Orthopaedic Link

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About Us

I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use...

—Mother Teresa

Too much stuff. We in the developed world encounter it everyday. In this world, we buy "new and improved" to replace "obsolete (yet perfectly functional)" but in many developing countries, "obsolete" is ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to healthcare. In that world, a routine orthopaedic surgery using the "obsolete" can be the difference between a happy, productive life and a lifetime of disability.

In response to that reality, Orthopaedic Link was created to help two very different groups: orthopaedic patients in developing countries, and orthopaedic device manufacturers who are burdened with a surplus of implant devices.

Why Orthopaedic Link? And why now?

While working in Nigeria, orthopaedic surgeon Dheera Ananthakrishnan encountered many surgeons, resident physicians and nurses from the developing world who were eager to learn, but who were handicapped by a lack of resources. When discussions with orthopaedic implant companies revealed a large surplus of first-generation implants, Dheera brainstormed with orthopaedist Jim Kercher and his wife Heather Kercher, a supply chain professional, to think about ways to address the challenges of both audiences. They were convinced that if they could figure out an effective way to repurpose those unused resources, it would be possible to create lasting social change. Thus, Orthopaedic Link was born.

Orthopaedic Link's mission is to mobilize idle inventory from a worldwide consortium of orthopaedic implant companies to supply qualified surgeons in the developing world. Our vision is to impact musculoskeletal health and surgical skills in low and middle income countries, and to decrease the global burden of unused implants.

In effect, Orthopaedic Link is a global distribution center that adopts the principles of supply chain management 2.0: with the use of an online portal, we are creating a basic supply chain platform where our corporate partners can upload surplus inventory, and qualified recipients can request and receive equipment. We connect usable medical surplus from a consortium of orthopaedic implant companies with surgeons, hospitals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in low- and middle-income countries that treat underprivileged patients.