The University of New Mexico (UNM) Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation is proud to engage our local, regional, national, and international communities—ranging from departmental events to outreaching beyond the university. Feel free to peruse our recent and ongoing events below!

Annual Perry Initiative Outreach

Annual Perry Initiative Outreach

Perry Outreach Program

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EVERY YEAR: Since 2013, we have proudly hosted an all-day event for female high-school students: the Perry Outreach Program (POP). At the POP, a group of volunteer physicians, residents, and medical and engineering students lead about 40 female participants in hands-on workshops and open discussions. Every year, we strive to actively educate the young women of New Mexico on the essential collaboration between medicine, engineering, and pursuing your ambitions.

Medical Student Outreach Program

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Every year: The Perry Initiative selected UNM Orthopaedics to host a new program model on Saturday, September 17, 2016: the Medical Student Outreach Program (MSOP) Kit. Similar to our annual Perry Outreach Program, the MSOP Kit involves hands-on workshops and open discussions for women about orthopaedic surgery. About 30 female UNM medical students (first- and second-years) partake in this free opportunity to network with physician-mentors—and gain insight into a lifelong career.

2018 Outreach

Outreach in 2018

UNM/APS Black Student Union Health Careers Expo

the University of New Mexico hosted over 80 students from 10 high schools across the Albuquerque Metropolitan area. 9th through 12th graders representing each Black Student Union in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho arrived on our health sciences campus to engage in a series of clinical skills labs, tour of healthcare facilities, presentations on health careers from experts in the field and in the classroom, and workshops on how to begin preparing to enter college and health profession programs. Students were able to attend this evolving community program at no cost thanks to generous contributions of time and funding from partners across both ends of our campus.
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Office of Diversity UHSEP

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IN JUNE 2018: Dr. Christina Salas and members of our research team joined Rosa Samudio and the Office of Diversity in their Undergraduate Health Sciences Enrichment Program (UHSEP). The 6-week program invites incoming freshmen to network with scientists on campus and build a community of peers, with the potential to earn college credit. For 2 hours on June 29, we gladly showed 15 undergraduate students how to fracture and repair femur sawbones, with biomechanical testing of strength at the end (a.k.a., bone-crushing time!). For more information about the program and how to apply, visit https://hsc.unm.edu/programs/diversity/student-programs/undergraduate-health-sciences-enrichment.html.

BAMD Foundations to Science


IN JUNE 2018: On June 21, 2018, Dr. Christina Salas and members of our research team joined Bryn McCabe-Kelly and the BAMD program in their summer Foundations to Science course. Bryn, along with her advisement team, plans hands-on activities and opportunities to incoming freshmen help prepare them for their first semester of college. Our team showed 11 of these students how to fracture and repair femur sawbones using intramedullary nailing techniques. At the end, each group tested the strength of their repaired bone using a machine created in Dr. Salas’s Orthopaedic Biomechanics & Biomaterials Laboratory—a space that the students toured after the activity. For more information about this BAMD summer program, visit https://som.unm.edu/education/md/bamd/index.html.

NM MESA STEAM Extravaganza

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IN FEBRUARY 2018: Dr. Christina Salas and members of our research team participated in an all-day outreach event for nearly 100 high school students from Las Vegas, NM and Roswell, NM. The event itself was organized by leaders from New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, Inc (NM MESA) to reward outstanding NM MESA programs of high schools throughout the state. The recognized schools—Goddard High School and West Las Vegas High School—toured sites in Albuquerque such as Explora and the Petroglyphs. Our team was invited by the excellent Office of Diversity on north campus, and directed four hour-long workshops on intramedullary nailing. Students used drills and saws to create and repair fractures, and the strength of the repair was tested using a bone-crushing machine created in our laboratory. Students left our workshop with a bit of sawbone dust, a few university trinkets, and a new perspective on engineering and orthopaedics in action!

2017 Outreach

Outreach in 2017

UNM-APS BSU Health Careers Expo

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IN NOVEMBER 2017: Dr. Christina Salas, Dr. Thomas DeCoster, and members of our research team joined Toyese Oyeyemi from the Office of Community Health alongside almost 100 high school students in the UNM-APS Black Student Union Health Careers Expo. This 1-day program, held on November 10 in 2017, helps develop underrepresented high school students of color in navigating available UNM programs and prep resources, and assists students in gaining early exposure to health sciences career tracks. Students participate in several exploratory science workshops, college readiness presentations, tours of the HSC campus, student panels and presentations, and opportunities to meet and learn from both students and professionals in healthcare and science fields. Our team introduced students to a hands-on workshop on intramedullary nailing techniques, in which the participants repaired femur sawbones and witnessed the strength of their repair using an actual bone-crushing machine.

SciGirls of New Mexico

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IN APRIL, NOVEMBER, AND DECEMBER 2017: Spring was in the air—and so was science! Dr. Christina Salas and members of our research team participate in SciGirls (a national outreach initiative) at various Albuquerque middle schools. Produced by PBS and supported in Albuquerque by KNME-TV and KNMD-TV, SciGirls encourages young girls to explore and succeed in STEM-related actives. We engaged the students in open discussions on current research, ranging from forming bioengineered tissues to creating 3D-printed prosthetic hands. We concluded the 1.5-hour program with a mini workshop: assembling your own 3D-printed prosthetic hand!

Dream Makers Health Career Program

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dream makers

IN FEBRUARY, MARCH, AND APRIL 2017: We had the privilege to team up with the extraordinary Dream Makers Health Career Program to talk about engineering, medicine, research, and (of course) the Perry Outreach Program. Christina Salas, PhD, and her team of engineers toured high-school students throughout our Orthopaedic Biomechanics & Biomaterials Laboratory. In another room, members of our research team spoke about multidisciplinary careers in healthcare. We hope to show the students of New Mexico that pursuing a career in healthcare is not only possible—but probable!

Lunch with a Scientist Program: Bosque High School


IN JANUARY 2017: Members of our research team were honored to speak at Bosque High School on January 18th. Our program specialist, Joy Van Meter, led the discussion about our research team and related exploits at UNM Orthopaedics. In addition to spreading word of the upcoming Perry Outreach Program, we aimed to provide a multidisciplinary glimpse into the world of engineering and medicine—where numerous kinds of careers await!

2016 Outreach

Outreach in 2016

MESA North/North Central Region Leadership Summit 2016

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IN NOVEMBER 2016: We drove up to Las Vegas (New Mexico!) on 11/14/16 to participate in an all-day outreach event for middle- and high-school students throughout the state—the North/North Central Region Leadership Summit 2016, created by New Mexico MESA. Dr. Christina Salas from UNM Orthopaedics/Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Elizabeth Dirk from UNM Chemical & Biological Engineering combined forces to teach young minds about engineering, which culminated in quite the hands-on activity: assembling a 3D-printed prosthetic hand!

Health Career Academy

health career group

IN JULY 2016: Dr. Deana Mercer, Joy VanMeter, and Angelina Rodriguez (left) lead high-school participants of the Health Career Academy at the casting workshop on July 21. For an hour and a half, the students explored appropriate techniques to apply stockinette, cotton padding, and cast tape. Quite the cast of excellent young surgeons-to-be!

Innovation Academy for Women of The Americas


IN JUNE 2016: Members of our research team help Sandra Bejarano Jimenez (left) and Nelly Nunez (right), two participants of the Innovation Academy for Women of the Americas program at UNM. Sandra and Nelly presented their 8-week projects on June 28, and Sandra recently received a UNM postgraduate scholarship for her research on virtual simulation in helping patients with upper-extremity amputations use prosthetic devices! Left photograph: left to right, Sherif Aboubakr, Jodie Gomez, Sandra, Rachel Tufaro, and Dr. Christina Salas. Right photograph: left-to-right, Rachel, Mojgan Maadandar, Sherif, Nelly, Jodie, Christopher Buksa, and Dr. Salas.

Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

MSC10 5600
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: 505-272-2231 (clinic hotline) 505-272-4107 (academic office)
Fax: 505-272-8098