The Vert Mooney Research Foundation (dba U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation) is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to research and education, with facilities in San Diego, California and Tampa, Florida. It was established in 1993 by Vert Mooney, MD, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon and clinical researcher. The Foundation was formerly named the Ortho-Med Foundation and subsequently U.S. Spine & Sport Foundation.

Our mission is to develop, test, and implement strategies to improve quality of life and physical function through research and related knowledge translation efforts such as community outreach and education.

Recent accomplishments include: innovative research in the areas of first responder injury prevention,  patient-reported outcome measures, and spinal injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Other activities include, but are not limited to: research support – e.g. consulting, grant writing, preparation, and assistance to procure funding; educational symposia – e.g. hosting quarterly educational seminars for physical medicine healthcare providers.


Vert Mooney, M.D., Founder (4/24/1931 – 10/13/2009)

Dr. Mooney received his Orthopedic Surgery training at the University of Pittsburgh between 1960 and 1964, after earning his Medical Doctorate in 1957 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Mooney was Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1967 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. From June 1991- to July 1998, Dr. Mooney served as Medical Director of University of California, San Diego (UCSD) OrthoMed Center in La Jolla, CA. From 1977 to 1988, Dr. Mooney was Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where he was also Director of their Orthopedic Training Program. Dr. Mooney currently is a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the UCSD School of Medicine.

Dr. Mooney was named one of the 20 most distinguished Orthopedic Surgeons in the Town & Country Magazine Annual Survey in 1989. He also served an appointment by Governor Pete Wilson to the California Industrial Medical Council and was integral in developing the functional capacity evaluation standards for the state. Dr. Mooney is an internationally recognized leader in clinical work and medical research related to orthopaedics who has conducted groundbreaking studies in many areas of orthopaedics, restorative exercise, and physical medicine. He has written over 200 articles and abstracts in peer reviewed scientific journals, over 30 chapters for medical texts, and in the past 7 years has been invited to speak at over 150 medical conferences throughout the world. Dr. Mooney was a founding member of the North American Spine Society (NASS) and served as the president of NASS from 1987-1988. He was also the founder the Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Pain. He was 2008 Wiltse Lifetime Achievement Award in Lumbar Spine Research from the International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine (ISSLS).