Playground build, mentoring are among Dr. Hirsch’s contributions to the orthopaedic community during his three-decade career
Stuart A. Hirsch, MD, received the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation’ s (OREF) William W. Tipton Jr., MD Leadership Award during the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego. Richard Haynes, MD, the recipient of the inaugural Tipton Award, presented the award.
The Award recognizes Dr. Hirsch’s many years of service to the orthopaedic community, including his efforts to help build safe, accessible playgrounds and to provide mentors to young orthopaedic surgeons. During an orthopaedic career spanning more than three decades, Dr. Hirsch has served the AAOS as a member of its Board of Councilors, a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. While he chaired the Communications Council, the Academy initiated its annual playground build, which was held this year in Chula Vista, Calif. In addition, Dr. Hirsch has made significant contributions to the AAOS Leadership Fellows Program, a mentor program for orthopaedic surgeons that he was instrumental in establishing.
A New Jersey resident, Dr. Hirsch has also been a leader in the American Orthopaedic Association and the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society, and has served on the U.S. Congressional Health Advisory Panel.
Serving and inspiring others
According to William J. Robb III, MD, chair of the Tipton Leadership Award Committee, Dr. Hirsch was selected because he is “a mentor, an advisor, a leader by example, and above all, a physician dedicated to his patients and his Academy. He embodies every criterion that the committee recognized as important in honoring Bill Tipton’s leadership skills.”
“A true leader not only leads by example, but inspires others to do the same,” said Valerae O. Lewis, MD. “This is exemplified in Stuart’s devoted service and interactions within the community of orthopaedics and beyond.”
“Stuart has been a very important leader and contributor to the Leadership Fellows Program,” said Dr. Robb. “His commitment will allow new generations of orthopaedic surgeons to benefit from his leadership.”
“Investing in our future leaders is as great an investment as we can make,” said Dr. Hirsch. “With good leadership, we will be recognized as serving vital and important functions that are appreciated by our society.”
Dr. Hirsch draws a parallel between the Academy’s annual playground build and the overarching goals of orthopaedic medicine.
“A 20-something woman who had cerebral palsy once said that she had never had the opportunity to play with her brothers or sisters at the playground. If playgrounds like the one we built had been available, she would have been able to play with her siblings,” recalled Dr. Hirsch. “I believe that’s an excellent metaphor for what orthopaedics is all about: we return people to function in a better capacity by breaking down the barriers that prevented them from fully participating in life.”
Dr. Hirsch received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital in New York. After serving as captain, orthopaedic specialist in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Hirsch completed his fellowship at A-O Group, in Switzerland. Dr. Hirsch has held such positions as clinical professor of orthopaedics (surgery) at Seton Hall School of Medicine and consulting orthopaedist for the comprehensive hemophilia care unit at Rutgers Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and for the New Jersey Post-Polio Support Groups.
Established by friends, colleagues and organizations through the OREF, the Tipton Leadership Award honors the qualities that Dr. Tipton exemplified—leadership, passion, and dedication to the medical community and fellow orthopaedists. Dr. Hirsch plans to donate the $5,000 Tipton Award to encourage support for developing orthopaedic leadership and to continue supporting playground builds.