Headshot for Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD

Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD, and Frank Brown, PhD, are recognized for their Years of Service and Dedication to CSU Athletics

Headshot for Champ L. Baker, Jr., MDChamp L. Baker, Jr., MD, and Frank Brown, PhD, are recognized for their Years of Service and Dedication to CSU Athletics

Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD, received The Sonny Clements Athletics Director Award on Friday, April 28, 2017. Because of prior commitments, the award was accepted by his son, Champ L. Baker III, MD, at the Columbus State University (CSU) 2017 Hall of Fame Program held at the Country Club of Columbus. To acknowledge his appreciation of the award, Dr. Baker prerecorded a video for the event.

Sonny Clements was CSU’s first athletics director; therefore, the award notably recognizes someone who has helped strengthen the CSU athletics department. “Knowing that Dr. Baker and his outstanding colleagues at the world- renowned Hughston Clinic are a part of our team clearly states our commitment to the health and welfare of our student athletes,” CSU Athletics Director Todd Reeser said in a news release. “Dr. Baker has been a common thread through many years of athletic success at CSU, and it is highly appropriate that we recognize him for his generous and caring support.” Dr. Baker has served as team physician for CSU for over 30 years. During his years at CSU, he befriended Dr. Frank Brown who was the university’s president.

In Dr. Baker’s prerecorded video, he congratulated Dr. Brown for receiving the Herbert Green Golden Cougar Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a donor by the CSU Athletics Department. The award recognizes someone who has shown dedication and support for CSU student athletes and the athletics department through exemplary service, leadership, and financial support. “During Dr. Brown’s tenure as the university’s president (1988-2008), he attended countless sporting events both home and away while clapping, yelling and being one of the Cougars’ biggest fans,” Reeser said. “He knew all the student athletes’ names and the sports they played. He can still be found sneaking in the stands to watch the Cougars play even now that he is retired.”

Dr. Brown is past-chairman and Dr. Baker is the past-president of the Hughston Foundation’s Community Board.

Scholarships Awarded to Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital Employees

The Sarah Hardaway Hughston Scholarship Fund was awarded scholarships to qualifying employees in the amount of $500 each on May 2, 2017 This year’s recipients include; Wanda James, Aliyah Johnson, Tiara Lawson, Ashley Lyles, Kathleen Lopez, LaShanda Moore, Shirley Murphy, Danielle Poole, Cortney Pope, Kelli Rucker, Cassandra Rutherford, and Brandon Tutt. Recipients are carefully selected by the scholarship committee. This marks the 7th year the scholarship has been awarded, and it brings the total award to $45,108.00 total funds since given to employees since 2011. Since 2011, The Sarah Hardaway Hughston Scholarship Fund has provided over $45,000 to the employees to help with their college expenses.

The scholarship fund is generated from Sarah’s Gift Shop located inside Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital. It has been a privilege to provide these funds over the years to dedicated employees of Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital, Kay Gudger (Hughston Physician- Dr. Garland Gudger’s wife) commented on May 2, 2017. The shop is operated by the Hughston physician’s wives and Susan Ingram is the store manager.


J. Kenneth Burkus, MD, Hughston Clinic Spine Surgeon, appears on front cover of Spinal News International.

Columbus, Georgia – April 26, 2017- J. Kenneth Burkus, MD, Hughston Clinic Spine Surgeon, appears on front cover of Spinal News International.

Kenneth Burkus, MD, is on the cover of Spinal News International (Saturday, 22 April 2017 edition) with colleagues after he presented new research, on how porous PEEK demonstrates greater osseintegration than micro-textured titanium and how it may prove to be a clinically viable alternative for interbody implants. Polyetheretherketone, or PEEK, is a colorless organic thermoplastic that has many potential medical uses. The virtues of PEEK, as a material for spinal implants, are well documented in the medical literature. Researchers have found that the material has similar strength and stiffness to bone and its radiolucency, or transparency, makes surgical sites easy to see on x-rays. Dr. Burkus and his co-researchers used in vitro and in vivo testing to discover how bone would respond to smooth-surface PEEK, porous PEEK, and micro-textured titanium plasma-coated PEEK. Dr. Burkus presented their research findings at the International Society for the Advancement of Spinal Surgery (ISASS17; April 12-14 in Boca Raton, FL. The meeting was attended by spine specialist from around the world.

Porous PEEK demonstrates greater osseintegration than micro-textured titanium

Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital named recipient of Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award

Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital named recipient of

Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award

Phenix City, Alabama (April 21, 2017) – Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital announced today that it is a recipient of the Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance in hospitals that have prevented the occurrence of  serious, potentially avoidable complications for patients during hospital stays. The distinction places Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital among the top 5% of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data for its excellent performance as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

During the 2013-2015 study period, Healthgrades found that patients treated in hospitals receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award were, on average:

  • 40.0% less likely to experience an accidental puncture or laceration during a procedure, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 44.6% less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 54.4% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.
  • 50.2% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital, than patients treated at non-recipient hospitals.[1]

On average, 134,568 patient safety events could have been avoided if all hospitals, as a group from 2013 to 2015, performed similarly to hospitals performing better than expected on each of 13 patient safety indicators evaluated by Healthgrades.

We are once again humbled to have achieved the Patient Safety Excellence Award for 2017, having earned this distinction 5 years in a row.   Earning this award in consecutive years is a tough achievement and a reflection of our exceptional staff and physicians and their ongoing commitment to quality outcomes and patient safety.

Our quality program is extremely integrated in our culture and all our processes within the hospital and this achievement is validation of the systems we have in place to ensure we have a safe environment for our patients.  I give credit to our remarkable employees who deserve this as well as our physicians all of whom are the real champions.  – Kurt E. Jacobson, MD, FACS, President of the Hughston Clinic and Quality Committee Chairman at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital.

“Hospitals who have been recognized as Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients have minimized patient safety events and also surpassed expectations in preventing safety incidents,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “We applaud these hospitals for their performance and for their organizational commitment to delivering high-quality care.”

During the study period (2013-2015), Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals demonstrated excellent performance in safety provided for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) for 13 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

For more information about Healthgrades or to download a full copy of the report, or to receive information about hospital and physician quality, visit: www.Healthgrades.com/quality today.

[1] Statistics are based on Healthgrades Patient Safety Ratings and Excellence Award methodology which includes application of AHRQ QI software to MedPAR data for years 2013 through 2015 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

Headshot for Jonathan P. Cornelius, MD, first robotic-assisted TKR

Dr. Jon Cornelius performs first robotic-assisted TKR

Adam Schrag from Beckersspine.com reports “Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon (Tenn.) Medical Director of Orthopedics Jon Cornelius, MD, performed the first robotic-assisted TKR operation in the state, according to The Lebanon Democrat.

Here are four things to know:

1. Dr. Cornelius has performed over 250 robotic-assisted partial knee and hip replacement procedures at Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon.

2. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthopedic nurses, physical and occupation therapists and a total knee joint program coordinator create a unique surgical plan for each patient.

3. Dr. Cornelius said, “Robotic technology is changing the way joint replacement surgeries are performed by providing each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy.”

4. The hospital is the first in Tennessee to offer robotic-assisted TKR surgery.”

The article can be located at beckersspine.com

Emerging Treatments

Father and Son Present Topics in Emerging Treatments in Arthritis

Father and Son Present Topics in Emerging Treatments in Arthritis

Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD, and his son, Champ L. Baker III, MD, are presenters at the SEC Sports Injury Update in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
Dr. Baker, Jr., will present “Fat Transfer for Stem Cells in Arthritis” and Dr. Baker III, will present, “Subchondroplasty of the Knee” Both physicians participated in the Emerging Treatments in Arthritis session.
Hosted by the Southern Orthopaedic Association, the SEC Sports Injury Update draws sports medicine specialists throughout the US and is traditionally held during the SEC Basketball Tournament.

Former Auburn Athletic Trainer Kenny Howard dies at age 90

Howard and Hughston, Former Auburn Athletic Trainer

Howard and Hughston

Former Auburn Athletic Trainer Kenny Howard dies at age 90

Kenny Howard, former Auburn University Athletic Trainer and US Olympic Trainer, died Monday, February 27, in his sleep. He was 90.

After graduating from Auburn University in 1948, Howard became Auburn’s head athletic trainer and was also the football trainer throughout Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan’s career (1951-1975).

Back in 1951, Howard was hunting for a team physician and finding it nearly impossible, when Jack Hughston MD, came to Coach Jordan’s office, and asked if he could become the Tigers’ team physician.

“Coach Jordan said he’d never heard of such a thing and told Kenny it was up to him,” Dr. Hughston recalled in a 1997 interview with Valerie Hunt from the NATA News. During the same interview, Howard said that he had trouble finding a physician because they didn’t have team physicians or a sports specialty back then. Howard and Hughston formed a lifelong friendship while developing the first-ever sports medicine program at Auburn.

Howard served as the trainer for the US Olympic track team at Helsinki in 1952 and for the swim team at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. He was also the trainer for two World University Games, two Senior Bowls, and for 10 years he served as a trainer for the Alabama Blue-Gray All-star game. Additionally, from 1976 to 1980, Howard was the first assistant athletic director for Olympic sports at Auburn University.

After retiring from Auburn in 1980, Howard came to work with Dr. Hughston at the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation (HSMF) in Columbus, GA. During his tenure at the HSMF, he worked with Dr. Hughston and other Hughston physicians to form the Kenny Howard Athletic Training Fellowship with Auburn University. The program is still vital today. Howard retired from HSMF in 1995.

In 1998, Howard received the Outstanding Trainer Award by the All-American Football Foundation. In 2000 he was inducted into the City of Auburn’s Walk of Fame. The Auburn Chapter of the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame honored him with the “Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football” award in 2001. Additionally, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, the first athletic trainer to receive this honor. He was a member of the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame, the Alabama Trainers Association Hall of Fame, the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame, the Hughston Society, the Auburn A-Club and Auburn Football Lettermen Club, and the City of Auburn Tiger Trail. He was an Honorary Member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. He was also a member of the Auburn City Council from 1984 through 1987.


Visitation will be held at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home in Opelika, AL, on Sunday, March 5, from 4 to 6 pm. Funeral service will be at Auburn United Methodist Church Monday, March 6, at 2 pm, with Dr. George Mathison officiating. Honorary bearers will be Bobby Buisson, Glen Hess, David Housel, Ken Johns, Ron Myers, Dr. Lyle Norwood, Jerry Talkington, Hub Waldrop, and the late Dr. Jack Hughston.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Kenny Howard Fellowship through the Auburn University Foundation, 317 South College Street, Auburn, AL 36830.


Lipogems - Couple on Park Bench

Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD Presents New Stem Cell Research Lipogems

Headshot for Champ L. Baker, Jr., MD, stem cell treatment, LipogemsChamp L. Baker, Jr., MD, gave 2 presentations this fall on Lipogems®, a new stem cell treatment for arthritis of the hip, knee, and shoulder. The first talk, given in October, “How I use Stem Cells in my Practice,” was presented as an innovative technique at The Knee Course in Las Vegas. The second talk, “The Use of Lipoaspirated Adipose Tissue in the Knee” was presented at Real Life Orthopaedics in Atlanta in November. Both presentations were well received by physicians interested in offering their patients state-of-the-art stem cell treatments as an alternative to surgery.

These stem cell treatments are actually comprehensive regenerative treatments that use the patient’s adipose or fat tissue to repair damaged tissues. Fat is biologically active; it forms an environment rich in stem and other cells that promote healing. Researchers have been aware of the healing power of fat since the time of World War I when it was used to help heal soldiers’ wounds. Today, physicians are using fat to repair tissue damaged by arthritis.

During the procedure, fat is drawn from the abdomen or thigh using local anesthesia. The fat is then placed in a Lipogems® device that cleans and separates the inflammatory oils and blood from the beneficial components of the fat tissue. Using ultrasound guidance for precision, the processed mixture, or lipoaspirate, is then injected into the injured area. The injected cells are not reabsorbed by the body, but remain at the injection site, providing cushioning and support for damaged tissue while the body heals itself. Most Lipogems® treatments are performed on an outpatient basis and take about an hour. The procedure can also be used in conjunction with surgical treatment to help the body repair damaged tissue.

Dr. Baker currently offers Lipogems® treatment at The Hughston Clinic. However, as most insurance companies do not yet cover the procedure, the patient is responsible for the full cost which can range from $3,500 to $4,500. Interested patients can make an appointment with Dr. Baker to find out whether the procedure is right for them. Patients are encouraged to bring recent x-rays and MRIs with them, but should be aware that further imaging studies may be required.

Third-Year Residents Win First-Place Award

Third-Year ResidentsThird-year residents from the Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital Residency Program, Timothy Beals, DO; Samuel Pitts, DO; and Samuel Thomas, DO, received the first-place award for diagnostic and management problem solving at the Fall 2016 William F. Enneking Seminar in Musculoskeletal Pathology. The program was held at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville on October 24-28. The week-long seminar covered basic musculoskeletal pathology, radiographic and imaging staging techniques, histologic diagnosis, and the treatment of musculoskeletal lesions. The residents’ team scored the highest out of approximately 30 groups in the seminar’s diagnostic decision-making competition.