$1 million gift supports gender equity in orthopaedic - Academy News at the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting

$1 million gift supports gender equity in orthopaedics

Orthopaedic research—especially clinically based research—is a passion for Freddie H. Fu, MD. Gender equity is a passion for his wife, Hilda. Although they have different passions, Dr. and Mrs. Fu found a way to tie them together, resulting in a $1 million deferred commitment to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Endowment.

“Gender equity is very important to me personally,” Mrs. Fu says. “I know that orthopaedic research is one of Freddie’s significant and important passions. I hope that by making a family gift to OREF, we could have some impact by funneling the money to support new initiatives aimed at leveling the playing field for women in orthopaedics.”

Mrs. Fu currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors for the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania (WGF), a Pittsburgh-based organization she and several other women founded about four years ago. The mission of the Women and Girls Foundation is to bring about gender equity by supporting initiatives that will lead to systemic change.

“We are not using the social services approach where you put a bandage over whatever is bleeding. Instead, we want to use the opportunity to partner with other organizations,” she explains

The best way to effect systemic change in orthopaedics, Mrs. Fu believes, is by partnering with other foundations, something she thinks would be beneficial for OREF.

“If you partner with local foundations that have missions that align with your giving objectives, it’s as if you have a lot of branch offices working on that particular issue,” Mrs. Fu says. “By partnering, OREF could make a dent in gender equity for orthopaedics.”

Freddie H. Fu, MD, and Hilda Fu combined their passions for orthopaedic research and gender equality with a $1 million deferred commitment to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Endowment.

The best outcome

Although Mrs. Fu acknowledges that her support was instrumental in making the $1 million gift to OREF, she says that her husband supports her passion for gender equity just as she supports his for orthopaedics.

“Over the years, my husband has become quite supportive of gender equity,” she says. “Until he met me, he didn’t realize that things were not really equal. As I have discovered things are not equal, he got the idea, too. He’s really supportive of my passion now. So we work well together.”

Dr. Fu agrees. “It’s satisfying and gratifying to fund research through OREF. Funding OREF can make more opportunities available for women. This will result in better quality research because more talented orthopaedic surgeons will be doing the work,” he says.

A passionate gift

Determining the value of new methods, according to Dr. Fu, is one reason research is important. He believes that without OREF, research would be compromised, especially for the clinician.

“Orthopaedics is often overlooked by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). OREF provides unique opportunities to jump-start clinician scientists, enabling them to collect data they can use when they apply for NIH grants. Funding research also helps train young people who are the future of orthopaedics,” says Dr. Fu.

With their $1 million deferred commitment to the OREF Endowment, Dr. and Mrs. Fu have helped secure this future. They also hope their gift can effect change by creating a more equal environment in the specialty for men and women.

OREF’s Shands Circle

Endowments are funds created to receive gifts with the intent that all of the money contributed will be reserved in principal, and only the interest from the money will be used to support research and educational programs. Shands Circle contributions fund the OREF Endowment.

More than 460 orthopaedists have joined the Shands Circle, OREF’s highest donor recognition society. Like Dr. and Mrs. Fu, these donors appreciate the value that
OREF-funded research offers in improving the practice of orthopaedics.

For more information about endowment giving or the Shands Circle, please log on to http://www.oref.org or contact Gene Wurth, OREF president and CEO at wurth@oref.org or (847) 384-4362 or Ed Hoover, associate vice president, development, at hoover@oref.org or (847) 384-4354.

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