OW: How long have you been associated with Operation Walk – Freedom to Move and what is your roll in (or specialty you bring to) the organization?
PD: I am Chairman of Portland Operation Walk-Freedom to Move, which is a humanitarian foundation to fundraise for this relief effort. Teams of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and other volunteers raise money to help orthopedic relief operations overseas. This nonprofit organization was sponsored to help these relief efforts so that people in the Dominican Republic without access to total joint care can benefit from a total hip or knee replacement. Relief efforts in the past have centered on Juan Bosch Hospital in LaVega, Dominican Republic for the past 6 years, Cabral Trauma center in Santiago, and Institute for Latin American Concern Outpatient Orthopedic Surgery center in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Operation Walk-Freedom to Move merged about 5 years ago out of a desire to have our local mission, Freedom to Move, aligned with a national group with access to more advice and assistance in getting implants, economies of scale, and national exposure.
I initially became involved as a medical student working for ILAC through Creighton University. Since then, Dr. John Tessier and I have worked through a lot of logistical issues to find a safe hospital to perform the procedures at and establish a team of residents and attending doctors in the Dominican Republic to help us care for patients that would not otherwise receive total joint care.
OW: What about the organization makes you want to donate your time and expertise. What stories have touched you personally or have been especially meaningful to you in how you view our mission?
PD: The organization is affiliated with ILAC and Creighton University all of which are part of my past experience. I wanted to find a way later in life to be able to give back to patients who would not otherwise be able to be mobile. This was my pathway back to the past experience and connections. I am proud that we have formulated a very successful national model organization that is able to provide high quality total joint care for patients in the Dominican Republic. This has become easier to do now with our excellent board. We now have people with accounting, marketing, fundraising, video and blog experts, as well as shipping and procurement professionals all donating their time to our organization. Working with these talented individuals is a true joy. Alignment of our organization with Operation Walk has also been very helpful in making our organization more productive.
OW: Who inspires you in the organization and why?
PD: I am unable to single anyone out because our organization has so many talented people wanting to help that it truly amazes me and I feel we must be doing something right if all these talented people are willing to donate so much of their valuable time, efforts, and money to allow us to take care of these patients and get the word out about what we are doing.
OW: What is your background in charity or in healthcare?
PD: I graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine in 1982, did my residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and a trauma fellowship at the University of California at Davis in Sacramento. I hold a position at Oregon Health & Science University as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and am Clinical Attending at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. I am Chair of the Orthopedic Research Foundation and the Director of the Total Joint Institute at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. I concentrate my orthopedic practice on total joint reconstruction of the hip and knee. Over my career, I have done surgery on the pelvis and acetabulum, periacetabular osteotomies, osteotomies of the hip, and complex total hip revisions including surgery for hip infections and revisions of the hip with extensive bone loss. Clinical research in the areas of total joint arthroplasty and periprosthetic fractures of the lower extremity are the major emphasis of my surgical practice. Development of better total hip and knee clinical pathways to improve patient care and decrease the hospital stay are particular areas of interest and clinical research. Research has focused on care pathways, bundled payment projects, safety of hip implants, total hips after prior surgery including hip fractures, acetabular fractures, periprosthetic fractures, and evaluating different surgical approaches to total hip arthroplasty. I have helped establish the Providence Total Joint Registry, which participates with the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR). As of last year, the Providence Joint Registry was the second largest data contributor group to the AJRR. I have served as reviewer for the Journal of Arthroplasty and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Newsletter for Total Hip Arthroplasty and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. I hold multiple patents on fracture devices for fixation of periarticular fractures around the hip and knee, for the treatment of periprosthetic fractures, and on a total hip stem design. I receive multiple grants for clinical research relating to bundled payments for total joints, clinical hip pathways, and for outcomes research in total hip and knee replacements. I have multiple publications relating to total hip arthroplasty, acetabular fractures, outcomes of total hip surgery, periprosthetic hip fractures, and improvements in total hip pathways.
Educational efforts include running the orthopedic adult reconstruction service for the residents from Oregon Health Sciences center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. I am also a fellowship director for an adult reconstructive fellowship in 2013-2016. Nationally, I have been active in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons serving on the AAOS Annual Meeting committee, ICL committee, is presently Chairman of the Adult Hip Reconstruction ICL Sub-Committee, a member of the Adult Arthroplasty Hip and Knee Society, and the American Orthopedic Association, and Hip Society.
"Movement is life, freedom, and independence."
-Dr. Paul Duwelius, Founder of Freedom to Move