Western Orthopaedic Association
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Western Orthopaedic Association is honored and privileged to create the Lifetime Achievement Award in the name of Dr. Blair Filler. The Western Orthopaedic Association Lifetime Achievement Award proudly honors those special individuals who have throughout their career demonstrated and promoted the highest values of the WOA in their leadership, service, education, and professional relationships. Dr. Blair Filler epitomizes these, values through his tireless commitment to orthopedic research and education, and his longstanding leadership and service within local, regional, and national organizations including the AAOS and WOA.
Dr. Filler was born in Salem, Ohio on October 25, 1927. He grew up in Ohio and attended Bowling Green State University from 1946 to 1948 before enrolling at the University of Michigan Medical School. He began his career in orthopaedics interning at the Los Angeles County Hospital, and from there completed his residency from in 1961 at the New England Deaconess Hospital, Veteran’s Hospital, and the Massachusetts Hospital in Boston. Dr. Filler then moved back to Los Angeles establishing his orthopaedic practice in Inglewood, where he practiced from 1961 to 1973 with the Centinela Medical Group.
Dr. Filler began his academic career as Assistant Director of Hand Surgery with University of Southern California in 1962, and eventually became Clinical Professor. During his time at USC, he mentored and educated young orthopaedists passionately, while providing care in underserved areas of Los Angeles.
For the last 25 years he has been a dedicated educator for the residents at UCLA. He has served as the Chief of the Hand Service at the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, and served the Charles Drew-Martin Luther King Medical Center as Program Director for Education, Professor, and Director of Resident Education. Dr. Filler has been renowned for presenting interesting grand rounds.
Dr. Blair Filler served on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the WOA, becoming President of the Chapter in 1966. He has led and served on many local community organizations including the Los Angeles Disaster Committee, the Olympic Village Health Services Committee, the Southern California Hand Society, and the California Medical Association. He led the California Orthopaedic Association as President in 1989. It has been quoted that Dr. Filler never joined an organization that he did not improve tremendously.
Dr. Filler began his long commitment and service to the AAOS in 1970 serving multiple committees before becoming Secretary of the Academy in 1977. He went on to serve on the finance, real estate, steering, and resource committees before serving on the Board of Directors in 1979. He served as Treasurer in 1981 and also served also on many task force groups from clinical guidelines, disability, health policy, and internet development. Dr. Filler has had a powerful role on the Council on Advocacy helping push orthopedics issues in Washington D.C. and helped create the lobbying effort of the AAOS. He also lead the Committee on Coding and Reimbursement and has lead the effort to teach ethical coding to orthopaedists. In 2009 Dr. Filler received the William Tipton Award for his years of commitment to mentorship and collaboration throughout his years serving the AAOS.
While Dr. Filler has served on many national and local associations during his career in California, but it is his leadership in the Western Orthopaedic Association that caused the Board of Directors to choose him to represent the WOA Lifetime Achievement Award. From 1970-1978 he served on committees for registration, by-laws, nominations, and planning and development. He served as Treasurer/Historian in 2000, and as President of the WOA in 2003. During his Presidency, Dr. Filler is credited with elevating the WOA to prominence by re-organizing the leadership, governance, and oversight.
Dr. Filler’s illustrious career, outstanding leadership, and humility has left a lasting legacy.
PROCESS: One award may be given annually at the annual meeting. Members of the Western Orthopaedic Association may nominate another member of the WOA for consideration by submitting a written application to the Board of Directors within four months of each annual meeting for consideration the following year. The application form is to be posted on the web site, and should include the nominated members name and curriculum vitae, and a summary of why the nominated individual emulates the values and leadership exemplified by Doctor Filler’s lifetime of achievement. The Board of Directors will consider all nominations at their mid-year interim board meeting. If multiple nominations are submitted, those not selected may be re-nominated the following year.