New orthopedic group at Aspen Valley Hospital
January 15, 2016
There is a new bone-and-joint clinic in Aspen after nearly one year of negotiations between physicians and hospital authorities.
OrthoAspen opened Monday at Aspen Valley Hospital, bringing with it four surgeons who previously worked at the long-standing Aspen Orthopaedics Associates, which no longer has a clinic.
Aspen Orthopaedics operated a clinic on Main Street for 55 years before moving to the hospital in 2012.
OrthoAspen will occupy the same space Aspen Orthopaedics had on the second floor of the hospital's new wing as well as at the hospital's Midvalley Medical Center in Basalt.
"We've been doing a lot of work for many months to get to the point where it could open," said Dr. Eric Stahl, a retired orthopedic surgeon and chief medical officer at Aspen Valley Hospital.
As far as transitions go, Stahl said a smooth one for patients is the obvious goal.
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"When it comes to medical records, they are the property of Aspen Orthopaedics," he said. "There is some work that we have been able to accomplish for the physicians to see the medical records for the patients. This should be relatively seamless."
Patients of Aspen Orthopaedics will see some familiar faces at OrthoAspen.
Drs. Tom Pevny and Leelee von Stade specialize in trauma care, sports medicine and knee replacements. Dr. Ann Golden's focus is hand surgery, and Dr. Mark Purnell's practice is office-based sports medicine.
Previously, three of those surgeons had private-practice privileges at the hospital. Now they are hospital employees, officials said.
"Physician employment will strengthen our orthopedic services and allow the hospital and the doctors to capitalize on the strengths of both entities," hospital CEO Dan Bonk said in a statement.
Four new surgeons, all whose focus is trauma care, also are part of the OrthoAspen team: Drs. James Britton, Kaare Kolstad, Leslie Olson and Paul Schwiger.
Other upcoming hires include Grand Junction foot-and-ankle specialist Dr. Waqqar Kahn-Farooqi, who will join OrthoAspen in the spring. Dr. Thea Wojtkowski, who specializes in hip replacements and trauma care, will arrive this summer.
OrthoAspen also is recruiting a shoulder specialist and expects to have back specialist Dr. Stanley Gertzbein join the staff, as well.
Stahl said the expanded specialty services will make it more convenient for patients to stay here as opposed to driving to Denver.
"This is something the Aspen community has not seen," he said. "Patients driving six to eight hours for foot surgery won't have to happen any more."