Community Hospital expands orthopedic practice, welcomes 2 spine surgeons: 4 highlights

Practice Management

Grand Junction, Colo.-based Community Hospital expanded its services with an orthopedic spine surgery program, adding two spine surgeons and other orthopedic surgeons to its team, Beacon Senior News reports.

Here are four facts:

1. Spine surgeons Kirk Clifford, MD, and James Gebhard, MD, moved into offices located in the same building housing Community Hospital. Their practice is called Western Colorado Spine.

2. Orthopedic surgeons Mitchell Copeland, DO, Richard Knackendoffel, DO, and Kennan Vance, DO, of Grand Junction-based Western Orthopedics have been in negotiations with Community Hospital since the summer of 2017. Dr. Copeland said government regulations, insurance hassles and contracting expenses put a strain on private practices, and a local shortage of orthopedic physicians makes it difficult to recruit physicians and other staff.

3. Community Hospital will take over administrative duties such as payroll and hiring, allowing physicians to spend more time on patient care.

4. The Western Orthopedics team also includes podiatrist Joshua Thun, DPM, hand surgeon James Rose, MD, and sports medicine specialist Bjorn Irion, MD.

"Adding orthopedic spine surgery to our growing list of service lines and surgical specialties has been a priority for some time now," Community Hospital President and CEO Chris Thomas said.

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