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NYAM Member Patrick F. O’Leary Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospital for Special Surgery

Spine Surgeon Patrick F. O’Leary, MD, a member of The New York Academy of Medicine, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Hospital for Special Surgery's 29th Annual Tribute Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
More than 1,000 people attended the June event, which raised 2.6 million dollars for education, research, and patient care at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Meredith Vieira, NBC News special correspondent and host of the popular television show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” served as toastmaster. She was joined by special guest Ronnie P. Barnes, senior vice president for Medical Services for the Super Bowl-winning New York Football Giants.
Dr. O’Leary, a former chief of the Spine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, has focused on the fundamental principles and evolving techniques of spine surgery over the past 35 years.  He specializes in the surgical management of disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, including revision surgery. He helped co-develop the Spine Section in Biomechanics in 1990 and establish the Biomechanics Fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery in 1991.
“We are pleased to honor Dr. O’Leary for his many achievements,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of Hospital for Special Surgery. “People come to see Dr. O’Leary from across the country and around the world based on his reputation for taking on complex cases and providing highly sophisticated spine care.”
“I am deeply honored to have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospital for Special Surgery,” Dr. O’Leary said. “It has been a privilege to work and grow professionally at one of the finest specialty hospitals and orthopedic research centers worldwide.”
With a special interest in the area of surgical technology and advances in surgical technique, Dr. O’Leary collaborates with colleagues in the United States and Europe. He has maintained a 25-year relationship with German Professor Dr. Jurgen Harms, considered by many to be the greatest spine surgeon of his generation.
“Dr. O'Leary’s incredible skill and dedication to his patients have made him a leader at HSS and in international spine surgery. His work has improved surgical techniques and patient care and led to great advances in the field of spine surgery,” said Thomas P. Sculco, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Professional athletes, including members of the New York Mets, New York Knicks, New York Jets and New York Rangers are among those Dr. O’Leary has treated.
Dr. O’Leary was born in Ireland and attended medical school at the National University of Ireland. He completed a rotating internship at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He went on to finish three years of a general surgery residency at St. Luke’s - Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, then completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery and subsequently did a spine fellowship at the University of Toronto in Canada.
Dr. O’Leary is a member of many professional organizations. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the International College of Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. O'Leary is also a member of the New York Academy of Medicine, Cervical Spine Research Society, the Scoliosis Research Society and the North American Spine Society. Dr. O’Leary is consistently named a leading surgeon in surveys of his peers.
The Tribute Dinner also honored internationally recognized business leader William C. Weldon, chairman of Johnson & Johnson and Nobel Prize-winning scientist Torsten N. Wiesel, MD, president emeritus of Rockefeller University.
About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 2 in rheumatology, No. 19 in neurology, and No. 16 in geriatrics by U.S.News & World Report (2011-12), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2011, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. HSS is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at

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Posted on July 30, 2012

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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