The Tipton Leadership Award recognizes Academy members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities that have benefitted the orthopedic community, patients, and/or the American public. The award honors and celebrates the life, accomplishments and qualities of the late William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, an orthopedic surgeon, educator and former AAOS chief executive officer.
Dr. Robb's career-long history of leadership in both professional and volunteer capacities includes many achievements in the AAOS, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and the Illinois Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has worked diligently to advance important initiatives that benefit patients and the orthopedic profession. His most recent achievement is the establishment of a new safety culture in the AAOS while serving as chair of the AAOS Patient Safety Committee from 2012-16.
Dr. Robb reorganized and elevated the orthopedic safety program through the Orthopaedic Safety Summit in 2012 and restructured the Patient Safety Committee through a merger with the AAOS surgeon and surgical team communications program. Dr. Robb also co-chaired of the first National Surgical Patient Safety Summit in 2016, which brought together more than 100 representatives from surgical professional associations, insurers, large health care systems, payers, regulators, certifying organizations and government agencies. The Summit proposed national surgical safety standards; supports new standardized surgical safety educational curricula for both residents and surgeons and prioritized needed safety research areas.
"Bill is always leading and focusing on orthopedic surgery as a conduit to improving the human condition," said Leon S. Benson, MD, of the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. "Leadership, volunteerism and work ethic are three things that Bill lives by and he is constantly giving to education, research, the AAOS, his colleagues and most of all, his patients."
As a leader and surgeon working with administrators, surgeons and nursing leadership in the 1980's, Dr. Robb helped Evanston Hospital become nationally recognized for successfully developing and implementing a standardized clinical pathway for total knee replacement care - directly benefiting patient care and outcomes.
He has held numerous Academy volunteer positions including the Nominating Committee, chair of the Patient Education Committee, chair of the Board of Councilors and Specialty Societies, and secretary of the AAOS. Dr. Robb has served three three-year terms on the Academy Board of Directors in each of the past 3 decades and also served as president of AAHKS.
"Reflecting on his 30 years of voluntary leadership service, and magnitude of his many contributions to our profession, I believe there is no one more deserving of this award," said John R. Tongue, MD, a past president of the AAOS. "I marvel at Bill's ability to move issues and ideas forward as a team member, often behind the scenes. He understands that successful leadership requires careful preparation, thoughtful discussion and time to build consensus."
Dr. Robb specializes in reconstructive knee surgery and is a fifth-generation physician whose father also was an orthopedic surgeon and leader as Iowa's representative to the Academy Board of Councilors in the 1970's. He is one of the founders of the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute where he has worked for the past 22 years. Dr. Robb is married to his college sweetheart, Chris and they have two children and two grandchildren.