Center of Excellence/Foundation Building

Dr. Hughston’s vision for a center of excellence where healthcare professionals could learn through research and share their knowledge with others took physical form after he relocated his practice to a 100-acre campus in north Columbus. Additionally, Dr. Hughston forged a strategic partnership with the founder of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., to build an orthopedic specialty hospital on the campus. The hospital opened in 1984 and was immediately hailed as an international resource and referral center. Next, Dr. Hughston and the clinic physicians built the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation which opened its doors in the spring of 1985. It quickly became the model for privately funded research and education, and thus, the unlikely venue of Columbus, GA, became home to the finest non-university-based orthopedic academic research and education center in the world.

Dr. Hughston used the Foundation as a vehicle for developing a new subspecialty, sports medicine. It enabled him to educate, train, and mentor physicians in his philosophy. These disciples, who are now members of the Hughston Society, have gone on to work at academic centers and private practices throughout the world, imparting the knowledge and modeling the skills they acquired while at the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation. In 2005, in order to reflect the broader spectrum of orthopedic projects beyond sports medicine in which the Foundation was involved, it was renamed the Hughston Foundation.

Now, more than a decade after his death, Dr. Hughston’s organization remains the leader in orthopedic and sports medicine healthcare, and, by drawing patients from all over the country, continues to make a substantial economic impact on the city of Columbus. The seeds Dr. Hughston planted in the areas of not only treatment, but also training, education, and research are still growing, and we at Hughston remain as green as ever.

Training, education, and research define the Hughston Foundation’s mission and symbolize the late Dr. Jack C. Hughston’s vision for his pioneering work in orthopedics and sports medicine. These 3 words also describe how the Hughston Foundation contributes to better patient care worldwide. Since its inception in 1968, the Foundation has improved the lives of more than a million patients; in doing so, it has strengthened communities locally and around the world.