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UM SOM's Dr. Andrew Pollak Receives health Services Leadership Award from Boy Scouts of America

January 13, 2016

UM SOM Chair of Orthopaedics Is Honored for Outstanding Work in the Medical Community

Andrew N. Pollak, MD, the James Lawrence Kernan Professor & Chair, Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and Chief of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical System, has been awarded the 22nd Annual Health Services Leadership Award by the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). 

The Award, which each year recognizes community healthcare leaders for outstanding contributions toward improving the quality of life in Baltimore and surrounding counties, was presented recently during the organization’s annual banquet  by Barry F. Williams, the Chairman of the Baltimore Area Council of BSA, along with the event co-chairs, Stephen T. Bartlett, MD, the Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at UM SOM, and Paul B. Rothman, MD, Dean of the medical school at Johns Hopkins University. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Special Needs Scouting Program for Central Maryland.

Dr. Pollak is a pre-eminent orthopaedic trauma surgeon who has been nationally recognized for his work in treatment of musculoskeletal injury in multiply injured patients and for his development of a research program to help develop better treatments for combat-related injuries to the limbs. He leads a department of more than 40 physicians and scientists and was instrumental in developing the new Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Pollak, a former Cub Scout, became interested in emergency medicine when he was a junior volunteer firefighter/EMT before college. He continues to pursue that interest today as Medical Director of the Baltimore County Fire Department and as Series Editor for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Orange Book Series of Emergency Medical Services Textbooks.

“I’m very proud to be honored by an organization that is making such an important effort every day to positively impact the lives and futures of young men and women throughout the Baltimore area and throughout the entire country who face substantial challenges,” Dr. Pollak said. “Throughout this city literally thousands of young men and women are growing up with the challenge of having only one or no role model in the house to help them learn about concepts like duty, responsibility and honor. Not just the words, but what those concepts mean and how they influence the way you live your life,” he said.

Dr. Pollak has been closely involved in sports medicine and trauma surgery for many years. He was associate team physician for the Baltimore Ravens professional football team and since 2002 has served since then as a consulting orthopaedic surgeon for the team. As former chair of the AAOS Extremity War Injuries Project Team, Dr. Pollak was instrumental in producing evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of wounded soldiers.

“This city needs scouting and needs what the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts represents and is doing for the region now more than ever,” he said, noting that since September 10, 2001, more young men have died as a result of interpersonal violence in Baltimore than were killed as a result of all the terrorist acts in the U.S. 

“While many Americans responded valiantly to the challenges posed by the terror threats, fewer have responded thoughtfully to the challenges posed by the interpersonal violence that threatens and terrorizes the young men and women of our inner cities every day. The Boy Scouts are one group that is responding to that challenge,” he said.

He cited statistics showing the need for growth in youth organizations like the Boy Scouts.  Currently, there are more than 36,000 youth and adult leaders in Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties and in Baltimore City more than 4,000 will participate in a Scouting program.  However, he said we need to bring make activities like the Boy Scouts more available and viable in the most violent neighborhoods in Baltimore.

“Until we popularize the traits of character and responsible citizenship that the Boy Scouts stand for, we will not be successful in changing the future for the children in those neighborhoods,” he emphasized in accepting the award.

Previous Award recipients from the University of Maryland have included:  Morton Rappaport, MD; Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP; John Ashworth, III; Thomas Scalea, MD, FACS; William E. Kirwan, PhD; Robert A. Chrencik, MBA, CPA; E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA; Steven Czinn, MD; Jay A. Perman, MD; Brian J. Browne, MD, FACEP and Stephen T. Bartlett, MD.

Also receiving this year’s award was Theodore L. DeWeese, MD, who is Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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