MEET THE CRC TEAM

Tom Minas, MD, MS

Dr. Tom Minas is an Attending Orthopedic Surgeon and the Director of the Cartilage Repair Center at the Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. He previously practiced at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts for 30 years and remains a Professor Emeritus of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

 

Dr. Minas is an internationally recognized leader in the orthopedic field, specializing in joint preservation and cartilage repair of the knee. He adapted the ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation) surgical technique, being the first to bring it to practice in the United States from Sweden. He also established the first cartilage repair center in the United States. Dr. Minas is further involved in the development of tissue preserving implants and instrumentation for knees targeted at joint resurfacing. His work in patient-specific knee replacement has led to the introduction of a family of tissue preserving, customized implants based on patient-specific imaging data to restore native articulating geometry.

 

Dr. Minas has published extensively on cartilage repair and joint preservation of the knee and regularly lectures at national and international conferences. He has written a textbook, over a dozen book chapters, and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in international journals. In 2013, Dr. Minas and his team were honored with the prestigious Insall Award for their work on the long-term outcomes assessment of ACI in the knee.

 

Dr. Minas received his medical degree from the University of Toronto and his Masters in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his fellowship in Pelvic Trauma and Joint Reconstruction at the Sunnybrook Medical Centre in Toronto, Canada and a Total Joint Arthroplasty fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

 

Dr. Minas belongs to several professional organizations including the Knee Society, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and he currently serves as the President of the International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation Society (ICRS).

Jeffrey Zellers, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, RNFA

Nurse Practictioner 

Jeff plays an integral role in the clinical and surgical setting. He is intensely committed to excellence in patient care and to the development and maintenance of a successful clinical practice, as evident in his close attention to detail and compassion towards patients. As an athlete and avid sports fan, Jeff was compelled to pursue a career in orthopedics. 

 

Jeff brings experience from the inpatient, outpatient and surgical settings in neurosurgery, spine surgery, emergency and critical care medicine. He received his Doctorate, Masters, and Bachelorette in Nursing from Palm Beach Atlantic University. He also holds specialized certifications as a RN first assist, Family Nurse Practitioner, and has completed post-doctorate course work from Grand Canyon University and is eligible to sit for his certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

 

When he has free time, Jeff enjoys cross training, fishing, snow boarding, and trail riding.

Ash Itinger

Administrative Assistant

An invaluable assistant to Dr. Minas, Ash is responsible for the everyday happenings of the practice from scheduling and managing patient appointments, planning and coordinating surgeries, to engaging with patients and families on a daily basis. She is devoted to providing patients with an exceptional experience, whether working directly with the patients or by assisting the staff to provide quality care,  Ash is the “go-to” person, and her kind and comforting words make the overall surgery process less stressful for patients and families. 


Ash has extensive experience with all administrative tasks. She has worked in the healthcare setting for several years, having held administrative roles in regional hospitals, specialty physician offices, and neurosurgery facilities. Born and raised in State College, PA, Ash went on to study nursing and human development family studies at Penn State University. She remains a huge Penn State football fan. When she's not working, you can find Ash hanging out with her dogs and enjoying the beach. Feel free to send her any puppy pictures to aitinger@paleyinstitute.org.

Liana Leja, MS

Research Assistant

Liana joined the Cartilage Repair Center in May 2019. As Dr. Minas’ research assistant, Liana is dedicated to advancing the treatment of articular cartilage injuries and osteoarthritis of the knee. Liana's primary responsibilities are for the overall design, conduct, and management of research studies and clinical trials.

 

Prior to joining the CRC, Liana researched at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she led initiatives designed to improve patient care throughout the perioperative process. She also worked as a research assistant at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. . 


Liana holds a M.S. degree in Health Informatics from Boston University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Allegheny College. During her studies, Liana was involved in a wide array of academic research projects, where she obtained multiple accolades at research symposiums for her thesis work. Additionally, her business plan for improving access to healthcare for underserved communities was awarded first place in Allegheny College's "Zingale Big Idea Competition." The following year, Liana was invited to join the Zingale distinguished panel of judges, where she continues to serve, evaluating, coaching and critiquing other students' big business ideas. In her free time, Liana enjoys coaching youth soccer and baking banana bread. 

Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute, 901 45th Street, Kimmel Building,  West Palm Beach, FL 33407   561-844-5255