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Chair of Department of Orthopaedics Named at University of Utah

After an extensive national search, Darrel S. Brodke, M.D., has been named chair of University of Utah's Department of Orthopaedics in the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine, and CEO of Orthopaedic Musculoskeletal Services for U of U Health, effective July 1, 2021. Brodke will oversee all clinical, research, and education programs in the department. He currently serves as executive vice-chair of the department.

"Dr. Brodke is an impressive leader, locally and nationally," says Michael L. Good, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of U of U Health. "His expertise, experience, and leadership skills will advance the Department of Orthopaedics forward in all of our missions."

Brodke joined the University of Utah in 1997 to lead the Orthopaedic Spine section and is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, as well as an adjunct professor in Neurosurgery. His research interests include spinal biomechanics, spinal deformity care, and patient reported outcomes. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed research articles, as well as numerous review articles and book chapters.

"I have been honored to serve in various leadership roles for the Department of Orthopaedics and the U of U Health System, and am excited for the opportunity to serve as chair," says Brodke. "This is a fantastic department with staff and faculty dedicated to outstanding patient care, top-notch education, and moving the field forward through innovation and discovery research. I see my role as supporting the great work our department does in carrying out our mission of relieving pain, improving function, and restoring quality of life to those we serve."

Brodke earned his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco before completing his Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Spine Surgery Fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is board certified with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and is appointed as the Louis and Janet Peery Presidential Endowed Chair.

He has taught extensively across North America and internationally. Dr. Brodke has held numerous national and international leadership positions, including the President of the Cervical Spine Research Society and Chair of AO Spine North America. He was also a member of the board of AO Spine International and has worked on the development of an international curriculum for education of spinal disorders.

As chair, Brodke will be responsible for leading the Department of Orthopaedics in recruiting, retaining, and developing the highest quality faculty and supporting them in their patient care, education, and research endeavors. He will lead efforts to provide a top-tier learning experience to students, residents, and fellows, and will continue to pursue philanthropic partnerships and national recognition for excellence in Orthopaedic education and research. As such he will continue to build on the department's exceptional national reputation.

Brodke succeeds Charles Saltzman, M.D. as chair of the Department of Orthopaedics. Saltzman led the department through a transformative period of growth and innovation, advancing the department from receiving no NIH funding in 2005 to being ranked #1 nationally among Orthopaedic programs for NIH funding in 2019. During his tenure, Saltzman, working with Brodke and other members of the department, created the Surgical Skills Knowledge Integration Lab and the Orthopaedic Innovation Center. He tripled the number of orthopaedic faculty from 18 to 60 and nearly doubled the number of trainees in the department, while raising funds for 14 endowed chairs and $12 million in philanthropic support. Saltzman and Brodke have championed the Women in Orthopaedics initiative and launched the Patient Reported Outcomes initiative at U of U Health.

Saltzman, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Foot & Ankle International and Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics, will continue his devoted care of patients with foot and ankle disorders, help teach residents and fellows, conduct research into arthritis, and serve as a Senior Director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Saltzman characterizes Brodke's appointment accordingly, "I can think of no one better to serve in this leadership role. Dr. Brodke is an outstanding surgeon, educator, and researcher, as well as a role model of humanity and humility. He is committed to the notion that through mutual support, respect, and interest, steadfast patient focus, and open exchange of ideas, we will build a better environment for all."