Photograph by Elaine Ubina/FairfieldCountyLook
Above: Dr. Paul Sethi and Vicki Leeds Tananbaumat the ONS foundation golf outing “Tee-Off” Party at Miller Motorcars
Many with limbs or backs on the mend know ONS, the bustling orthopedic and sports medicine practice at Greenwich Office Park on Valley Drive. Fewer know what’s going on in its basement.
Dr. Paul Sethi trots down a flight of stairs to a sprawling laboratory partitioned by high-end surgical equipment. It’s home to the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education, a nonprofit organization where Dr. Sethi serves as president. This month the foundation celebrates its tenth anniversary.
While separate from ONS and dependent on donations to operate, ONSF uses field research gleaned from treating 100,000 ONS patients annually. The foundation has produced widely used methodologies for elbow-tendon repair, arthritis treatment for fingers and shoulder-infection reduction risk in surgery. “Harvard calls to ask how we do this,” Sethi notes.
Lately, Sethi and his team have focused on reducing the use of painkillers in the face of what he calls a clear opioid epidemic. “We have shoulder-replacement patients who’ll go home the same day and take no opioids ever,” he says. “That’s because of protocols developed in this room.”
“Our mission is threefold,” explains Vicki Leeds Tananbaum, a Greenwich philanthropist and ONSF vice president. “We educate the community on things like hip replacement and concussions. We host a medical education conference for healthcare providers each year at Greenwich Hospital, no charge. And we do groundbreaking clinical research.” The foundation also hosts college interns every summer, runs a “mini-med school” for high-school students contemplating medical careers and holds a 5K race to raise opioid awareness.
“We’ve been hitting our long-term goals every year,” Dr. Sethi says. “I just want us to perpetuate.”