoskeletal abnormalities.

Since the Program’s inception in 1987, POP has examined over 26,000 children and referred over 4,000 for musculoskeletal and primary health care.

The POP Team

The POP team is led by Laura Robbins, DSW, HSS Senior Vice President, Education & Academic Affairs.

Each school screening is conducted by one HSS Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, two HSS Orthopaedic Residents, an HSS Pediatric Fellow, Pediatric Residents from New York Presbyterian Hospital and Cornell University Medical College, two HSS nurses and two bicultural, bilingual coordinators.

Charles B. Wang Community Health Center Collaboration

Since 2004, POP has been providing monthly pediatric orthopaedic clinics at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBW), a free-standing pediatric outpatient clinic located in Chinatown. The Wang Center pediatric orthopaedic clinics have played a vital role in helping at-risk Asian-American children and their families overcome the economic, linguistic, and cultural barriers to health care access and utilization that have historically faced this immigrant community.

The CBW pediatric orthopaedic clinics take place one Monday morning per month. Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, children may be referred to HSS if surgery or more specialized musculoskeletal follow-up is required.

For More Information

For more information on the POP program contact Vilma Briones, MA, Senior Program Coordinator at 212-774-2886 or For more information on the Charles B. Wang Pediatric Orthopaedic Clinic, contact Huijuan (Jane) Huang, MPA at 212-774-2793 or