Eastwood Alumni Assn. inducts five into “Eagle Way” Hall of Fame

Press Staff Writer

        Eastwood Alumni Association inducted five graduates into the Eagle Way Hall of Fame class of 2020 on Saturday, Feb. 22 at a banquet held at the Pemberville American Legion.
        The honorees were selected through a voting process by 112 Alumni Association members. They include:
        • George Brinker, a WWII vet and Purple Heart recipient, not only built bridges but often served as a bridge in the community. Among his many accomplishments, he was Board of Education President when Eastwood Middle School was built, and he built more than 100 “Brinker Bridges” in Wood  County.
        • Dr. Robert (Bob) Brueggemeier, graduated from Eastwood High School in 1968. He is a former dean, professor and researcher in the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University.  A major highlight of his career was research on the enzyme aromatase, which is present in fat and breast tissues in postmenopausal women. Blocking this enzyme is now a common therapy in the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer. He also holds four patents.
        • Linda Dunmyer, a 1965 Eastwood graduation, was an outstanding Eastwood educator for 30 years. She is also a major force behind the formation of the Quilting Eagles and is an active supporter for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.   
       • Mike Gardner, a 1968 Eastwood graduate, holds the most varsity letters in Eastwood history with 13. He has been the Eastwood boys golf coach for 48 years and Eastwood educator for 41 years. He has also been a basketball scorekeeper for 34 years at Eastwood.
        • Dr. Lisa Lattanza, who graduated from Eastwood in 1981, is the Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehab at Yale School of Medicine. A world- renowned leader in 3-D surgical planning and technology for deformity correction, she is co-founder of the Perry Initiative, named after her mentor and friend, Dr. Jacquelin Perry. The non-profit’s organization’s mission is to expose young women to the fields of orthopaedic surgery and engineering.
Bioraphies of inductees, as providedd by the Eastwood Alumni Assoication, include:
George Brinker
        George Brinker not only built bridges in his business but often served as a bridge in the community.
He served on the Eastwood School Board 1962-1970. He was School Board President from 1966-70, during which one of his favorite duties was the annual graduation ceremony handing out diplomas to the seniors. In one of his famously short but meaningful speeches to the graduates he simply included his favorite quote by Archimedes, '' 'If you give me a lever strong enough and a place to stand, I can move the world.'  I hope at Eastwood we have given you a lever... now it's up to you to find a place to stand.” This sentiment was shaped by the ‘can-do’ attitude that marks his life to this day at age 96. He has always believed that our most valuable asset, our most important responsibility, remains our children.
        Before serving on the School Board, during the late 1950's, he lobbied for the formation of a consolidated district, the gathering of the smaller township schools into the Eastwood School District, and ergo the construction of a new high school to serve it. A supporter of public education, he believed uniting the small schools would create a stronger school system. He proudly attended the dedication of the new High School in 1962 as a board member. During his subsequent tenure as President on the board, his shovel ceremoniously broke the ground at the site of the soon-to-be new Eastwood Junior High School. He ardently and tirelessly supported every voter levy essential to continue operations in the most economical way.
     George was born on the Lemoyne Road family farm, October 29, 1923. He attended Troy Township School in Luckey, grades 1-11, Class President his sophomore and junior years. He cites Miss Helen Rolfes as his most influential teacher - both his daughter and son would also have Miss Rolfes!  As an excavation contractor who invented and installed nearly 60 'Brinker Bridges', George loves to joke, “Miss Rolfes once warned if I didn't apply myself, I would 'just end up digging ditches.'” Indeed, dirt, digging, and bridges were all in the successful future for her student!
        At age 16, his mother's death affected George's school career, and he finished his education by attending the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in Marion, OH. This facility closed at the outbreak of WWII, and George enlisted in the Army. Among his interim work before enlisting, was a job testing cannons at Erie Proving Grounds.
        George enlisted at age 19, and his CCC training led to service in the Army, 1942 – 1945. He operated heavy equipment for the 992 Treadway Bridge Company (now the Army Corp of Engineers). They built key pontoon bridges ahead of tank arrivals in France, Belgium, and Germany. He earned a Purple Heart when seriously wounded by bomb shrapnel at Saint Lo, France and was flown to England for surgery. Leaving the shrapnel lodged in his breastbone (to this day), he recovered well enough to reunite with his company in Holland.
        In a separate incident, the Company's regular crane operator had been hit and George though quite ill, was ordered to fill in. After finishing the bridge and with just one American tank cross it, a German shell took out the bridge. George went back in the crane and fixed it, this time under enemy fire, for which he received the Bronze Star for Bravery. His company would famously wait for the Russian troops to meet them at the Elbe River, allowing declaration of the war's end.
        After the war, George was the very first in line (Toledo Blade headline) to buy 2 Army 'ducks' being auctioned off by the military. He converted these into tiling machines which drained local farmer’s land into ditches, necessary to make the Black Swamp fertile for farming. Drainage by laying tile was a custom brought over with German immigrants. But a strong bridge for farmers to get heavy equipment over these ditches presented a challenge and an opportunity. George designed a bridge that 'should last forever' - a hinged concrete Greek inspired bridge. Even today, farmers reminisce that they wish George was still installing those 'Brinker Bridges.' Building bridges both literally and figuratively, seemed to be George's particular destiny.
        It's impossible to summarize a man's lifelong habit of contributing to his community through action
but to highlight a few positions in addition to the Eastwood School Board:
        George was on the Building Committee for Luckey’s Post 240 Legion Hall, instrumental in obtaining the funds to build it. Here he excavated/blasted rock for their sewer system, and excavated the skating rink. George is proudly an American Legion Member for over 75 years and counting. He was the Post 240 Commander for 2 years.
        George was a founding member of Luckey Kiwanis, and a member for 50 years. During this time, he helped start the annual Luckey Fall Festival in which he loved to participate (many years coming back from Florida). One memorable year with his 'antique' bulldozer, he won the Open Tractor Pulling Contest. Afterwards someone immediately purchased that crazy unstoppable machine!
        In the early years, George served on the Luckey Town Council several times. He eventually served as a Troy Township Trustee for 8 years, during which he facilitated building of the new Fire Station by donating the excavation.
        By the early 1960's both George and his wife Donna had become very involved in Scouting programs. George became the Pack Master presiding in Luckey, and the elaborate banquets are a favorite memory.
        As member of Zion Lutheran Church, he held many positions including Elder. During construction of the current church building, he excavated and blasted for the basement and sewer system. “There's a lot of rock under that foundation!”
        George married Donna Rollins in 1949. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary before she passed on September 13, 2019. They have two children Diane (EHS 1969) and Dave (EHS 1971), 5 grandchildren and so far, 6 great-grandchildren. George and Donna lived in Luckey 72 years. Both were active in the schools, township and the county. Golfing, playing Bridge, and dancing were top leisure activities, thus George was an enthusiastic supporter of the opening of Tanglewood Golf Course! All the family loved Sunday Polka nights at DC Ranch. George's smooth waltzing style was legendary!
        As a WWII Veteran, George was granted an Honor Flight in 1989 and was flown to Washington DC to tour the Capitol and War Memorials. Only with the passage of time and with prompting, does he share the stories that make us so proud. So many of his friends and classmates were involved in this war, that for decades, he considered his young service just to be a normal part of everyone's ordinary duty to one's country. Today, we know it as extraordinary.
        George and Donna retired to Sun City Center, Florida where George currently resides. He was recognized in his new community with a Certificate “For faithful service to others and in recognition of the importance of volunteer service.”  George still thinks back fondly about all those 'bridges.' We think fondly of a man who was kind, hard-working, fun-loving, loyal, and fierce.
Robert W. Brueggemeier, Ph.D.
        Dr. Robert (Bob) Brueggemeier is a 1968 graduate of Eastwood High School.  He grew up on a farm in Webster township, and his father and mother, Wayne and Alice, instilled in him a strong work ethic, Midwestern values, and commitment to excellence.  Bob credits his educational experiences at Eastwood with providing a solid foundation for his career. EHS had outstanding teachers in the sciences, mathematics, history, English, and social studies.  Bob’s passion for chemistry was inspired by the chemistry classes and labs taught by Eastwood teacher Mr. Clarence Heckman and laid the foundation for his career in academia and drug discovery.
        Bob completed undergraduate education at Michigan State University, graduating in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. In 1973, he enrolled in the graduate program in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan, obtaining a M.S. degree in 1975 and a Ph.D. degree in 1977.  From 1977 to 1979, Dr. Brueggemeier was a postdoctoral research fellow in biological chemistry at the Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.
        In July 1979, Dr. Brueggemeier began his academic faculty career at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor in medicinal chemistry and jointly held an appointment with the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). Bob served as the Program Director of the Hormones and Cancer Program at OSUCCC from 1985 to 2004. He also served as Professor and Chair of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the College of Pharmacy from 1992 to 2003.  Dr. Brueggemeier served as Dean of the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University from July 2003 to August 2013. In July 2014, Bob was appointed Professor Emeritus.
        The passions of his academic career are teaching pharmacy students and graduate students in the areas of drug discovery and mentoring graduate students and research fellows in laboratory-based research projects in the area of hormones and cancer.  At Ohio State, Bob’s teaching responsibilities included professional pharmacy and graduate level courses in medicinal chemistry, drug design and discovery, biochemistry, and radioisotope tracer methodologies. He mentored 28 graduate students (23 Ph.D., 5 M.S.), 10 postdoctoral fellows and research scientists, and more than 30 undergraduate student researchers in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, and hormones and breast cancer.  Many of those former students and fellows have distinguished themselves in academia and the pharmaceutical industry.
        A major highlight of Bob’s career was research on the enzyme aromatase, which make estrogens, and on the development of inhibitors of this enzyme. Aromatase is present in fat and breast tissues in postmenopausal women, and blocking this enzyme is now a common therapy in the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer.  As stated by Dr. Brueggemeier, he has been particularly fortunate in his academic career in the pharmaceutical sciences to realize the dream of being a part of the overall research efforts by scientists in academia and the pharmaceutical industry that resulted in a new and potent class of drugs for treating thousands of breast cancer patients.
        Dr. Brueggemeier published 139 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, 21 book chapters, and 18 articles or reports. In addition, he provided 69 invited presentations at national and international meetings and participated in over 200 conference abstracts. He also holds four patents.  Since beginning his career at The Ohio State University in 1979, Dr. Brueggemeier received research grants worth over $15 million from such organizations as the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the Breast Cancer Program of the Department of Defense.
        During the ten years that Dr. Robert Brueggemeier served as Dean, the College of Pharmacy accomplished several key initiatives under his leadership. The college’s academic programs increased in enrollment by 34% and the number of faculty members expanded by 12%. The Doctor of Pharmacy program consistently remained in the top 10 rankings by the US News & World Reports. Dean Brueggemeier initiated an annual College Distinguished Lecture Series in 2005 and the annual College Research Day in 2006 to showcase the research of college faculty, students, and staff. As pharmacy dean, Bob had the opportunity to initiate and support several innovative pharmacy outreach programs.  The Generation Rx Initiative program focuses on the prevention of the misuse of prescription drugs, and Generation Rx has expanded into a national program.  He served as the College representative and lead contact for global pharmacy initiatives, which included faculty/student exchanges and short-term study abroad experiences for pharmacy students in various countries.
        Among national prestigious honors, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 1997, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1999, and recipient of the 2008 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Tyler Prize for Stimulation of Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. In 2011, the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists selected Dr. Brueggemeier as the Outstanding Pharmacy Dean of the Year.
        Through it all, Bob has found the time and energy to be major contributor in his community. Within his Lutheran congregations, he has served as a church council member, church council president, member of a pastor search committee, finance committee member, and global missions ministry group member. From 1996 to the present, Bob has been a Board of Trustee member and a grants review panel member for the Ohio Cancer Research Associates. Since 2009, he has been involved in a variety of capacities with Pelotonia, a two-day bicycle tour event that raises funds for cancer research at OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Beginning in 2014, Bob has also been involved with an organization that raises funds for graduate student fellowships in the pharmaceutical sciences.
        Bob enjoys traveling, hiking, bicycling, reading, golfing, home winemaking, and cross-country skiing. In 1972, Bob married his high school sweetheart Sue (nee Matthews, Eastwood class of 1969), and together they have a fulfilling family life, raising a son and a daughter and now enjoying four grandchildren.  Their family is the greatest accomplishment and joy of their lives.
Linda S. Dunmyer
        Linda was born in 1947 in the house that her father, Irvin Hetrick, built on Oak Street in Pemberville. Her mother was Clara Hetrick, a homemaker and excellent cook.  Linda had one brother, Jim, who was 8 years older and he passed in 2003 from cancer. Linda married Ron Dunmyer in 1966 and they have three children: Shelly - a medical doctor, Ron Jr.- the CFO of a chemical company, and Stephany - the Women’s Basketball Coach at Oberlin College.  Linda completed her bachelor’s degree in education from BGSU in just three years, while working two jobs: waitressing and night shift telephone operator. She earned her master’s degree from Ashland University while teaching at Eastwood.
        Outstanding teacher at Eastwood School District
        Linda’s entire career of 30 years in the teaching profession began and ended with Eastwood Local Schools. It is truly a very rare, but a very significant accomplishment for Linda to have taught in seven different grade levels, 1st – 7th, and in each of Eastwood’s four elementary buildings, plus the middle school. For Linda to be able to teach effectively at all these different age levels reiterates Linda’s outstanding teaching ability, adaptability, dedication, and effectiveness! Not only did students enjoy Mrs. Dunmyer as a classroom teacher then, but also many continue to stay in contact with her today. In addition to teaching, Linda volunteered to be the accompanist for many elementary grade musicals. She also was skilled in the art of calligraphy.  She taught calligraphy to her sixth-grade students and printed in calligraphy countless certificates for coaches, principals, teachers, and others.
        Tutoring and mentoring were extra duties in which Linda participated.  She tutored students before and after school hours at various grade levels, including middle and high school students.  She also worked as a mentor for teachers who wanted to make changes in their classrooms and was assigned many student teachers who later excelled in their own educational careers. In 1976-77, Linda was selected as a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, a very prestigious teaching honor.
        In 1992, Linda joined with the Ohio Department of Education to teach other teachers about Project Discovery. She spent six weeks at Miami University writing integrated lesson plans that incorporated math, life science, and physical science. That school year her classroom was a model to visit because of a grant received from Project Discovery. The next summer she was a teacher with the NWO Regional Training Center instructing other teachers in understanding and using the Ohio Math Model along with modeling and teaching about cooperative learning. During the school year Linda visited these teachers’ classrooms to see if they were using the inquiry approach and helped them as needed. In 1993, Linda was named Northwest Ohio Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
        Involvement in Eastwood athletics
The Dunmyers team coached the Eastwood eighth grade girls’ basketball program from 1981-82 to 1985-86.   Linda organized and secured practice sites, completed game and bus schedules, and kept the scorebook while her husband, Ron, taught a lot of the basketball skills and coached. Linda was also involved with Eastwood High School volleyball during her daughter Shelly’s high school career as a scorebook keeper.
        Community service and involvement
        Linda is an avid supporter of Braedan’s Bridge, Inc., a non-profit 501c(3) organization started by the Braedan Henegar family. This organization raises funds for research and awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Linda has helped with this organization’s annual fundraiser by selling tickets, gathering donations, creating and donating quilts, organizing a garage sale fundraiser, and encouraging others to support this worthy cause.
        In 2002, Linda was one of five quilters that met in the Pemberville Library to sew small quilts. In the spring of 2003, these quilts were given to the children in the Head Start program housed at Lemoyne School.  This group has grown into a group of 25+ strong, now known as the Quilting Eagles.  As the years passed, this group of retired teachers and friends have given close to 700 children’s quilts tied up with a book inside for the Eastwood Preschool program and the WSOS program. Many positive comments have been directed to the Quilting Eagles from parents and students who after many years are still endeared to their quilts. So much of all this sewing and quilting was made possible because Linda has opened up her home for all the Quilting Eagles to meet twice a month, five – six or more hours at each meeting, to sew various items for charity: children’s capes for the Toledo Hospital, 40 stuffed gorillas for Dr. Sonya Kahlenberg’s GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education) Center, numerous pairs of woolen mittens from recycled sweaters, crocheted hats, scarves, and afghans for families in the Eastwood District.  The Dunmyers have added a room to their home that accommodates all the sewers and it also contains a large, long-arm quilting machine that gets used to quilt many, many charity quilts, including T-shirt quilts made for local families and the infamous Quilts of Valor for veterans. Originally in 2013, the Quilting Eagles made specialty quilts for the wounded veterans housed in Germany. Again, Linda spent countless hours quilting these quilts on her long-arm machine.  Presently, Quilts of Valor are now being pieced and quilted for our veterans living in the Eastwood community.  They are given out twice a year at special ceremonies including Eastwood High School’s Veteran’s Day program. Most of the 189 Quilts of Valor that have been given to these veterans have been quilted by Linda or with her expertise!
        Linda was instrumental in getting Silver Sneakers acceptance for BGSU’s health and wellness classes for community residents. Now classes such as Aqua Groove, Aqua Power, Strength and Conditioning, Dance, Circuit Training, and Chair Yoga are being offered, and as a result of Linda’s involvement and persistence, the classes have grown in popularity with Silver Sneakers members throughout the county.
        Helping others in need
        Linda’s kindness, compassion, and generosity are displayed in her willingness to help others. Whether it be the role of primary caregiver, driver to doctor’s appointments, babysitter, organizer of family reunions, quilter/sewer, provider of a place to stay, financial supporter, rescuer of dogs, etc., Linda welcomes any opportunity to selflessly give of herself to those who need help. 
        Linda Dunmyer is an “amazing woman” as Mrs. Heneger stated to one of us. She added, “I have witnessed so many kind acts from this lady over the years, even outside of her support directly for us. She is always first on board to try to help anyone that needs support, whether it’s veterans, animals, friends of friends, or her own family… she is willing to do what she can.’
        Linda has touched the lives of SO many people in her lifetime! Her giving to others is clearly done without anything expected in return, whatsoever.  It is done because of her HUGE heart and her genuine caring for others, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they need. Her significant contributions to hundreds of Eastwood students and so many others in the Eastwood community and beyond, are valid criteria to warrant her induction into Eastwood’s Eagle Way Hall of Fame.

  • Karen Godfrey and Teri Hansen

Mike Gardner
        Mike was born on December 22, 1949 in Ashland, Ohio to Dallas and Velma Gardner.  They moved to the Eastwood District in 1957 and lived in Luckey.  Mike attended Eastwood Schools from second grade through his graduation in 1968.  He has six siblings (Pat, Sandy, Randy, Linda, Gary and Connie) who graduated from Eastwood.  Mike has continued to live in the Eastwood District his entire life.
        While attending Eastwood High School some of the non-athletic activities that Mike was a member of were chorus, National Honor Society, projectionist, Buckeye Boys State, the quiz bowl team, and president of the student council.
Athletically in high school, Mike earned 13 Varsity letters, 5 as a senior.  He participated in football, basketball, baseball, golf and track.  He was fortunate to earn 1st team all-league in 4 sports as a senior.  Mike was the quarterback on the 1966 football team, which was Eastwood’s first league champion in football.  He was the point guard on the 1966-67 basketball team that finished 22-1.  He had an earned run average well below 1.00 as a pitcher in his two years playing baseball.  As a senior, Mike became the first golfer in school history to advance to the state tournament by shooting a 72 at the District Tournament.  Also, he was the first football player from Eastwood to be inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
        Mike attended college at Bowling Green State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1972 and his master’s degree in 1978.  He majored in health and physical education and minored in mathematics.  Mike went to Bowling Green on a baseball and academic scholarship.  However, once he realized he couldn’t hit a curveball and couldn’t throw a fastball, he tried out and joined the golf team for his junior and senior years.  The golf team was MAC Champions in 1972, his senior year.  Mike also was a starter on the freshman basketball team.
        After graduation in 1972, Mike was very fortunate to land a teaching position in the Eastwood School District.  During his 41-year teaching career, he taught elementary physical education at Luckey, Lemoyne, Pemberville and Webster schools at one time or another with 2012-13 being his last year.  His basic philosophy was to introduce many different activities to the students and have them realize that exercise and movement can be fun and rewarding.
        Mike coached several sports while at Eastwood.  He was the junior high football coordinator for two years.  He coached basketball for 38 years, including junior high girls and all levels of boys.  Mike has been the varsity boys golf coach for 48 years.  During that span there have been 13 league championships, 4 trips for the team to the state finals, and several individuals to the state finals.  Mike was elected to the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992.  He won the prestigious Burt Silverman Memorial Award in 2016.  He is the past president of the Northwest District Golf Coaches Association.  Mike presently serves on the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association executive committee.  He also serves as a rules official at the State Golf Tournament.
        Mike’s other passion of employment has been at Tanglewood Golf Course.  He has continued to work there for 59 years as a greenskeeper on the course and at times in the pro shop.
        Mike also enjoys keeping the scorebook at varsity basketball games.  He has done this for 36 years.
        To stay active Mike still enjoys running, exercising, golfing bowling and shooting free throws.  He has run in 4 marathons (Columbus, Washington D.C., Cincinnati and New York City).  He finally shot his age in golf last summer as he fired a 67 at Tanglewood at age 69.
        The other thing that has been a passion for Mike over the years is attending his children’s many activities.  Now that continues to be enjoyable, but it’s the next generation (the grandchildren) that have kept him busy.
Mike married his high school sweetheart (Judy Hagemeyer) in 1972.  Among other jobs, Judy worked at the Law Offices of Davies, Ruck and Wright for 25 years, retiring in 2015.
        Mike and Judy have one daughter, Amy, and two sons Bryan and Chris, who all graduated from Eastwood.  Amy and Bryan then graduated from Bowling Green State University and Chris from Clemson University.  Amy has been a third-grade teacher in the Otsego Schools for 19 years.  She is married to Andy Luidhardt, who has worked at Gearhart Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Inc. as their sales manager for 20 years.  He also farms with his father and brother.  They have one daughter, Kaitlyn, a sophomore at Eastwood High School.  They also have two sons, Drew, a sixth grader at Eastwood Middle School and Brayden, a fourth grader at Eastwood Elementary.
        Bryan has worked for Henkel Corporation for 15 years.  He is now the Supply Chain Director for all of North America.  His wife, Katharina, also works for Henkel Corporation as a Demand Planner.  They presently live in Stamford, Connecticut, but they have lived and worked in three different countries.  They are expecting their first child in February, 2020.
        Chris is the head golf professional at Bluestone Country Club near Philadelphia.  He is in his fifth year in that position.  His wife, Emily, is the media coordinator and graphic designer at Llanerch Country Club.  They have one daughter, Ellie, who is two years old.
Dr. Lisa L. Lattanza
Chair, Professor and Chief Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Yale School of Medicine
        Early Life and High School
        Lisa Lattanza was born in Bowling Green, Ohio to Mildred and Norman Lattanza. Lisa has two brothers and two sisters, and is second to youngest. Lisa stated that her parents treated all of the siblings equally and with similar expectations; that, has greatly shaped her view of how the world should be.
        Lisa Lattanza graduated from Eastwood High School in 1981. She ran cross country, played basketball, ran track, and was a cheerleader. Lisa earned eight varsity letters, received the Miss Hustle award for basketball, and the Most Improved Harrier award for cross country. She was first team all-league in cross-country. She also was captain of the basketball, track, and cross-country teams during her senior year.  In addition, Lisa was editor of “The Eagle’s Eye,” played in the marching band, and was selected for the National Honor Society. Lisa was a lifeguard at the community pool, taught swim lessons, and even worked baling hay and picking strawberries and watermelons.
College Years
        Lisa first attended Marietta College to become an athletic trainer where she also continued to run cross country and play basketball. “It became apparent that athletic training was not going to be something I would enjoy as my long-term career. With this realization, I transferred to BGSU, pursued a degree in physical therapy, and was accepted into a combined program between BGSU/UT and the Medical College of Ohio.”
        Lisa was one of only 24 students in the third class of that program. She graduated magna cum laude and received multiple college recognitions. She was later recognized as Alumni of the Year for the School of Allied Health.
Post-Grad, Early Career
        To support herself through school, Lisa worked as a physical therapy aide and then became a physical therapist at the Medical College of Ohio Rehabilitation Unit upon graduation. There, she treated patients with neuromuscular disabilities. Subsequently, she moved to Los Angeles and took a position as a clinical/research sports medicine physical therapist at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.
        “This was the premier orthopaedic sports medicine clinic in the nation at the time, which served elite athletes including members of the Dodgers, Lakers, PGA, LPGA, Rams, and USC collegiate teams. There I met Dr. Jacquelin Perry who was the research consultant in the lab. She was already an icon within orthopaedics at that time and was someone I idolized during my physical therapy training. It was a dream come true to work with her.”  As a result of Dr. Perry’s encouragement and recognition of Lisa’s significant medical potential, Lisa’s life reached a turning point.
Medical School
        Thus, Lisa decided to apply to medical school and was accepted at the Medical College of Ohio, graduating in 1993. She graduated Alpha Omega Alpha (top 10% of class), received BGSU’s accomplished graduate honor, and was recognized in Oxford Who’s Who in America.
        “I went back to medical school to become an orthopaedic surgeon because I knew that was what I loved to do - I loved musculoskeletal medicine. I was not accepted into orthopaedics the first time I applied for residency and did a transitional surgical year at Harbor-UCLA. I reapplied and was accepted at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. In high school, my cross-country coach gave out the awards and used the word “tenacious” to describe me…at that time I had to look up what the word meant. That single word probably describes me better than anything else. At that point in time, only 6-7% of orthopaedic surgery residents were women, and I was the only one in my program.”
During residency, Lisa received the Doctor Rex and Lillian Dively Research Grant Award and won first place in the resident scientific presentations at the 85th annual meeting of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society. She completed two fellowships: one at Columbia in New York and one at Texas Scottish Rite.
        Then in 1999, Dr. Lattanza took an academic position at the University of California San Francisco where she remained for 20 years. In just five years, she took over the hand and upper extremity fellowship training program. In 2008, Dr. Lattanza became Chief of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery. She developed expertise and international prominence in reconstructing difficult elbow problems in adults and children. Dr. Lattanza has a thriving surgical practice performing over 600 surgical procedures annually on patients from all over the country and the world. In 2014 Lisa was promoted to full professor at UCSF and became Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
        Community Service and Giving Back
Dr. Lattanza was compelled to give back to others, particularly to those who needed encouragement, direction, and support in utilizing their talents and ambition, especially in the sciences and medical fields. She stated, “Community service has always been important to me. In 2009, I co-founded the Perry Initiative named after my mentor and friend Dr. Jacquelin Perry. This non-profit organization’s mission is to expose young women to the fields of orthopaedic surgery and engineering – two male-dominated fields that lack diversity. We now have more than 11,000 young women who have participated in the programs. This has positively impacted the percentage of women choosing engineering and orthopaedic surgery as career paths. We hold programs in 54 cities nationwide and that number is growing. We have also developed STEM compliant kits (Orthopaedics in Action) for elementary, junior high, and high school teachers to use, which provide teaching principles of biomechanics and physics through the lens of orthopaedic surgery and engineering.”
In addition, Dr. Lattanza participates in medical mission trips through Health Volunteers Overseas, mostly serving in Central and South America. Many surgeons from around the world also come to the US to learn from Dr. Lattanza. She is also involved with developing a collaboration with surgeons in Kathmandu, Nepal.
        Professional Career and Achievements
        “Other than helping patients, my greatest professional achievements are the number of medical students, residents and fellows that I have trained and thus impacted their careers. One of the most rewarding experiences for me is the role of mentor and teacher. I have trained more than 30 fellows who are now all over the country and the world as both academic leaders and respected community surgeons. I am also a world leader in the use of 3D surgical planning and technology for patient-specific correctional surgery.”
        The surgical pinnacle of Dr. Lattanza’s career was planning, collaborating, and performing the FIRST in the WORLD elbow to elbow transplant. Lisa shared the following: “One of the most gratifying moments for me was two years after performing the operation. The patient who had not been able to walk (he used assisted devices but had no arm to hold said devices) sent me a video of him getting up and taking his first ten steps across his living room independently. This must be one of the few times that a hand surgeon has helped a patient to walk. The reason why this particular operation was so rewarding was both that it had never been done before, and, it required something I value highly: collaborative effort among physicians, patient, and family to solve an unsolvable problem in a creative way.”
        For 18 years, Dr. Lattanza worked as a Clinical Consultant in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in northern California, treating children with congenital and traumatic hand and upper extremity issues. She also taught residents and fellows there, along with doing much of her research on 3-D deformity correction.
Dr. Lattanza has held leadership roles as the Hand Fellowship Director, Chief of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs at UCSF. One of the most important leadership roles she has held was President of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, an organization of women in orthopaedics, whose mission is to advance the careers of female orthopaedic surgeons. Dr. Lattanza shared, “I have spent most of my career in the realm of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within orthopaedic surgery and engineering. I have served on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Diversity Board and hold an appointment as the diversity liaison between the American Orthopaedic Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.”
        Lisa has been honored as the recipient of numerous honors during her tenure at UCSF: listed among the Leading Physicians in the World, Kaplan’s Who’s Who in Medicine, Academic Keys Who’s Who in Medical Sciences Education, Compassionate Physician Award by residents in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Exceptional Physician Award by her peers at UCSF Medical Center, and a Marin Magazine/San Francisco Bay Area Top Doctor from 2012 through 2019 by physician peers. “One of my proudest achievements was being honored with the Jefferson Award (national award for community service) for my work with the Perry Initiative.”
        Dr. Lattanza is frequently asked to speak nationally and internationally (Europe, Asia, Central and South America). She has given more than 60 National Invited Presentations from coast to coast. She has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, 17 book chapters and has been editor of books as well. Lisa has also received over one million dollars from a variety of research awards/grants as the principal investigator.
        As of September 1, 2019, Dr. Lattanza became Chair and Professor of the Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine and Chief of Orthopaedics at Yale New Haven Hospital System.  “After obtaining some professional coaching, it became clear to me that I wanted to contribute to the profession in a larger way and started looking at academic chair positions. I was fortunate enough to be offered the position at Yale (note: Dr. Lattanza is one of ONLY 3 female Chairs of Orthopedics in U.S.) There, I hope to continue to expand on my passions of diversity, equity and inclusion, the use of cutting-edge 3D technology and research in orthopaedic surgery, and advocate to inspire the next generation to participate in global health initiatives.”
        Lisa enjoys traveling, cooking, skiing, SCUBA and spending time with family and friends.


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