Rivera, Jessica, MD, PhD 



Rivera, Jessica, MD, PhD

Practice Location:

University Medical Center - New Orleans
2000 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA  70112
(504) 702-5700, for appointments

Children's Hospital - New Orleans, LA
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
200 Henry Clay Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 896-9563, Voice
(504) 896-9849, Fax



Pediatric Orthopaedics
Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics & International Center for Limb Lengthening
Baltimore, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery
San Antonio Military Medical Center
San Antonio, TX

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD
Joint Translational Science
University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, TX

Doctor of Medicine, MD
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, TN

Bachelor of Science, BS
Emory & Henry College
Emory, VA


Jessica Cross Rivera was born and raised in Blountville, Tennessee. She graduated from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia with a B.S. in Biology 2003 and from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine with her medical degree in 2007. She completed orthopaedic surgical residency at San Antonio Military Medical Center in 2013. After residency graduation, Dr. Rivera remained in San Antonio as a general orthopaedic surgeon at San Antonio Military Medical Center assigned to the US Army Institute of Surgical Research Extremity Trauma and Regenerative Medicine task area. Her additional duties in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery included co-custodian of the Military Orthopaedic Trauma Registry, residency assistant program director for research, and Division Chief of Research and Process Improvement.

In 2014, Dr. Rivera was admitted to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio joint Translational Science PhD program which she completed in spring of 2018. Dr. Rivera served eleven years of active duty military service, deploying twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom/Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield and once to Tegucigalpa Honduras for a pediatric orthopaedic medical training exercise. Following her honorable discharge from the military in 2018, she sought additional training as a pediatric orthopaedic fellow at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics and International Center for Limb Lengthening in Baltimore, Maryland. Her career goals involve specializing in pediatric and post traumatic limb lengthening and deformity correction and participating in translational research to advance the science of limb reconstruction.

Dr. Rivera is married to Mario Antonio Rivera of Añasco, Puerto Rico. Mario is a critical care nurse in the Army Nurse Corps where is specializes in en route critical care, and pre-hospital care and burn care. He is approaching retirement after twenty-two years of service and having recently returned from deployment with the 211th Aviation Battalion in Iraq. They have three dogs: Lucy, Gracie, and Nugget.

Dr. Rivera is active in her church and enjoys helping with youth group and adult Sunday school and Bible education. She is also a former ballerina and remains active in barre fitness. In her spare time, Dr. Rivera enjoys reading, painting and baking cookies, especially for residents at OITE time.