University of South Florida

USF Health and Florida Orthopaedic Institute sign new academic affiliation agreement

FOI President Dr. Roy Sanders named chair of USF Orthopaedics Department as part of the stronger partnership to advance clinical training and research

Tampa, FL (March 17, 2015) – USF Health, the region’s only academic health center, and Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI), Florida’s largest private orthopaedic group, have forged a new academic affiliation with the aim of creating a pre-eminent department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of South Florida over the next decade.

As part of this bold new alliance, FOI President Roy W. Sanders, MD has been named chair of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Dr. Sanders, also director of the FOI Orthopaedic Trauma Service, will continue his executive leadership and clinical roles at FOI while helping advance the USF orthopaedics department to the next level of clinical education and research excellence as chair.

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This new affiliation occurs as David Leffers, MD, the department’s chair since 2009, plans to step down from this post, but he will remain as a full-time associate professor of orthopaedics and sports medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine and team physician for the USF Bulls.

“Florida Orthopaedic Institute is one of the top orthopedic groups in the country – academically oriented, clinically excellent and highly respected for its innovative contributions to the field,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “This new affiliation creates a perfect opportunity to build a nationally prominent USF Department of Orthopaedics with a partner already strongly associated with our primary teaching hospital, Tampa General Hospital, and our increasingly important academic and clinical partner, Florida Hospital.”

“I’m tremendously proud to be part of this visionary new collaboration with USF,” Dr. Sanders said. “It’s a bridge to the future.  FOI has clinical and research expertise but with the help of the university, we can do more. Together, we can capitalize on our combined strengths and advance academic orthopaedics to the next level for the benefit of our community, patients, residents, students, and faculty.”

Building upon the critical core USF-FOI relationship at Tampa General, the new alliance will expand the array of outpatient sites available to aspiring orthopaedic surgeons for subspecialty training experiences – a major recruitment advantage in such a highly competitive discipline.  It will also offer USF medical and other health science students more opportunities for clinical experiences in orthopaedics and sports medicine.

The agreement allows FOI physicians obtaining USF voluntary or part-time faculty appointments to oversee and provide the clinical education and training of all USF orthopaedic residents and postgraduate fellows at Tampa General, Florida Hospital Tampa and Florida Hospital Carrollwood, as well as FOI’s ambulatory surgery centers and outpatient offices.

The agreement does not affect residency programs at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center, Shriner’s Hospital and All Children’s Hospital, where USF full-time faculty members or hospital medical staff will continue to supervise and train residents and fellows.

The USF Health-FOI partnership is also expected to yield opportunities for collaboration in clinical, biomechanical and basic science research that could lead to federally funded grant awards for the department.

Dr. Sanders helped to found Florida Orthopaedic Institute in 1989.  FOI physicians cover every orthopedic specialty and practice across Tampa Bay and the surrounding region.  The organization has a main facility in Telecom Park near USF, which includes a state-of-the-art orthopedic surgery center, and 13 other outpatient locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

The USF Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine was established in 2006 and includes a five-year orthopaedic surgery residency program, a one-year sports medicine fellowship program and a one-year Moffitt Cancer Center-based musculoskeletal oncology fellowship.   The department is also home to the state-supported Sports Medicine & Athletic Related Trauma Institute, or SMART – an interdisciplinary center promoting the health and safety of athletes at all levels through education, research and injury care and prevention.

Tampa General Hospital, USF Health’s primary teaching hospital and the primary inpatient facility of FOI, has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 50 for orthopaedics for 10 consecutive years.

More about USF Health’s new orthopaedics chair

Florida Orthopaedic Institute leader Dr. Roy W. Sanders, one of the founders of FOI, is internationally known and respected for his work in orthopaedic trauma, and foot and ankle surgery.  His areas of expertise include acute fractures and reconstructive surgery of the lower extremity.

Dr. Sanders received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and performed his residency at the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute, also in NYC, graduating in 1985. He received fellowship training in musculoskeletal trauma at Vanderbilt University Medical School, and then obtained the Association for Osteosynthesis/Association for the Study of Internal Fixation’s (AO/ASIF) Jack McDaniels Memorial Trauma Fellowship to study in Switzerland.  Upon his return, he spent several months as a foot and ankle fellow at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Among Dr. Sanders’ many accomplishments:

  • Holds more than 20 design patents on orthopaedic implants and instrumentation.
  • Has helped train residents and fellows for more than 20 years.
  • Serves as director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Service, and chief of the Department of Orthopaedics at Tampa General Hospital.
  • Past president of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (2004-5) and past chair of the Committee on Trauma for both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and for the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
  • Authored more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts on orthopaedic trauma, has published major textbooks on orthopaedic trauma, and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, the leading international journal in the field.
  • Investigator for more than 20 research studies, including a landmark National Institutes of Health study on limb salvage, for which he was a recipient of the AAOS prestigious Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughan Award for Outstanding Orthopaedic Research.
  • Chair for 40 courses to train other orthopaedic surgeons, including helping to originate the AO/ASIF course in Foot and Ankle Trauma and the Current Solution in Orthopaedic Trauma course.

About USF Health
USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a Top 50 research university in total research expenditures among both public and private institutions nationwide, according to the National Science Foundation. For more information, visit

About Florida Orthopaedic Institute
Florida Orthopaedic Institute, founded in 1989, is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, spine, and orthopedic urgent care, among others. The organization treats patients throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond at its 13 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Brooksville, Citrus Park, Dade City, Northdale, Wesley Chapel, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center, Tampa and North Tampa. For more information, please visit:

Media contacts:
Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications, (813) 974-3303 or
Lisa Brock, Florida Orthopaedic Institute, (813) 961-8388 or

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