Why I give
“The School of Medicine gave me the opportunity to practice medicine and develop my love of orthopaedics, which is my passion,” says Dr. Ron Romanelli, Class of ‘83 and orthopaedic surgery resident alumnus ‘88, who established the Orthopaedic Alumni Endowment for Dr. E. Shannon Stauffer, the first chair of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at SIU School of Medicine.
“Dr. Stauffer was my mentor, like a father figure,” Dr. Romanelli says. “He shared his love of orthopaedics and his values about how to take care of patients. He really attracted me to the field. I couldn’t have done it without him."
“When he died, I wanted to do something for him, knowing that it would please him. His family gave me the direction and drive to get it started for him. It’s a tribute to my mentor and friend.”
Today, Dr. Romanelli is president of the Orthopedic Center of Illinois – an independent, single-specialty musculoskeletal practice based in Springfield with four centers that serve patients throughout central Illinois. Dr. Romanelli loves the work he and his partners do each day. “We give quality of life back to people. We eliminate pain and restore function.”
“A lot of us trained at SIU School of Medicine,” Dr. Romanelli says. “We have received a lot as physicians. I see it as my duty and desire to give back, and I also think it’s the responsibility of other SIU alumni and colleagues to reflect on all the blessings they’ve received and the school that got them to their dream of practicing medicine.” In fact, the entire group gives proudly and consistently to the School of Medicine. And soon, three more Romanellis will be giving back. “All three of my boys want to go into medicine,” Romanelli says. “I think it’s awesome, great, exciting to see. It touches the heart.”