Vernon Tolo, MD
CHLA In the News

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Fund Honors Vernon Tolo, MD

The Vernon Tolo, MD, Research and Education Endowment will support pediatric orthopedic research and education initiatives.

Over a career spanning 55 years—and counting—Vernon Tolo, MD, has transformed the lives of countless children with his unparalleled expertise in pediatric orthopedic conditions, from severe scoliosis to skeletal dysplasias to bone tumors.

To honor this legacy, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently established the Vernon Tolo, MD, Research and Education Endowment, with a minimum fundraising goal of $2 million. The endowment—which has already raised more than $350,000—will support educational initiatives at CHLA, as well as research to improve the care of children and adolescents with orthopedic conditions.

Among other programs, the fund will support the creation of the Vernon Tolo, MD, Lectureship, which will launch in September.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Tolo has mentored hundreds of clinicians, conducted countless research studies and taught people from around the globe,” says Robert M. Kay, MD, Chief of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Jackie and Gene Autry Orthopedic Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “This endowment ensures that his legacy will continue far beyond his tenure.”

Dr. Tolo, who serves as Chair Emeritus of Orthopedic Surgery and continues to see patients, joined CHLA more than 35 years ago as the hospital’s first full-time pediatric orthopedic surgeon. He was instrumental in the creation of the Children’s Orthopedic Center—which was recently renamed the Jackie and Gene Autry Orthopedic Center.

Today, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles conducts nearly 38,000 orthopedic outpatient visits each year—along with 200 ongoing clinical research studies—and is ranked No. 2 in the nation for pediatric orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

Over his long career, Dr. Tolo has also served as president of multiple national and international organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the Scoliosis Research Society.

“His impact on patients, and on the field, has been immeasurable,” says Dr. Kay, who holds the Associates Chair in Orthopedics at CHLA. “There is no doubt that he embodies CHLA’s mission to create hope and build healthier futures.”

To learn more or make a donation in Dr. Tolo’s honor, contact Tiffanie Al-Nasser, MBA, CFRE, Associate Vice President, Development, at or visit the endowment’s fundraising page.