Dr. Kristaps Keggi Named to Chair Created in His Honor

Dr. Kristaps J. Keggi, recently named the inaugural Elihu Professor of Ortho­paedics and Rehabilitation, is an internationally renowned expert in hip and knee replacement surgery.

In the 1970s, Keggi pioneered the anterior approach to total hip replacements, which is a less disruptive surgery. He serves as the director of Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Joint Replacement Center and of Waterbury Hospital’s Orthopaedic Center for Joint Reconstruction.

A native of Latvia, Keggi came to the United States with his family when he was 15. He graduated from Yale College in 1955 and earned his medical degree in 1959 from Yale School of Medicine. He completed residencies at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York and at Yale, then served in a U.S. Army MASH unit in Vietnam, where he was chief of orthopaedic surgery at Third Surgical Hospital. He returned to Yale as an assistant professor in 1966 to work in orthopaedic trauma surgery and emergency care. He became a clinical professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation in 1989 and professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation in 2008.

At Yale, Keggi helped launch the Physician Associate Program and the trauma program. In the 1980s he began an exchange program with physicians in the former Soviet Union, and he later founded the non-profit Keggi Orthopaedic Foundation, which encourages the study of ortho­paedics, sponsors research in surgical techniques and funds medical exchange fellowship programs in the United States, Russia, the Baltic nations and Vietnam. He also helped establish the Keggi-Berzins Latvian Baltic Studies Fund at Yale, as well as Baltic internships at the Yale library.

Keggi has earned many honors, including the Yale Orthopaedic Teaching Award (six times), the Yale University Athletics 2005 George Hebert Walker Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award, Latvia’s Karlis Ulmanis Medal, the Latvian Order of the Three Stars and the Knights of Lithuania Friend of Lithuania Award, to name just some.

He has been president of the Yale Fencing Association and a member of the Yale Athletic Federation, among many other community and University engagements.

The Elihu Professorship in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation was established through a combination of corporate and individual donors to honor Keggi. The professorship will serve as the cornerstone of a Joint Reconstruction Program being established at Yale School of Medicine as a center of excellence in clinical care, research and medical education and training.

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