Warsaw-based nonprofit OrthoWorx and the Orthopedics Capital Foundation have received a three-year grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in Indianapolis to support efforts that promote the city of Warsaw and its “industry cluster” as the Orthopedic Capital of the World. OrthoWorx says the funding could total as much as $2.3 million during the three-year grant period.
Lilly has supported the efforts since 2009, when it provided a $7 million grant to help launch OrthoWorx and the Orthopedics Capital Foundation.
“We are so grateful to Lilly Endowment for enabling us to continue the important work we began in 2009,” said Suzie Light, board chair of OCF. “We were the first entity to provide significant financial support for the expansion of STEM programming in the area; we were an influential catalyst in the improvement of career awareness and education; we have provided resources and expertise in diversity and inclusion; and we created a business accelerator to grow the next generation of innovators and leaders in our community.”
OCF and OrthoWorx say they’ve created a new strategic plan that focuses on the community impact of smaller growth companies in the medical device field. Terry Schlotterback, who serves as a board member for Warsaw-based OrthoPediatrics, Nextremity Solutions and Ignite Orthopedics, says the new plan will benefit early-stage and growth companies in attracting and retaining workforce talent.
“Much has changed in the orthopedic landscape of our region given mergers and external ownerships and it has become clear that there is a rapidly emerging group of next generation orthopedic companies that will benefit from a strong OrthoWorx,” said OrthoWorx Board Chair David Findlay, chief executive officer of Lake City Bank. “While we will continue to partner with those larger firms as we are able, we believe the greatest benefit to our region will come from engagement with growth companies who have started here and have a commitment to grow in partnership with local communities.”
Findlay said the OrthoWorx board is currently searching for its next leader, who will direct the educational and charitable work over the next three years. Matt Hall, who has served as the organization’s leader on an interim basis since September 2021, is preparing to take on a new full-time role in the medical device industry.