Dr. Vonda Wright
Dr. Vonda Wright, MD, MS
Dr. Vonda Wright is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and internationally recognized authority on active aging and mobility. She specializes in sports medicine and currently serves as the inaugural Medical Director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, an innovative collaborative initiative between the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey organization.
Dr. Wright is the founding director of the Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA) and her pioneering research in mobility and musculoskeletal aging is changing the way we view and treat the aging process.
Dr. Wright maintains a practice focusing on minimally invasive arthroscopic and reconstructive surgical techniques of the hip, shoulder and knee and treats athletes and active people of all ages and skill levels from high school to college, recreational, Olympic and professional players.
As a team doc, she was the head physician for the University of Pittsburgh Football team for 5 years and is currently the head team physician for 5 of the University of Pittsburgh Olympic teams, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, is a match physician for USA Rugby 7’s and the medical director of the Pittsburgh Triathlon.
Dynamic speaker and Author
Dr. Wright is a sought-after keynote speaker and speaks worldwide to audiences from academic to expo from community to boardroom. Coupling her clinical and research pedigree with her well-honed performance skills, her keynote addresses educate, inspire and motivate.
Dr. Wright has authored three mainstream books, “Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at 40, 50, 60 and beyond,” “Guide to THRIVE: 4 steps to Body, Brains & Bliss,” and “Younger in 8 weeks.” She parlayed her vision for taking control of our aging process, THRIVE-ing, Prevention and Vitality by spurring merchandising deals with Fortune 500 sporting goods giant Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In 2017 she will release two additional books including her “Playbook for raising Healthy Athletes” in which she harnesses her years of experience as a team doc and mother to provide parents with expert advice to keep their kids on the playing field and out of the doctors office and a text book entitled “Masterful Care of the Aging Athlete” which summarizes current research and best practices for maximizing our musculoskeletal potential as we age.
National media authority on Active Aging and Sports Medicine
A national authority on healthy aging and Sports Medicine, Dr. Wright has given more than 200 media interviews in the last several years and regularly appears on national TV shows including “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors, CBS Evening news, ABC Health News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN, Better TV, CBN, PBS and more than 50 local TV affiliate programs.
She is frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report, in magazines such as Maxim, Prevention, Fitness, MORE, Runner’s World, Best Life and Arthritis Today, and in numerous online publications.
Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur
Dr. Wright serves on the national medical advisory boards for Sharecare, Inc, the Dr. Oz show, Arthritis foundation and Lake Nona.
Innovator and Change maker
In 2013, Dr. Wright ignited a national conversation on women’s health by launching the Women's Health Conversations movement with the belief that today’s generation of women can transform our nation’s health for the betterment of all women and the world. In only 4 years this platform grew to include large live events, an online community generating more than 6 million digital exposures surrounding the events, a podcast series and a health innovation experience specifically targeting millennials, HOT for your Health.
Academic Surgeon and Education (Academic CV)
Dr. Wright earned her first bachelors degree from Wheaton College and her second bachelors and master’s of science in Oncology nursing at Rush University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago, completed her residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, under the leadership of Dr. Freddie H Fu, MD internationally recognized pioneer in sports medicine and research, and completed her fellowship in sports and shoulder surgery at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the mentorship of Dr. Russell Warren, longtime leader in sports medicine and NY Giants team physician.
She holds board certification in orthopaedic surgery and sub-speciality certification in sports medicine.
Dr. Wright actively pursues research in the areas Hip Preservation and created a sports subspecialty in care of the masters athlete via PRIMA. From 2006-2010 she also co-directed the CTRL Laboratory (Clinical and Translational Research Laboratory) exploring musculoskeletal aging and stem cells.
Dr. Wright has published a series of original research studies evaluating the role of chronic exercise on athletic performance, bone density, lean muscle mass and the role of chronic exercise on brain preservation. This research has received grants from the AAOS, AOSSM, DOD, Pittsburgh Foundation, UPMC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and private donors. She has studied more than 5000 masters athletes in the last 5 years.
Dr. Wright is an educator and each year provides direct formal hands-on teaching for Orthopaedic and Medicine residents, Orthopaedic Sports and Primary Care Fellows, as well as informal teaching for athletic trainers, PA students and medical students in her clinics and operating rooms.
An active contributor to the academic societies, Dr. Wright is a member of the AAOS, AOSSM, ISHA and serves of several standing committees within the societies. She was recently inducted into Orthopaedic surgery’s leadership honor society, the AOA, where she participates as member of the leadership and fellowship committee.
Dr. Vonda Wright actively and assertively pursues community outreach opportunities. She provides lectures and supports multiple outreach programs locally and nationally each year. She promotes the Pittsburgh marathon, serves on the Pittsburgh Ballet Capital Campaign committee and volunteers with the UPMC Ladies Hospital Aid Society and is board member of the YWCA.
Originally from Chicago, Dr. Wright grew up on a farm in Kansas and currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, 2x Stanley Cup champion, Peter Taglianetti and their blended family of 6 children.