A letter from Dr. Tom Friermood, former President, Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center
We realize “orthopedic surgery” is not exactly the greatest conversation icebreaker. Most people think “orthopedics” only after an unfortunate turn on the ski slopes, or while pushing through their rehab repetitions on their way back to hiking the high country.
But we’re glad Summit County is talking about orthopedics and how to get the best possible care. We’re proud partners with St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in creating a new, local team for orthopedic surgery and care. And we’re excited to go to work for a county full of residents who are active, well-informed, involved in their healthcare and concerned about the whole community.
The main thing we want people to know, heading into the new ski season, is that your access to the best orthopedic care is better than ever. We are opening the Summit Orthopedics at Panorama center as enthusiastic partners with St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. We will strive to be the best local choice for all orthopedic emergencies, consultations, surgeries and follow-up care.
We’ll be there on the slopes and hiking trails, we’ll be there in the ER, we’ll be there in Flight for Life, we’ll be there in surgery, and we’ll be there every inspiring step of the way as you get back on your feet.
We are teaming with some amazing physicians, who are tremendously excited about being Summit County citizens. Not only do they want to support local patients who need help, they want to jump right in to all those activities that make Summit County great.
Take Dr. Aaron Black, one of our new Summit County surgeons. He’s a triathlete, skier and climber, and a consulting physician to the U.S. Ski Team. He grew up in Evergreen and was a high school ski patroller at Copper Mountain, before heading to Colorado College and medical school. Summit County residents rightfully want orthopedic specialists with tremendous experience — Dr. Black is a fellowship-trained surgeon who has consulted across countless sports, from the skiers at Taos Valley, to Division I Women’s Hockey, to high school basketball, to University of New Mexico football.
Our other new local surgeon is Dr. Rick Bowles, who comes to his orthopedic expertise in part from recovering from his own car accident trauma at age 20. Dr. Bowles wanted to help others return to a healthy life after orthopedic trauma, as he did, and gave up an accomplished engineering career to start at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Dr. Bowles interned at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, then had his residency in orthopedic surgery at CU’s School of Medicine, before completing a prestigious Cleveland Clinic fellowship in sports medicine. Dr. Bowles has been involved in lifelong sports, ranging from soccer to powerlifting to skiing to hiking 14ers and rock climbing. He’s cared for amateur and pro athletes from all sports and all ages, including some from the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers. Dr. Bowles personifies the philosophy of medicine being available at the right place and the right time: He ran to the finish line to help patients at the Boston Marathon bombing, riding with the injured in an ambulance and caring for many of the victims in the hospital.
Dr. Black and Dr. Bowles are also enthusiastic proponents of Summit Orthopedics at Panorama’s expansion of top healthcare to more county residents through better health insurance access and educational outreach. Our providers will not only be the on-call trauma team for St. Anthony Summit — they’ll be out and about the county every week offering orthopedic tips at high schools, training ski area responders, and talking to rescue teams.
We appreciate how loyal patients become to their healthcare providers, and we look forward to earning that kind of loyalty across Summit County. The fact is, Summit County residents are still free to go anywhere they find the best care. We are moving to increase people’s choices, not limit them, and we’re going to provide a lot of reasons to choose us. This major expansion of orthopedic care will speed appointments and care for all Summit County residents, as well as provide the most up-to-date specialized care for our important visiting population.
Thomas G. Friermood, MD has practiced orthopedics at Panorama for 39 years and is the former president of Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center, which is partnering with St. Anthony Summit Medical Center to create the Summit Orthopedics at Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center in Silverthorne.