Governor Eric Holcomb will present Dr. George Rapp with the 2019 Sachem Award, the state’s highest honor, on August 27. The Sachem is an annual award to "recognize a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana."
Rapp practiced as an orthopedic surgeon for 35 years, serving the majority of that time as chief of orthopedic surgery and the orthopedic residency program at St. Vincent Hospital, clinical professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Director of the Scoliosis Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children.
Rapp also invented a hip prosthesis for total hip replacement and helped found Sofamor Danek which is now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of spinal instrumentation.
Since his retirement, Rapp has continued to champion groups that serve Indiana such as Crossroads of America Boy Scouts, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Museum and Indiana Landmarks.
Rapp also founded the New Harmony Hoosier Salon Art Gallery and the annual “First Brush of Spring” New Harmony Paint Out, now in its 21st year, and helped restore the Ravine Garden at Newfields in Indianapolis.
“Dr. George Rapp has helped make his hometown, our state and the world a much better place to live through his devotion to the arts, education and medicine,” Gov. Holcomb said in a news release. “You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has made the kind of impact he has in so many different fields.”
Additional past award winners include Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and world statesman (2006), and long-time businessman and civic leader P.E. MacAllister (2014).