SIU Orthopaedic Surgery History

After the initial confrontations about the organization of Orthopaedics with help from Dr. B. Zaricznyj with the arrival of Shannon Stauffer, the orthopaedic community rallied around the development of a training program.  The leadership style of Dr. Stauffer was that of a quiet facilitator and an exemplary clinician who commanded respect and loyalty.  John Mazur joined the faculty as a pediatric orthopod to help organize the training program and very quickly it became quite competitive.  Jim Hill was here for a short while to do hand surgery, but the relationships between Orthopaedics and plastic surgery in the area of hand, never quite jelled.  Paul D'Martino, a spine Fellow from Syracuse, was extremely popular with the students and residents.  Charlie Eberle and John Fisk offered breadth and maturity to the division.  Mark Greatting, a former resident who had completed a hand fellowship, spent several years on the faculty before moving to the Springfield Clinic.  Shannon Stauffer’s interest in spine surgery and the development of a spine fellowship program soon made Springfield a recognized center for spinal cord injury patients.  Risky Business, an outgrowth program of the Division of Orthopaedics, developed by Mary Kay Reed has had a decade of success in public education related to injury prevention and safety.   It has since become part of a nationally recognized program called ThinkFirst, which also deals with safety education for children and young adults throughout Illinois and celebrates their 20th anniversary this year. 

The Division of Orthopaedics and the region was in need of orthotics and prosthetics patient care. Shannon convinced Terry Supan and Daryl Barth to develop a program within the School of Medicine, and with the addition of Geza Kogler, it became an outstanding program both for clinical care and for the training of orthotic and prosthetic residents.  The highly successful and nationally known group eventually separated from the group and moved into private practice.  A gait lab was initially developed by Mimi Covert.  Her untimely death left a cloud of sorrow over the entire department.  Fortunately, Susan SIenko-Thomas, Steve Hill, and Maria Lebiedowska had been able to continue the Gait Lab.   Dirk Alander and Gordon Allan, and later, O. B. Idusuyi and Linda D'Andrea added new dimensions to the breadth of the orthopaedic program.  David Olysav, a former resident who spent a number of years in private practice locally while part of the volunteer faculty, later joined the SIU faculty.  At the retirement of Shannon Stauffer, Gordon Allan was the clear choice of the orthopaedic community and the residency program to be the next chair; it is a division that continues to grow and one with a long and successful residency training program.  In late 2008 Gordon Allan moved into private practice in Springfield but continues to support the residency program by teaching.  Throughout its history, the community orthopaedic surgeons have been supportive teachers in the residency program particularly some of those who completed their training in the program. Former students or residents Ron Romanelli, Mark Greatting, Diane Hillard-Sembell, and others have continued their loyal support to the program.  Other community surgeons who take an active role in teaching include Dan Adair, Leo Ludwig and Barry Mulshine.