James “Jim” C. Russ, Glenview, Illinois, passed away February 25, 2012. He was 77.
Russ, CO, was professor emeritus in orthopaedic surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University (Northwestern) Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. He received his orthotics training at Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, Georgia, where he gained extensive experience during the polio epidemics of the 1950s, according to a July 1997 article in the Northwestern University Capabilities. In 1967, Russ brought this experience to the Northwestern University Prosthetic-Orthotic Center (NUPOC) when he became the director of orthotic education, serving until 1992. During his tenure at NUPOC, he saw the need for and began the first orthotics residency program in 1977 at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had helped establish a state-of-the-art orthotics department the prior year.
Russ was the recipient of numerous awards, including awards from Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine for his commitment to education of orthotists and also for his service and dedicated performance in orthotic education; and a 1977 Outstanding Educator award from the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA). He held professional memberships in AOPA and the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy). Russ was also a 32nd degree Mason.
“Jim was a ‘warrior for professionalism’ for orthotics and prosthetics and never lost his passion for promoting O&P as a profession, lifting us up beyond the standards that would be required for an industry,” said long-time friend Michael Burton. “He challenged everyone to be their best.”
Russ is survived by his wife Janis Russ, née Young; daughters Kathy (Don) Biondi, Nancy (Carlos) Mier, and Leslie Russ (Patrick Sewall); granddaughters Katie, Karly, Elizabeth, Olivia, Eloise, and Amelia; and great-granddaughter Bryce.
Memorials may be made to Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, Attn: Janice Russ, c/o N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home, 1240 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL 60025.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 29, from 5-9 p.m. at the N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Thursday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home with interment to follow at the Sunset Memorial Lawns Cemetery in Northbrook, Illinois.