Dr. Bernard Allen Rineberg, M.D.
Dr. Bernard Allen Rineberg, 83, died peacefully at his home on Sunday morning surrounded by his family. He was a loving and devoted husband to Nancy, and the proud and adoring father to Rachel, grandfather to Gregory, Carys and Henry, and great-grandfather to Asher.
Dr. Rineberg was born in New Brunswick, NJ, the son of Martha and Irving Rineberg. He earned both his B.A. and M.D. from Duke University, and completed his residency in Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery at Barnes Hospital, Washington University. In 1968, Bernard returned to New Brunswick where he lived and practiced Orthopaedic Surgery for nearly 40 years. On entering practice, Dr. Rineberg quickly became a leader in the New Brunswick medical community, and soon in the state-wide orthopaedic community. Later, he achieved national and international recognition for his leadership and innovative thinking.
During his many years on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Dr. Rineberg served as Emergency Room Chief, President of the Medical Staff and Chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also served as Clinical Professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and co-chaired the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation’s Invitational Golf Classic, an annual event held at Metedeconk National Golf Club, which has raised millions of dollars for the Hospital. At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, he was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees, and when he retired from that Board, was given the rare honor of being named Emeritus Trustee, in recognition of his devoted service.
Dr. Rineberg was an active and highly influential member of the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society, where he served as President, and at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, where held many leadership roles: Chairman of the Board of Councilors, Chairman of the Committee on Health Care Reform, and Vice President.
In 1993, Dr. Rineberg became President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the largest orthopaedic association in the world. He was the first president in the long history of this organization who was a community practitioner, rather than from the world of academics. From that perspective, Dr. Rineberg emphasized the importance of involvement in formulating health policy, in addition to the Academy’s traditional role in education.
He was a Trustee of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), then as now the most influential and respected orthopaedic publication in the world. Dr. Rineberg’s leadership there, as elsewhere, had a lasting impact. He also served other medical publications and was an associate editor of “New Jersey Medicine.”
Dr. Rineberg was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), a national foundation headquartered in Chicago, advancing orthopaedic research. He was a founding director of the InterMedix Orthopaedic Network, an innovative and quality-sensitive network of orthopaedic physicians throughout NJ.
The awards and accolades that Dr. Rineberg received were extensive. In 1995, he was the recipient of the prestigious EDWARD J. ILL Physicians Award, for “excellence in medicine and service to the people of New Jersey”. In 2005, the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Rineberg also received the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Dr. Rineberg served on the Board of Trustees for many non-profit organizations including the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academy of Medicine of New Jersey, The Peddie School, and the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai Brith. He was also a Member of Governor Christie Whitman’s Transition Team and Chairman of the Alliance Subcommittee Advisory Panel on Federal Health Care Reform.
Dr. Rineberg was an avid golfer and skier. He will always be remembered for his infectious smile, trademark mustache limitless collection of bowties and love of life.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to all the wonderful nurses and aides who kept him comfortable and at peace over the past few years – Isilda Morris and Angela Wesley from Bayada and the VNA hospice nurses, especially Ann Flood.
Service will be held on Tuesday, October 2 at 11am, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, 222 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, with the burial immediately following at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163; For online donations:
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