OREF tops $100 million goal

By: Sharon Johnson

By Sharon Johnson

Anniversary Campaign sets record
It seemed ambitious, even gutsy, when the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) challenged itself to raise $100 million in cash and deferred gift commitments in 7 years. Launched as the OREF Anniversary Campaign, a celebration of the Foundation’s half-century of growth in funding research and educational programs, the effort was enthusiastically led by campaign co-chairs James R. Urbaniak, MD, and John W. Brown, chairman of the board for the Stryker Corporation.

Cristin M. Ferguson, MD, is in her second year as an OREF Clinician Scientist, studying whether decellularized meniscus allograft scaffolds open the way to biologic meniscus replacement. Dr. Ferguson’s award is funded by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Support from all sectors
The campaign generated enthusiastic support from individual clinicians and scientists, group practices, university programs, research labs, and industry. Total gifts received through December 31, 2007—cash, stock, pledges, and deferred contributions—came to $101.1 million.

Giving for 2007, which totaled more than $17.5 million, was particularly encouraging, given the year’s economic downturn and market volatility. “OREF receives a disproportionate number of gifts late in the year,” explained OREF President/CEO Gene Wurth. “In 2007, just when the financial markets experienced some turmoil, we were working hard to bring in the last $6 million. Fortunately, our supporters came through at every giving level.”

Record-breaking gifts
Of the $101.1 million raised from individuals and industry:

  • $61.7 million was given from 2001 to 2007 to fund OREF’s research and education initiatives. Gifts for current and coming-year research totaled $40.8 million, with an additional $20.9 million donated for permanent investment through the OREF Endowment to fund research in perpetuity.
  • $39.4 million was given from 2001 to 2007 to support research and education sponsored by OREF’s giving partners, predominantly the AAOS and specialty societies. That figure includes $14.6 million contributed to support immediate projects plus $24.8 million to endow future research and education.

Thanks to donors
OREF thanks all contributors to the Anniversary Campaign. With their help, OREF and its more than 35 orthopaedic partners can continue support for the research—and the researchers—that will have an impact on orthopaedics in the years ahead.

To learn about OREF’s mission and how you can support it with a current-year gift, or to discuss ways to make a major gift to drive further orthopaedic advances through research and education, please contact Gene Wurth at (847) 384-4362 or, or Ed Hoover, OREF’s vice president, development, at (847) 384-4354 or

Sharon Johnson is vice president, communications, for OREF.

She can be reached at