Giving as a group adds up

By: Amy Kile

By Amy Kile

Institutions, hospitals, and physician groups support OREF
In 2007, physician groups, institutions, and hospitals contributed more than $750,000 to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).

Some hospitals, institutions, and physician groups sponsor an event, such as a golf outing, and donate the proceeds to OREF. Others allocate funds for philanthropic gifts. Most of these donations, however, come from individual donors who pool their contributions to give a more significant amount to OREF as a group.

OSNA members Thomas R. Carter, MD, (left) and John K. Bradway, MD, visited OREF’s exhibit at the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

A 20-year tradition
The institutional giving program began more than 20 years ago, when David G. Murray, MD, then chair of the department of orthopaedic surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University, decided that the entire department should contribute to OREF. Although the donation came from department funds, it was made in the names of the individual department members.

“Soon afterward, I was elected to the OREF Board and promoted the idea that every academic program should support OREF 100 percent,” explained Dr. Murray.

Stephen A. Albanese, MD, current chair of the department of orthopaedic surgery at SUNY, has continued the tradition.

OREF recognizes each individual who makes a contribution as well as the physician group, institution, or hospital through which he or she gives. When 100 percent of the surgeons in an orthopaedic department make a contribution, the institution receives special recognition. OREF has received more than $6 million since that first institutional gift in 1995.

Physician groups join the campaign
Recently, institutional giving has increased as physician groups have come on board. The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City has contributed a total of $650,000 since 1997, including a $79,000 donation in 2007.

“As an institution, HSS is one of the largest orthopaedic musculoskeletal centers in the world,” said Thomas P. Sculco, MD, surgeon-in-chief. “Our faculty believes that orthopaedics depends on the basic and clinical research being performed today to translate into better patient care and improve the lives of our patients.”

In 2005, the Orthopaedic Surgeons Network of Arizona (OSNA) followed the example set by HSS by donating $100,000 to OREF’s Annual Campaign. With its third annual contribution in 2007, OSNA has given a total of $300,000 to fund research and education through OREF.

Spine surgeon and OSNA Executive Committee member William R. Stevens, MD, explained, “We hope to lead by example. If we, as a community of orthopaedic surgeons, can make this commitment, we hope others will follow.”

One group that followed OSNA’s example was the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI), which contributed $65,000 to OREF as a group for the first time in 2007.

“There’s power in giving as a group. It’s a little easier to get movement to action because members of the group are more inclined to give when they see other members who have similar pressures make the commitment to fund research and education,” said IBJI Board member, Leon Benson, MD, professor of clinical orthopaedics at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

“How can you be in the field and not support the foundation on which you stand?” he continued. “Research and education are the fabric of what orthopaedics is all about. If we are not clinician-scientists, we must support those who are with our wallets.”

OREF thanks all physician groups, institutions, departments, and hospitals that made contributions in 2007. For a complete list, please visit the OREF exhibit in the Concourse on the Exhibit Level, near the Gateway Ballroom. For more information about institutional giving, please contact Ed Hoover at (847) 384-4354 or

Amy Kile is a public relations specialist with OREF. She can be reached at