Dr. Kudrna: Physician Philanthropy Champion

Dr. James C. Kudrna

With 14,000 joint replacements and 32 years of experience at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) under his belt, James C. Kudrna, MD, PhD, is frequently asked by his grateful patients how they can help support him and his work at NorthShore.

An orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in total joint replacement, Dr. Kudrna recently accepted the post of Chairman of the Physician Philanthropy Champions (PPC), a growing group of nearly 175 physicians who actively partner with NorthShore Foundation to practice and promote philanthropy for the benefit of the health system and, ultimately, the patients served.

“Joint replacement is a rewarding area of medicine because you’re able to relieve pain,” said Dr. Kudrna.  “I’ve had several patients tell me I’ve given them their life back. It’s truly a grateful population.” He said he recently had a patient who had a procedure performed at another healthcare organization that didn’t go well. The device implanted in his hip was recalled. After Dr. Kudrna performed the second surgery and replaced the part, the man, an avid golfer, was very pleased with his outcome.

“After recovery he asked me if I had any special interests that he could help out with,” said Dr. Kudrna. “We’re currently working with this patient to identify what program or research he would like to support. As NorthShore’s PPC physicians, we also work with departments to identify their needs and potential philanthropic opportunities.”

Why does he find philanthropy to be so important to NorthShore’s future? “If you look at the economics of healthcare right now, there are limited dollars available to advance research and translate leading edge discoveries into the practice of medicine to provide better care for our patients. We’re a not-for-profit, so we can’t rely on profits to subsidize programs that we need to grow and be competitive. Because of philanthropy and generous donors, we’re among the frontline of high-quality providers.” 

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