Outstanding Young Alumna, 2012

Jeffrey Gelfand, MD
Class of 1992

Jeffrey Gelfand, MD

Jeffrey Gelfand, MD is currently practicing Orthopaedic Surgery at the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center in Annapolis, MD. He is the Chairman and Founder of The Helping Hands Foundation as well as the President and Founder of Suspension Orthopaedic Solutions, Inc. Dr. Gelfand also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Physician Enterprises, LLC.

Dr. Gelfand received his MD degree in 1992 from Upstate Medical Center after completing his undergraduate studies at SUNY Binghamton. He received his Orthopaedic Surgical training as a resident at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. As a Chief Resident at Lenox Hill he was honored with The Harry D. Fein Award for Compassion, Excellence and Earning the High Regard of His Colleagues. It was the first time in the hospital's history of graduate medical education that an Orthopaedic Surgeon had been nominated or received this award. Upon completion of his residency, he returned to Syracuse to complete a fellowship in Hand, Upper Extremity, and Microvascular Surgery.

In July 1998, after completing his fellowship, he and his wife Christina Morganti, MD (Upstate School of Medicine Class of '92, and Upstate Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Class of '98) both moved to Annapolis, MD with their 6 week old son Kasey so that Christina could begin her fellowship in Sports Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Gelfand joined The Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine center and his wife Christina joined the same group upon completion of her fellowship and both continue to practice there today.

In 2005, Dr. Gelfand first became involved in humanitarian efforts in the developing world. He traveled to La Paz, Bolivia for 2 weeks as a member of a large surgical team sponsored by California based relief organization Interplast. During this trip he worked with Dr. Jorge Terrazas, the sole fellowship trained hand surgeon in the region. The trip was challenging in every way and he quickly realized that no matter how equipped and capable the team was, there were just certain procedures, such as microvascular procedures, that could not be easily accomplished due to the limits in infrastructure in La Paz. This inspired Dr. Gelfand to subsequently create The Helping Hands Foundation, a recognized 501c3 tax exempt organization with the hope of helping individuals receive reconstructive procedures not available to them in their native lands. Since inception, the foundation has brought 10 individuals to Annapolis for reconstructive procedures.

Their first case involved a six month old boy named Stefan with a congenital hand deformity from Romania. The child was brought to Annapolis for the first of a twostage reconstruction of his hand. He and his mother were flown to Annapolis, they were housed by a host family for six weeks during the post operative period to allow for adequate follow up and subsequently returned to Romania. Stefan returned to Annapolis at one year of age for the second stage of his reconstruction. In 2009 they brought a 20-year-old female from Bolivia who suffered a traumatic amputation of her thumb. She was brought to Annapolis for a toe to hand transfer, a procedure using microvascular techniques to transfer her great toe to her hand which has restored her ability to have an opposable "thumb". The patient, Rocio, to this day, remains the only person from her country to have received this procedure.

In 2010, the foundation brought Michele, a 28-year-old soccer player from Haiti who suffered bilateral open tibia fractures during that country’s devastating earthquake. Michele had been initially stabilized by an American surgeon who was stationed in Haiti at one of the many relief hospitals quickly established outside of Port au Prince to deal with the casualties. The surgeon stated because of the segmental bone loss and significant soft tissue defects involving his right leg that had resulted from the injury, he would certainly lose the leg if he remained in Haiti. Emergent Visas were obtained and Michele was brought to Annapolis for limb salvage reconstruction involving microvascular free tissue transfer. He remained in Annapolis for three months and subsequent follow up care has been coordinated with local Haitian surgeons. Michele has returned to playing soccer in January of 2012.

In addition to his involvement in the visiting patient program, Dr. Gelfand has led surgical teams to South America, Central America, Romania, Asia, and Haiti. In 2008 Dr. Gelfand became interested in medical device product development after he had an idea for an innovative way to treat a certain subset of unstable clavicle fractures. He sought patent protection for the concept; self funded the early design and prototyping work and in late 2008 founded Suspension Orthopaedic Solutions. The company has subsequently received outside funding which has allowed the commercialization of its first three products that are currently being used throughout the US and were designed by Dr. Gelfand. Suspension's first product, Gelfand's initial concept, is one of only two products approved by the FDA indicated for the treatment of unstable distal clavicle fractures, and the only one that does not require a second surgery. He currently holds 9 patents and his fourth product designed to treat injuries about the elbow is expected to be available for orthopaedic surgeons late 2012.

Dr. Gelfand also serves on the Board of Directors for Physicians Enterprises, LLC, the governing body for all employed physicians affiliated with Anne Arundel Health Systems. He has long been an avid runner and cyclist and in 2010 he competed as a member of the all physician 4 man team Doc2doc in the Race Across America, an endurance bicycle race that goes from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Md. Team Doc2Doc took second place in the 4 person division finishing the race in 6 days 6 hours and 59 minutes. His favorite thing to do is spend time with his wife and 4 children Kasey, 14, Angela, 10, Jake, 9, and Francesca, 5.