Connecting our world at UW Medicine

Remembering Lynn Staheli

Lynn Staheli, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Seattle Children’s and professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, died on Aug. 10, 2021.

Staheli started teaching at UW School of Medicine and practicing at Seattle Children’s (then Children’s Orthopedic Hospital) in 1968. He was a founding member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Study Group, which later became the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA); served as the department director of Children’s Orthopedic Hospital from 1977-1992 and for many years was a faculty member and professor in the UW Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine; and was the founding editor of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics in 1980.

Staheli received numerous awards throughout his career, including the POSNA Distinguished Achievement Award and the POSNA Humanitarian Award.

In 2002, Staheli created Global HELP, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works to provide a free online medical library that focuses on children’s health in underserved communities.

Staheli was a passionate mentor and teacher. You can read an excerpt from a remembrance written by one of his colleagues at Seattle Children’s, Vincent Mosca, MD, below.

“Lynn always had a passion for teaching — from medical students up to practicing orthopedic and pediatric orthopedic surgeons around the world. His passion for teaching was generated by his passion for helping children with musculoskeletal problems both personally and by educating other providers to do the same.

“Lynn was the most selfless, unassuming, altruistic individual I’ve ever known. He never took full credit for his many accomplishments but, instead, always recognized the contributions of others to his successes. He was inclusive of others and never felt threatened by the accomplishments of others. In his publications, he noted even the most minor contributions of others to his works by their name, photo and email. …

“Calling him a unique human being who made the world a better place is a gross understatement. He never did, nor would he ever, accept or acknowledge his contributions. That’s just Lynn.

“And to Lana, his beloved wife of almost 50 years, thanks for sharing Lynn with us, i.e., the world.”

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