Medicine and Research at WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics

By: Jennifer Webster
Monday, April 28, 2014
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Patient-centeredness, efficiency and fidelity to best-practice standards in clinical medicine, research and education — hallmarks of WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics — mean patients receive outstanding care throughout the continuum.

“Academic medicine is a wonderful meld of all the clinical aspects you’ll find in private patient care settings, with the addition of the depth and breadth you discover in residency and fellowship programs,” says Sanford Emery, MD, MBA, Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at West Virginia University (WVU). “As such, we have guiding principles in the department — excellence, customer service and productivity in everything we do — that unite everyone: faculty, staff, employees and residents.”

Academic Prowess Benefits Clinical Medicine

WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of subspecialties for adult and pediatric patients, including hand, foot and ankle, joint replacement, metabolic bone disorders, orthopaedic oncology, spine, sports medicine, and trauma. The addition of staff in subspecialty centers, such as the Center for Joint Replacement and the Sports Medicine Center, allows physicians to focus on particular areas of patient care.

“Orthopaedics is really a fascinating, multifaceted specialty,” says Dr. Emery, who is also President-elect of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. “We have fellowship-trained faculty members in all of our subspecialty areas, and they stay busy.”

The range of advanced treatments available to patients is increased by research being conducted at West Virginia University. For example, a study on swallowing after anterior cervical spine surgery may lead to improved methods for relieving dysphagia following this surgery. Fifteen full-time researchers and two half-time clinician-scientists — including three PhD scientists and two MD clinician-scientists — enhance the depth of knowledge available to physicians and patients at WVU Healthcare.

“We are continuing to grow our research division,” Dr. Emery says. “By working to obtain more external funding for the department, we can help our physicians claim their place on the national scene.”

A Kind Word

WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics’ focus on customer service keeps the organization’s care patient-centered.

“We treat our patients as if they were our own sisters and brothers,” Dr. Emery says. “Whether advising someone about a procedure or keeping our waiting times to a minimum, we take measures to treat people well.”

“Academic medical centers have a lot to offer. We are not ivory tower denizens. Instead, we’re teams of physicians, nurses and other professionals who are involved in clinical work, research and education. This breadth and depth of experience is extremely beneficial for our patients.”
— Sanford Emery, MD, MBA, Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at WVU Healthcare

Over the past decade, WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics has grown significantly, both in popularity and size, Dr. Emery says. The department is developing new practices to keep consults efficient and wait times down.

“We strive for easy accessibility and consistent follow-up communication with our referring providers from all over the state of West Virginia,” Dr. Emery says.

Patients will always find their medical teams provide a combination of human warmth, medical expertise and scientific insight.


To learn more, visit wvuortho.com. WVU Healthcare Orthopaedics is operated by WVU Hospitals.