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Early in my orthopedics career, I faced a terrible choice.

My patient was a man in his 20s who had his arm severed in an accident. We had the arm, but reattaching it would kill him from complications. In the end, I told his family – his hopeful, traumatized mother – we couldn't do that surgery.

We should not have those conversations and yet they happen far too often. Amputations are just one of the problems we should have already solved. So many more challenges await us.

We also should not live in a society where a privately insured patient can have surgery and an under-insured patient cannot. Surgeons also have those conversations all the time.

I believe these realities can change. I think the University of Arizona can make those conversations go away.

Dr. John Elfar, Chair of the University of Arizona Department of Orthopaedic Surgery


And to do it, we need your help.

Orthopedic medicine is on the cusp of something great – real breakthroughs in limb salvage and robotics, in nerve/sensor symbiosis to restore natural movement, in cracking issues with infection and rejection that continue to plague us. 

I believe that in our lifetimes, people will print new toes, new legs, new arms, and surgeons like us will put them on. 

And I believe that as these advances and interventions become more and more in reach, we can finally begin to fix the unconscionable disparities we see everywhere in health care today.

Together, we can show the world that damaged people are not broken. That kids born with disabilities and victims of violence and accidents are not resigned to disability. We can show the world that nobody, no matter how twisted or injured or dismembered, ever gets set aside or thrown away.

We can achieve our brightest dreams.

We are building a new generation of orthopedic leaders here at the University of Arizona. Our goal is to give people their best possible lives and change the very landscape of medicine in the process. I know we can get there with your help.

John C. Elfar, Professor & Chair
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Donate Online

Orthopaedic Innovation

To support the many ongoing research initiatives at the UArizona Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.


Ron D. Johnson Memorial Lectureship Fund

Honoring the memory and legacy of Ron Johnson, MD, PharmD, established in 2002 when he passed away at the age of 43. 


Ortho Resident Education and Research

Note that this fund will eventually be combined with the newly created John Ruth Fund listed above. 


John Ruth Orthopaedic Resident Fund

To support resident learning, research and professional development, honoring Dr. Ruth, former department chair 2007 – 2022 and six-time honoree on the annual Best Doctors in America list. 


Endowment for Orthopaedic Surgery

To support an endowed chair in the name of Dr. William Grana, former department chair (2000 – 2007) and past president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.


Check or Cash Donations

Please make your check payable to Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and mail to:

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
PO Box 245064
Tucson, AZ 85724-5064

Please include your name, address and telephone number or email address so that we can thank you for your contribution.