Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. James Andrews has been selected for induction into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger Award is given each year to people who have succeeded despite facing adversities and remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities, according to the association.
Andrews’ father served overseas during World War II and returned home with post traumatic stress disorder. Andrews was raised by his mother and grandparents in Homer, Louisiana, and he picked cotton and worked at a dry-cleaning shop to help support his family. He went on to study science at Louisiana State University, where he also was an SEC champion pole vaulter, and then to the university’s medical school. He completed his orthopedic residency at the Tulane School of Medicine and worked fellowships in sports medicine at the University of Virginia and University of Lyon in France.
After beginning his surgical career in Columbus, Georgia, Andrews moved to Birmingham and co-founded the HealthSouth Sports Medicine Council, the American Sports Medicine Institute and the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. With Baptist Health Care, Andrews opened the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and he later opened the Andrews Institute at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas.
He now is medical director of The Andrews Institute; chairman of the board of the Andrews Research & Education Foundation in Gulf Breeze and the American Sports Medicine Institute; and a professor at multiple prestigious medical schools.
He is known for his work with athletes, including performing surgery on Jack Nicklaus, Roger Clemens, Drew Breeze, Charles Barkley and John Smoltz, among others. He also has been affiliated with several university and professional athletic programs and now works as a consultant or surgeon with Auburn and Alabama universities, the Washington Redskins and the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
“In addition to being a skilled surgeon, Dr. Andrews is an extraordinarily generous philanthropist and lifelong teacher,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director of the association.
Andrews, along with 13 other honorees, will be inducted into the association during ceremonies to be held April 2-4 in Washington, D.C.
“It is truly an honor to be selected for membership in this prestigious organization,” Andrews said. “When I was first introduced to the Horatio Alger Association by my friend Bill Doré, I was immediately drawn to its mission of supporting promising young students as they seek to achieve their dreams. I’ve dedicated much of my career to building up the next generation, and I look forward to doing the same for Horatio Alger Scholars.”
The association awards need-based scholarships to high school students, having provided more than $180 million to 27,000 students since the scholarship program was established in 1984.