Steadman Clinic in talks with Aspen Valley Hospital about absorbing OrthoAspen |

Steadman Clinic in talks with Aspen Valley Hospital about absorbing OrthoAspen

Aspen Valley Hospital.
Aspen Times File

Aspen Valley Hospital is in formal discussions with The Steadman Clinic about the renowned orthopedic care provider absorbing OrthoAspen into its operations, AVH officials confirmed Sunday.

According to Dave Ressler, CEO of Aspen Valley Hospital, discussion of this transition began early this year (pre-COVID-19) but took a more formal hold after AVH recently signed a letter of intent with The Steadman Clinic, starting negotiations on the specifics of making the clinic the leading orthopedic provider for the community and how AVH would work in partnership with them as a result.

Ressler said AVH notified its OrthoAspen employees Friday of the planned transition, which he referred to as a beneficial move for the Aspen-area community.

“Early this year we started talking about what (it) might look like if we worked together for the benefit of the patients we serve in our community,” Ressler said of The Steadman Clinic, which is known worldwide for its orthopedic services, research and work with professional athletes, “treating Team USA and the athlete in all of us,” according to its website.

“We saw a lot of advantages to our ability to provide orthopedic care over here by working in closer partnership with them.”

In 2018, The Steadman Clinic purchased a parcel of land in the Willits area to house a new orthopedic clinic, which is still in the works. The clinic currently has locations in Vail, Frisco and Edwards.

And when considering the facts that The Steadman Clinic is looking to expand into the Roaring Fork Valley and has a lot of similarities to OrthoAspen — which offers a broad range of orthopedic services in both Aspen and Basalt — Ressler said AVH thought it’d make more sense for the two health care providers to create a “strategic partnership” versus operate as separate entities.

“We’re working to avoid redundancy, so it doesn’t really make sense to have two different practices operating at the same time,” Ressler said. “So, yes, we have talked about there only being one practice which would obviously be The Steadman Clinic. … We thought we could ultimately come out with a better product for our community by working in partnership with them.”

Dan Drawbaugh, CEO of The Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute, expressed similar thoughts to Ressler, noting how he thinks the partnership will be transformational for the region.

“We are extremely excited about bringing The Steadman Clinic’s world-class, evidence-based medicine to the Roaring Fork Valley community,” Drawbaugh said in a prepared statement. “Through The Steadman Philippon Research Institute, we will also deliver cutting-edge research and educational opportunities with a focus on sports performance as well as improving the aging process. We look forward to providing further updates in the months to come.”

Ressler emphasized that the specifics of this partnership is what AVH and The Steadman Clinic intend to work through in the next few months, hoping to have a definitive agreement by late summer and to make the full transition by end of 2020. It is unclear what future staffing at the clinic will look like, Ressler said.

Until the transition takes place, Ressler said OrthoAspen will continue with “business as usual” amid the COVID-19 crisis, and is confident in the ability for Aspen Valley Hospital and The Steadman Clinic to form a successful partnership.

“We work closely with our neighboring hospitals to try to find inefficiencies, become more effective together, share resources, etc., that shed light on this arrangement,” Ressler said. “We think this will have value to us and our community by working closely with an organization that’s like us and just over the hill from us.”


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