Dr. Frank J. Eismont Honored with 2015 Leon Wiltse Award for Excellence in Spine Care

Frank J. Eismont, M.D., Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, will receive the North American Spine Society’s 2015 Leon Wiltse Award for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care.

A member of the Miller School of Medicine faculty for the past 35 years, Eismont is a nationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon who cares for patients with spinal disorders, and who has a special interest in disorders of the cervical spine and orthopaedic education.

“I was surprised and honored that my commitment to promote excellent clinical care and research was recognized and appreciated,” said Eismont, who is also the George and Marla Bergmann Endowed Chair in Orthopaedics and the Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedics. “It was also an honor to be recognized for my leadership positions in various national orthopaedic organizations, including our Academy, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.”

The North American Spine Society (NASS) is a multidisciplinary medical society that uses education, research and advocacy to foster the highest quality, value- and evidence-based spine care for patients. Each year, they present four awards to recognize unique and outstanding contributions to the field of spine care and research. Three of the awards were named for founding members of NASS who made their own contributions to the field.

One of those physicians was Leon Wiltse, M.D., who, over a career spanning more than 50 years, led groundbreaking research including the first use of methyl methacrylate — a surgical plastic used to bond prostheses into joints. Just as important as his discoveries was the Wiltse Fellowship in Medicine and Surgery of the Spine, where he helped mentor more than 40 young surgeons.

In his honor, The Leon Wiltse Award is designed to recognize excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care.

To be considered for the award, honorees must be nominated by their peers. Dr. Eismont was nominated for the award in 2013 by longtime colleague Harry Herkowitz, M.D., who he trained alongside and collaborated with on several educational projects.

Well-respected in the industry, Herkowitz served on the NASS Board of Directors and as the chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak from 1991-2013.

In his nomination letter, Herkowitz lauded Eismont’s contributions to the field of spinal surgery as extraordinary.

“His research in spinal trauma and infection has changed many traditions and has advanced the methods of treatment and improved patient outcomes,” Herkowitz wrote. “His commitment to education and furthering the excellence of orthopaedic surgery for our trainees and practicing physicians has been well documented.”

The recognition award ceremonies will take place on Friday, October 16, at the NASS Annual Meeting in Chicago. For more information, visit the NASS website.

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