On Wednesday February 21st, the ribbon was cut followed by cheers from the student-athletes on their new wellness center. With the support of official sponsor Connecticut Orthopaedics, Southern Connecticut State University can now provide a comfortable environment for its student-athletes to rest and regroup in a location that is convenient to their training facilities. The primary space was equipped with a technology upgrade and is a great spot to study and work with learning specialists. The secondary space provides the Owls with an area to foster community with couches, a HD television, multiple gaming consoles, foosball table and refreshments. In addition, “The Owls Nest” is an area designed to enhance student athletes recovery, equipped with zero-gravity chairs and leg compression machines as well as a state-of-the-art massage chair.

Connecticut Orthopaedics CEO, Susan Bader said, ” We are thrilled to join the Owls family and I know that Dr. Jordan Gruskay and the rest of our CO team will provide exceptional care to their student-athletes. I think one of the most exciting things happening is beyond the sidelines with a true academic partnership. We are working diligently to create a pathway
to careers in health care for SCSU students on a campus-wide scale. This will include internship and clinical training programs as well as flexible job opportunities throughout our organization. Connecticut Orthopaedics currently has over 650 employees and we are pleased to be able to nurture these future healthcare professionals as they consider their choices for the future.”


World Spine Outreach is an incredible organization that provides international spine care to some of the most underserved areas of the globe. Dr. Shirvinda Wijesekera has been a long-standing member of this mission and, in recent years, has been joined by Dr. Glenn Russo. They have worked with other volunteers, local and nationwide, to provide safe and complex corrective surgery, in an austere environment, to children suffering from scoliosis in the Dominican Republic.

Together, the team works in collaboration with local surgeons to treat patients, educate trainees, and develop safety protocols to enhance patient care now, and for years to come. Without exception, each team member demonstrates exceptional professionalism, talent, commitment and compassion. “It is truly a humbling experience working with a team of this high caliber of character,” said Dr. Glenn Russo. While the days are long, grueling and there are no robots or guided navigation systems, these experts take on the hardest cases with unwavering dedication. This year’s team was made up of 48 volunteers, which is the biggest group to date! “I have been lucky to be part of this amazing mission with World Spine Outreach as we have traveled the world treating patients with scoliosis. We have now treated over 800 patients in DR at one location in the past 15 years. It is a privilege to be part of the team and serve as the medical director. Great patients, great work and a great team.” said Dr. Wijesekera.

The mission group helped approximately 19 local pediatric patients with spinal deformity this year.