Presenting the 2019 AAHKS Humanitarian Award to Aaron A. Hofmann
November 8, 2019
Dallas, November 8, 2019 – Aaron A. Hofmann, MD received the 2019 American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) Humanitarian Award at the 2019 AAHKS Annual Meeting. Dr. Hofmann, who is a 1991 charter member of AAHKS, founded Operation Walk Utah 15 years ago after traveling on an Operation Walk mission with Lawrence D. Dorr, MD to Guatemala. The focus of Operation Walk Utah is the Hospital Nacional Santa Tecla in El Salvador where more than 800 patients are on a waiting list for hip and knee replacement surgeries. Dr. Hofmann travels with his team twice a year and sees 55-70 patients on each trip.
Each year, Dr. Hofmann invites one trainee from El Salvador to his clinic for a six-week fellowship. The trainee then returns with the Operation Walk Utah team to El Salvador to help screen and operate on their patients. He is currently working with AAHKS and the Operation Walk Central Board to establish a training center in El Salvador to teach local surgeons how to perform hip and knee replacement surgery. Dr. Hofmann is also working with the Minister of Health and Salvadorian President to establish a joint center with local surgeons in order to help shorten the long wait list for joint replacement.
Erin Hofmann told the story of how her father not only has performed more than 1,000 surgeries for Salvadorians in need, but how he also stepped in when the program lost its storage room due to the hospital’s need for the space. “My dad traveled to San Salvador for 36 hours on a weekend in between his own surgeries and clinics. He showed up with one other OpWalk volunteer, building materials and a local workforce…to move equipment, pour concrete and stack cinder blocks. The storage shed they built solidifies the commitment to return to El Salvador for many years to come.”
According to Dr. Dorr, “Aaron’s work has sparked other Operation Walk chapters in at least eight states. No other Operation Walk Surgeon has invested so much personal money or demonstrated such entrepreneurial enthusiasm for improving his team’s delivery of care to people who would otherwise remain disabled throughout their lives.”
The AAHKS Humanitarian Award recognizes AAHKS members who have distinguished themselves by providing humanitarian medical services and programs with a significant focus on musculoskeletal diseases and trauma including the hip and knee in the United States or abroad.
Nominations for the 2020 AAHKS Humanitarian Award are now being accepted through April 15, 2020 at www.AAHKS.org/Humanitarian.
About the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS)
Established in 1991, the mission of AAHKS is to advance hip and knee patient care through education, advocacy and research. AAHKS has a membership of over 4,000 surgeons and other hip and knee health care professionals.
Denise Smith Rodd