Francis Hornicek, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Hornicek, who completed his residency at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and began his academic career on the Miller School faculty, has served most recently as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Hornicek has also been named director of orthopaedic oncology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He will serve as a member of the Sylvester Clinical Research Advisory Board, the Scientific Steering Committee, and the Academic Advisory Council, among other leadership activities. He will work closely with Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., and Associate Director for Clinical Research Jonathan C. Trent, M.D., Ph.D., to expand sarcoma care and research.
During his distinguished career Dr. Hornicek has also been a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where he became chief of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Service. A world leader in orthopaedic oncology and the treatment of chordoma, he works actively with the Chordoma Foundation and established the Stephan L. Harris Chordoma Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has performed complex pelvic and spine surgery throughout his career and will continue to do so in Miami.
Under his leadership at UCLA, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery was ranked Number 7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Hornicek back to South Florida, where he will work with our outstanding orthopaedics faculty to identify areas for growth, to expand our research initiatives, and to help integrate services throughout the health system to better serve our growing population of patients and elevate our reputation,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine. He announced Dr. Hornicek’s appointment along with Joe Echevarria, chief executive officer of UHealth, executive vice president for health affairs at the University, and special advisor to the president.
Dr. Hornicek, who begins at UM on April 1, will continue his extensively funded basic research efforts on specific aspects of cell biology and molecular biology of sarcomas. Since the 1980s he has also worked to improve quality and safety for tissue banking globally – including at the University of Miami, which had one of the first tissue banks in the United States – and has held many leadership roles at the American Association of Tissue Banks, including president.
Among his many awards and honors, in 2007 Dr. Hornicek became the first orthopaedic surgeon to win the Brian McGovern Award for Clinical Excellence at Massachusetts General Hospital – an award he especially treasures because winners are chosen by their faculty colleagues at Harvard.
At the University of Miami Dr. Hornicek will build on the outstanding leadership of Frank Eismont, M.D., the longtime chair of the Miller School Department of Orthopaedics. Before becoming chair in 2006, Dr. Eismont served as co-chair of the department beginning in 2003, as vice chair from 1991 to 2003, and as director of the Orthopaedic Residency Education Program from 1988 to 2008. He joined the faculty in 1980.
“Dr. Eismont’s dedication and leadership have elevated the Department of Orthopaedics in clinical care, research, education, and service to the community,” Dean Ford said. “He has expanded the faculty, increased the range of subspecialties represented, and presided over a steady growth in research publications.”
Dr. Eismont speaks gratefully about the unique camaraderie of the department and the extraordinary opportunity provided by the residency and fellowship training programs. The physicians he has taught have gone on to lead orthopaedic departments and improve the practice of medicine around the world.
Dr. Eismont, who will continue his active surgical practice, has been a leader of national orthopaedic organizations, including president of the Cervical Spine Research Society. He served as chair of the leadership committee of the American Orthopaedic Association for six years. He was a director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery for 10 years and he still administers oral exams, conducts site visits, and serves on the question-writing task force for formal board exams.
He has been a member and chair of the Residency Review Committee for Orthopaedic Surgery of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Dr. Eismont also has held editorial positions at several national journals, including as a longtime co-editor of Rothman-Simeone The Spine, one of the standard textbooks for spine surgery.
“We will always be grateful for Dr. Eismont’s inspired leadership of orthopaedics at UM and across the nation, and for his continued service to his patients and colleagues,” Dean Ford said.
Dr. Eismont is one of many Miami physicians and scientists who know Dr. Hornicek and look forward to working with him again. Before training here, Dr. Hornicek earned his Ph.D. in physics/biophysics from Georgetown University in 1983, and his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991. In addition to his orthopaedic surgical residency at UM/Jackson, he completed an orthopaedic oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston.