Published 12/1/2023

AAOS Announces 2024 Grant Recipients to Increase Diversity and Inclusion in Orthopaedics

Inspiring Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Grant Program awards $300,000 in grants in second year

ROSEMONT, Ill. (December 1, 2023)—Today, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) announced 17 recipients of the 2024 AAOS IDEA Grant Program®, which aims to reduce longstanding disparities in orthopaedics and create measurable change. The recipients were selected based on the merits of their initiatives to eliminate bias and discrimination or advance diversity, equity and/or inclusion (DEI) within the orthopaedic specialty.   

The AAOS IDEA Grant Program funds educational, community or outreach projects or programs that will create opportunities for a diverse pipeline of individuals who choose to go into orthopaedics as a profession; foster 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. Diversity focus areas of the program include, but are not limited, to gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, socioeconomic, veteran status and disability.

“The response to the IDEA Grant Program has been overwhelming and underscores the urgent demand for funding to bolster initiatives that help bridge the diversity, equity and access gap that has persisted in orthopaedics for decades,” said, AAOS Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) Chair Anthony E. Johnson, MD, FAAOS. “Our 2023 grant recipients have already made significant strides in paving the way for future generations of orthopaedic surgeons and the 2024 recipients were chosen for their innovative ideas aimed at tackling the current gaps in our field.”

Program funds are allocated between four tracks – touchpoints, retention, community retention/support and academic retention/support – each with a different DEI focus and target recipient. Funding from Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, helped extend the reach of this grant program. Some of the 2024 awardees include recipients from Howard University Orthopaedics, the only orthopaedic program in the nation directly associated with a historically black university; PrideOrtho, a community of proactive LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies in orthopaedics; and Wake Forest School of Medicine, which is seeking to broaden the national exposure and reputation of individuals from groups underrepresented in medicine.

“The Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute is greatly appreciative for the initial round of funding from the AAOS to create ODySSEY in Orthopaedics (Orthopaedic DiversitYSpeaker Series Educating Youth in Orthopaedics),” said Holly Pilson, MD, FAAOS, FAOA, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. “This initiative is a tiered strategy aimed to improve early orthopaedic exposure, boost the advancement and national reputation of early to mid-career academic orthopaedic surgeons from diverse backgrounds, and introduce orthopaedic faculty and trainees to a series of diverse speakers. We are fortunate to have been selected for refunding in 2024 and look forward to building opportunities for regional and national exposure for underrepresented early career orthopaedic surgeons, and planting seeds of inspiration in the minds of our local youth to consider joining our great specialty.” 

The 2024 IDEA Grant recipients include:

Track 1 – Touchpoints: Grants are designed to support single event programs that promote DEI initiatives in the field of orthopaedic surgery. These funds may be used to expand opportunities for traditional or established pathway programs that attract diverse medical students and residents to orthopaedics.

  • American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • Georgia Orthopaedic Society Foundation
  • Howard University
  • Nth Dimensions
  • PrideOrtho
  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • Texas Orthopaedic Association
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri

Track 2 – Retention: Grants are intended to support organizations, programs and events with a longitudinal focus on recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in orthopaedic surgery.

  • Medical Student Orthopaedic Society
  • Nth Dimensions
  • The Perry Initiative
  • Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic Foundation
  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • Washington University, St. Louis

Track 3 – Community retention/support: 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.

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Track 4 – Academic retention/support: Grants are intended to support programs and events with a focus on retaining and supporting a diverse workforce in orthopaedic surgery within U.S. academic centers.

  • University of Miami Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (two grants)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Wake Forest

To view the list of the 2024 grant recipients and the respective funding awarded to each, please click here.

To review the evaluation criteria and general application terms, visit Information about the 2025 grant cycle application period will be announced next spring.  

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

About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 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 healthcare issues; and it leads the healthcare discussion on advancing quality.

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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley