J. Mandume Kerina, M.D.
Thomas McCoy, M.D.
Claudia Thomas, M.D.
Jason Wilt, M.D.
J. Mandume Kerina, M.D.
Dr. Kerina is a fellowship-trained, board-certified senior surgeon at UNOVA Hip & Knee Center. He has been a private practice orthopedic surgeon in Lake county since 1993, developing a successful hip and knee practice over the years. Dr. Kerina specializes in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement surgery with special expertise in partial knee replacement and outpatient joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Kerina was born in New York City and spent his early years traveling between Brooklyn, NY, and Southern and Western Africa. His father was petitioning the United Nations to pass resolutions pertaining to the independence of Namibia from South Africa, which was finally achieved on March 21, 1990.
Dr. Kerina attended Achimota Secondary School in Accra, Ghana and graduated High School from Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York.
He graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts receiving his bachelor’s degree, after double majoring in Biology and African American studies. He went on to receive his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he also completed his Orthopedic residency and served as Chief Resident in his final year.
Dr. Kerina then went on to complete both the prestigious University of California, San Diego Joint Replacement Fellowship under Dr. Richard Coutts, the then president of the Orthopedic Research Society (ORS), and followed this with the Texas Back Institute Spine Surgery Fellowship under Dr. Stanley Gertzbein.
It was during his fellowship training in joint replacement that Dr. Kerina was introduced to clinical research in orthopedics. What Dr. Kerina took from that experience was that it was not only what you did to a patient but also where and how you did it that could have a significant impact on a patient’s clinical outcome. As Dr. Coutts often said, “the most pertinent information always comes from the patients themselves, not only in what they say but in how and why they respond to your interventions as they do.”
Dr. Kerina has pioneered minimally invasive outpatient joint replacement surgery since 2005, performing the first outpatient Unicondylar Knee replacement in Lake county in 2008 and the first outpatient Total Knee replacement on a Medicare patient in Florida in January of 2020. He is regarded as a national and international thought leader in outpatient joint replacement surgery having developed, in a partnership with Zimmer Inc., the first nationally recognized outpatient arthroplasty program.
In 2014, Dr. Kerina gave the first national keynote lecture on outpatient Joint replacement surgery at the renowned Harvard Arthroplasty Course, the oldest and most comprehensive joint replacement symposium for orthopedic surgeons in the country.
As a design surgeon, Dr. Kerina has a unique perspective on development. “You cannot develop any meaningful product in a vacuum. In biomedical development, you must first start with the patient and the condition. Identify which patients with the condition you are seeking to impact and why. Develop an objective means of identifying or selecting which patients will benefit from the intervention. Identify or develop the procedure or technique to address the condition. You can then develop the instruments to facilitate the technique and finally the implants to tie the complete process together.”
As a design surgeon in partnership with Medacta International, Dr. Kerina has developed many surgical techniques, instruments and implants that have improved patient outcomes and will continue to do so for years to come. Dr. Kerina is honored to serve as a lecturer, proctor and teacher to surgeons both nationally and internationally on both minimally invasive knee surgery and outpatient joint replacement surgery. After visiting Dr. Kerina in Lake County, a group of French surgeons were instrumental in changing their national legislation in order to initiate the first outpatient orthopedic surgery programs in France in 2016–17.
In partnership with Medacta International, Dr. Kerina’s innovative concepts on knee arthritis classification and partial knee replacement technique, were instrumental in the development of the MOTO Medial partial knee replacement. The first medial anatomic partial knee replacement linked to the innovative Balanced Aligned Resection surgical technique. This implant received FDA approval in January of 2017 and has since been implanted in thousands of knees by surgeons all over the world. This was followed by the development of the MOTO Lateral partial knee replacement which received FDA approval in January of 2019, and finally the MOTO Patella-femoral resurfacing system, thereby completing the MOTO Unicompartmental replacement platform.
After migrating to the minimally invasive Direct Anterior Total Hip replacement Dr. Kerina and his partner Dr. Thomas McCoy have developed the first Opioid free Anesthesia and recovery program for total hips in the country, which led to the first outpatient Total Hip Replacements in Lake, Sumter and Marion counties. Dr. Kerina feels that “Witnessing our patients go through the process has been extremely enlightening, not only for us as surgeons, but for our patients who did not think it was possible, as well. The joy that this has brought back to their lives alone, is enough to stimulate us to continue to strive constantly for ways to improve our patients’ experience and outcomes. These are the advances that truly move healthcare delivery forward.”
Dr. Kerina believes “We are entrusted to take care of a very special segment of the population here in Central Florida, our seniors over the age of 65 years old. It has been shown time and again that the safest environment for recovery is in the safety of our own homes. Especially in today’s uncertain times when dealing with the unique challenges we are all facing, it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure both, our patients’ safety and the delivery of the best outcomes possible. We must never lose our drive to innovate in order to continue to warrant this trust.”
Dr. Kerina has in the past served as Chief of orthopedics as well as credential committee chair for a number of years at Leesburg Regional Medical Center where he continues to operate. He also operates out of TLC Outpatient Surgery and Laser Center in Lady Lake. Since moving with his family to Lake county in 1993, Dr. Kerina has served the communities of Lake, Sumter and South Marion counties his whole professional life, while raising his 2 sons and daughter with his wife.
Thomas McCoy, M.D.
Watching his parents, he came to understand early in his life that in medicine “You have to love your calling and your patients, enough to put up with all that the profession demands of you.”
Dr. McCoy attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where he states, “I quickly discovered that there were lots of people smarter than me in the world. As I matured so did my work ethic and insatiable curiosity.” He went on to medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This was followed by general surgery residency at Roosevelt (Columbia Medical School Hospital) in New York City and culminated in an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery (also in NYC) for his orthopedic training. Dr. McCoy trained under a number of the pioneers and giants in hip and knee replacement surgery while they were in their prime. This drive to innovate has remained with him till today.
Dr. McCoy joined a small five-surgeon orthopedic group in Charlotte, NC and under his leadership, the practice grew into OrthoCarolina one of the largest orthopedic groups in the country numbering 125 surgeons. During his tenure the OrthoCarolina hip and knee fellowship was started and became one of the country’s most sought-after joint replacement fellowships, graduating more than 40 US fellows and countless international fellows to date. Many of these fellows now train doctors themselves, as surgeons at institutions such as the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics. As Dr. McCoy often says “Knowledge, like love, is only worth something when you give it to others.”
During his career, Dr. McCoy has published numerous peer-reviewed articles related to hip and knee replacement while also performing over 10,000 hip and 14,000 knee replacements.
He has designed instrumentation for primary and revision total knees and hips. He also designed and patented one of the first instrumentation systems designed to lower the risk of Total Hip replacement dislocation.
He has championed kinematic alignment total knee replacement and is the first surgeon to introduce this tissue-sparing total knee technique to Lake, Sumter and Marion counties.
Dr. McCoy has lectured and trained surgeons extensively around the world and across the US. He played a pivotal role in the development of the Quadra-P total hip stem with his European colleagues at Medacta International, becoming the first surgeon to implant the stem in the United States and the first surgeon in the world to implant the Quadra-P cemented stem.
“The last few years have been a time of amazing innovation in total hip and knee replacement surgery.” The drive to deliver value in total joint replacement has led to the development of not only alternate payment models for total knee replacements but also alternate facilities to deliver the care. Dr. McCoy and Dr. Kerina of the UNOVA Hip & Knee Center are national thought leaders in outpatient joint replacement surgery since the Medicare database shows that the safest place to have a total joint replacement is in a free-standing surgery center and the safest place to recover is in the safety of your own home. At UNOVA Hip & Knee Center Dr. McCoy specializes in Muscle and tissue sparing surgical techniques such as the direct anterior total hip and the kinematic alignment total knee, non-opioid/narcotic anesthesia and rapid recovery mobilization.
Claudia Lynn Thomas, M.D.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950, Claudia was the second child of Charles and Daisy Thomas, parents without formal higher education but with an extraordinary dedication to their children’s education. Her father’s disapproval of a 99 on a 4th-grade math test taught Claudia to earn 100s in math, a skill that eventually guided her to the field of orthopaedic surgery. The inheritance of her mother’s spirit of activism motivated Claudia to lead the occupation of Vassar College by three dozen African American female students in 1969, to increase diversity and assure the longevity of Black Studies at the school. Decades later, the college celebrated the 50th anniversary of “The Takeover” as an event that enriched Vassar and its Africana Studies program, which remains strong today.
Claudia Lynn Thomas entered Vassar College as a Mathematics major, but graduated as a Black Studies major with a pre-med focus, on her way to the Johns Hopkins Medical School. There, she fell in love with orthopaedic surgery, which combined her skills in solid geometry, art, sewing taught by her mother, and carpentry taught by her father. It was a white-male-dominated profession, but undiscouraged, Claudia pursued residency training in this specialty and matched at Yale. Upon completion of her residency in 1980, Dr. Claudia Lynn Thomas became the first African American female orthopaedic surgeon in the United States. Dr. Thomas chose further fellowship training in Trauma at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit.
Since the completion of her training, Dr. Thomas has served as Assistant Professor on the orthopaedic faculty of Johns Hopkins, dedicating her efforts to diversifying the department which had graduated only two African American males and two females during the 50-year history of its orthopaedic residency training program. As a result, the number of African American residents in training reached 32%, and the number of female residents reached 20%, while the national percentages remained in the low single digits. In 2008, Dr. Claudia Thomas was the recipient of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Diversity Award.
In 2004, Dr. Thomas moved to Florida and joined a successful private practice with other African American orthopaedic surgeons, some of whom were former students. In 2007, she spearheaded a mentoring and scholarship program for at-risk African American males at the middle school level, fueled by her five partners, which continued for a decade. Her dedication to mentoring has been the subject of a feature article in the September 2018 edition of AAOS Now, the international news magazine of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Thomas has been featured in multiple other publications, including EBONY magazine.
The greatest achievement of Dr. Claudia Lynn Thomas has not been meeting the rigors of orthopaedic surgery but overcoming life’s obstacles. In 1990, at the height of her professional success, Dr. Thomas’ career was detoured by the discovery of cancer in both kidneys, which required removal of the kidneys and dialysis. Two hellish years of desperate illness followed, challenging both her life and her faith. During the period that she was too ill to work, Dr. Thomas set pen to paper and began writing her autobiography, God Spare Life, published in 2007. She received a kidney transplant from her sister in 1991, and in May 2012, a cousin donated a second kidney transplant.
By carefully listening to patients and encouraging them to describe their symptoms, Dr. Thomas has earned a reputation as an outstanding diagnostician. She practices these skills at the UNOVA Hip & Knee Center in Lady Lake, Florida, and has been using telemedicine to evaluate patients since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While living in the retirement capital of the world, Dr. Thomas has encountered an alarming number of patients with undiagnosed and untreated osteoporosis, a disease that kills more women than breast cancer. Her interest in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis has grown accordingly. As a result, Dr. Thomas was invited to the Harvard Medical School on October 3, 2018, where she delivered Orthopaedic Grand Rounds as Visiting Professor, on the topic of “The Missed Diagnosis of Osteoporosis.”
Dr. Claudia Thomas has also been featured in the documentary film, Black Women in Medicine, which premiered in theaters August 2016 and has also been shown on select PBS networks. It is Dr. Thomas’ vision to share her spiritual formula for success, survival, and serenity with the world.
Jason Wilt, M.D.
His unique background in Emergency Medicine and Primary Care Sports Medicine prepares him well to treat patients with urgent orthopedic issues at UNOVA’s Ortho Express. “I am trained to read between the lines and really evaluate patients thoroughly. Sometimes they might brush off symptoms that could be critical to a diagnosis. Doctors who completed an Emergency Medicine residency are the best equipped to pick up on those things, helping us make a better diagnosis and ensuring the best treatment plan for each patient.”
Dr. Wilt went into medicine because he wanted to improve peoples’ lives and challenge himself. He wants his patients to know that he is the kind of doctor who takes the time to listen. “I want them to know that I am on their team and will advocate for them. My goal is always to do what makes the most sense for each individual patient.”
Dr. Wilt is proud to have been a part of UNOVA, beginning in its first year of operation. He appreciates working in a fully integrated facility. “It is really exciting to have so much expertise and so many resources under one roof. We have expert orthopaedists working in tandem with our Ortho Express team. The in-house imaging tools will also improve the patient care process. It is going to make for a better overall patient experience in terms of efficiency and care, than a trip to the ER. It is very gratifying to be an integral part of the team that helps a patient become stronger or alleviate pain so that patient can keep doing the things that he or she loves to do.”
In addition to having interest and expertise in treating a wide variety of acute orthopedic issues like sprains and fractures, he also is well versed in the care of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. Dr. Wilt is happy to see a wide variety of issues involving other joints, in addition to hips and knees. His treatment modalities of choice include steroid injections, viscosupplement injections (gel or rooster comb injections), PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections and Stem Cell injections. He feels that any opportunity to allow a patient’s body to heal itself is a golden opportunity and he believes that relieving pain without the use of opioids is usually for the best in most patient circumstances.