New Chief Named to Lead Orthopaedic Trauma for Pitt and UPMC

By: Beth Mausteller

Dr. George V. Russell is the new chief of orthopaedic trauma in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Orthoapaedic Surgery and the associate chief of UPMC’s orthopaedic service line. Russell also serves as an associate chief of surgical quality and executive vice chair of Pitt’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.  

Dr. George Russell

Russell is one of the nation’s leading orthopaedic trauma surgeons and is pioneer of the clamshell osteotomy procedure, which is widely used to correct malunions, or crooked bones. He joined UPMC and Pitt in November from the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he was a chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and CEO of University Physicians.   

In his new role Russell will drive the coordination of orthopaedic trauma care across the UPMC network.  

“Orthopaedic trauma injuries can happen to anyone at any time. When you wake up in the morning, no one expects to be in a trauma bay,” said Dr. MaCalus Hogan, the David Silver Professor and Chair of Pitt’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of orthopaedic surgery at UPMC. “We already have a great team of orthopaedic trauma surgeons at UPMC. UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Mercy are Level I trauma centers, treating more than 7,5000 orthopaedic trauma patients each year. Dr. Russell will help elevate our care delivery across the board.“ 

Russell has authored and co-authored more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, multiple book chapters and has presented both nationally and internationally on specialty care for orthopaedic trauma and leadership. 

“I think there’s phenomenal opportunity here,” said Russell. “Regular people like you and me are having a great day until a car crash or a fall that needs special attention. Helping patients recover from a life-altering injury is what I do.”   

Russell is also recognized as an expert on obesity in orthopaedics. “It’s very easy for doctors to shame or blame the patient for their current circumstance. My duty as a physician is to take care of people in their greatest need, regardless of how they come to us.” 

Russell received his bachelor’s degree from Denison University and his medical degree from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, followed by an orthopaedic residency at University Hospital, University of Cincinnati, and an orthopaedic trauma fellowship at The University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center. He also holds an executive M.B.A. from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. 

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