Alumni Endowment Program Spotlights Orthopedics

From the looks on the faces of some Bexley High School students, watching a live total knee replacement surgery might have been a little more real than they expected. Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Joel Politi arranged for his knee replacement surgery to be live-streamed from Mount Carmel East Hospital via COSI Connect on Friday, October 25. As students viewed the surgery on the big screen in the BHS Schottenstein Theatre, Dr. Politi answered questions and introduced the team in the operating room.  He later made his way to Bexley High School to join the other visiting surgeons as part of the annual Judah Folkman, MD Scientist-in-Residence Program.

This was the 19th year for the Folkman Scientist-In-Residence Program, which is funded by the BEF’s Dr. Judah Folkman (Class of 1950) Science Endowment Fund and is aimed at introducing Bexley students to the wide range of career opportunities in the sciences.

Following the live orthopedic surgery, high school science students had the opportunity to hear from and engage with four visiting specialists in the field of orthopedic surgery. In addition to Dr. Politi, who specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery at Orthopedic One and is the founder of COSI’s Surgical Suite Program, this year’s visiting scientists included: Dr. Alex Matrka a 2006 graduate of Bexley High School and Orthopedic Surgery Resident at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Williard, a 1978 graduate of Bexley High School who specializes in shoulder reconstruction at Orthopedic One, and Dr. Curtis Henn a 2001 graduate of Bexley High School and surgeon at MedStar Georgetown University who specializes in hand surgery.

“Hundreds of BHS students were able to experience this once in a lifetime event starting with the live total knee replacement and continuing with a discussion forum with experts in the field of Orthopedic Medicine.  This was definitely a highlight for our science students and such a wonderful experiential learning opportunity,” said BHS Science Teacher Scott Logsdon.

The science program honors Dr. Judah Folkman, a 1950 Bexley High School graduate, who is recognized for his achievements in the field of cancer research and the specialty of angiogenesis, the process by which a tumor attracts blood vessels to nourish and sustain itself. Dr. Folkman was the graduation speaker for the Bexley High School Class of 2000. He passed away in 2008.