John J. Callaghan, MD


Published 5/1/2014
Amy Kile

New OREF President’s Focus: The Value of Research

New president and trustees will carry forward OREF’s focus on research

At its March 2014 Board meeting, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) elected new trustees and welcomed John J. Callaghan, MD, into his role as president. David G. Lewallen, MD, is OREF’s new president-elect.

As Ramon L. Jimenez, MD, steps down from his presidency and takes on the role of past president, he leaves an impressive legacy. Dr. Jimenez was instrumental in persuading his fellow trustees to adopt Vision 2015, OREF’s strategic roadmap for expanding its research program, strengthening its partner relationships, growing its base of donors, and retiring programs that no longer fit its goal of refocusing on research. Developed with input from stakeholders who were asked how OREF can best serve the orthopaedic community, Vision 2015 aims to strengthen OREF’s research program and fundraising infrastructure.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last couple of years,” Dr. Jimenez said. “From beginning the development of a new research portfolio that will have a balance of investigator- and agenda-driven research to continuing OREF’s longstanding tradition of nurturing new investigators by funding emerging talent, I’m certain that under Dr. Callaghan’s leadership, OREF is well positioned to continue refocusing on funding excellence in orthopaedic research.”

New president
Dr. Callaghan, who chaired OREF’s board briefly in 2005 before accepting a position in the AAOS presidential line, is happy to be leading the foundation again.

“I have an interest in clinical and biomechanics basic science research and am the recipient of an OREF grant,” said Dr. Callaghan. “It’s an exciting time to be in a leadership role as OREF strives to be the principal supporter of orthopaedic research that improves function, eliminates pain, and restores mobility.

“As incoming president, my goal is to engage orthopaedic surgeons in the Foundation,” he continued. “Along this line, I hope to show them the huge value orthopaedic research has in helping them provide the best musculoskeletal care in the world. It was research—including research sponsored by OREF—that enabled bone morphogenetic protein to become a reality used by many today.”

Dr. Callaghan is currently the Lawrence and Marilyn Dorr Chair and Professor in the departments of orthopaedics and bioengineering at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He is a recipient of the OREF Charnley Career Development Award and has received the OREF Clinical Research Award twice, most recently in 2012 for his work with Thomas D. Brown, PhD, on impingement and dislocation in total hip arthroplasty.

John J. Callaghan, MD
Ramon L. Jimenez, MD

Dr. Callaghan has authored or coauthored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers based on his research. He has received the American-British-Canadian and the North American Traveling Fellowships, as well as awards from the Hip Society, the Knee Society, and the Orthopaedic Research Society. He coedited The Adult Hip and is presently the assistant chief editor of The Journal of Arthroplasty.

New president-elect
David G. Lewallen, MD,
professor of orthopaedics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is chair of the American Joint Replacement Registry and former chair of the Council of Musculoskeletal Specialty Societies. His professional and research interests are in primary and revision hip and knee replacement and pelvic trauma, and he is listed as an author or coauthor on more than 100 publications.

After his residency, Dr. Lewallen completed several fellowships, including two Reader’s Digest International Fellowships—one at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, and one at Mennonite Christian Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan. He also had a research fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard in Boston, and a trauma fellowship at AO/ASIF in Duisberg, Germany.

New board members
John A. Bergfeld, MD,
is currently the director of the operating room and senior surgeon, department of orthopaedic surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He is also a member of the senior staff at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and a consulting physician for the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers, having been the head physician for both teams in the past. He is currently the team physician for Baldwin Wallace College and physician for the Cleveland Ballet. Dr. Bergfeld founded the National Football League Safety Panel and served as its chair from 1993 to 1999.

A surgeon and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Matthew B. Dobbs, MD, specializes in pediatric spine and foot deformities. He is known for his use of the Ponseti method of club foot correction and for taking a minimally invasive approach to treat congenital vertical talus. With his research team, Dr. Dobbs is investigating the genetic factors responsible for clubfoot and other musculoskeletal deformities. He has received funding from OREF to support this work in part, and hopes to localize the gene that causes club foot deformity, which will allow for the development of better treatment strategies.

An orthopaedic surgeon for Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Letha Y. Griffin, MD, specializes in sports medicine. She currently serves on the board of directors for Piedmont Hospital and is a member of the Georgia State University sports medicine team. She has served on the boards of the American College of Sports Medicine and of AAOS and on various committees for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, AAOS, and the Medical Aspects of Sports Committee at the NCAA.

Outgoing board members
S. Terry Canale, MD,
and Frank B. Kelly, MD, completed their terms of service on the OREF board. The OREF trustees thank Dr. Canale for his years of service as a board member, president, and past president, and Dr. Kelly for his service as chair of educational grants, a position that will retire with him. R. Tracy Ballock, MD, has elected not to serve a second term.

Amy Kile is publications manager for OREF. She can be reached at