“It’s amazing that an organization I joined at 17 years old is something I am still so proud of.” Amber Kujath (Omicron-Illinois Wesleyan), who has a doctorate of nursing practice, shares how learning about KD’s historical philanthropies as a collegian came full circle and the longstanding significance of the foundation funded Kappa Delta Orthopaedic Research awards.

Amber Kujath, Ph.D.

In 1947, Kappa Delta established the Kappa Delta Research Fellowship in Orthopaedics, the first award ever created to honor achievements in the field of orthopaedic research. Since then, the Kappa Delta awards have been presented at the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting to those who have made key discoveries and advanced the field of orthopaedics.

For Amber, these awards serve as reminder of her personal and professional development, both as a Kappa Delta woman and orthopaedic nurse. “Through my years as a collegian we talked about the KD orthopaedic awards. Did I ever think I would be an orthopaedic nurse?  No! To be honest I didn’t even know it was a specialty,” Amber revealed. Though her journey after graduation led to working on an orthopaedic unit, Kappa Delta’s connection to orthopaedics wasn’t top of mind for Amber in her daily work.

It wasn’t until Amber joined the orthopaedic nursing faculty at Rush University in Chicago that the connection between Kappa Delta and her career came full circle. When she was introduced to her new colleague, Rick Sumner, Ph.D., she learned he was a 1993 recipient of a Kappa Delta Orthopeaedic Research award. “I’ll never forget the time I was met with Dr. Sumner and noticed the award hanging on his wall,” Amber said. “The moment I saw it, I was taken back to my years at the KD house, and I knew I was right where I belonged.”

Thanks to donors like you, the Kappa Delta Foundation continues to offer three orthopaedic research awards annually. “There is a long line of KD AAOS award winners that have set a standard of excellence in orthopaedics during the many years the award has been in existence.”

Former KDF orthopaedic intern, Dr. Kelsie Coe, Amber Kujath, Ph.D., and Kappa Delta Foundation board member, Kristin Power, at the 2021 AAOS annual meeting.

In addition to the AAOS awards, the foundation offers an annual summer orthopaedic research internship program for collegians at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. It is only because of your support that these opportunities are made possible.

The recipients of the 2022 Kappa Delta awards have been announced. Click here to read more.