Champions of the Quarter

Each quarter, AJRR highlights individuals from participating hospitals who have championed AJRR enrollment and have demonstrated outstanding cooperation and professionalism while helping to implement the Registry into their institutions. Selections for Champions of the Quarter are made based on nominations and are voted on by AJRR staff. To nominate someone from your hospital, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

January 2014

Dr. George F. Chimento


Mr. Kevin Meek


Our Champions this quarter are George F. Chimento, MD, Section Head of Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans and Kevin Meek, RN, BA, MHI, Chief Nursing Officer at OASIS Hospital in Phoenix.

Dr. Chimento is the Section Head of Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement at Ochsner. Ochsner’s main hospital, Ochsner Medical Center, joined the AJRR in mid-2012 and three additional Ochsner hospitals joined AJRR a year later, all under his guidance. Ochsner also plans to participate in our Level II/Level III pilot program. Their participation will be extremely valuable to us. Dr. Chimento graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1990, going on to complete his internship and residency at Tulane University Medical Center. Following residency, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base. Upon completion of his Air Force commitment, Dr. Chimento became a fellow at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He spent 5 years in private practice in the New Orleans area, and joined Ochsner in 2006.

Kevin Meek, RN-BSN, BA, MHI, is the Chief Nursing Officer at OASIS Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Kevin led OASIS through a seamless and quick enrollment and data submission process. Given Kevin’s dedication to OASIS’s participation in the registry, he facilitated OASIS’s participation in our Level II/Level III pilot program. Prior to his work at OASIS, Kevin worked on ambulances as an EMT for many years, he continued his career in health care by becoming an RN. His experiences include Trauma ICU, Emergency Room, Trauma Room, and Post-Surgical units. He has been an advocate for patients and their families as a bedside RN, as well as an advocate for his staff as a Charge Nurse, Director, and now Chief Nursing Officer. Kevin completed his Master of Healthcare Innovation degree from Arizona State University, and is one of a small few in the nation to have this degree.

October 2013

Ms. Cecily Froemke


Mr. Mark Thiel


This fall, AJRR has selected two of our colleagues as Champions of the Quarter. These Champions have been instrumental in signing on multiple hospitals in their networks. Cecily Froemke, MS, is Program Manager, Information & Research Services with the Providence Orthopedic Institute at Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon. Mark Thiel, OTR, MSM, is the System Value Stream Director of Development for Orthopedics and Spine at ThedaCare in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Ms. Froemke who coordinates registry, patient-reported measures, and research-related projects for the Total Joint program in Oregon, directed AJRR enrollment for all 8 Providence Oregon hospitals. She also facilitated discussions with Providence locations in Southern California, which recently joined AJRR. With her IT expertise, she has been able to streamline data submission for her entire system. Ms. Froemke received her Master’s Degree and is a candidate for her PhD in Systems Science from Portland State University.

In his role at ThedaCare, Mr. Thiel is responsible for researching and developing new services, processes, and products that can better meet the needs of the customer and organization, focusing on healthcare performance and patient outcomes. He engaged all 5 ThedaCare locations in Northeast Wisconsin and coordinated their data submission to the AJRR. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University. He also holds a Lean Bronze-Level certification.

July 2013

Dr. Jerome Piontek


Ms. Emma Mordfin


AJRR is pleased to announce their champions of the quarter for summer 2013. Dr. Jerome Piontek of St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, was one of the first surgeons interested in AJRR after completion of our pilot program. His hospital enrolled early in 2012. Emma Mordfin of Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia, coordinated her hospital’s efforts not only in joining the Registry but also in data submission.

Dr. Piontek has been in private practice as a solo orthopedic surgeon at St. Luke’s Hospital since 1985. His main interests are in total knee and hip replacements. He earned a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and subsequently his MD from St. Louis University Medical School. Dr. Piontek completed a rotating internship at the U.S. Public Health Service in San Francisco and also worked for the National Health Service Corps. He completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Washington University. Currently, Dr. Piontek is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Luke’s Hospital and is a founding member and President of the St. Luke’s Hospital Orthopedic Service Line Management, LLC, a co-management group with orthopedic surgeons and hospital administrators.

AJRR’s second champion is Emma Mordfin, RN, BSN, Grad Dip Crit Care, Total Joint Nurse Coordinator at Virginia Hospital Center.

As Total Joint Nurse Coordinator, Mrs. Mordfin is responsible for the coordination of the multidisciplinary, Joint Commission certified, total joint arthroplasty program.

Prior to joining Virginia Hospital Center, Mrs. Mordfin spent 15 years as an orthopedic and critical care nurse, as well as three years as a pharmaceutical sales executive for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Before immigrating to the United States in 2009, she was the primary practice nurse for a leading orthopedic surgeon in Australia, specializing in pelvic trauma, and hip and knee replacement.

Mrs. Mordfin completed both her bachelor’s degree and an 18-month post graduate diploma in critical care at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

April 2013

Mr. Kevin Fleming


Ms. Stacey Seipel


We are happy to highlight the work of 2 more outstanding Staff Champions this Quarter. Kevin Fleming, MBA, Service Line Director for Neurosciences and Orthopedics and Stacey Seipel, MSN, RN, ONC, Quality Nurse Specialist, at Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) in South Carolina worked diligently and quickly to facilitate data submission to the AJRR from all 3 hospitals in their system (Roper Hospital, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital).

Mr. Fleming’s areas of responsibility include oversight of employed surgical-specialty physician practices; program management of Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s nationally recognized Total Joint and Spine Surgery programs; and further development of the health system’s Stroke and Sports Medicine programs, among others.

Prior to joining RSFH in early 2011, Kevin spent 12 years working in health care finance, compliance, and surgical-specialty practice operations. He served as CEO of Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery Center in Asheville, NC and also spent time with Interim Health Care in Greenville, SC.

Mr. Fleming holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Clemson University. He is also a Lean Six Sigma-certified Green Belt.

Stacy Seipel is an orthopedic certified registered nurse and serves as the quality nurse specialist for Neuro- spine/Orthopedic Services at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. Prior to moving into the Quality Department, Seipel served as a clinical nurse specialist for Neuro-spine/Orthopedic Services at Roper Hospital, one of RSFH’s three member hospitals.

Ms. Seipel’s background includes orthopaedic/trauma, stroke, and nursing education. She completed both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing education at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.

Ms. Seipel is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing, and is a Lean Six Sigma-certified Green Belt.

January 2013

Dr. Benjamin C. Bengs


Mr. Orville Johnson


AJRR is excited to have two champions this quarter. Our champions represent the wide range of organizations participating in the AJRR. It is our goal to represent hospitals across the country from large academic medical centers to community hospitals. As such, our Champions this quarter are Benjamin C. Bengs, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Orville “OJ” Johnson, RN, BSOE, Director of Surgical Services at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska.

Dr. Bengs is a full-time faculty surgeon at Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital with an assistant professor appointment at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He specializes in joint replacement, joint revision, and fracture care.

Dr. Bengs completed his undergraduate degree in Physiology with High Honors and Cum Laude at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed training at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program. He completed additional fellowship training in joint replacement at UCLA. He is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. Bengs’ research interests include femoral bone loss modeling for revision surgery, hip and knee range of motion, and fragility fractures. His awards and honors include an Orthopedic Research Education Foundation grant, Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Doctor’s Grant, Marmour Award, and Alpha Omega Alpha.

Orville Johnson, “OJ”, is a Registered Nurse and the current Director of Surgical Services at Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) in Soldotna, Alaska. OJ manages a surgical staff of 48 and an average of 5,400 surgical cases annually. Under his leadership, the department has twice been recognized by The Joint Commission for top quality in surgical care.

Prior to joining CPH, Johnson was employed as the Director of Perioperative Services at Alaska Regional Hospital for eight years and as an Operating Room Supervisor in facilities in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Palmer, Alaska. Johnson has 32 years of experience in nursing.

Mr. Johnson attended the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from Wayland Baptist University, Hawaii Campus in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a BS in Occupational Education. He double majored in Nursing and Christian Studies and minored in Classical Voice.

October 2012

One of the first efforts undertaken by the AJRR was a pilot study to test the feasibility of implementing a total joint registry on a national scale. Between fall, 2010 and summer, 2011 eight institutions participated in this pilot program. During that time, AJRR collected data on over 3,600 procedures and refined the procedures for the completion of legal agreements and stream-lined the process for data submission. We would like to thank the Champions at each of our pilot sites who not only made the program a success, but who are integral to the success of the registry today. These sites continue to participate in data submission and are also an invaluable resource to us as we expand.

Thank you to the following individuals:

  • Courtland G. Lewis, MD; Stephanie Caminiti, APRN, MS; Ifeoma Inneh; Deb Smith; Katina Diakoloukas and Nicholas Milton
  • Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at St. Francis Care in Hartford, CT
  • James D. Slover, MD and Cara-Lee Fontaine, MHA, CCRC
  • NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, NY
  • Terence Gioe, MD and Kathy Killeen, BA, MOT
  • HealthEast Care System in St. Paul, MN
  • Jeffrey Pierson MD; Angela Opsahl, RN,MSN, CPHQ; Ann Bumb, RN, BS, CPHS, CPHRM, NE-BC and Shelley Voelz RN, BSN, CPHQ, FNAHQ
  • Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis, IN
  • Craig Della Valle, MD and Laura Quigley, MS, APRN
  • Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, IL
  • Michael P. Dohm, MD and Abby Zellar, AA
  • Western Slope Study Group and St. Mary’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, CO
  • Kevin J. Bozic, MD and Steven Takemoto, PhD
  • University of California, San Francisco Medical Center in San Francisco, CA
  • Javad Parvizi, MD and Bethany Worobey, MS
  • Rothman Institute and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, PA

July 2012

Ms. Gina Bissett


Gina Bissett is the Manager for Clinical Research at Lancaster General Hospital (LGH), where she is responsible for coordinating and overseeing performance improvement projects in the Department of Peri-operative Services. She is a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and served as the founding Managing Editor for the Journal of Lancaster General Hospital (JLGH). Shortly after the opening of the LGH Ortho Center, she developed and successfully implemented the LGH Total Joint Registry. This Registry currently enrolls approximately 2,000 total hip and knee arthroplasties performed each year at LGH.

Gina has more than 25 years of experience in orthopaedic outcomes. She started her career in Orthopaedics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Prior to coming to Lancaster, she was the Assistant Director of Clinical Research for the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As a consultant for both industry and academia, Gina designed and integrated data collection systems using automated data scanning technology. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management from Immaculata University.

Gina has remained committed to the early goals of AAOS for establishing a national registry, and is enthusiastic about AJRR’s efforts to accomplish those goals.

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#4: 2017 Annual Report

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