August 25, 2022

Orthopaedic Outreach Day lends a helping hand

Volunteers at the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Outreach Day provided free surgical treatments to 15 uninsured patients.
Volunteers at the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Outreach Day provided free surgical treatments to 15 uninsured patients. (photo by Donn Jones)

More than 60 Vanderbilt Health employees volunteered their time on Saturday, Aug. 20, so that 15 uninsured patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cyst and other hand disorders, as well as knee and shoulder issues, could receive surgical treatment.

Eight orthopaedic surgeons, nine resident surgeons and seven anesthesiologists/nurse anesthetists participated in Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Outreach Day held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vanderbilt Surgery Center in Franklin. The event began in 2017 and is organized by Donald Lee, MD, professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation and Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship director.

“This is a great program that helps those in need in Middle Tennessee,” Lee said. “It takes a village of compassionate staff members to pull off this event, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who participated.” Lee said, adding that the event has helped 76 patients over the past six years. Originally, only surgeries on the hand were offered, but in 2021 it was expanded to include sports orthopaedic procedures on the knee and shoulder — all debilitating conditions that frequently fall within a medical care gap that is typically not surgically managed in the free clinic or in the emergency department setting.

Patient referrals from five community clinics are coordinated through Shade Tree Clinic, Vanderbilt’s student-run free clinic. The surgeries were performed by Lee, Eric Bowman, MD, Douglas Weikert, MD, Jed Maslow, MD, Lance LeClere, MD, Kelly Hill, MD, David Matson, MD, and Stephanie Merimee, MD.

Participating resident surgeons were Callie Jewett, MD, Emilie Amaro, MD, Colby Wollenman, MD, Aleksander Mika, MD, Joseph Romano, MD, Ayub Karwandyar, MD, Jonathan Savakus, MD, Mason Young, MD, and William Gilbert, MD.

Those participating from Anesthesiology were Jeffery Clemmons, MD, Christopher Canlas, MD, Alyssa Streff, MD, Gwen Sanders, CRNA, Sherry Harmon, CRNA, Shuhanna O’Bryan, CRNA, and Christopher Rhea, CRNA.

The surgery center staff were led by Christopher Fritts and Jennifer Neissen. Partnering organizations and businesses included the Rotary Club of Franklin, Target, CVS, Costco, Loveless Café, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Five Daughters Donuts, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Brown Bag Catering, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Tiff’s Treats, Nashville Sweets, Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association and 4imprint.