Excellence is ingrained in the very heart of Olympia Orthopaedics Associates. Not only do they strive for the top-notch customer care for patients and offer the widest variety of medical services under one roof in the region, they are constantly on the lookout for innovators in orthopaedic medicine to join the Olympia-based group. One such individual is Dr. Greg Brown, part of the Olympia Eastside Clinic since October 6.
Raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dr. Brown was the epitome of a well-rounded student athlete, playing varsity football, as well as playing trombone and tuba with the band, debating with the school team, and editing the school newspaper.
His well-rounded experiences, however, didn’t end in high school. First in his class at Iowa State University in 1983, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Brown had an atypical start for a surgeon. He headed east to Boston where he earned three additional degrees – an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Medical Engineering (knee biomechanics) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
With a resume like that, you’d think Dr. Brown spent all his time in the library studying. However, during that time he served as a dorm parent, developing his excellent bedside manner while interacting with undergrads at all hours of the day (and night). “It’s a little a-typical for an engineer or surgeon,” Dr. Brown laughs. “But I am pretty social and really like to talk to my patients.”
He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota and his fellowship in Sports Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He returned to his Midwestern roots in 1999 and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota. It was there he honed his skills in orthopaedic trauma (fractures) as his clinical duties were at a level-one trauma center (similar to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center).
After seven years, Dr. Brown joined a large multi-specialty group as Assistant Chief of Surgery for Outcomes. What does that mean? Dr. Brown explains how he worked diligently to improve patient outcomes through quality improvement efforts through close relationships with both patients and surgeons.
All of these experiences have culminated in his most recent work – consulting with orthopaedic groups throughout the country to evaluate patient reported outcomes. His work involved standardizing a system to collect information from patients on their quality of life, joint function, and pain before and after hip and knee replacement surgery. The data collected can then be used to inform surgeons and patients on likely surgical outcomes helping inform decision making and course of care.
Medical clinics and surgeons are using this data-driven method, called “predictive analytics,” more and more. Doctors strive to give patients the best treatment, but also the best financial value as well as physical outcome. “People want to know the value they are going to get for their treatment and the data can provide important insights for them,” Dr. Brown explains.
Not only will Dr. Brown bring his extensive orthopaedic trauma background, along with Sports Medicine training, to Oly Ortho, he’ll add a new method of assessment to the group. This will help patients and doctors ensure, to the best of their ability, the top outcomes using smart, data-driven decision making.
Not only is Dr. Brown experienced and knowledgeable in the field of Orthopaedics, but he’s pretty fun, too. He spent the last eight months on sabbatical in New Zealand with his family where he focused on Orthopaedic Trauma at Auckland City Hospital as well as seeking adventure throughout the countryside including a tad bit of “Lord of the Rings” role play. When in Rome, right?
Dr. Brown has three children from his first marriage – one out of college, one in graduate school and one attending The Evergreen State College. The family is excited about settling in the Pacific Northwest, although his son may not be quite as thrilled about his close proximity. He hopes to continue his participation in sprint triathlons (he’s completed nearly 20) and hopes to learn the local cross-country ski trails in the winter.
He married his wife, Katey, in 2007 and the family, including sixth grade son, Nelson, look forward to becoming a part of the Olympia community. “It feels smaller, more like Sioux Falls where I grew up, and I really like that small town feel,” Dr. Brown shares.
What is Dr. Brown most excited about? “This is my first time in a single specialty group,” he explains of the orthopaedic focus. “I’m enamored by the flexibility with which they can respond to things and how the group can make decisions quickly in the patient’s best interests.”
The physicians and staff at Oly Ortho are happy to welcome him aboard. “My trauma experience was something they were looking for in the group. I’ll be able to handle trauma cases, stabilize patients and pass them to specialists throughout the group.” Dr. Brown’s experience with Sports Medicine, specifically his research on ACL injuries, will also be put to good use as he works with local high school team doctors to assess and treat acute sports injuries.
“My goal is to get people back to an active lifestyle as soon as possible,” Dr. Brown shares. “The Oly Ortho motto of ‘Life in Motion’ is certainly something I support. I jokingly say, ‘No one dies from a sore knee, but you may die from being a couch potato,’” Dr. Brown says with a smile. “But in all seriousness, if I can get people living a fit and healthy lifestyle by taking away that sore knee, getting them in motion, then I’ve done my job.”
You can visit Dr. Brown at Olympia Orthopaedics Associates by calling 1-800-336-3386.