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.


Young Investigator Award

The Young Investigator Award was established in 2012, and is presented to the three top papers by orthopaedic surgeons under the age of 45 who, if at an academic institution, are assistant professors or clinical instructors. WOA has created these awards in recognition of young investigators' efforts to advance the science of orthopaedic surgery through research and mentorship.

Lloyd Taylor Award

Dr. Taylor was born in Millerton, Oklahoma on March 30, 1916. He received his B.S. degree in 1936 from Oklahoma State University, and his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1941. He was a Infantry Officer in the United States Army prior to attending medical school, and after his internship at the General Surgery Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital in Washington, D.C., he was recalled for active service in the United States Medical Corps. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945. During that period, he became the second highest decorated field medical officer in World War II. His decorations include the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Upon returning home, he continued his education and career in the United States Army Medical Corps. In 1949, at Walter Reed, Dr. Taylor was the Project Officer in establishing a formal Armed Forces Orthopaedic Residency Training Program. Following this, he was responsible for the training of many military orthopaedic surgeons and ended his distinguished career in education in the military, as Chief of the Training Program at Letterman Army Hospital.
Colonel Taylor retired from the Army in 1962 after his last post as Chief of Staff at the United States Army Hospital at Fort Ord, California. His retirement from the Army was probably prompted by his deep love of teaching younger men orthopaedic surgery, for this aspect was not part of his new Command. After retirement, it was less than two years before he was made the Director of the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency Training Program, and once again was involved with his passion, orthopaedic education. He held the post until just two months before his death. The outstanding quality and record of the men he trained, both in the Army, and in civilian life, speaks for the unselfish devotion that Dr. Taylor gave to their educational needs.

Vernon Thompson Award

In the course of evolution of the WOA, through the efforts of Vernon Thompson, MD, the Residents Orthopedic Surgery Program began to receive recognition. In 1952, he established a competitive program in which residents from the western states submitted original works to be presented at the Annual Meeting. Dr. Thompson was affiliated with Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, CA. 
Dr. Thompson was keenly interested in teaching and the education of young physicians. He felt they should be recognized by allowing them time to present on the program. Four papers were permitted initially. There are now up to six papers presented each year. Each resident is given a monetary honorarium to help to defray the expense of the meeting. This portion of the WOA program remains to the remembrance of Dr. Thompson's dedication and efforts.


Harold and Nancy Willingham Award

C. Harold Willingham, MD graduated from William and Mary College then went on to attend Baylor Medical School. He completed his Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Michigan. After completing his residency he went on to serve as the Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Ft. Huachuca Army Hospital, before entering private practice.
Dr. Willingham is a long-time member of WOA. He was WOA President in 1991 and served on the Board as Secretary for a number of years as well as Treasurer. In addition he has served on numerous Committees and was Chairman of several of them.
Dr. Willingham is a long time resident of Tucson, AZ. He has been married to his wife Nancy for over 50 years and has two children and five wonderful grandchildren. The Willinghams made a contribution to the WOA Endowment Fund for Resident education to be named the Harold and Nancy Willingham Award.

 Sanford and Darlene Anzel Award

This award was established to honor Dr. Sandy Anzel, whose passion for Orthopaedics was evident to those associated with the Orthopaedic Training Program at the University of California, Irvine, as well as the broader community which he served tirelessly as the President of the COA, WOA, and as a Trustee on the Board of OREF and the Ortho PAC. His mentoring and nurturing of generations of young Orthopaedists, both in training and in practice, encouraged many he touched to emulate his example.