A lifetime of giving: Jim and Lorraine Scott’s lasting legacy at NorthShore

By Jason Koh, MD, MBA, and James Kudrna, MD, PhD

On May 23, 2022, Jason Koh, MD, MBA, and James Kudrna, MD, PhD, moderated a panel discussion at the Chicago Botanic Garden titled “Restoring a pain-free, active life: An intimate evening with experts from our specialty hospital, the NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute.” The program celebrated the legacy of Jim and Lorraine Scott, whose transformative philanthropic gift will advance orthopaedic care, research and education at NorthShore.

Joining them on the panel were Mark Bowen, MD, Chief of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and head physician for the Chicago Bears; Robert Gray, MD, who specializes in hand surgery; Lalit Puri, MD, MBA, Chief of Adult Reconstruction, Director of the Adult Reconstruction Fellowship Program and Vice Chairman of the Institute; and Angielyn San Juan, DO, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Koh and Dr. Kudrna’s chat below summarizes the event and highlights how philanthropy is powering the Institute’s current and future innovations.

Dr. Koh: As Director of the NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, I have the honor of working alongside dozens of extremely talented and dedicated healthcare providers. Together, we conduct more than 10,000 surgeries each year at the state’s only specialty hospital dedicated to orthopaedic and spine care. Many of us trained under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. James Kudrna, whom I have known for more than 20 years.

Dr. Kudrna, we were so fortunate to honor the Scotts at the event on May 23. They were longtime supporters of NorthShore University HealthSystem. Can you tell us how you came to know them?

Dr. Kudrna: I came to know Jim and Lorraine Scott when they volunteered at Glenbrook Hospital back in the 1990’s during the 6 a.m. Saturday shift. I would always see them assisting patients at the welcome desk, running lab samples and generally helping hospital staff. This suited Lorraine, who trained and worked as a nurse many years earlier, and it illustrated their spirit of giving.

Dr. Koh: It sounds like the Scotts had a long-standing relationship both with NorthShore and with you as their friend and physician.

Dr. Kudrna: Yes, indeed. Over the years, I got to know Jim and Lorraine very well. We often had donuts and coffee together those early Saturday mornings. When Jim’s hip replacements started acting up, Lorraine encouraged him to let me treat him as my patient.

Dr. Koh: Jim and Lorraine both appreciated your care and attention. Tell me, how has orthopaedic surgery and care changed at NorthShore over the years?

Dr. Kudrna: As we heard during the panel discussion, the field of orthopaedics has evolved since the 1970s when the first innovations were developed. For instance, Dr. Bowen described how orthobiologics are assisting with joint therapies, such as using plasma and stem cells that are injected to improve the function and use of the joints. Dr. San Juan also shared how pediatric orthopaedics is allowing kids to be kids while they also benefit from new therapies, such as magnets that lengthen bones instead of the external fixators and pins used in the past.

Dr. Koh: Those are impressive advancements. I also think it’s important to note that while nationally only 20% of orthopaedic surgeries are conducted using technology like robotics and 3D replacements, 90% of the surgeries at the Institute are conducted using that technology.

Dr. Kudrna: Yes, and our use of that technology directly benefits our patients, often shortening their hospital stay post-surgery. Plus, we’re able to attract some of the best and brightest physician fellows to study and train at our Institute.

Dr. Koh: Thanks to the Scott family gift, the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute has grown from two fellows in joint replacement to three. Why is that significant?

Dr. Kudrna: Innovation is only possible when our physicians and healthcare providers have the funding and flexibility to conduct clinical research that can be translated to the patient practice. Contributions of all sizes makes this innovation possible by giving our staff the resources and time they need to create a truly innovative environment.

Our fellows learn from the healthcare team at the Institute and can share their own innovative ideas in this highly collaborative environment. The Scott family’s gift has grown that talent to include a third fellow, and we are always proud to see our fellows graduate and move on to serve their communities with the knowledge and clinical excellence they learned at NorthShore.

Dr. Koh: Do you think the Scotts would be proud of how their contributions have helped advance the clinical care, research and education at the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute?

Dr. Kudrna: Most definitely. Jim and Lorraine were the most giving individuals I’ve ever met. It was an honor to learn of the gift they left to the Institute and to be a part of their legacy of giving.

At this lovely tribute to Jim and Lorraine, we honored Lorraine’s brother, Lee Groen, and his children, Alexandra and William, Jim and Lorraine’s beloved niece and nephew. Lee’s touching and lighthearted remarks demonstrated this spirit of giving and joy that was an enduring aspect of Jim and Lorraine’s life.

Dr. Koh: I know I speak on behalf of all our colleagues at the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute when I say we are deeply grateful for the Scott family gift and for the Groen family to join us in celebrating the memory of Jim and Lorraine. It’s fitting that the Institute’s surgical waiting area is now named The Jim and Lorraine Scott Family Lounge, since their journey of giving started in a similar setting as Glenbrook Hospital volunteers.

Learn more about how philanthropy is making innovation possible at the NorthShore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute.

Masthead photo back row, left to right: Lee Groen, Jocelyn Robancho, William Groen. Front row, left to right: Dr. Jason Koh, Dr. James Kudrna, Alexandra Louise Groen Brown. Photo credit: Lisa Miller Photography