Heroes, big and small, are found throughout our community. These are people who make a difference and impact those around them each day. For the past nine years, the Thurston County Chamber and Thurston-Mason Medical Society have honored local heroes whose impact is tied to healthcare services offered in the South Sound region.
One of these heroes is Olympia Orthopaedic Associates surgeon Dr. Patrick Halpin, honored this year as a Healthcare Champion in the area of Professional Leadership. In a ceremony held on June 16, Dr. Halpin and three others were recognized. These healthcare professionals were heralded for their “heroic acts, steadfast dedication, extraordinary service and professionalism that are seen every day in our community’s medical offices, clinics, hospitals, emergency services and related organization,” states the Thurston County Chamber who hosted a celebratory dinner in Dr. Halpin’s and his colleagues’ honor.
After attending medical school at the University of Washington, Dr. Halpin began his practice in Moses Lake. After 10 years, he relocated to Olympia where he raised his family of five children with his wife, Wendy. Over the last 25 years he has contributed significantly to the growth of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates. Dr. Halpin specializes in joint replacements of the hip and knee and performs over 400 joint replacements every year.
Dr. Halpin has over 10 years of experience with anterior approach hip replacement, including more than 1,000 surgeries completed to date. In addition, his use of minimally invasive techniques and computer navigation during knee replacements benefit patients and his fellow surgeons alike. His expertise in cutting-edge joint replacement technologies is valued by his colleagues at Oly Ortho and throughout the South Sound medical community.
As a senior partner at Oly Ortho’s Westside Clinic, Dr. Halpin serves as a mentor to new surgeons in the group. In addition, he extends his professional leadership across Washington State. He was elected first Vice President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association, he serves on the Inter-Specialty Council of the Washington State Medical Association, and he is a member of the Board of Councilors for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Dr. Halpin is also revered throughout the region’s medical community for his collaboration and desire to work across medical disciplines to improve patient outcomes. One physician who has experienced this collaboration is Dr. Gary Goin, a family practice physician who has been seeing patients in Olympia for over 30 years. Dr. Halpin and his wife Wendy met Dr. Goin at a “Welcome to Olympia” dinner more than 25 years ago. “Since then,” says Dr. Goin, “we’ve shared countless patients, served together on boards of directors, and shared many cups of coffee, too.”
Dr. Goin shares how Dr. Halpin is consistently at the forefront of new technologies and has been instrumental in bringing those technologies to South Sound patients. “I think he is a person who is always looking for a better way to do things,” explains Dr. Goin. “He’s able to bring people together in a cooperative way and not competitive. It’s a real benefit,” he explains.
Dr. Stephen Snow, a foot and ankle specialist at Oly Ortho, says Dr. Halpin gave him the opportunity to come to Olympia and join the Oly Ortho team after his residency in New York City. “Dr. Halpin has always been a great source of leadership, and it’s obvious why he’s being honored with this award,” shares Dr. Snow. “He really was the catalyst that brought the orthopaedic community together as one while in this city.”
The two surgeons’ relationship extends beyond the office. They both played on a Capital Medical Center basketball team when first in town together. “If he got even one finger on the ball, you were no longer holding the ball,” Dr. Snow says laughing.
The Thurston County Healthcare Champion award for Professional Leadership is an honor Dr. Halpin takes seriously. He gives credit and thanks to those who brought him to Olympia many years ago and to his wife, Wendy, for her support over the last 47 years together.
Dr. Halpin reflected with Dr. Goin on the experience of practicing “small-town medicine.” Dr. Goin recalls, “…he once said, ‘Well, after you’ve been in practice long enough, everyone is just your friend.’ And, he’s right. After you get to know Dr. Halpin and work with him, you do feel like he is a good friend.”