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Atrium Health Receives $5 Million in Research Grant from Department of Defense

Orthopaedic doctors and researchers at Atrium Health have received two grants totaling nearly $5 million from the Department of Defense to study the most effective treatments for distal femur and heel fractures.

A $2.4 million grant will support a four-year, randomized clinical trial that will examine patient outcomes following calcaneus fractures, more commonly called heel fractures, treated with two different surgical procedures. Dr. Jarrod Dumpe, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Atrium Health Navicent, associate professor of surgery at Mercer University and director of orthopaedic research, will serve as the principal investigator at Atrium Health Navicent.

“Heel fractures typically occur with falls from heights. We treat a lot of roofing falls and bucket truck falls. Because we are the level 1 trauma center for central and south Georgia, we also see falls from tree stands during hunting season, as well a heel fractures associated with car wrecks on our local interstate system,” Dumpe said. “Heel fractures are challenging to treat, because of the loading impact from falls.”

A second $2.5 million grant will support a four-year, randomized clinical trial to study whether a single implant or a dual implant fixation repair of distal femur fractures is more effective. These injuries can occur from falls, especially in cases with osteoporosis in older patients, but they are also seen with substantial trauma such as car or motorcycle accidents.

Both trials are led by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and are being conducted at multiple sites across the southeast and with partners across the country, including Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Atrium Health Cabarrus in Concord, North Carolina.

“I’m thankful for Dr. Joseph Hsu, Dr. Rachel Seymour, Dr. Larry Kempton and Dr. Meghan Walley and their team in the Carolinas for applying for these grants,” Dumpe said. Prior to joining Atrium Health Navicent, Dumpe was stationed at Joint Base San Antonio, the Department of Defense’s only level I trauma center, and served as the medical director of orthopaedic surgery at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. He served as assistant professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and was faculty at San Antonio Military Medical Center’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery combined Army/Air Force residency program.

“This grant offers teams from multiple Atrium Health hospitals a chance to work together and innovate to have an amazing impact on the future of medicine. We are thankful for this opportunity, and for the potential this collaboration has of improving the health of both members of the military and civilians here in central and south Georgia, and beyond,” said Atrium Health Navicent Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrice Walker.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit

About Advocate Health

Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.