Executive Committee Profiles



Alvin H. Crawford, MD
For 29 years, Dr. Crawford served as the Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2005, he stepped down to become the Director of the Spine Center, which was recently renamed the Crawford Spine Center to honor his many years of dedicated service. Dr. Crawford also serves as Professor of Pediatric and Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. Dr. Crawford is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and neurofibromatosis, is the co-director the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Crawford started his residency in orthopaedics at the Boston (Chelsea) Naval Hospital and completed it at the combined Harvard University Orthopaedic Program. He completed fellowships at the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Carl-Berg International fellowship; Reconstructive Surgery of the Hip, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA; Pediatric Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA; Alfred I. DuPont Institute, Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Crawford’s multiple visiting professorships, in addition to the United States, include Canada, West Africa, the Middle East (Jordan and Saudi Arabia), Germany, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, England, Belgium, Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Ireland. He has trained 47 fellows in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Crawford has traveled the world as a visiting professor, moving far beyond his early roots in Memphis, Tennessee, where he lived with his parents and two older siblings. In 1960, he earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Minor in Music from the Tennessee Agriculture and Industrial University. In 1964, he became the first African American graduate from the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine.

He co-authored a handbook of Pediatric Orthopaedics for pediatric house officers and primary care physicians, as well as assisted in the development and publication of an atlas on Pediatric Orthopaedic radiology.

Specializing in treating scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, Dr. Crawford is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, which allows surgeons to insert rods through small incisions to straighten the spine. He is also an authority on neurofibromatosis in children, a genetic disorder often associated with scoliosis. Dr. Crawford is a prolific author, publishing more than 200 articles, more than 60 chapters, and six books. Since joining the staff at Cincinnati Children’s in 1977, Dr. Crawford has completed a teaching module in Pediatric Orthopaedics, which includes a 1000-slide and syllabus packet widely that is used throughout the United States residency programs, as well as in 33 other countries.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Surgeons.

He authored a monograph on neurofibromatosis in children, a field in which he is considered the leading expert, achieving internationally renowned status. His publications include more than 200 articles and abstracts, six books, and 63 chapters.
Among his long list of positions, honors, and awards, Dr. Crawford was the first Black president of the Scoliosis Society in 2001, the recipient of the 2007 Diversity Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and a recipient of the Trumpet Award in 2009. In February 2011, Dr. Crawford became the President of the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society. Most recently, Dr. Crawford was the recipient of the 2011 Laurel Wreath Award from his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. The Laurel Wreath is the fraternity’s highest award for a members’ achievement in service.


  Vice President
Eleby R. Washington III, MD
Dr. Washington received an MD Degree from Columbia University in New York City in 1977. He completed his Orthopaedic Residency Program and Pediatric Fellowship in the Columbia University and Cornell University systems. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


  Executive Director
Raymond O. Pierce Jr., MD
Dr. Pierce serves as CEO of JRGOS starting in February of 2002. He attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville and did his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the V.A. Hospital at the University of Iowa. He is currently Medical Director at Martin University. In April, 2003, he was the recipient of the "Health Profession" Public Health Award. Dr. Pierce served at the Indiana University Medical Center for 34 years obtaining the rank of Emeritus Professor and Department Vice Chair retiring in 2000. He is currently the AAOS representative to the National Medica Association.


Melvyn A. Harrington, Jr., MD
Dr. Harrington is a Board Certified Orthopaedic surgeon whose Texas practice focuses on total hip and knee arthroplasty. Dr. Harrington is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and serves as part-time staff at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. Dr. Harrington attended John Hopkins University, graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed his residency training at the University of California Davis Medical College. Dr. Harrington's Fellowship was in Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital as part of the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Surgery Program. Between 1999 and 2007, Dr. Harrington served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and also served as part-time staff at Hines A Hospital.


  Past President
Charles L. Nelson, MD
Dr. Nelson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where he stayed to complete his internship and residency. After finishing a fellowship in Adult Reconstructive Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery, he returned to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Nelson specializes in Adult Hip and Knee Reconstructive surgery and joint replacement. Dr. Nelson participated in the AAOS Leadership Fellows Program, and has received numerous awards. He was one of only two nationally chosen recipients of the National Medical Fellowship's James H. Robinson, MD Memorial Scholarship for outstanding achievement in the study of surgery. Dr. Nelson has been named as a "Top Doc" by Philadelphia Magazine, and has been listed among America's Top Physicians and Surgeons by the Consumer’s Research Council of America. Dr. Nelson has published numerous manuscripts involving original research, and has contributed chapters to textbooks published both in the United Stated and internationally.