Stephen L. Ondra attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and completed his pre-medical studies at
Illinois Wesleyan University. He continued military service while attending Rush Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Ondra
completed his internship and residency training in neurological surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington,
DC. During his training, he received specialized instruction in Spine Surgery and Reconstruction in both Neurosurgery and
Dr. Ondra served at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. In 1990-91, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia
where he served with distinction during the 1st Gulf War, winning a Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals. After
returning from the war, he was transferred to Walter Reed where he ultimately served as Director of Spine Surgery.
After his army career, Dr. Ondra pursued private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan and served on the Clinical
Faculty at the University of Michigan. In 1996, he joined the faculty of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr.
Ondra serves as the Residency Program Director, Vice Chair, Director of Spine Surgery in Neurosurgery, Director of the
Spinal Deformity Fellowship, Director of Spine Research, Medical Director of the Neuro-Spine Intensive Care Units. He was
promoted to Professor of Neurological Surgery in 2006.
Dr. Ondra has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters, and is considered a world expert in many areas of spine
surgery. He has developed new surgical procedures, equipment and has received grant awards in excess of $1.5 million.
Dr. Ondra has worked with the Department of Defense as the Chairman of the Defense Spinal Cord and Column Injury Board. He
has been an independent consultant for the Department of Defense Health Services Command. In addition to the Department of
Defense, Dr. Ondra consults for and works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He was appointed to the
Medical Coverage Advisory Committee at CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, and reappointed to a second,
four year term in 2006. Dr. Ondra founded and chairs the board at the National Institute for Health Policy Research. His
expertise in Health Policy has also allowed him to advise and discuss health policy with members of the United States
Congress, Cabinet Members and foreign government leaders. He is a recognized expert in the field of health policy and has
been interviewed in the media on issues ranging from spinal disease, combat medical care and the medical malpractice crisis.
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