Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Bulletin

Professor & Chair, Howard A. Chansky, MD
Howard A. Chansky, M.D.
Professor and Chair

Dear Colleagues,

Perhaps not even Stephen King, the horror and science fiction novelist, could have dreamed up something as horrible, deadly, persistent, and disruptive as COVID-19. Yes, the designation “-19” means that we are now in the third year of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Once again hospitals across the country, including ours, are (over)filled with patients diagnosed with COVID. The stresses on physicians, nurses, and staff have been compounded by national staffing shortages due to the “Covid retirement boom” as well as many hospital employees being quarantined due to COVID itself. So once again there is a governor-mandated pause on elective surgeries which has had a great impact on resident education, faculty morale, and patient well-being. To end the introduction of this newsletter on a positive note, while some orthopaedic faculty, residents, and staff have contracted COVID, nobody has required hospitalization. In addition, the current COVID surge appears to be waning, and due to both vaccination rates and the incredible infectivity of the omicron variant, many if not all epidemiologists believe that we are entering the tail-end of the last major disruptive COVID surge.

New Faculty Joins Oncology Service

Elyse J. Brinkmann, M.D.
Elyse J. Brinkmann, M.D.

In wonderfully positive news, it is my pleasure to introduce Elyse Brinkmann, M.D. to our orthopaedic family. Dr. Brinkmann joins the department after surgical training at Loyola, Mayo and the Brigham. Elyse is dual-fellowship trained in arthroplasty and orthopaedic oncology. She will be caring for patients at the Puget Sound VA, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and the University of Washington Medical Center. Dr. Brinkmann was born in Washington, raised in San Diego, and I’m sure that her family is as excited to have her back home as we are to have her in the department. In her “free time,” Dr. Brinkmann enjoys the outdoors and prior to starting her job at UW she had been biking, hiking, snow shoeing and camping.

Dr. Russell Fernandes Named a Fellow of the Orthopaedic Research Society

Elyse J. Brinkmann, M.D.
Russell Fernandes, PhD

Dr. Russell Fernandes, a Research Associate Professor in the department, was recently selected as a Fellow of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS). ORS Fellows have demonstrated exemplary service and leadership, substantial achievement, expert knowledge, and significant contributions to the ORS, its governance, and the field of musculoskeletal research. Fellows are thought leaders and experts in their respective disciplines. Dr. Fernandes works in our Collagen Biology and Genetics Disorder Laboratory whose research concentrates on how types II, IX and XI collagens are assembled into the cross-linked fibrils that are an important component of cartilage. Cartilage is the tissue that creates the perfectly smooth surfaces in a healthy joint. Dr. Fernandes studies the role of collagen during growth, development and in conditions such as osteoarthritis. Basic research such as that performed by Dr. Fernandes is the key to developing biological or targeted treatments for conditions such as osteoarthritis.

The last two years have taken an emotional and physical toll on residents, faculty and staff. Nevertheless, as you can see in this newsletter we have pushed forward despite the recurring pandemic surges. This truly has been a team effort and it could not have happened without the courage, perseverance, and skill of the entire department.

- Howard A. Chansky, MD, Chair

Previous Bulletins

  • 2019 Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Bulletin

    Dear Colleagues,

    The New Year started with purple! Many of us traveled to Pasadena to support the UW Husky football team in their first Rose Bowl appearance in 17 years. Unfortunately, the team lost in a close game to Ohio State. However, outstanding care was delivered by our team physicians who support all Husky athletes year-round. We are anticipating great things in the 2019 football season and from our orthopaedic team.

    I am humbled by the hard work and talent of our faculty, fellows, residents and staff that both contribute to our research efforts and provide excellent and compassionate patient care. I want to share some of the amazing work that continues to be done here at UW Medicine in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Please explore the web links included in this document and contact me at OrthoChair@uw.edu if you have any questions or suggestion about the Department.

    - Howard A. Chansky, MD, Chair

    Advancing Science

    Our faculty continues to advance the science of orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal disease in many areas, and many have presented their work locally, nationally and internationally this past year. A few highlights include:

    • Drs. Jason Hsu, Davin Gong and Frederick Matsen received an award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) for their study on infection in shoulder replacement surgery.
    • Recently graduated resident Dr. Romie Gibly, along with Drs. Thomas Shomaker, Viviana Bompadre and Suzanne Steinman, published a study that guides the efficient and effective treatment of pediatric finger and hand injuries, two common reasons for children to visit an emergency room.
    • Drs. Carlo Bellabarba and Amy Cizik participated in a multicenter collaboration to develop a tool to guide patients and physicians as to which patient population will most likely benefit from lumbar spine surgery.
    • Two of our sports surgeons, Drs. Christopher Kweon and Albert Gee, and our head Husky athletic trainer, Robert Scheidegger, published a position piece supporting the need for orthopaedic surgeons to continue to be on the sidelines caring for football players.

    Click here to see a full list of our AAOS accepted materials and recent publications.

    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Expands and Celebrates

    We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kenneth Chin, our new foot and ankle surgeon, who will be joining us in March. In addition, we have had the recent good fortune to be joined by Drs. Viral Patel (spine surgery), Will Lack (trauma and general orthopaedic surgery), Jared Harwood (orthopaedic tumor surgery) and Florence Unno (trauma and general orthopaedic surgery).

    We will be celebrating the careers and retirements of two of our notable faculty, Dr. Ted Wagner and Dr. David Eyre. Dr. Wagner is a force locally, nationally and internationally in spine deformity surgery. Dr. Eyre is a world-renowned cartilage and collagen biologist with over 40 years of continual NIH funding. More information will follow on the retirement event planned to honor Drs. Wagner and Eyre.

    New Endowment in Honor of Dr. Douglas P. Hanel

    In June of 2019, Dr. Hanel will be stepping down as the residency program director after 24 years of deft guidance. In honor of Dr. Hanel’s service to the Department and to scores of residents, we have established an endowment in his name. Please visit the Douglas P. Hanel, MD, Endowment for Orthopaedic Training and Research for Resident Education to learn more about this important initiative.


    New Stadium Clinic Surgical Director

    It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Mia Hagen has been appointed the Surgical Director of the Stadium Clinic. This is a new position that recognizes the importance of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in caring for athletes of all ages, and most importantly, Dr. Hagen’s impressive early success as an educator, researcher, and clinical leader. In this leadership position, Dr. Hagen is directly responsible for clinical matters related to surgical patients, faculty and the surgical staff to ensure efficient, safe and high-quality care and services.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    During this past year we continued to address the important issues of diversity and inclusion in our Department. We had an overwhelming number of staff, faculty and residents accept the invitation to participate in this process. The committee has developed several initiatives, including outreach on a regional and national scale that we will begin implementing in 2019.