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William A. Grana, MD, MPH, who died of cancer on Feb. 1, 2013, was, first and foremost, an educator. Whether serving as the first head of the department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine (UACM) or as the first—and to this date, the only—editor-in-chief of the Orthopaedic Knowledge Online Journal (OKOJ), his major accomplishments centered on orthopaedic education.


Published 3/1/2013
Constance M. Filling

Education Pioneer: William A. Grana, MD

William A. Grana, MD

A consensus builder, Dr. Grana constantly sought to expand educational opportunities, whether as an advisor to the U.S. State Department in a program designed to help the Vietnamese run their provincial hospital system or as professor emeritus at UACM with a primary focus on teaching residents and students.

“Dr. Grana was a giant in the field of sports medicine and a past president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine,” said John F. Sarwark, MD, OKOJ associate editor. “He was a mentor to me and to many. To those of us on OKOJ, his legacy and his contributions to AAOS and the orthopaedic profession will continue as a fitting, lasting tribute to him. He touched the lives of hundreds of residents, fellows, and students.”

Dr. Grana’s interest in online education went back nearly 20 years, when he designed and delivered the Academy’s first online continuing medical education program. “The real advantage to this online system is that it can be changed immediately as information changes in the field,” he said when the AAOS established Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO). His vision of an integrated learning concept—one that brought together journal articles, continuing medical education courses, lectures, video, multimedia, and patient education—helped OKO evolve into the OrthoPortal (www.orthoportal.org).

Although I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Grana for only a short time, I found him to be a truly gifted educator with vision, passion, and kindness. He was a delightful and patient man with a steadfast commitment to providing highest quality orthopaedic education. He will be greatly missed.

Constance M. Filling is the AAOS chief education officer. She can be reached at filling@aaos.org