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UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

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Welcome to Alumni Relations

Our mission is to engage you in the life of UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery by offering unique alumni stories, keeping you up with university happenings, and helping you reconnect with classmates.

Message from Department Chair:   Jeffrey Eckardt, MD, Professor & Chair

Dr. Jeffrey J. EckardtWelcome to the 2015 AAOS UCLA/OIC Alumni Reception and I hope that you enjoy this 5th addition of our Alumni Bulletin. We thank Dr. Seth Gamradt ’06 (now at USC) who conceived of our first edition in 2011.  I credit Jackie Cohen, my academic assistant, for completing the last three editions and my new academic assistant Ashley Lucia for this year’s edition.  My administrative team has proved invaluable in making sure all is functioning in the  department.  I thank my admin team, including Jackie Cohen, Tonya Allen (CAO/CFO), Tina Nguyen (Director of Business Operations), Ashley Lucia, Connie Sams (Education Coordinator), and Bill Oppenheim for being a consistent support for me and the entire Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. 

It has been a good five years for Orthopaedics. Our residents are the “best of the best” of the national applicants with all getting outstanding post residency fellowships. We have completed the move to the Santa Monica Hospital, opened the Spine Center in conjunction with Neurosurgery, refurbished the Westwood clinic and the CHS administrative and physician offices as well as the Gait analysis lab and have fully integrated the electronic medical record. Our December Holiday Party is unquestionably the best on campus. Ten of our faculty are now actively involved with Operation Mend, caring for our wounded veterans. Kodi Azari, MD and his transplant team are poised to perform our first free face and abdominal wall transplants.  Our biomechanical robotic lab is going strong with the number of students and residents increasingly involved in basic research each year.  Our faculty and residents were dispatched to the LA Zoo to operate on Jabari, a 450-pound lowland silverback gorilla who had sustained a femur fracture when thrown into the moat by his older brother, the alpha male.  Dr. Chia Soo, with help from Dr. John Adams, secured a $300,000 NASA grant that will be sending mice to the International Space Station this year for osteoporosis studies critical for our astronauts’ wellbeing on prolonged space flights. We have acquired from Cedars the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry with 450 known dysplasias co directed by Drs. Deborah Krakow and Dan Cohn. Our Primary Investigator NIH Funding has increased from 14th in the nation in 2010 to 7th this year and the UCLA Orthopaedic Residency Training Program ranking by US News and World report has gone from 19th in 2010 to 8th in the nation this year, 2015. As a testament to our research efforts, at the 2015 Longmire Day, six of 18 presentations and 12 of 26 posters were presented by our residents, as they represented the orthopaedic surgery department with a total of 41% of the presentations. We have developed the best same day/next day clinic availability program of all the clinical departments and our Quality Program has been most effective in reducing re-admission, improving time to surgery for hip fractures and decreasing length of stay for elective cases and also enjoys high marks from  the hospital administration, the clinical chairs and the Dean’s Office. Dr. Nelson Soohoo had taken over the job as Program Director and appointed Drs. Frank Petrigliano and Rick Bowen as Associate PDs. The three have done an excellent job in revamping the educational program and match selection process for the residents and students. Surgical rotations at Olive View Medical Center, Kaiser Panorama, and in the Soddo Christian Hospital in southern Ethiopia, along with a full surgically equipped cadaver lab at CHS and the CASIT dry lab, have been added to increase the resident’s hands on surgical experience. Sharon Hame, MD has been appointed the Director of Medical Student Orthopaedic Education as our priorities have shifted to better educate and introduce the medical students to our subspecialty. Twenty-four faculty have been on-boarded since 2010, which brings our complement of clinical faculty to 47 and our research faculty to 25.

It has been a great time to be part of UCLA Orthopaedics, and for me it has been an honor and  privilege to have served as Chair since 2010.

Sincerely yours,

Jeffrey J. Eckardt, M.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Helga and Walter Oppenheimer Chair of Musculosketal Oncology
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

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2016 Alumni Reception
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2015 Alumni Bulletin
Alumni Bulletin (PDF)

Upcoming Alumni Events

Save the Date! Alumni Reception: March 4, 2016
Department Chair Jeffrey Eckardt, MD and Executive Vice Chair Anthony Scaduto, MD Cordially Invite you to the:

  • UCLA/Orthopaedic Institute for Children Alumni Association Cocktail Reception
  • AAOS Annual Meeting - Orlando, Florida
  • Friday, March 4, 2016, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Hilton Orlando, Lake Monroe Room
  • 6001 Destination Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32819
  • RSVP to: Tina Nguyen


The generosity of our donors has been essential to making the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery one of the nation’s leading centers for orthopaedic research, training, and treatment.

Contributions to the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. If you are interested in learning more about making a gift targeted to a specific project or division within the UCLA/Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, hearing about our endowment opportunities, making a bequest or other estate gift, or discussing how to you can give in a way that provides you or a beneficiary with tangible financial benefits, please contact the UCLA Health Sciences Development at 310-206-3079 or email us at UCLAOrtho@mednet.ucla.edu.

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