VHM-2014-2015-lores - page 32

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Vail Health
2
O
14
INSIDER
Leader, innovator and mentor Dr. J. Richard Steadman
retires from surgical practice this year
t
'
s one
thing
to make a name for
yourself in the medical field, but
it's entirely another to create an
unforgettable impact. Such is the
case with Dr. J. Richard Steadman, a
pioneer in the field of orthopaedic surgery.
Steadman retired from his surgical practice
this year, leaving behind him an unprec-
edented number of surgical innovations.
Originally from Texas, Steadman began
his practice in 1970 in South Lake Tahoe,
California. In 1988 he founded the Steadman
Sports Medicine Research Foundation. Two
years later Steadman moved his practice to
Vail and together with Dr. Richard Hawkins
created the Steadman Hawkins Clinic. In
2004 Hawkins left the area and the practice
was renamed The Steadman Clinic. In 2005
Dr. Marc J. Philippon joined on and the
research institute became the Steadman
Philippon Research Institute (SPRI). Follow-
ing Steadman's retirement, both facilities will
maintain his name in his honor and he will
stay on as chairman emeritus at The Stead-
man Clinic and remain co-chairman of SPRI.
Steadman first gained international recog-
nition through revolutionizing post-surgical
rehabilitation. He created techniques that
shortened and strengthened the healing
process and he developed a procedure
called "microfracture," which repairs
damaged cartilage. Later in his career
he was still on the forefront of surgical
research with his technique known as
the "package," which restores normal
movement to stiff arthritic knees.
Through his work, Steadman helped
many athletes get to the top of the
podium. In 1976 Steadman treated
women's downhill skier Cindy Nelson,
who won bronze in that year's Olympic
Games. In 1979 he treated Olympic ski
racer Phil Mahre, who went on to win a
silver and gold in the slalom. He treated
elite athletes for decades and served
as U.S. Alpine Chief Physician at the
Winter Olympics from 1976-2006. Many
athletes say they owe their careers to
Steadman, for without his progress in
both surgery and rehabilitation, they
might not have been able to return
to their sport after a serious injury.
Although world-class athletes have
been some of his most publicized pa-
tients, Steadman also improved the lives
of many patients locally. One of Stead-
man's goals was to help non-athletes stay
active longer, and he treated over 12,000
patients during his time in Vail. To him
this was just as rewarding as seeing a pro
athlete be able to compete again. Through
his leadership, Steadman brought interna-
tional acclaim to not only The Steadman
Clinic and SPRI but also helped elevate
Vail Valley Medical Center as a destina-
tion for high-quality surgical treatment.
"For years, he has been a pioneer in the
world of sports medicine. He retired from
his surgical practice, but his groundbreak-
ing contributions in sports medicine will
continue forever," said Dr. Marc J. Philippon,
managing partner of The Steadman Clinic.
Steadman's name has become syn-
onymous with knee surgery but he was
also a role model in the truest sense.
He showed his patients, colleagues, and
those he mentored that the best care
is a result of compassion and a deep
desire to push the limits of what's pos-
sible for patients after major surgery.
Gold
Standard
by
ROSANNA
TURNER
LOOKING BACK ON
DR. STEADMAN'S
CAREER & INFLUENCE
REFLECTIONS
Dr. Steadman
improved the lives of
so many during his career
and left a legacy of a top-notch
clinic that will continue his
quest to treat patients from
all walks of life.
DORIS KIRCHNER
PRESIDENT & CEO
VAIL VALLEY
MEDICAL CENTER
MIKE SHANNON
,
CHAIRMAN OF VAIL
HEALTH SERVICES
KAREN BRIGGS
,
DIRECTOR FOR THE
CENTER FOR OUTCOMES-
BASED ORTHOPAEDIC
RESEARCH AT SPRI
DR. PETER J. MILLETT
,
MD, MSC, DIRECTOR OF
SHOULDER SURGERY,
THE STEADMAN CLINIC
In 1993
Dr. Steadman first
told me that how the
patient feels is the most
important outcome of
the surgery. He listens
and learns from
every patient.
Dr. Steadman has been
a mentor and inspiration
to me for the last 20 years.
An amazing surgeon, his
real secret has been the
way he listens to and
cares for his patients.
A generation of professional
athletes and grateful patients
owe their livelihood and
mobility to his successful,
pioneering and exceptional
delivery of innovative
orthopaedic healthcare.
dr
.
j
.
richard
steadman
As Dr.
Steadman
retired in 2014,
his former
patients are
encouraged
to follow-up
with other
Steadman
Clinic knee
experts:
Dr. Steve
Singleton, Dr.
Tom Hackett
or Dr. Robert
LaPrade.
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