- IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (2008)
- School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (2003)
Dr. Merrill Ritter graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1963. In 1986, he founded the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Mooresville, Indiana, where he continues to work as an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Ritter has taught at the IU School of Medicine as a professor of Orthopedic Surgery and at the Louisiana State University Medical Center as a Clinical Professor of Orthopedics. Over the course of his career, Dr. Ritter has become an internationally respected lecturer, teacher and researcher, who has published hundreds of professional articles. He has presented orthopedic topics and intra-operative instruction throughout the world.
Dr. Ritter is the president of the Indiana chapter of Operation Walk, which provides free surgical treatment to patients in developing countries with limited access to life-improving care for arthritis or other debilitating bone, joint, foot, and ankle conditions. As president of the chapter, he has enabled IUPUI to bring its core values of research, teaching, and service to peoples of the world through Operation Walk. Since 2003, faculty and students from informatics, journalism, and nursing have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the surgeons and healthcare professionals of Operation Walk.
In Cuba, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, more than 300 patients had been treated by the end of February 2008. Providing both information technology support and patient documentation, the effort has focused on telling the human story behind this life-changing orthopedic effort as well as building a sophisticated IT environment to sustain mobile medical operations.