Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS, Receives American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Humanitarian Award

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 14, 2024)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) presented its 2024 Humanitarian Award to Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS, for his commitment to improving healthcare access for the underserved population in Ethiopia as well as his dedication to training future orthopaedic surgeons.

The Humanitarian Award honors members of the AAOS who have distinguished themselves through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad. Dr. Anderson was recognized for his ongoing efforts to shaping the healthcare landscape in Ethiopia.

Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS

Duane R. Anderson, MD, FAAOS
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“I can’t think of anyone who is more selfless, more giving, courageous, creative, and someone who is helping to train the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons in Ethiopia than Dr. Duane Anderson,” said Michael P. Leathers, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician from Sacramento, Calif.

Dr. Anderson’s humanitarian spirit spans the globe. In 2005, Dr. Anderson departed from a successful orthopaedic practice in Idaho to relocate to Soddo, Ethiopia. There he serves as the chief of orthopaedic surgery at Soddo Christian Hospital, a setting where the demand for orthopaedic care is great.

“He treats people who have been involved in orthopedic traumas that would normally be taken to a level 1 trauma center in the U.S., and he does so with compassion and without a fraction of the equipment, tools and resources,” Dr. Leathers shared.

Since its establishment in January 2005, Soddo Christian Hospital has impacted the lives of more than 331,000 patients and conducted more than 68,000 surgeries. It holds a central role in Ethiopia’s healthcare, serving as a training hub for medical professionals across Africa, and is one of 16 surgical resident training sites for the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). The hospital offers comprehensive medical services, including specialized care in medical, surgical, maternity and pediatric areas. Soddo Christian Hospital addresses the healthcare needs of a population of approximately 200,000 in a region marked by high population density and poverty. Despite challenges, Soddo Christian Hospital remains dedicated to serving the community and beyond.

In addition to playing a key role in transforming Soddo into a prominent orthopaedic referral center that serves all of Ethiopia, Dr. Anderson has trained many native African orthopaedic surgeons. As a member of the PAACS orthopaedic residency program in Soddo, he is actively involved in expanding the OR facilities through a U.S. Agency for International Development grant. In acknowledgement of Dr. Anderson’s efforts to train the surgeons of tomorrow, Dr. Leathers said: “I have seen him treat pelvic fractures and open fractures with courage and creativity that is unmatched. Sometimes there is a working C-arm, but he has perfected—and even taught me and Ethiopian orthopaedic surgery residents—how to place intramedullary rods without the use of X-ray.”

“I am so grateful to receive the AAOS Humanitarian Award and am truly humbled. I believe God created us to want and need to be appreciated. God also created us for good deeds. It’s intrinsic to being a human and a physician,” Dr. Anderson shared. On his time in work in Ethiopia, he said, “I have become a better surgeon because of the sheer volume of cases that I did. I was privileged to train some brilliant Ethiopians in orthopaedic surgery. They will now carry on for me. I want to thank AAOS again for the award, and God and my dear wife for helping me the last 18 years.”

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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 health care issues; and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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For more information, contact:

Deanna Killackey 847-384-4035 630-815-5195 killackey@aaos.org
Lauren P. Riley 847-384-4031 708-227-1773 pearson@aaos.org