Orthopedic society chief saw inclusion of women during tenure

After 25 years as executive director of Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society, Thelma Borresen retired at the end of June.

“It was a grand experience,” she said.

MCSOS is the regional society for orthopedic surgeons in eight states: Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas.

It was established by eight physicians in the Wichita area in 1954, Borresen said. There are currently about 160 members.

In retirement, she said she may work on her book about growing up on a farm in the 1930s and ’40s and travel with her husband, possibly to South America.

During her years with the society, Borresen said she felt she had the greatest impact by arranging social activities for the members and their families at various events, including annual meetings that were held in different cities each year.

One of the biggest changes she saw during her tenure with the society was the inclusion of more women orthopedic surgeons.

“Friendships grew out of the society,” she said. “It’s a close-knit group of physicians.”

Prior to working with the society, Borresen worked as chief law clerk for a bankruptcy judge and was later a judicial assistant for a U.S. district judge in Wichita.

“She knows the society inside and out ... she’s a wonderful lady and she will be missed,” said Rita Baker, the new executive director, who had served as co-executive director since last year.

Baker has worked for the Orthopedic Research Institute at Via Christi Health since 1987, and was initially brought on as an administrative assistant by orthopedic surgeon David McQueen, who died earlier this year.

Baker said her goals with the society are to build the membership.