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March 13, 2014

Orthopaedic Surgeon Robert D. D’Ambrosia, MD, Honored for Advancing Diversity in Orthopaedics

NEW ORLEANS  ? The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) today presented the 2014 Diversity Award to Robert D. D’Ambrosia, MD, of Denver, Colo., during an awards ceremony at its 2014 Annual Meeting.

The Diversity Award recognizes members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of, and accessible to, diverse patient populations.

Dr. D’Ambrosia is a professor and chair of the department of orthopaedics at the University of Colorado where he helped shape the School of Medicine’s Diversity Policy that increased student diversity to 30 percent. He embraces treating underserved patient populations to reduce the healthcare disparities they face. He also was pivotal in ensuring that the University of Colorado sports medicine faculty include female practitioners to help address the needs of female sports teams. D’Ambrosia also served as AAOS President from 1999-2000.

“For more than 30 years, Dr. D’Ambrosia has encouraged and further extended an opportunity to minority and female medical students pursuing an orthopaedic residency,” said Anthony Rankin, MD, a clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at Howard University who nominated Dr. D’Ambrosia for the Diversity Award. “He has led the way in supporting diversity related activities and has been a promoter of culturally competent care both in his practice and in his training of orthopaedic residents.”
“Dr. D’Ambrosia has been a role model for colleagues and has been exceptionally active in the Leadership Fellows Program of the AAOS,” added Dr. Rankin. “He has served repeatedly as a mentor focusing on minority and female residents, preparing them for positions of leadership in their communities as well as nationally. His efforts in this arena will have a lasting impact in the profession’s diversity.”
“The award is very special to the diverse orthopaedic department I represent in Colorado,” said
Dr. D’Ambrosia, MD. “Our department has witnessed first-hand the unique possibilities, achievements, and heights that can be climbed with a selfless faculty composed of all ethnicities and genders. Promoting diversity means to afford equal opportunity to everybody regardless of their background by hiring the best of the best and they just happen to be diverse.” 

Prior to his achievements as chair in Colorado for 12 years, Dr. D’Ambrosia’s service to the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as chair spanned 27 years. While chair of the department, he trained and mentored more than 100 LSU graduates. His contributions to the LSU program are so long-lasting, a lectureship and chair have been established in his honor.


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