Joint Center Named for Thomas Nordstrom, MD and Family

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, recently renamed its Joint Center of Excellence in honor of Thomas Nordstrom, MD and family. Dr. Nordstrom, a former Bridgewater resident who now lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, was an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital for nearly four decades where he was former chief of orthopedic surgery. His wife, Sue, was past president of the hospital’s former Auxiliary, which raised funds in support of the hospital. The Nordstroms recently made a significant donation to the hospital to support the hospital’s joint surgery program.

“It is fitting that our Joint Center of Excellence is now named for the Nordstrom family. Dr. Nordstrom was so instrumental in the growth of our orthopedic surgery program and elevating the quality of care that we provide to our patients,” said Tony Cava, president and chief executive officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. “Sue’s fundraising efforts over the years helped us to modernize and expand our services to meet the needs of our community. We are extremely grateful for their continued support.”

A native of Bloomfield, Dr. Nordstrom is a graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, New York and obtained his medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his internship at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and his orthopedic residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Dr. Nordstrom and his partners pioneered many “firsts” at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, including the first uncemented total hip replacement; the first minimally invasive total hip and total knee replacements; the first unicompartmental total knee replacement; the first arthroscopic ACL reconstruction; the first arthroscopic rotator cuff reconstruction; and the first closed intramedullary nailing of femoral fractures.

He was a driving force in the development of RWJUH Somerset’s Joint Surgery Institute in 2010. The Joint Surgery Institute standardized the hospital’s approach to the care of hip and knee replacement patients. A pre-operative education program was developed for patients and an aggressive rehabilitation program for joint surgery patients was introduced. The hospital also added a joint care coordinator, a registered nurse who facilitates all aspects of patients’ care. Over the past decade, the hospital’s joint surgery program has noted significant improvements in patient outcomes, including improving patients’ mobility, speeding recoveries, reducing the need for blood transfusions and enabling more patients to safely go directly home with home therapy services. In recognition of these quality achievements, RWJUH Somerset has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total hip and total knee replacement surgery.

In addition to serving as president of the hospital’s Auxiliary, Sue Nordstrom served as chair of the hospital’s charity ball, assisted with car raffle sales at the Far Hills Race Meeting and served as a volunteer in the hospital’s Gift Shop when it was run by the Auxiliary. She was also a member of the Auxiliary’s Ivy Twig, assisting with an art auction, plant sales, book sales and a community car seat program, among other activities. The Nordstroms have two adult daughters, Kate and Kimberly, who were both born at the hospital.

“The Nordstrom family’s impact on health care in Central New Jersey will never be forgotten,” said Paul Hubert, chairman, Somerset Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees. “All who enter the doors of our Joint Center for Excellence will be reminded of their legacy and benefit from the high standard of care they helped set for us.”

For more information about RWJUH Somerset’s joint surgery program, visit For a referral to an orthopedic surgeon, call 888-724-7123.