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Dr Stephen Ondra

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Dr Stephen Ondra

Dr. Stephen Ondra is a co-Chair of the National Science and Technology Council of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President at the White House. He also continues to serve as the Senior Policy Advisor for Health Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC. Stephen Ondra was appointed to the position after advising Senator Barack Obama on issues involving health care and veterans’ affairs. Prior to assuming these roles, Dr. Stephen Ondra had also advised members of Congress on new technologies and their applications in health care. He also served as Chair of two Scientific Advisory Boards at the Department of Defense. These Boards addressed spine and spinal cord injury and also the effects of blast injuries.

Dr. Stephen Ondra has had a long and successful career that began during his military service. From 1984 to 1994 he served as a surgeon in the Military Medical Corps, rising to the rank of Major. He worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and in the Middle East during his deployment for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. From 1994 to 1996, he worked at the Michigan Brain and Spine Institute and served on the clinical faculty at the University of Michigan. He moved to Chicago and Northwestern University in 1996. At Northwestern University he was a Professor of Neurological Surgery, Director of the Residency Program, Director of Spine Surgery in Neurosurgery, and Medical Director of the Neuro-Spine Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Stephen Ondra practiced at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Childrens Memorial Hospital unitl joining the Obama Administration in 2009.

Dr. Stephen Ondra’s expertise is so well-known that he has even attracted patients from around the world ranging from the Peoples Republic of China to Italy and around the United States. Dr. Stephen Ondra cites his experience working with surgeons and patients from other countries as one of the factors that has helped him understand medicine and health policy from a broad perspective. This perspective is important in appreciating how health policy can shape the way individual patients are cared for and was a key motivation for his involvement in health policy.

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