Newswise — LAS VEGAS (March 9, 2023)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) presented its 2023 William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Leadership Award to Alex Jahangir, MD, FAAOS.

The Tipton Leadership Award recognizes AAOS members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities that have benefitted the orthopaedic community, patients and/or the American public. The award honors and celebrates the life, accomplishments and qualities of the late William W. Tipton Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, educator and former AAOS chief executive officer.

“The greatest honor of my professional career is receiving the William W. Tipton Jr. Leadership Award. Ours is a specialty that disproportionately produces many leaders in our practices, our communities and our nation. I am extremely humbled to be recognized as a Tipton honoree when so many other leaders in orthopaedics are equally deserving,” Dr. Jahangir said. 

Inspiring community action
Dr. Jahangir, a professor and vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tenn., has not only made an impact in the field of orthopaedic surgery through his practice, but has also made a lasting impression on his community by simultaneously heading the Nashville COVID-19 task force during the height of the pandemic. While serving as chair of the Metropolitan Board of Health Nashville, Dr. Jahangir was named chair of the Metropolitan Nashville COVID-19 Taskforce by Mayor John Cooper. He remained in that role for two years, while simultaneously continuing his practice at VUMC. 

Throughout his service on the task force, Dr. Jahangir implemented new policies and practices that helped better protect public health, including establishing city-wide COVID-19 testing and vaccination services. According to William T. Obremskey, MD, FAAOS, professor of orthopaedic surgery at Vanderbilt, “One of Dr. Jahangir’s most significant collaborative initiatives was his work early in 2021 with Nashville’s three major tertiary medical centers — VUMC, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Division and Ascension Saint Thomas — to develop the state’s first-ever regional transfer coordinating center between these three friendly, but fierce competitors.” 

Established in January 2021, the Middle Tennessee Transfer Coordination Center was designed to help regional hospitals around Nashville manage bed shortages due to the pandemic and seamlessly transfer patients to larger facilities as needed. “As a result of Dr. Jahangir’s team-building efforts, not one resident had to seek inpatient care outside of middle Tennessee — even as the Delta and Omicron variants raged — which undoubtedly saved countless lives,” Dr. Obremskey said. 

Leading by example
Dr. Jahangir immigrated from Iran to Nashville as a child in the 1980s. His father also practiced medicine in Nashville at Meharry Medical College, American’s largest historically Black medical school. Dr. Jahangir attended the University of Tennessee for medical school, and completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tenn. He then completed an orthopaedic trauma fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dr. Jahangir has a track record of investing his time and energy into the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee. He serves on the boards of several organizations working to improve the lives of Tennesseans, including the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, Center for Nonprofit Management, NashvilleHealth, and the University School of Nashville. He is highly recognized and awarded by his community. Among his honors are the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of the Region Award; the Nashville Public Education Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award; the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Spirt of the Dream Award; and VUMC’s 5 Pillar Award. The Nashville Business Journal named Dr. Jahangir to its Power 100 list in 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

“As both an orthopaedic and civic leader, Dr. Jahangir continues to guide teams of all shapes and sizes to make lasting impacts on countless lives. He has taken the fundamental characteristics that define a successful orthopaedic surgeon — to think fast, build trust and make order out of chaos — and brought them out into the larger world,” Dr. Obremskey said.

After receiving the award at the AAOS 2023 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Dr. Jahangir said: “I am keenly aware that I have been able to make contributions to my profession, institution and community because of the generous support of many mentors and colleagues who have encouraged me throughout my orthopaedic career. I am committed to embodying the high standards of leadership that our profession demands.” 

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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal healthcare issues; and it leads the healthcare discussion on advancing quality.

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