Kutztown Area School District has announced the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Dr. Michael Karch, MD, KAHS Class of 1987.
Karch will be honored at a reception held at Moselem Springs Country Club on June 1, from to 7 p.m. He will also deliver the commencement address to the Kutztown Area High School’s graduating Class of 2019 on June 4.
A board certified orthopedic surgeon, entrepreneur, inventor, educator and cattle rancher, Karch specializes in orthopedic trauma and adult reconstruction of the hip and knee. He has been in practice at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in Mammoth Lakes, California since 2003 and is a founding member and senior partner in the Mammoth Orthopedic Institute, Inc. He serves as Chairman of the Surgery and Anesthesia Department at Mammoth Hospital.
A 1987 Kutztown Area High School graduate, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware in 1991 and graduated with Honors from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1995. Following a Surgical Intern year at Loma Linda University Medical Center and additional years of general surgery, he completed his orthopedic surgery training at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Karch completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine and Trauma at the Taos Orthopedic Institute in New Mexico and then underwent Post-Fellowship apprenticeship training in Advanced and Masters AO trauma and reconstructive techniques both domestically and in Europe.
Karch is the co-inventor of SMARTdrill technology and Smart Medical Devices, Inc., a hand-held navigational power drill recently approved by the FDA for clinical use in orthopedic trauma surgery. He holds multiple patents and trademarks in this, and other, medical device technologies; He serves on that company’s clinical advisory board. He is co-founder and president of KMW Enterprises, a corporate entity that develops intellectual property for surgical use. He is the founder of the Mammoth Winter Biathlon, at one time, the largest citizen Nordic ski and marksmanship event in the United States. Dr. Karch founded the Mammoth Mass Casualty Seminar which then grew into the International Disaster and Austere Medicine Seminar and was Co-founder and president of Mammoth Medical Missions, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing surgical care to disaster zones throughout the world. Under his leadership, this strike team received international praise for its life saving efforts in the Philippines during the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Dr. Karch serves on the Medical Board of Advisors for Global Surgical Medical Support Group, an organization dedicated to bringing top tier surgical training and relief to far forward combat zones in the Middle East conflict theatres.
Karch is an Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at both The Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He has been a Team Physician for the United States Ski and Snowboard Team since 2002 covering the Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping World Cup Competitions in Europe, Asia and North America and has served as personal physician to numerous Olympic athletes.
Karch was one of the first physicians on site at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 and has led Forward Surgical Teams to many International disaster and conflict zones since that time. He has received two letters of commendation from the President of the United States of America for these actions and has been recognized internationally by the United Nations and the Philippine, Mexican, Iraqi and Nepali Governments for his humanitarian work and instruction in Mass Casualty Medicine. He lectures domestically and internationally on Mass Casualty, Mass Shootings and Terrorist Inflicted Injury Patterns for the Civilian Physician. He is currently developing a national curriculum for Mass Casualty Medical Training in the U.S.
Karch has completed 53 marathons, 6 Iron-Distance Triathlons and is a 2-time finisher of the Badwater 135-mile Ultra-marathon race across Death Valley, touted as the most challenging human endurance footrace on Earth. He, his wife, Kim Escudero, MD, a Board-Certified Pediatrician, and their three children own and operate a 200-acre, grass fed cattle, sheep and poultry ranch.
Founded in 2000, the Kutztown Area School District Education Foundation is an independent, private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enhance educational opportunities in the district’s schools and to recognize the superior achievements of district students and alumni. The Foundation has raised more than $1,100,000 for scholarships and also manages monies received through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. The EITC Program enables the district to purchase technology equipment not covered by local tax dollars. Through the past year, those monies total more than $360,000 in donations.
During the Jan. 3 annual meeting, the Foundation elected officers for a one year term: President, Benjamin N. Haas; Vice-President, Colonel (USMC Retired) Steve Fenstermacher; Secretary, Lynn Silan; Treasurer, Michele Zimmerman. The Executive Director continues to be Dr. Brenda Winkler.
For more information visit www.kasdedfoundation.org.