Collaboration Key to Advancing Orthopaedic Research

By: David G. Lewallen, MD

OREF president reflects on the value of partnership in moving orthopaedic knowledge forward

As I complete the first year of my term as president of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), I reflect on all that OREF has achieved in that year. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of, and one that I believe embodies the spirit of OREF’s mission, is the increase in our collaborations with others.

Advancing the field of orthopaedics doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Whether it’s through our relationships with grant recipients, donors, other orthopaedic organizations, corporate partners, or other strategic partners, our achievements are strongest when we combine our ideas, energy, knowledge, and resources with those of other individuals and organizations that share our vision and goals.

Over the past year, OREF has embarked on or renewed many exciting partnerships. These include a resident gift matching program with Medacta International, new support from Zimmer Biomet in the form of a matching research fund gift program, additional funding from the National Stem Cell Foundation in support of the James R. Urbaniak, MD Mentor Campaign, and new partnerships with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, AAOS, and the Cigna Foundation to support research in perioperative surgical and medical home patient safety.

OREF’s successful Mentor Campaigns, which honor respected orthopaedic surgeons, have raised more than $2.8 million for research. In 2016, we awarded four grants with gifts from the residents and fellows of Mentor Campaign honorees James R. Andrews, MD, and Russell F. Warren, MD. We continue to raise funds for those campaigns as well as campaigns honoring the late Jorge O. Galante, MD; James R. Urbaniak, MD; Bernard R. Bach Jr, MD; and our newest Mentor, Sigvard T. Hansen Jr, MD.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the OREF Annual Fund—the flagship fundraising vehicle of our organization that makes our mission possible. Without generous and loyal donors to the Annual Fund, OREF could not provide the grant programs, services, and training that have enabled hundreds of investigators to pursue robust and successful careers in orthopaedic research.

To learn more about how OREF’s campaigns and programs make a real difference for researchers, surgeons, and the patients their work may one day help, visit the OREF booth located in the Ballroom 20 Lobby. If you’re a current donor, we’d love to thank you in person for your support. And if you’re not yet a donor, we’d love to share with you why we believe your investment in OREF will pay dividends for our profession, our practices, and most importantly, our patients.

David G. Lewallen, MD, president of the OREF Board of Trustees, may be reached at