Puget Sound Orthopaedics prides itself on offering leading edge, world-class orthopaedic care to its patients on a personal level.
From offering satellite clinics in Tacoma and Gig Harbor, to expanding its Lakewood footprint to provide more operating room space, patients and their wellbeing are at the forefront of every decision the practice makes.
What started as a one-doctor operation in Lakewood in 1971 has today grown into the largest independent orthopaedic practice in Pierce County with 130 employees, 15 surgeons and 10 physician assistants across three locations.
“We’re the only independent practice in Tacoma or Lakewood,” said executive director April Betts-Gibson. “We’re one of two independent groups in the county.”
While it started under a different name, the independent clinic formed when Dr. Dale Hirz finished his time with the Army as an orthopaedic surgeon and looked to open a private practice in Lakewood. About a decade later Dr. H. Richard Johnson joined the practice then located at 100th Street SW and Bridgeport Way SW.
The practice remained at that location for roughly 20 years. By 1990 a third doctor, Dr. Steven Teeny, joined the practice, becoming the first fellowship trained surgeon on staff. At this time the doctors established Lakewood Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Over the next roughly two decades more surgeons joined the team, expanding the range of care options available from shoulder and hand surgery to sports medicine. By 2004 the practice moved to its current location at 7308 Bridgeport Way West.
The move not only provided more space, but it allowed for the establishment of the Lakewood Surgery Center. The expansion allowed the practice to create a one-stop shop for its patients needing orthopaedic care. This includes general orthopaedic appointments, an ambulatory surgery center, physical and occupational therapy and durable medical equipment and imaging.
While the Puget Sound Orthopaedic practice takes up most of the building, other complimentary care options and services are also housed there – though not for long.
By 2020 the practice hopes to be underway with another expansion – this time the addition of two operating rooms, bringing the total number at the Lakewood location to four.
The expansion will allow the surgeons to perform more procedures at the Lakewood location instead of having to do them at a hospital. However patients considered high-risk or with insurance restrictions will continue to have operations at the hospital, Betts-Gibson said.
From joint replacement to hand and foot specialists, Puget Sound Orthopaedics team of doctors has it covered.
“We treat anything bone related from the neck down,” said Sharayah Kinney, Marketing Director.
On average the practice sees 5,000 patients a month, 2,000 alone at the Lakewood clinic. In addition roughly 200 to 225 cases a month are handled by the surgery center, said Betts-Gibson.
Without Puget Sound Orthopaedics the majority of these patients would have to go to hospitals to receive care.
“It’s important to have choices. It’s important not to have monopolies,” said Betts-Gibson about the role Puget Sound Orthopaedics plays in the community.
“We are much more nimble and able to respond,” she continued. “We focus on the patient experience.”
Surgeons and physicians at Puget Sound Orthopaedics operate under a mission with five core values:
“These are the ‘HEART’ of Puget Sound Orthopaedics,” Kinney said.