June 2017


Neil Edward Green, MD
July 21, 1940 - July 9, 2016

Dr. Neil E. Green, of Hilton Head Island, formally of Nashville, Tennessee, died on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at the age of 75. He was an emeritus Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) Fellow at the time of his death, having joined the Society in 1983. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Lesley Nield Green, three children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Green earned his bachelor’s degree at Franklin and Marshall College and his medical degree at Albany Medical College. Following his internship and residencies in general surgery and orthopaedic surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He then served in the US Air Force at Kessler Air Force Base. After completion of his military obligation in 1976, he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) where he remained until his retirement in 2015 after 38 years of service. He was Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Associate Professor of Pediatrics. While at VUMC, he was Vice Chairman of the Orthopaedic Department, Director of the Residency Program and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics (1981-2006.) He also served as Chair of the Vanderbilt Hospital Medical Board. While he loved surgery and his leadership obligations, his biggest pleasure came from educating his residents and mentoring them in their careers. He was particularly invested in bracing for scoliosis and introduced the concept of part time bracing as an alternative to full-time brace wear.

As a world-renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Green authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 30 book chapters. He gave more than 200 presentations nationally and internationally. He was the editor of Skeletal Trauma in Children, later renamed Green’s Skeletal Trauma in Children. The American Orthopaedic Association honored him as the Alfred Shand’s Guest Lecturer. He has been a visiting professor at various institutions including Visiting Professor in Residence in Paris, France. Thus began his long love of France and everything French, including wine.

Dr. Green served as President of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, the America Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Twentieth Century Orthopaedic Association, the Southern Orthopaedic Association, the Tennessee Orthopaedic Society and the Nashville Orthopaedic Society. The Neil E. Green Lectureship was instituted at VUMC in 2012. It recognizes his many contributions as a leader and role model in advancing the missions of education, research and advocacy of the orthopaedic profession and the impact he has had on the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons with whom he has interacted and influenced. He will be missed by those of us who had the privilege to have known and worked with him over the years.

Obituary written by George H. Thompson, MD

William Thomas Hardaker, Jr, MD
December 24, 1941 - December 4, 2015

William T. Hardaker, Jr, MD of Durham, NC, died suddenly at his home on December 4, 2015.  He was a long time member at the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). He was raised on the West Coast but was educated and lived his life on the East Coast. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963, where he was an active member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). In addition, he was a four-year starter/letterman on the football team, serving as its captain his senior year. He was also an All-Ivy League and Honorable Mention All-American. As an aviator in the United States Marine Corps, he served in the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA-323) and flew over 285 combat missions in Vietnam and Laos.  He received 22 awards and decorations for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and others.

Following his military service, he completed his pre-medical course curriculum at the University of North Carolina (1968-1969) and then he attended Duke University School of Medicine (1969-1973). He was president of his senior class, the Davison Society and the student AMA. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha.  He completed his orthopaedic residency at the same institution. After residency, Dr. Hardaker became a member of the Duke orthopaedic faculty where his diverse clinical/teaching interests included pediatric orthopaedics, scoliosis surgery, spine trauma and sports medicine.  This led to his SRS membership in 1988. One of his most significant contributions was his role as the Duke Orthopaedic Residency Program Director (1993-2015). In this capacity, he recruited and trained more than 250 orthopaedic residents. His unwavering dedication to the residency program earned him the endearing nickname "The Rock."  He was promoted to full professor in 2009.  As an academician he published 40 peer reviewed articles, 12 textbook chapters and presented at hundreds of local, state and national lectures.

Dr. Hardaker always made time to be active in the community, serving as team physician for a wide variety of college sports, including Duke football, lacrosse and basketball. In addition to serving as an attending orthopaedic surgeon for the American Dance Festival, he also acted as team physician for two local high school football teams: the Southern Spartans and most recently the Hillside Hornets. He also was an active participant in the Pediatric Outreach Clinics in Robeson, Carteret, Sampson and Columbus counties. For his service, he was twice named Robeson County Physician of the Year.

Dr. Hardaker is survived by his mother, Gale Angas Hardaker of Washington, DC; Roberta "Bobbie" Hardaker, his wife of 48 years; their three children; and five grandchildren.

Obituary written by George H. Thompson, MD