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The Summa Foundation Names 2013 – 2014 Robert F. Kepley, M.D. Orthopaedic Fellow

Date: 06.24.2013
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (234) 312-5033

AKRON, Ohio, June 24, 2013 ― The Summa Foundation is pleased to announce Derek Klaus, M.D., as the third recipient of the Robert F. Kepley, M.D. Orthopaedic Fellowship. The fellowship was established in 2010 with a $1 million gift from Robert and Joyce Rice and Family and is named in honor of the work of Dr. Kepley, an orthopaedic surgeon at Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center (CCOC), a partnership with Summa Health System.

The fellowship was created to provide ongoing support to enhance the medical education of Summa Health System orthopaedic residents and to support sound research initiatives investigating bone and joint problems. The selection of the fellow is based on the resident’s character, emerging clinical skills and interest in combining medical practice with compassionate patient care. 

Dr. Klaus, of Wadsworth, is a fourth year orthopaedic resident at Summa and a graduate of The University of Toledo College of Medicine. With a mission to integrate clinical responsibility and research into daily practice, Dr. Klaus will embark on a basic collaborative science research project as part of his fellowship throughout the next 18 months. He will work, in collaboration with Eric Miller, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon and director of trauma at Summa Akron City Hospital’s Level One Trauma Center; and Fayez Safadi, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED); on a project titled, ‘Comparative Analysis of Growth Factors in Bodily Fluid Compared to Blood,’ which will investigate bodily fluid retrieved from bone grafting procedures.

“Collecting bone graft from the femur, or thigh bone, has become a hot area in orthopaedics and can be used to heal large bone defects in the body,” Dr. Klaus explained. “What we know very little about, however, is the remaining fluid that typically gets discarded during surgery. Through this project, we hope to test and conclude whether or not this fluid can be processed and used to aid in a patient’s healing process.” 

A strong research program allows Summa and CCOC to provide quality orthopaedic care for the community, said Scott Weiner, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon and chair of the department of orthopaedics at Summa, who also serves on the fellowship committee. 

“Gifts like the Rice’s endowment go a long way to provide quality research for our department,” Dr. Weiner said. “This grant will allow resident physicians like Dr. Klaus to advance their knowledge of orthopaedics and contribute to the overall treatment of our region’s orthopaedic patients.”

Summa Health System is renowned for innovation and excellence in orthopaedics. In 2009, the Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center, a partnership with Summa Health System, began operations, bringing together the talent and resources of two nationally-recognized orthopaedics programs specializing in the evaluation and treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.

About Summa Health System

Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional

approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report,

Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at

About Summa Foundation

The Summa Foundation is a nonprofit organization advancing transformational philanthropy, community understanding and goodwill for the programs and priorities of Summa Health System. Incorporating fund development, government relations, community benefit and diversity, the Foundation creates and implements innovative partnerships, health policy opportunities and funding strategies to support the health system’s education, research and patient care agenda. For more information, visit  

About Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center

Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center (CCOC), a partnership between Summa Health System and Crystal Clinic physicians, is a major orthopaedic specialty hospital located in Northeast Ohio. CCOC serves patients throughout Ohio and contiguous states who are in need of care and treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, skin and related tissues. The board-certified surgeons have decades of experience and perform more than 12,000 orthopaedic procedures each year. The Joint Commission has also awarded CCOC with Disease-Specific Care Certification in total hip, total knee, total shoulder and spinal fusion procedures.  For more information, visit