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The Aircast Foundation Extends Partnership with $1,000,000 Commitment

by OREF | Jan 31, 2019
OREF's relationship with Aircast goes back many years, first with the orthopaedic company and more recently with The Aircast Foundation, which recently committed $1 million over a 10-year period to support clinical research studies. Ronald Sandler, Chairman of The Aircast Foundation's Advisory Board, was kind enough to answer our questions about this longstanding relationship.

OREF: The Aircast Foundation's (TAF) collaboration with OREF dates back to 2015. What prompted TAF to begin this partnership?

RS: Aircast always had a relationship with OREF, so it was only natural that we re-established our activity with OREF as a first priority. Today’s relationship with OREF is even stronger and more collaborative; relying on the expertise of OREF’s review of grant applications in a manner that allows the Foundation to focus its funding on research grants as opposed to attempting to duplicate these skills at a greater expense to the Foundation.

OREF: As the Chairman of The Aircast Foundation Advisory Board, what are your goals for advancing orthopaedic practice through your support of OREF?

RS: Aircast, as an orthopaedic company, always developed its products based on patient outcomes, starting with the first Walking Brace worn by the Founder, Glenn W. Johnson, following a ski injury in the early 1970s. It was Glenn's passion to continually pursue research for answers as to why Aircast products were so effective despite their simplicity. That led Glenn to also establish the Foundation, as part of his commitment to research.

We feel no different in today's mission for the Foundation, which for many years has been independent from the commercial side of the business that was sold. We believe OREF is the perfect partner as the Gold Standard of research to keep advancing science for better orthopaedic practices.

OREF: Why do you believe supporting orthopaedic research is important?
RS: With FDA regulatory burden on product development, and limited NIH funding for orthopaedic research, innovation is becoming increasingly difficult. We feel this is one way the private sector can help promote innovation for the betterment of patient outcomes for years to come.

OREF: The Aircast Foundation has provided resident research grant support for many years, as well as funding other research and mentor grants, and recently committed to contributing $1 million to OREF over a 10-year period. What would you say to other foundation leaders to convince them to support OREF in a similar way?    

RS: Just Do It! As to the resident research grants, we believe that innovation often comes from those with no preconceived notions of what will or will not work…and to this end the Foundation has committed to fund at least six resident research grants through OREF for the next four years.
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