OREF Overview

The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) is the one foundation serving the entire orthopaedic community.

In 1955, leaders of the major professional organizations in the specialty — the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society — established OREF as a means of supporting research and education toward building the scientific base of clinical practice. Since 1955, the Foundation has raised nearly $95 million and holds a unique place in American medicine.

Our Vision

OREF will be the leader in supporting orthopaedic research to improve function, eliminate pain and restore mobility.

Our  Mission

Improving lives by supporting excellence in orthopaedic research.

How do we fund research and education?

Through gifts from orthopaedic surgeons, practice groups, medical centers, and industry we support research and education initiatives funded by OREF and by partner organizations.


The Board of Trustees consists of approximately twenty individuals: orthopaedic surgeons and lay persons. The board is responsible for the governance of the foundation, while foundation personnel are responsible for daily operations.

Broad professional representation is found on one additional board and a committee of the Foundation — the Grants Board and the Shands Circle Committee.

Financial Information

OREF's 2012 financial results reflect the continuing effects of post-recession, post-governmental oversights, as well as economic pressure on the orthopaedic device industry.

Contributions from individual donors and industry were affected by competitive fundraising efforts in the orthopaedic industry as well as the economic forecasts anticipated by industry.

Investment earnings were improved over prior years and strong relative to the general investment markets.

Fundraising and general and administrative expenses were lower than prior years as a result of focused cost controls.

The financial statement reflects accrual accounting with grants and awards made in 2012 funded by 2011 contributions.

2012 Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Financial Statements

2012 Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Form 990

2012 OREF Annual Report

2012 Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Annual Report

"OREF is the only independent, surgeon-driven organization supporting research in the musculoskeletal area. With more funding, we can increase the number of grants awarded. There is nothing more disappointing than when we are unable to fund worthy grant applications because we do not have the resources."

Thomas A. Einhorn, MD
OREF Board of Trustees