August 2, 2006

CONTACT: Rick Cushman
(215) 349-5659

Penn Orthopaedic Surgeon Wins First Annual
Ladies’ Home Journal Health Breakthrough Award
Recognized for Her Pioneering Work in Neuro-Orthopaedics

(Philadelphia, PA) – Mary Ann Keenan, MD, Chief of Neuro-Orthopaedics for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, has been named a recipient of the first-annual Ladies’ Home Journal Health Breakthrough Awards. The award recognizes leading medical professionals who are making life-saving and life-enhancing discoveries in research, treatment and diagnostics that have significantly helped women and families.

As chief of the Neuro-Orthopaedics Program for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Dr. Keenan pioneered advanced techniques that relieve musculo-skeletal deformities brought on by stroke. She performs surgeries that re-animate limbs that have been contorted and paralyzed as the result of stroke or similar brain injuries. These surgeries also alleviate pain that would likely remain with a patient until death. Typically, Dr. Keenan operates on 230 people a year, performing up to 700 procedures.

“It’s a simple mechanical approach,” says Dr. Keenan. “Basically you ask yourself, ‘is this a muscle whose use I can eliminate or can I redirect its force?’ Maybe a muscle that used to straighten a knee will now bend a knee. How about a muscle that turned a foot inward being forced to turn it outward? You can make a muscle do anything.”

Dr. Keenan was selected from a candidate list of more than 100 accomplished medical professionals. She will be honored along with six other doctors and researchers at the Ladies' Home Journal First-Annual Health Breakthrough Award Luncheon in New York City on August 2nd.

“It is certainly an honor to win this award, not only for the recognition of my work, but more importantly because the orthopaedic needs of the neurologically impaired are being recognized as well,” says Keenan. “This is a greatly underserved patient population. There needs to be more attention focused on these people and their mobility and functional problems. This population will only increase and their quality of life can be improved with these techniques.”

Hosted by Ladies’ Home Journal Editor-In-Chief Diane Salvatore, the luncheon’s award presenters include Oscar and Emmy Award-Winning actress Sally Field, an osteoporosis advocate, Golden Globe- Nominated actress Andie MacDowell and co-anchor of Weekend Today Campbell Brown. The honorees will be featured in the September issue of the magazine, on sale August 8th.

GlaxoSmithKline is the sole sponsor of both the Health Breakthrough Awards September 2006 in-book feature and the Awards Gala.

Founded in December 1883, Ladies' Home Journal has been inspiring, informing and entertaining women for 123 years. Published monthly by Meredith Corporation, Ladies’ Home Journal has a circulation of 4.1 million and a readership of 13.5 million. The magazine’s interactive online companion,, has 1.8 million unique visitors and 20 million page views each month.


PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of theUniversity of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

This release is available online at