By Manny Mendoza
When TSRHC hosted the World Hand Symposium, orthopedic physicians from 19 countries flocked to the hospital to learn about the latest treatments for upper limb disorders. Why Scottish Rite Hospital?
It’s home to two of the world’s preeminent pediatric hand surgeons, consistently ranks as one of the top pediatric orthopedic facilities in America and is renowned for its groundbreaking research.
Such locally grown leadership from the TSRHC medical staff plants seeds that encourage ideas and innovations to bloom across the globe, cultivating a brighter future for children with orthopedic conditions in the United States and abroad.
In addition to traveling from overseas to attend medical conferences put on by the hospital, doctors come to TSRHC to train with its superior medical team. Last year alone, physicians came from 39 countries. They also wrangle for spots in the world-class fellowship programs at TSRHC, taking some of the hospital’s expertise back home with them. They come here because Scottish Rite Hospital’s commitment to the highest standards has put it on the world stage of pediatric orthopedic care.
And the world has taken notice. In addition to international representatives from the medical community, more than 300 current patients from nearly 60 countries travel to TSRHC to benefit from the hospital’s expert treatment. “We are a destination,” says Chief of Staff Daniel J. Sucato, M.D., M.S. “We help set the standard.”
Sucato’s predecessor, now Chief of Staff Emeritus John A. “Tony” Herring, got the international ball rolling in the 1980s when he began visiting countries such as China and Russia, teaching their doctors the Scottish Rite way and treating their patients with TSRHC’s superior know-how. Last year alone, TSRHC physicians and researchers lectured in 15 countries in addition to training medical personnel across the U.S.
The hospital’s training of domestic and foreign physicians results in better care of children with orthopedic conditions around the world, while also spreading TSRHC’s philosophy of providing superior treatment to children regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
How sought after is the hospital’s expertise? More than 160 physicians, or more than 10 percent of the pediatric orthopedic surgeons in North America, completed their advanced instruction in TSRHC fellowship programs. Internationally, Scottish Rite Hospital fellows have come from 21 countries, representing every continent but Antarctica, with many going on to assume leadership roles at medical institutions in their home countries.
The reach of TSRHC’s research team is equally broad. As a major medical research center, the hospital directs international studies such as leading the International Perthes Study Group, a team of physicians from the U.S. and eight other countries who came together to discover new approaches to Perthes disease, a hip disorder.
In addition, the hospital develops innovative treatments that lead to better outcomes for children with pediatric orthopedic disorders. For example, when the TSRH Spinal System for correcting spinal deformities was introduced, it was the most widely used treatment of its kind internationally. The hospital has also established itself as a global leader in limb lengthening and reconstruction, building on the work of Russian physician Gavril A. Ilizarov. Improving on his original frame, TSRHC orthopedists and researchers have created a series of patented limb-lengthening devices recognized around the world.
The impact of Scottish Rite Hospital’s leadership on the direction of pediatric orthopedics is evident through the high-ranking positions TSRHC physicians hold in esteemed medical associations. Chief Medical Officer B. Stephens Richards, M.D., recently led the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). In addition, Richards and Herring are former presidents of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), whose archive is housed at TSRHC. Assistant Chief of Staff Lori A. Karol, M.D., is president-elect of POSNA. She will become the first woman to assume the role of president at POSNA’s annual meeting in May.
With its international influence and dedication to education and collaboration, TSRHC has blossomed from its Texas roots into one of the most respected pediatric orthopedic institutions in the world. In that thriving spirit, TSRHC is constantly growing, evolving and reaching skyward, so that children – no matter where they are – can, too.
**This article was feature as the cover story of our Rite Up Magazine – 2015, Issue 1. View an e-mag version for more stories from this issue.