In 2009, the partners at Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, established the 501(c)(3) non-profit Beacon Orthopaedics Research & Education Foundation with the mission to support scientific research and education regarding the latest technologies for orthopedic surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation. In addition, Beacon has proven time and again to be a community-focused company in how it partners with schools to provide the best care both on and off the sidelines. “When we first envisioned the foundation,” Dr. Kremchek said, “we wanted to create an enduring way to give back to our community beyond the great care we give to patients each and every day.” And through a Foundation, the company could be an amazing resource for students as they consider possible future opportunities.
With that in mind, the Foundation was established and now, it provides educational opportunities for physicians through research and by supporting three surgical and/or non-surgical fellowships each year. It also offers one-of-a-kind educational opportunities to area high school and undergraduate students through lectures and engaging field trips to its state-of-the-art cadaver lab. Beacon physicians volunteer their time to share their expertise and insights with the students. “The lab allows our team members to truly interact with students about our life’s work,” said Dr. Kremchek. “It may even give those kids a first introduction to medical fields they hadn’t previously considered like orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy and nursing.”
Given its decades of experience on countless athletic sidelines and training rooms, Beacon has become synonymous in the Tri-State with athletic training and sports medicine. While rightfully proud of that reputation, it is important to acknowledge that Beacon team members are also thoroughly trained, experienced and supported in even more chosen disciplines. The foundation is a great example of how the organization supports its professionals in all those specialties, while offering learning opportunities to our entire community.
“Funding from the foundation gives us the freedom to do some incredible things directly with (and for) local students, our physicians, fellows and our entire community,” said Kremchek. Competing in a sport is not just playing in the next match; it’s being a critical part of that team. The Foundation is that for our professionals.
Now that the foundation is a critical pillar of connection and education for our community, it’s important to recognize that the foundation achieves its original goals through three wide tracks:
Current Beacon Team. Creating and providing meaningful education and training for Beacon’s current team of physicians and care providers. This resource allows them to learn about the latest research and to use developing treatment breakthroughs (new procedures and technology) in the pursuit of prevention and treatment for orthopedic disorders and injuries. This hands-on experience is great continuing education and allows Beacon physicians to integrate what they learn into practice.
Local High School and College Students. The foundation allowed for the creation and offering of the one-of-a-kind educational outreach program called – The Scholastic BioSkills Lecture & Lab Series. To date, more than 8,300 high school and college students have attended anatomy lectures hosted by Beacon physicians and more than 7,400 select students participated in cadaver dissection in the BioSkills Lab. This program is unlike anything offered in the region and is truly life-changing for many students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. “During both summers between fifth and seventh grades, I had a teacher who took a small group of students to a cadaver lab at a nearby osteopathic school to explore organ function,” recounted Dr. Glen McClung from Beacon. “Essentially, she created and delivered what amounted to an early ‘STEM’ opportunity to her students. She was ahead of her time and five of those students are now physicians.” When creating the curriculum more than eleven years ago, Dr. McClung asked himself who can we inspire the most? These young students were the answer.
Post-Doctoral Fellows. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the foundation provides for a sports medicine Fellowship Program for graduating orthopedic physicians who choose to specialize in sports medicine. Each year, the program offers three Fellows hands-on experience to develop clinical and surgical expertise, working closely with Beacon physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists and other clinical and research staff to better prepare them for a career in orthopedic sports medicine. For example, each Fellow is designated as a team physician for assigned college and/or high school athletic event(s) during the training year. Fellows also assist in caring for the Cincinnati Reds during spring training and during the regular season, as Beacon is the official athletic training partner for the team. When asked what she’d want others to know about her year with Beacon, 2022-23 Fellow Dr. Emily Wynkoop answered enthusiastically, “the unparalleled operating experience, combined with the great mentorship, and hands-on sports coverage.” She went on to say that she was given “a wonderful foundation for a long and successful career as a surgeon.”
The classes and labs that are funded by the foundation take place at Beacon’s 2,800 sq. ft. Learning Center, located at the Summit Woods office at 500 E. Business Way in Sharonville. The site boasts a 40-seat classroom and a wet lab that is designed to accommodate up to four cadaver workstations for teaching, training and research. Outfitted with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment with connectivity to both the wet lab and Beacon’s in-house ambulatory surgery center, the Learning Center provides a great place for productive and interactive teaching – and learning.
Beacon’s Foundation was created for collaboration and cultivation of partnerships with regional businesses, medical practitioners, researchers and educators who believe in providing education, medical practice awareness, and the discovery of new technologies for surgery and biomedical advances. The Foundation also acts as a wonderful resource for Beacon physicians as they are exposed to – and can work with – new and amazing scientific breakthroughs. That kind of exposure makes Beacon’s care second to none.
Whether using its cadaver labs or offering pre-professional programming at the BioSkills Lab, Beacon provides opportunities for future medical professionals and a true hands-on resource for current Beacon physicians and Fellows. “Sports medicine is an art. Providing this kind of resource helps our physicians and fellows practice medicine AND develop that art,” said Dr. Tim Kremchek.