Head Over Heels for PROs | A List Of Outcome Champions

February 14, 2023


From the halls of academia to the operating room, we’ve compiled a list of individuals that are dedicated to improving the quality of care for patients everywhere. How? You guessed it: patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Whether they’re developing new tools for measuring patient experience, or conducting cutting-edge research on the latest treatments, these experts are truly resetting expectations and paving the way for a ‘new normal’ in healthcare. In this special Valentine’s Day edition blog, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the movers and shakers we’ve kept an eye on over the years: Dr. Kevin Bozic, Dr. Michael Suk, Dr. Alexander R. Vaccaro, Dr. Prakash Jayakumar and so many more. So sit back, grab another cup of coffee, and get ready to fall in love with these outcome champions.

Kevin Bozic Headshot

Dr. Kevin Bozic

Dr. Kevin Bozic is a trailblazer in the healthcare industry, having made tremendous strides in the field of PROs. As the 2023 President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Executive Director of UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute, he is a respected authority in his field. Dr. Bozic has been a steadfast advocate for PROs as essential tools in healthcare, providing a direct measure of a patient’s experiences, symptoms, and functional status. 

With over 15 years of experience as an adult reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Bozic has become a sought-after expert in the fields of hip and knee arthroplasty. He has a wealth of experience in the growing field of value-based healthcare, with a focus on the implementation and evaluation of value-based payment and delivery models. Dr. Bozic’s extensive research and policy experience has earned him recognition both regionally and nationally. He is a former Chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Council on Research and Quality and the co-founder and former Chair of the California Joint Replacement Registry.

Dr. Bozic is a true innovator, pushing the boundaries of healthcare for the betterment of patients. He is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with others, as evidenced by his publications, including “Value-based Healthcare: Early Wins and Smooth Transitions to Value-based Delivery,” “Value-based Healthcare: Integrating Shared Decision-making into Clinical Practice,” and “How to Create an Orthopaedic Arthroplasty Database Project: A Step-by-Step Guide Part II: Study Execution.” With his exceptional leadership, expertise, and passion for the field, Dr. Bozic is poised to continue making a lasting impact in the healthcare industry.

Dr. Alexander R. Vaccaro Headshot

Dr. Alexander R. Vaccaro

Dr. Alexander R. Vaccaro is a world renowned spine surgeon who serves as the president of Rothman Orthopedics. Rothman, a “privademic” practice, offers Dr. Vaccaro the best of both worlds: autonomy in his practice (a staple of private practices) without the hassle of the bureaucratic processes (a common hurdle in academic centers). He has over 900 peer-reviewed publications; keeping him at the forefront of important discussions on topics such as innovations in cervical spine trauma, traumatic brain injuries in football players, and predictors of prolonged opioid use after lumbar fusion.

His research has helped to bridge the gap between medical treatment and patient satisfaction, demonstrating the importance of incorporating patient reported outcomes into clinical decision making. Dr. Vaccaro has authored several articles on the use of patient reported outcomes in joint replacement surgery, demonstrating the effectiveness of these measures in improving patient satisfaction.

As if 900 peer reviewed publications is not enough, in his spare time, he has published over 372 book chapters and is the editor of over 63 textbooks. In addition to churning out an insane amount of research and RVUs, Dr. Vaccaro is the proud father of 5 children. Yes, you read that correctly- FIVE. He is also a comedian. Maybe not officially, but I dare you to watch one of his talks without laughing.

PRO Champion Headshot Swiontkowski

Dr. Marc Swiontkowski

Dr. Marc Swiontkowski is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and a true visionary in the field of patient-centered care. With a specialization in fractures, nonunions, malunions infections, and osteoporosis, he has been at the forefront of innovative studies and research initiatives that have helped to expand our understanding of the role that PROs play in the delivery of quality healthcare.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Swiontkowski has made tremendous contributions to the field of PROs, and is widely recognized as one of the pioneers who developed PROs in trauma. He has received numerous awards and accolades from professional organizations and academic institutions for his contributions to this critical area of healthcare.

In addition to his groundbreaking work in PROs, Dr. Swiontkowski is also a leader in the orthopedic community. He is the editor-in-chief of the highly respected Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and is the 2023 president of the Mid-America Orthopedic Association. He is widely sought after as a speaker and is considered a true thought leader in his field.

Dr. Swiontkowski’s contributions to the medical field don’t stop there. He has also been a driving force behind the development of patient reported outcome measures, such as the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) questionnaire. He has received multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. In addition, he was a key figure in the FAITH (Femoral Anteversion In Total Hip) trial with Dr. Mo Bhandari, further solidifying his status as a thought leader in the orthopedic community.

Headshot Nguyen

Dr. Mai Nguyen

Dr. Mai Nguyen is a dynamic and dedicated orthopedic surgeon making a significant impact in the field of orthopedic trauma. With a strong focus on PROs and the relationship between social determinants of health, Dr. Nguyen is laying the research groundwork on a number of cross-disciplinary fields. In December of 2022, Dr. Nguyen published an article, “Usage of Orthopaedic Trauma Registries among Members of the International Orthopaedic Trauma Association: How are we doing?” This publication showcases her drive to benchmark orthopedic care on a global scale.

Dr. Nguyen is also a passionate advocate for medical education and scientific research. She commonly lectures on trauma topics and consistently authors research abstracts, manuscripts, and textbook chapters. With a mission to provide her patients with the best possible care, Dr. Nguyen specializes in the operative treatment of general extremity fractures, complex fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum, and the treatment of multiple injured patients. As a highly skilled orthopedic traumatologist, she takes her responsibility of providing compassionate, state-of-the-art care to her patients very seriously.

Michael Suk Headshot

Dr. Michael Suk

Dr. Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, MBA, FACS, is an exceptional and renowned orthopaedic leader who has made a significant impact in the field. As the Chief Physician Officer at Geisinger System Services, Dr. Suk has brought about remarkable advancements and improvements, including a staggering growth in revenue by 110% and successfully advocating for over $50 million in cost reductions. He is famously credited with introducing the first-ever lifetime warranty agreement for total hip replacements, a testament to his unwavering commitment to improving patient outcomes.

Dr. Suk’s expertise and passion for PROs has earned him recognition as a leading voice in the field. He has conducted extensive research on the correlation between patient expectations and clinical outcomes in orthopaedic trauma surgery and has been published extensively in peer reviewed journals.

His dedication to enhancing healthcare is further highlighted by the numerous accolades and honors he has received. He was honored as a White House Fellow in 2003 and served as a board trustee for the prestigious American Medical Association. Additionally, his exceptional leadership skills have earned him a spot in the prestigious Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, offering him exclusive access to leaders of high-performing organizations.

Headshot Hamid

Dr. Kamran Hamid

Dr. Kamran Hamid, MD, is a highly accomplished Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgeon and the Chief Medical Officer at Loyola. He is well-known for his expertise in treating ankle injuries, having previously served as a team doctor for organizations such as the Chicago Bulls and Joffrey Ballet. In 2013, he co-authored a formative paper in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, “Measuring value in orthopedic Surgery,” with Dr. Kevin Bozic. His extensive experience in the field is further reflected in the numerous research papers he has authored, which focus on topics such as acute tarsal tunnel syndrome, social media in orthopedic surgery, and quality assessment of total ankle arthroplasty clinical outcomes.

Dr. Hamid is also highly active on social media, with over 24,000 followers on Instagram, where he showcases his high-energy personality through musical raps inspired by his experiences as a healthcare provider. This unique approach to communicating with his patients and followers has made him highly relatable and well-loved within the community. Through his work, Dr. Hamid has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing the field of Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery, and to delivering the highest-quality patient-centered care possible.

Headshot Jayakumar

Dr. Prakash Jayakumar

Dr. Prakash Jayakumar is a true leader in the field of patient reported outcomes and health care innovation. Dr. Prakash Jayakumar serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care and the Director of Clinical Research and Outcome Measurement at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Through these posistions he has made significant advancements in the integration of technology and health policy as well as leading value-based care research initiatives. With a background as an orthopaedic surgeon, a PhD in outcome measurement, and extensive training at institutions like Harvard and INSEAD, Dr. Jayakumar brings a unique and valuable perspective to the field.

Dr. Jayakumar’s expertise in patient reported outcomes (PROs) is particularly noteworthy. He has published extensively on the topic, including in prestigious journals like JAMA Internal Medicine, and has even been a principal investigator in a global project on patient outcomes following injury. One of Dr. Jayakumar’s core beliefs is that patient generated health data holds immense value and can be a transformative tool for improving the quality of care. This belief is exemplified in his work, which is dedicated to empowering patients and healthcare teams to leverage data to drive improvements and advance the transition towards high-value care.

Overall, Dr. Prakash Jayakumar is an outstanding innovator, researcher, and mentor in the field of health care. His contributions to patient reported outcomes and health care innovation are truly inspiring, and his work will continue to shape the future of these important areas for years to come.

Headshot Cunningham

Dr. Brian Cunningham

Dr. Brian Cunningham is a true Renaissance man in the field of orthopedic surgery. Not only is he a highly skilled and experienced trauma surgeon, but he is also a dedicated researcher with a passion for improving patient outcomes and the value of healthcare. His unique combination of clinical expertise and research acumen has made him a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry.

As the Vice Chair and Director of Inpatient Orthopedics at Methodist Hospital, Dr. Cunningham is dedicated to providing his patients with the highest quality of care possible. He has a keen interest in PROs, and his studies and publications in this area have been widely recognized and respected. In his role as a researcher, he has been instrumental in identifying and adjusting for variations in patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), which has led to improved care for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. His recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Adjusting for variation in patient-reported outcome measures is needed to improve care after total knee arthroplasty”, has received recognition and attention. He has also explored the importance of capturing PROs, comparing paper and electronic survey administration, in his article “Capturing patient-reported outcomes: paper versus electronic survey administration”.

Navarro Headshot

Dr. Ronald Navarro

Dr. Ronald A. Navarro is an exceptional orthopedic surgeon who is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through innovative research and exceptional patient care. As Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Clinical Affairs at Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM), Dr. Navarro oversees the logistics of student clinical education and serves as a mentor to the Orthopaedic Special Interest Group.

He has written extensively on the role of shoulder arthroplasty registries in tracking patient outcomes, and has presented his findings at national and international conferences. Additionally, Dr. Navarro research interests include in the impact of orthopaedic treatment in ethnic groups, and how data can be used to adapt surgeon behavior in the changing landscape of healthcare.

Dr. Navarro’s commitment to his patients is unparalleled, taking a highly personalized approach to care that is centered around listening to the patient’s needs and helping them return to a healthy and active lifestyle. His extensive experience and expertise in complex shoulder surgery, combined with his philosophy of helping patients lead balanced and healthy lives, make him a trusted and respected member of the orthopaedic community. He is also very active on twitter: follow him @BoneDoc95.

Tornetta headshot

Dr. Paul Tornetta

Dr. Paul Tornetta is a renowned orthopaedic trauma specialist who wears a number of hats; Chief and Chair, Professor, and Residency Program Director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma for the Boston Medical Center. He is highly recognized for his contributions to the field through his extensive experience in multicenter trials and trial methodology. As a leader in the Orthopaedic Trauma Research Consortium and serving on the executive committees of the SPRINT, TRUST, and FLOW trials, Dr. Tornetta has been a driving force in advancing patient reported outcomes in the field of orthopaedic trauma.

One of Dr. Tornetta’s areas of expertise is patient-reported outcomes. He has spearheaded numerous studies and research in this area and has championed the integration of patient-reported outcomes into orthopaedic trauma treatment decisions. His expertise and contributions have earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation clinical research award, several BUSM Robert E. Leach Resident Teaching Awards, and OTA Bovill Awards. In 2024, Dr. Tornetta is set to take on an even greater leadership role as the incoming president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). With his expertise in patient reported outcomes and his commitment to evidence-based care, Dr. Tornetta is well-equipped to lead the AAOS and guide the organization’s efforts to improve patient outcomes and advance the field of orthopedics.

In addition to his upcoming presidency of the AAOS, Dr. Tornetta is also a strong advocate for opioid-use reform in orthopaedic surgery. He recognizes the devastating impact that opioid addiction can have on individuals and communities, and he is committed to finding solutions to reduce the use of opioids in orthopaedic care and improve patient outcomes. With his broad experience in multicenter trials and trial methodology, he is well-equipped to lead the charge on this important issue and work towards finding safer and more effective pain management options for orthopaedic patients.

Ficke headshot

Colonel James Ficke, M.D

Dr. James Ficke is a remarkable physician and leader in the field of orthopedics. His specialty in Foot & Ankle Surgery and Orthopedic Trauma, and his clinical interests in amputee and limb salvage rehabilitation, post-traumatic arthritis, orthopedic education, and international outreach make him an expert in his field. In addition to his work in the surgical room, he holds the position of Robert A. Robinson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the orthopaedist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr. Ficke has made significant contributions to the field of orthopedics. He has been an advocate for the integration of patient feedback in clinical decision-making, and has conducted extensive research on the topic. He has also been a leader in advancing the treatment of complex foot and ankle patients, lower extremity trauma patients, and amputees. Colonel Ficke’s expertise has enabled him to receive numerous awards and accolades for his work as a surgeon and educator.

Not only is he a spectacular surgeon, he is also a phenomenal person: Dr. Ficke actively involves himself in social work and community outreach. In fact, he recently made a trip to the Ukraine at the beginning of the war to assist with medical needs of the troops. He has also received military decorations and awards for his service, including the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medals and was honored with the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons’ prestigious 2010 Colonel Brian Allgood Memorial Leadership Award.

Ring Headshot

Dr. David Ring

Dr. David Ring is a highly accomplished orthopedic surgeon who is changing the way we approach patient care. He currently serves as the Upper Extremity Clinical Director of UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute and has extensive experience in treating a variety of conditions, from pain and numbness to injury and infection. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Ring has made significant contributions to the field of orthopedics through his research on patient-reported outcomes and the relationship between mental and social health and measures of symptom intensity and capability. With over 700 peer-reviewed original research publications and a prominent position as a deputy editor for the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Dr. Ring is a recognized leader in the field.

Dr. Ring is also known for his stance on the opioid epidemic and his efforts to address the larger health issue of substance abuse. He was awarded a Ph.D. for clinical research in psychosocial aspects of arm pain from the University of Amsterdam in 2005 and serves as a Courtesy Professor in both the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Health Social Work. Through his leadership and education, Dr. Ring is helping shape the solution for this critical public health issue by encouraging orthopaedic surgeons to lead the way in finding solutions to the opioid epidemic in their respective communities and institutions. As a prolific writer on the topic of opioids, Dr. Ring believes that with information and strategies, orthopaedic leaders can play a crucial role in addressing this epidemic.

Mark Vrahas Headshot

Dr. Mark Vrahas

Dr. Mark Vrahas is a true pioneer in the field of PROs, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of orthopedic surgery and trauma. As the founder of the Harvard Orthopaedic Trauma Initiative, Dr. Vrahas has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to collaboration, leading efforts to bring together orthopedic trauma services from across Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals. His leadership and vision in this area has not gone unnoticed, leading to his appointment as the Levin/Gordon Distinguished Chair in Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Orthopedics.

With a long-standing reputation for clinical excellence, Dr. Vrahas has made numerous important contributions to his field. He is widely recognized as an expert in the area, with extensive experience lecturing around the world, and serving as an editorial board member for leading orthopedic journals.

With a strong focus on patient engagement and value-based care, Dr. Vrahas has been a champion of the patient’s informed autonomy in their care, an innovative approach that has been widely praised by the medical community. One of his key publications, “The expansion and validation of a new upper extremity item bank for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS),” showcases his dedication to advancing the field and improving patient outcomes. His tireless efforts and groundbreaking research have solidified his place as one of the top experts in the world and have earned him recognition.

Concluding our PRO champ list (for now)

In conclusion, the work of the renowned experts in the field of PROs, such as ones above, highlights the importance of collecting PROs and collecting them accurately. By utilizing PROs, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into the experiences and perspectives of their patients, allowing them to tailor treatments and improve patient outcomes. However, collecting PROs can be time-consuming, which is why outsourcing to experts in the field can be a beneficial solution. By working with specialists, healthcare providers can be confident that the PROs collected will be accurate and reliable, providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions. The work of these experts in the field of PROs has helped to make healthcare more patient-centered, and their contributions should be celebrated.

Know Someone Who Should Be On This List?

Our list of PRO champions is just the beginning of our journey to showcase the best in the field. If we’ve missed someone who you think deserves a shoutout, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line and tell us who we should add to our list of PRO heroes. We’re always on the lookout for more experts who are making waves in the healthcare world and we’re committed to doing our due diligence to make sure everyone gets the recognition they deserve. So join us in celebrating the heroes of PROs and share your thoughts on who we should be keeping an eye on next!

Melissa Boyles CODE Technology Marketing Manager headshot

About the Author

Melissa Boyles  |  Marketing Manager |  Mel is a passionate Marketing Manager with a focus on crafting relevant content for PRO-curious individuals. She has a deep interest in patient-reported outcomes, the social environment surrounding them, and the healthcare industry as a whole. She aims to provide valuable insights to organizations looking to quantify the patient experience. Connect with her on LinkedIn.