Published 11/1/2022

AAOS Announces 2023 IDEA Grant Program™ Recipients

$300,000 in grants awarded to inspire diversity, equity, access and inclusion projects across orthopaedics

ROSEMONT, Ill. (November 1, 2022)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) supports the importance of diversity, equity and access across the field of orthopaedics. As part of the AAOS’ commitment to leading and prompting real, lasting and measurable change, AAOS recently released the names of the inaugural AAOS IDEA Grant Program recipients. The AAOS IDEA Grant Program is a multi-year initiative created to inspire diversity, equity and access across the field of orthopaedics. It will award a minimum of $1 million over the next five years to help address decades of inertia surrounding persistent disparities across orthopaedics and, in turn, better serve patients nationwide.

“It is both encouraging and inspiring to see so many orthopaedic organizations and health systems working to address the disparities across orthopaedics,” said AAOS Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) Chair Anthony E. Johnson, MD, FAAOS. “AAOS IDEA Grants are an investment in our future, and I am proud of our collective efforts to create robust pathways for successive generations to have the support and encouragement needed to pursue careers within musculoskeletal care. The 20 grants announced today will drive change and address some of the gaps in the field across gender, culture and ethnicity.”


2023 AAOS IDEA Grant Program Recipients
The AAOS IDEA Grant Program encompasses a wide net to better fund and supports a diverse pipeline of individuals who choose to go into orthopaedics as a profession; foster diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for community-based or academic orthopaedic surgeons; and expand the availability of AAOS educational and networking opportunities to diverse students and practicing orthopaedic surgeons. Program funds are allocated between four grant tracks, each with a different DEI focus and target recipient. Funding from Stryker helped extend the reach of this grant program.

“At Stryker, we are focused on opportunities and programs to increase diversity within the orthopaedics industry,” said Don Payerle, president of joint replacement at Stryker. “We are thrilled to partner with AAOS to support initiatives, big or small, including the launch of the IDEA Grant Program to ensure there are ample ways for equity, access and inclusion among students, as well as surgeons.”

The awardees include:

  • Track 1 – Touchpoints: These grants are designed to support single-event programs that promote DEI initiatives in the field of orthopaedic surgery for learners and/or practicing orthopaedic surgeons
    • American Association of Latino Orthopaedic Surgeons
    • Howard University Hospital Ortho Alum
    • Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society: ASAMI-North America
    • Nth Dimensions
    • Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons – E. Anthony Rankin Scholarship Program
    • University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care
  • Track 2 – Retention: These grants are intended to support organizations, programs and events with a longitudinal focus on recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in orthopaedic surgery.
    • Community Memorial Health System
    • Geisinger Medical Center (Danville) Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program
    • Nth Dimensions
    • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
    • The Perry Initiative
  • Track 3 – Community retention/support: These grants are intended to support programs and events with a focus on retaining and supporting a diverse workforce in orthopaedic surgery in a private, remote setting or outside of an academic institution.
    • Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society
  • Track 4 – Academic retention/support: These grants are intended to support programs and events that focus on retaining and supporting a diverse workforce in orthopaedic surgery within U.S. academic centers.
    • California University of Science and Medicine
    • Duke University School of Medicine
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
    • Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons – E. Anthony Rankin Scholarship Program
    • UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery Diversity Committee
    • University of Miami Department of Orthopedic Surgery
    • Wake Forest University Health Sciences

“The tremendous response we received from orthopaedic programs across the U.S. validates opportunity along with a desire and need to transform the profession to be more inclusive and representative of the patients we serve every day. Today marks an important stride forward as we bring that path together to achieve this goal,” added Dr. Johnson.

To review the evaluation criteria and general application terms, visit Applications for the 2024 grant cycle will be available on the AAOS website next spring.  

To schedule an interview about the AAOS IDEA Grant Program or learn more about the recipients, email

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About the AAOS
With more than 38,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments, and related musculoskeletal health care issues, and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley