Developing a Regional Orthopedic Center of Excellence.
| 2017 Q3 | story by Caroline Trowbridge
A vision to develop a regional orthopedic center of excellence recently advanced as OrthoKansas and Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH) agreed to a formal affiliation.
Dr. Douglass Stull, OrthoKansas board-certified orthopedic surgeon, says, “We are very excited about the ability to expand our services further into the eastern-Kansas region and beyond, and, at the same time, continue and expand care for the citizens of Douglas County and Lawrence. To me, this partnership lays the foundation to accomplish those goals.”
Last spring, the two organizations announced they were exploring a broad affiliation with a vision to create a regional orthopedic center of excellence. Since then, the two partners have identified significant opportunities, and a formal relationship is expected to be in place by Jan. 1. In addition, LMH is focusing on identifying a site in western Lawrence to accommodate the orthopedic center.
LMH president and chief executive officer Russ Johnson explains, “The more our two organizations talked about the future, the more we realized that we shared a common vision for the future and a collaborative spirit for working together. The alliance with OrthoKansas will create an opportunity to build a very strong regional presence with a partner who can provide the highest level of orthopedic and sports medicine expertise.”
“We know patients always have a choice, and we’re excited that we’re positioned to provide top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art bone and joint care in a new center where we can create the patient experience for the new century from the ground up,” says Dr. Stull. “One of our goals is to continue to cover all types of athletes—from those of us who are weekend warriors to elementary- and secondary-school athletes to elite athletes.”
He says the vision for a new center is a result of discussions the two groups began about the future. They realized they shared a vision for a model of excellent orthopedic care that could incorporate technological advances and serve the patient of today as well as the patient of 2037.
Since the completion earlier this year of the hospital’s new strategic plan, Destination Health, the LMH board of trustees has been discussing acquisition of land in west Lawrence and creation of a facility plan focused on consumer-friendly, innovative services to address LMH’s growing outpatient programs. Other services to be located in a new location have yet to be determined.
Cindy Yulich, chairperson of the LMH board of trustees, says the partnership with OrthoKansas is the embodiment of the hospital’s purpose to be “A Partner for Lifelong Health.”
“Our collaboration with OrthoKansas reflects this commitment to creating partnerships,” she says. “It will be good for the community—for patients in our community and beyond—because it will enable us to deliver accessible, convenient care. That’s good for everyone.”
“Whether through arrangements like this with OrthoKansas or by other forms of collaboration, we are interested in working with local physicians and health-care organizations to continue the excellent care they provide and to enhance that where it makes sense,” Johnson explains.
The new center also will mean that OrthoKansas will expand its practice by adding physicians and other health-care professionals.
Dr. Neal Lintecum, of OrthoKansas, says, “We are already recruiting several physicians with fellowship training in orthopedic specialties. This is a direct result of new capabilities made possible by this collaboration.”
OrthoKansas, with services in Lawrence, Leavenworth and Holton, has been a leader in orthopedic care in this region since 1971. Staffed with more than 60 employees, including 20 providers—board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians and surgeons, board-certified physician assistants and board-certified physical and occupational therapists—the practice offers clinical, imaging, therapy and wellness services. Physicians who currently practice at OrthoKansas are Neal Lintecum, Richard Wendt, Doug Stull, Stephan Prô, Luis Salazar and Adam Goodyear.