Garry Gilbert recognized by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons


Gilbert is being award for a story on Luke Fleer, regional director of development at OU, which was published as the cover story of Hour Detroit's Health Guide magazine in March 2014.

Kristen Davis

Oakland University professor and director of journalism Garry Gilbert will be recognized at the Media Orthopedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) awards held by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons at their conference in Washington, D.C. on April 30.

The award is for Gilbert’s story on Luke Fleer, the current regional director of development at OU, which was published as the cover story of Hour Detroit’s Health Guide magazine in March 2014.

Titled “Trauma and Triumph”, the long-text article tells the inspirational story of Fleer, a Rochester College graduate whose college basketball career abruptly ended after a near-fatal car accident his senior year.

The article isn’t as much about the accident as it is about the post-traumatic growth Fleer experienced as a result. It highlights how his attitude and spirit changed for the better, despite the unfortunate fate he was faced with.

“It’s Luke’s story, I’m just delighted that he let me tell it,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert believed Fleer’s story needed to be told, so in December of 2013, he started the process. Over a month span, he interviewed 12 different sources and wrote the article.

He then spent two weeks attempting to pitch and sell the story. After being turned town by several places, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Hour Detroit bought it.

Over a year later, Gilbert is now among writers from well-known publications like Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe and USA Today receiving the prestigious award.

“One of the things for me about this story was when you teach newswriting, media editing and ethics, you’re very conscious of making sure that you nail the facts in any story you’re writing,” Gilbert said.

“This award means a lot to me in part because it’s from a national association of orthopedic surgeons and if they think I got it right, then I’m feeling pretty good.”

“Trauma and Triumph” is also receiving an award at the Detroit Society of Professional Journalists banquet on April 15.