$2.5 Million Endowment Honors Orthopaedic Leader

Feb 01, 2013, 13:10 ET from New Jersey Health Foundation

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As a result of the generosity of Dr. h.c.mult. Hansjoerg Wyss of Switzerland, New Jersey Health Foundation has received a $2 million endowment donation to honor the late internationally renowned orthopaedist Dr. Fred Behrens.

Through its matching program, New Jersey Health Foundation will provide a 20 percent match, $400,000, to the gift.  An anonymous donor gave an additional $100,000 gift, bringing the total endowment to $2.5 million, to establish a chair in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School.

Mr. Wyss, a Swiss philanthropist and entrepreneur, is the former chair of the Synthes Corporation, one of the world's largest medical device manufacturers. 

"Dr. Behrens was a highly respected clinician and teacher who helped set the standards for orthopaedic trauma surgery.  His tireless mentorship of countless young residents made a major impact in patient care," said Mr. Wyss.  "I am pleased to support the ongoing teaching activities for orthopedic residents and students in a school that is committed to advancing the principles that meant so much to Dr. Behrens."

The Fred F. Behrens, M.D. Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Trauma Education will support residents training in the area of orthopaedic trauma.  The chair holder, who would become the Behrens Professor, will carry on the tradition of excellence in the practice and teaching of orthopaedic trauma and fracture care, continuing the work that Dr. Behrens started at the Medical School when he joined the faculty.

"This endowment provides a significant way for Mr. Wyss to honor Dr. Behrens while assuring the future education of orthopaedic residents," said James M. Golubieski, president of New Jersey Health Foundation.  "An endowment such as this one, which will be awarded in perpetuity, is a tribute both to Mr. Wyss and Dr. Behrens."

Dr. Behrens founded the Department of Orthopaedics at New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) in Newark, NJ, in 1992.

"Dr. Behrens was integral in shaping the education and careers of more than 100 residents and fellows who matriculated through the Department at NJMS since 1992," said NJMS Dean Robert Johnson.  "He devoted his life to teaching and mentoring residents, developing one of the premier Orthopaedic programs in the United States." 

From the early 1980's until his premature death in 2005, Dr. Behrens was an esteemed faculty member and active participant in the AO Foundation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the surgical management of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

A firm believer in and practitioner of the principles of fracture care developed by the AO Foundation and the principal architect of the NJMS orthopaedic resident education program, Dr. Behrens became a driving force, ensuring that all NJMS orthopaedic residents were familiar with AO techniques and they each successfully completed an AO Basic Principles Course during their residency training.   

For more information about this endowment or how to establish your own endowment, contact Mr. Golubieski at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

About New Jersey Health Foundation

New Jersey Health Foundation (www.njhf.org,) established in 2002 as a not-for-profit public charity, is the parent company to the Foundation for Healthcare Advancement (www.foundationforhealthcareadvancement.org ) and the Foundation of UMDNJ (www.foundationofumdnj.org) , which solicit private sector support for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey;  to Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC,  (www.foundationventure.com),  which makes private equity investments in start-up technology companies founded by researchers affiliated with UMDNJ and to the New Jersey Health Foundation Charitable Gift Fund (www.njhealthcharitable.org), a donor-advised fund.

SOURCE New Jersey Health Foundation