Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Thomas Zdeblick, a visionary leader, an innovative scientist, an exceptional educator, a compassionate mentor, and a gifted surgeon.

After 33 years at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Thomas Zdeblick announced that he is retiring from the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the end of 2022. For the last 22 years, Dr. Zdeblick served as Department Chair – beginning in 2000, when Orthopedics and Rehabilitation was first established as an independent department.

As we prepare to say farewell to this true pioneer in the field of spine surgery and here at UW, we ask for your support in helping us recognize and secure the legacy that Dr. Zdeblick built. The Department has committed an initial $1 million, establishing a Professorship in Dr. Zdeblick’s name.  We seek to honor him by raising the additional $2 million necessary to turn that Professorship into an endowed Distinguished Chair.

Although Distinguished Chair positions are rare within the University of Wisconsin system, we believe Dr. Zdeblick’s tremendous impact on his department faculty, residents, and fellows, on his over 10,000 patients, and on the field of spine surgery as a whole, warrants this unique recognition.

In the video below, Dr. Zdeblick reflects on his experience as a clinician, surgeon, and researcher for over 30 years at UW.

Recorded in March 2019

It’s all about quality of life.”


Highlights of Dr. Zdeblick’s Many Achievements


Give Today.

By establishing this Distinguished Chair, we hope to continue to build on the legacy of leadership that Dr. Zdeblick worked so hard to create.

Beginning with finding and learning from great mentors, his principles of leadership that this distinguished chair aims to support are:

  • Rely on open, honest communication
  • Build a team of strong minded, diverse, qualified individuals
  • Listen to each and every one’s opinion prior to discussion, reach a consensus when possible, and, when not possible, make the decision that benefits the entire group over the individual
  • Good leadership is not convenient; be attentive and available
  • Balance efforts in research, finance, personnel, education, and practice – with an emphasis on quality patient care
  • Spend ample time in direct patient care to appreciate the reality of the work environment
  • Think two steps ahead, plan a step ahead, and act in the present
  • Show appreciation across the board… often.

Thank you for your support.

Need more information?

If you have questions or would like to make a planned gift, a gift of securities, or a gift in any other capacity, please reach out to:

Contact Kim Beld
Chief Administrative Officer

(608) 263-7841