A Night at the Getty

In early February 2013, Ann and Gordon Getty graciously opened their home to host a reception for St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Programs. One Hundred guests mingled and conversed about new joint and back research, improvements to St. Mary’s operating rooms, and the premier talent in the ortho residency training program.

The skyline and bay vistas provided a perfect backdrop for Master of Ceremonies Willie Brown to entertain and highlight the speakers, Dr. William McGann, research engineer Jeremi Leasure, and Dr. William Montgomery.

The trio described the excellence embodied at St. Mary’s -- a perfect system of practicing physicians, active research delivering innovations, training for a new generation of surgeons in state-of-the-art techniques. All of this converging in a hospital known for a superior standard of compassionate care.

Looking more like a carpenter’s workbench, intriguing table decorations were plastic bones with actual metal joint replacements…knees, hips, and shoulders. Jeremi Leasure pulled from his pocket a new device that will stop the progression of osteoarthritis. It can be molded to match exactly a patient’s anatomy, and will cover and protect damaged cartilage. People touched and handled the X-Stop, a very small unit that revolutionized the treatment and alleviation of spinal stenosis pain. Most importantly, they could talk to its inventors, Drs. Ken Hsu and James Zucherman.

Dr. McGann was bursting with pride about the doctors who have traned in the Orthopaedic Residency Progam. Alumni have vibrant practices throughout the US, and still come back to teach at St. Mary’s. The current residents are graduates from renowned medical schools such as Columbia, Creighton, Georgetown, UCSF, and USC; and were in the 98th percentile of their medical schools.

The Gettys provided a unique social opportunity for guests to have personal exchange with the many attending physicians or share their experiences with other grateful patients.

Dr. Sara Huang (radiation oncologist) and Dr. Dick Podolin (cardiologist), provided Academy Award winning director Phil Kaufman with the ever-changing opinions about eggs and cholesterol; Jeannette Etheredge was re-acquainted with Dr. Peter von Rogov, who treated Rudolf Nureyev at the behest of Jeannette’s mother Armen Baliantz; while Debi Durst was in her customary Giants-fan orange and black shorts and knee highs, showing off her St. Mary’s knee replacement. An eclectic group representing dance, gymnastics, wineries, film, high performance cars, and comedy found common ground in success with St. Mary’s orthopaedic care.