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OrthoWorx initiative names executive director

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OrthoWorx has named Zimmer Inc. public affairs director Brad Bishop as its executive director, the not-for-profit announced Thursday morning.

The initiative, launched last year by BioCrossroads and the orthopedic implant companies based in the northern Indiana city of Warsaw, hopes to help the orthopedic cluster adapt its business models and work forces to rapidly changing technology.

Bishop will join OrthoWorx on June 23. Since 1988, he has worked for Zimmer, the world’s largest orthopedic implant company, or its former parent company, New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Most recently, Bishop oversaw Zimmer’s communications, philanthropy, community relations, state and local government relations, and served as treasurer of its political action committee.

Also, Bishop served on the boards of the Indiana Health Industry Forum, Kosciusko Development Inc., YMCA of Kosciusko County, Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Orthopedic Capital Foundation and Kosciusko County Community Foundation.

Bishop is a graduate of Ball State University.
 
“As our industry and community continue to evolve, and new opportunities and challenges arise, we must have an organized, cohesive strategy to solidify our standing as the 'Orthopedics Capital of the World' for decades to come,” Bishop said in a statement.

In 2007, orthopedics companies headquartered in Warsaw pulled in $10 billion of the $32.5 billion total revenue for the industry worldwide, according to a study by BioCrossroads, an Indianapolis-based life sciences business development group. Besides Zimmer, major orthopedic companies in Warsaw include DePuy Inc., Biomet Inc., MedTronic Inc. and Symmetry Medical Inc.

But the Warsaw cluster faces two major challenges.

First, health care reform and increased federal regulations will squeeze the profits of orthopedic implant makers, putting pressure on them to outsource operations to lower-cost regions.

The second challenge comes from cell-regeneration technologies and the self-healing potential of stem cells, which could one day render artificial hip and knee replacements unnecessary. The Warsaw companies are working to make those breakthroughs, rather than be broken by them.

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