Look for Dr. Patrick Halpin cruising the Chehalis Western Trail on his bicycle with four of his five brothers this summer. They all live in Western Washington and enjoy getting out on their bikes together on their free weekends. Dr. Halpin’s time for recreation has been limited for several decades as he has spent the past 26 years dedicated to the community’s health through his orthopaedic practice in Thurston County. The time has finally come for him to hang up his surgical mask and enjoy more of what the surrounding area has to offer.
Prior to moving to Olympia in 1991, Dr. Halpin worked in Moses Lake for 10 years in a solo orthopedic practice. Shortly following his arrival, he was instrumental in bringing together orthopaedic surgeons from local practices and consolidating them into Olympia Multi-Specialty Clinic.
At that time, general orthopedic surgeons performed a wide variety of orthopaedic surgeries. In 1997, Dr. Halpin and Dr. Snow merged with Dr. Partlow and partners to found what is now Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, providing comprehensive orthopedic and specialty care to the greater community. They recognized that consolidating orthopedic services would be a great benefit to their patients.
“Allowing each surgeon to specialize raised the quality of care in the community,” explains Dr. Halpin. “There is great diversification without the need to dramatically increase the number of providers,” he adds. What this means to the patient, then and now, is that a visit to Olympia Orthopaedic Associates offers the deep knowledge of multiple specialists. Providers work collaboratively and often consult on one another’s cases. “Every patient has easy access to the appropriate and most skilled physician in their area of expertise,” explains Dr. Halpin.
Dr. Halpin created a roadmap for what are considered best practices in the field of orthopedics today. As one of the first physicians in the area to utilize a scribe to dictate his notes, he was able to focus solely on patient care. A visit to Olympia Orthopaedic Associates is efficient and convenient for patients with ancillary services available such as physical therapy available on-site.
As a total joint surgeon, Dr. Halpin has grown older with many of his patients. Patients with sports medicine issues a decade ago are now getting total joint replacements. Many of Dr. Halpin’s patients are pretty healthy people with no significant health issues other than their bad knee or bum hip. He jokes that many of his patients seek out general medical advice as part of their orthopedic visit, and he reminds them that they still need a general practitioner for their regular check-ups.
But after 37 years of practice, Dr. Halpin is ready to start taking care of himself. Many of his patients are reluctant to see him retire, and sad to lose a long-term doctor-patient relationship. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in scheduled joint replacements that his patients have been putting off. These patients will keep Dr. Halpin working up until this summer, but he is no longer accepting new patients. New total joint replacement patients will be referred to the newest member of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, Dr. Milan Moore, who will be taking over Dr. Halpin’s practice, as well as doctors Helpenstell, Snow and Zechmann, who are available to see patients at the Westside OOA location The Westside Clinic welcomed Dr. Moore in early April and he will continue to operate with Dr. Halpin until the end of June.
In addition to being a big part of the growth and development of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, Dr. Halpin has contributed greatly to the medical community as a whole. He was one of the first surgeons in the area to provide direct anterior hip replacements. As an expert in his field, he has trained many surgeons on this technique. Dr. Halpin has served as President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association and been a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Halpin has participated in the Washington State Medical Association Intra-state Advocacy Council as well. In 2015, he was named a Thurston County Health Care Champion.
Over the years Dr. Halpin’s big family has grown bigger and he is looking forward to devoting time to his twelve grandchildren. He is currently working to establish some of his own territory in his house after working for almost 40 years, being away much of the time. He and his wife are negotiating on this.
The staff at OOA and the medical community as a whole will miss Dr. Halpin professionally. Fortunately, he is staying in the area and will still be engaged in the community – a community he was so integral in building. If you see him on the golf course or the Chehalis Western Trail, say hello. Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Halpin, you deserve it.