Connective Issues Spring 2019

Heartworks St. Louis Honorees Improve Quality of Life

The 11th Annual Heartworks St. Louis was an extraordinary affair—a fun evening and a successful fundraiser hosted by Dr. Alan Braverman and his wife, Rebecca. Each year, the event honors outstanding physicians and scientists and this year was no excep- tion. What was most notable was that the 2019 honorees have made significant contributions in areas that improve the quality of life of patients: ophthalmology and orthopedics. Dr. Steven Bassnett, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine, received the 2019 Distin- guished Research Award for his work in the understanding of the ocular is- sues that affect people with Marfan syndrome and several of the related conditions. His contributions to the field of ocular research could lead to a decrease in the risk of retinal tears and detachments, which would mean the opportunity for improved vision for people in our community. “People in the Marfan and related conditions community face many eye issues. Dr. Bassnett’s laboratory find- ings are critical to the understanding of early nearsightedness, dislocated lenses, and retinal detachment, and how to treat them,” said Dr. Braverman. “Maximizing vision from an early age is critical as it affects learning, social- ization, and the ability of someone to reach their potential.” The Foundation also honored Dr. Scott Luhmann, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, and Chief of Staff, Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Louis, with the 2019 Hero with a Heart Award for his out- standing clinical care of people with

Marfan syndrome and related condi- tions. Dr. Luhmann, who specializes in pediatric and adolescent orthope- dic surgery, has expertise in repairing pediatric spine issues and spinal re- constructive surgery. Beth Marks, of Cobden, IL, mom of Kennedie, now 15, who has Marfan, sang the praises of Dr. Luhmann, who operated twice on Kennedie. She said, “Dr. Luhmann is not just a great sur- geon, he’s also a great person who has always treated Kennedie as more than just a patient. He answered her questions directly, whether she p Dr. Steven Bassnett (above) was honored for his contributions to the field of ocular research could lead to a decrease in the risk of retinal tears and detachments. Dr. Scott Luhmann (above right), with his wife, Jan, specializes in pediatric and adolescent orthopedic surgery and was honored for his outstanding clinical care. u Beth Marks , with her daughter, Kennedie, sang Dr. Luhmann’s praises, calling him “not just a great surgeon, he’s also a great person.”

Photos courtesy of Tim Joyce

was five or eleven, and always allevi- ated her fears.” The Marfan Foundation is proud to honor these two individuals for their medical achievements. Their passion and dedication to our community enables people with Marfan and related conditions to have a better quality of life every day.

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