Published on October 21, 2021

Forrest General Hospital Welcomes Two Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons; New Program to be Offered

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (October 21, 2021) Forrest General Hospital is proud to welcome two new orthopedic trauma surgeons to its staff. Joseph M. “Joe” Radley, MD, and Jonathan Andrew “Jon” Copp, MD, who both completed trauma fellowships at UC Davis Medical Center Orthopedic Trauma Division.


“We are excited to join Forrest General and the community of Hattiesburg to supplement the great trauma care that already exists,” said Copp. “We will be sharing orthopedic trauma calls with the community doctors who have a long track record of taking care of patients in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas. Hattiesburg Clinic and Southern Bone and Joint have a large complement of orthopedic subspecialty care represented. We complete the complement of subspecialty training, having specifically trained to manage complex orthopedic trauma. These injuries include acetabular and pelvic fractures as well as other complex joint fractures. Some of these type injuries are the result of sports, hunting, motor vehicle or ATV accidents – anything that involves moving at high speeds – which can lead to bad fractures.”


Forrest Health Vice President, Millie Swan, said the addition of these surgeons to the Forrest General staff is providing depth to an already talented surgical staff. “It’s important that our surgeons be able to handle all types of orthopedic traumas from a simple break to more complex orthopedic trauma,” said Swan. “With the addition of Doctors Radley and Copp, we are providing our patients with the most extensive and best care possible here at home.”


Radley said the idea for the new Orthopedic Trauma Division was born out of a necessity to expand upon what currently exists at Forrest General. “Some of the higher, more complex trauma cases were getting referred elsewhere – New Orleans, Mobile or Jackson,” Radley said. “There are a lot of people who are in state and want to stay local, who have to travel out of state to get care. That’s something which no community or medical facility such as Forrest General wants to see – their own citizens having to travel long distances to seek care.”


 “We are excited to have Doctors Radley and Copp join the Trauma Services team here at Forrest General,” said Duncan Donald, MD, medical director for Trauma and Surgical Services. “Their expertise and knowledge in the field of orthopedic trauma should provide the best possible care for our patients. Forrest General is dedicated to continuing to deliver quality patient care by providing the latest and most advanced treatment options as these highly specialized physicians create a new orthopedic trauma program at Forrest General.”


Copp said as he and Radley build their compliment through long-term goals, “we have a great opportunity for members of the (Greater Hattiesburg) community to be in a position to receive trauma care from the full complement of subspecialists – for example, general trauma, vascular trauma, neurosurgical trauma, orthopedic trauma – all under one roof. Our goal is not to take over all fracture care but to work within the pre-existing orthopedic ecosystem to optimize each orthopedic subspecialist’s practice, so it can be primarily focused on their area of expertise. Ultimately, when we are not sending patients elsewhere, there is an opportunity for Forrest General Hospital to grow within the state to provide better care for South Mississippi.”


Both Copp and Radley said Forrest General’s forward-thinking vision is something that lured them both to Hattiesburg. “There was something unique about this opportunity,” said Copp. “This job provided that sense of community you feel when you are here. It’s a little stronger than what you feel when you’re in a bigger city, and it was also an opportunity to start something new. We know there will be hurdles, speedbumps, and we can’t burn the candle at both ends, but there is a chance, if we work with the hospital and other groups, to really build this program. As for my job, I’m part of something that is bigger than myself. It’s giving back to a community that truly needs a service that it has not had for the last couple of years. That lure was a stronger grab than joining the status quo.”


Swan said both of these physicians were highly recruited. “We are proud to welcome Dr. Copp and Dr. Radley to Forrest General,” she said. “We’re excited they chose to come to Hattiesburg and help us serve the people of South Mississippi. We are glad to have them share their talents with us.”


The new Orthopedic Trauma Division and Forrest General’s existing Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Division are relocating to the third floor temporarily while renovations are being made on the second floor. The renovations are expected to be completed in six to nine months. This move facilitates patient flow supporting Radley and Copp and will include additional patient rooms, a casting area, and radiology capabilities.


The first day of appointments in the new location was Monday, October 18.


Copp received his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in biology before entering the University of California, San Diego, for his medical doctorate. He served as a Research Fellow at Howard Hughes Medical Institute which was followed by an orthopedic surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Prior to coming to Hattiesburg, he completed an Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship at the University of California, Davis. The recipient of the AO Jack McDaniel Fellowship, awarded annually to one American senior resident or fellow, Copp recently returned from Switzerland where he received additional orthopedic trauma training.


He has received numerous honors and awards and has been published in a variety of academic journals and medical publications. He is a member of both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and AO North America. He is also a member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and serves on their Basic Science Committee.


A magna cum laude graduate of Miami University, Radley has a degree in microbiology. He attended the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine which was followed up by a Junior Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship at the Saint Louis University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania. He served as an orthopedic trauma fellow at the University of California Davis in Sacramento.


Radley is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, AO North America, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the American College of Surgeons.  He has made numerous academic presentations and had works published in medical publications while also providing conference lectures.

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