Inspired by his extraordinary experiences at Hospital for Special Surgery as a fellow in 1961, Dr. Root became a member of the HSS medical staff in 1967 and has devoted his medical career to helping as many patients as possible benefit from the outstanding level of care provided by HSS.
Dr. Root's work at Special Surgery is defined by his unwavering dedication to build on the Hospital's history of excellence in teaching, research, and patient care. "Our traditions are very important. Who we are, what we are, and what we've done," says Dr. Root. "When you come to work here, you honor those traditions, and it's our job to make sure that our message goes forth."
In addition to the numerous transformative programs Dr. Root has established, and the countless patients whose lives he has changed over his 47-year-career at HSS, Dr. Root became a charter member of The Wilson Society, Special Surgery's legacy society, when he made a bequest to the Hospital in his will in 1998. Dr. Root's commitment to the future of HSS will help to ensure that the Hospital continues to educate residents, fellows and staff, conduct research, and provide musculoskeletal care at the highest level.
"Special Surgery has given me the opportunity to do all the things that I've wanted to achieve in medicine," says Dr. Root. "HSS has supported me in so many different ways, and a bequest is my way of helping to support this great institution."
At HSS, Dr. Root established the first osteogenesis imperfect ("brittle bone disease") clinic in New York City with pathologist Dr. Peter Bullough, served as the Hospital's first Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery for 25 years, elevated Special Surgery's cerebral palsy clinic to national prominence, and established the Leon Root, MD, Pediatric Outreach Program to provide free musculoskeletal screenings to medically underserved children in New York City. Since the Program's inception, the screening team has examined over 27,000 children and referred more than 5,000 for primary or musculoskeletal care.
Bequests like Dr. Root's and other planned gifts help support the Hospital's efforts in educating residents and fellows, conducting innovative research, and providing world-leading patient care at the Hospital and to the community. Planned gifts have created research chairs, enabled medical breakthroughs, and supported general funds, ultimately contributing to the unique, innovative and compassionate atmosphere that is HSS.
"This is a very special hospital," Dr. Root observes. "Everybody takes pride in being here; everybody wants to do the best they can. We're going to give you the best care that we can give you."
Dr. Root, his fellow physicians, and all of the staff at Special Surgery are integral to creating the exceptional patient experience that only we can provide. Dr. Root's commitment to the future HSS will help to ensure that patients will continue to receive personalized musculoskeletal care at Special Surgery for years to come.
"To come back to HSS and stay here is one of those wonderful decisions that changed my life for the better," reflects Dr. Root. "This is my home away from home."