During yesterday’s Opening Ceremonies, AAOS President Tony Rankin, MD, himself a military veteran, reviewed efforts that the AAOS has made on behalf of wounded soldiers.
“For the past 4 years,” he said, “the Academy’s Extremity War Injuries and Disaster Preparedness Project Team, under the direction of Andrew N. Pollak, MD, has held a symposium and worked with Congress and the Department of Defense to increase funding for extremity trauma research. These efforts have led to more than $115 million in funding for extremity trauma research, the single largest increase in federal funding for musculoskeletal research ever.”
The Project Team also developed and implemented a Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program to provide an opportunity for orthopaedic trauma specialists to contribute to the care of wounded military personnel. The program is overseen by Dr. Pollak; Michael J. Bosse, MD; and Roman A. Hayda, MD. It operates in cooperation with Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Germany), the military’s only Level 4 medical facility and the first tertiary care facility for wounded warriors from both Iraq and Afghanistan after evacuation from the combat zones.
“As of February 1, 2009, more than 33,000 Americans had been wounded in action since the Global War on Terror began,” said Dr. Pollak. “Of these, more than 12,500 were serious musculoskeletal injuries requiring evacuation through Landstuhl to the United States.”
The Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program gives fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma specialists with more than 10 years experience in trauma care and education the opportunity to spend a minimum of 2 weeks at Landstuhl.
“The plan was to spend time teaching our military colleagues about trauma care and providing care for our wounded warriors,” said Dr. Pollak. “The reality has been that we have spent as much time learning from our military colleagues as we have teaching.”
Since the program’s inception, the following 20 orthopaedic traumatologists have served: Lawrence B. Bone, MD; Christopher T. Born, MD; Joseph Borrelli Jr., MD; Michael J. Bosse, MD; Andrew R. Burgess, MD; Jens R. Chapman, MD; Cory A. Collinge, MD; Thomas F. Higgins, MD; Clifford B. Jones, MD; David W. Lhowe, MD; Dean G. Lorich, MD; Mark P. McAndrew, MD; Michael McKee, MD; Toni M. McLaurin, MD; Michael A. Miranda, MD; Steven J. Morgan, MD; Brendan M. Patterson, MD; Henry C. Sagi, MD; Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD; David C. Teague, MD; and Bruce Ziran, MD.
Each received a challenge coin specially designed for the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, as well as a challenge coin from the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, as a token of thanks and recognition for a notable contribution to the care of our wounded heroes.