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Category Archives: Arthrex
Last week two science giants came together with one goal in mind: to hear, and tell, how science contributes to making things. Arthrex hosted PBS producers and WGCU Media for the premiere of the first episode in the new Nova series called “Making Stuff.” The episode shown at Arthrex was “Making Stuff: Stronger”. The NOVA four-part “Making Stuff” series includes “Smaller,” “Cleaner,” and “Smarter.”
Arthrex was selected to host the premiere because it is one of the world’s most successful biotechnology manufacturers of the latest and strongest surgical devices and techniques. In line with the show’s topic of making things stronger, the evening included a demonstration by Naples orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Guerra and Arthrex Director of Medical Education and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bryan Hanypsiak of some of the company’s strongest products.
The event was of special interest to Arthrex Founder and CEO Reinhold Schmieding, a supporter of public television who has long watched the NOVA program. Mr. Schmieding has said he is a dedicated scientist at heart and businessperson only for the pursuit of medical science. The Michigan native founded Arthrex more than 30 years ago in Munich, Germany and later established the Arthrex world headquarters in Naples in 1991.
Arthrex has consistently been listed on Inc.’s top 500 fastest growing companies and is expected to achieve $1 billion in annual revenues this year. For Mr. Schmieding, an endless passion of science and persistent quest for perfection have been consistent ingredients in the success of Arthrex.
“It is not enough to be a leader in our industry – at Arthrex, we also want to set the standard for future innovations in evidence-based medicine and medical education, so Arthrex stands for uncompromising quality to benefit surgeons and their patients,” he said. “We’ve developed more than 5,000 products for arthroscopic and minimally invasive orthopedic surgical procedures, and our goal is to make technically demanding surgical procedures easier, safer and reproducible.”
Arthrex’s mission is to help surgeons treat patients better. That includes developing the tools and techniques for surgeons to reduce the amount of invasive procedures which in turn minimizes the size of incisions, as well as surgery and patient recovery time.
PBS approached Arthrex to host the premiere of the NOVA series because of the correlation between the topic of making stuff stronger and the new product innovation in arthroscopic surgery that Arthrex has pioneered. Arthrex products are distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide and is a major exporter of U.S. made products.
“We never compromise the quality of our products – our primary goal is to meet our responsibility to surgeons and their patients with the best materials and technology,” said Mr. Schmieding, who is quick to point out that Arthrex is a U.S. source for development, production and service to global customers. “This is the only way to ensure absolute quality assurance without compromising the safety and effectiveness of our products in the interests of patient outcomes and evidence-based medicine and we will never sacrifice quality with a higher risk to the patient.”
Arthrex remains an independent, privately held company, something which Mr. Schmieding attributes to the rapid pace at which company engineers and surgeon consultants can produce new products and surgical techniques.
“As a private company without outside financial investors, we can remain exclusively committed to surgeons and their patients,” explains Schmieding. “Our mission is one that continues to drive us forward and be our guiding force, to help surgeons treat their patients better.”
During the NOVA “Stronger” program, viewers learned from experts who are re-engineering what nature has provided to create the next generation of materials to make strong stuff. Nova television host David Pogue tested the world’s strongest materials, from steel and Kevlar to bio-engineered silk. (Spoiler alert: spider silk is actually the world’s strongest stuff.) Arthrex incorporates many of these new high technology materials in their products to make them smaller and stronger.
Pogue also delivered on his usual brand of intelligent comedy. Upon sliding in and out of a demolition derby car he referred to himself and one of his test partners as the “Starsky and Hutch” of science nerds. The audience laughed throughout the program in between multiple ah-ha moments of discovery.
For many visitors, learning about Arthrex was as enlightening as the NOVA program. Arthrex Engineer Peter Dreyfuss shared original planning documents that highlighted the challenging process an Arthrex instrument must endure in order to make it to market. Dr. Guerra accented the presentation by explaining how Arthrex works with surgeons inside and outside of the OR to design and manufacture devices and create surgical techniques that ultimately change lives.
“Arthrex is the craftsman of orthopedic surgery, and the transformative, collaborative nature of the company allows us to achieve better outcomes for patients overall,” said Dr. Guerra. “After all, we all have shoulders and knees, et cetera, and a surgeon can have the golden finger, but Arthrex through what they’ve done for orthopedic surgery touches millions of lives every day.”
Arthrex has never relied on taxpayer subsidies to operate in Collier County and it is one of the state’s prized employers with nearly 1,000 employees. Prior to the 2010 elections, lackluster support from Collier County officials chafed the company that has pumped more than $100 million into the local economy since formerly opening its doors in Naples in 1991, according to a study by Guy Hagen of Innovation Insight.
“Our expenditures for expansion is expected to increase significantly in future years with education programs for surgeons and operating room staff and the company’s sales force has already grown to more than 1,000 representatives in the U.S. this year,” Mr. Schmieding says. “We look forward to working with our regional governments and community leaders to create a positive business environment that will foster further expansion investment in Southwest Florida.”
For more information about Arthrex, click to www.Arthrex.com. For more information about Nova and other PBS programming, visit www.PBS.org.