Celebrating 50 years is quite an accomplishment and the perfect time to reminisce and look back over your storied history. At Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (Oly Ortho), they’ve spent five decades working to help us live “Life In Motion” and are looking towards many more years providing top quality care for our bone, muscle, and joint issues. We can’t predict the future but looking ahead with confidence and experience helps plan for whatever the journey brings.

Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
For 50 years, Olympia Orthopaedic Associates has worked to keep Thurston County residents living life in motion. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates

Oly Ortho is the largest full-service orthopaedic group in South Puget Sound. Their programs include hand & wrist, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, back, neck & spine, neuro, foot & ankle as well as pain management, sports medicine, physical & hand therapy, on-site diagnostics and outpatient surgery, including total joint replacement.

Dr. Jerome Zechmann has grown up alongside—and inside—the clinic. His father was one of the founding members and he joined the team himself in 1993. “There was no crossover,” he recalls. “Dads last day was July 31, 1993, and I started August 1. Comparing our clinic to other major orthopedic groups throughout the country, we are one of the top in almost all aspects, which makes me proud to know that we have excellent staff and physicians to accomplish this.”

“We have been blessed with partners that are very bright and forward thinking and we have strived to change with times so that we could achieve our mission of providing excellent musculoskeletal care to our community,” he continues. “I believe our staff truly find Olympia Orthopaedics to be special because it is a place where they can have fun and work. Many are friends and do social activities outside of work which makes the group cohesive on many levels.”

He believes their commitment to service means Oly Ortho will continue to smoothly change with the times. As more surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis, they’re working on a new Hawks Prairie complex that will open in 2025. The site will also have short-term stay capacity for patients who need a little extra care or who travelled from out of the area.

Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
They’re already looking towards the future with a new spine center and planned Hawks Prairie site. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates

Zechmann is also the only SuperPATH provider in Washington. This is an emerging type of hip replacement surgery that aims to repair damage without cutting the tendons and muscles your hip needs to function or dislocating the hip socket for a speedier recovery time.

Like Zechmann, Oly Ortho’s CEO Ben Shah is excited at their commitment to keeping up with the latest and greatest. “Oly Ortho is always innovating,” says Shah. “Whether it’s allowing scheduling online or reviewing the latest clinical pathways that lead to the best outcomes, we keep our eyes and ears open for whatever is coming next. We don’t want to be followers. We want to be leaders in the community for patient care, engaged employees and happy providers. We are fortunate to have staff and providers aligned in that belief.”

And that innovation is key. “The healthcare industry is nothing but change,” says Shah. “To know what is coming next is to take a guess and hope you’re right. Some things we do know, Medicare wants more of its patients in accountable care organizations and it wants more of its payments to be fixed. This will impact hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, home health and more. As Medicare goes, so goes the rest of the insurance industry. Our goal is to have a business model that can quickly adapt to the needs of the community and industry so that we can continue to provide the best care possible to our patients.”

Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
Times, styles and computer monitors might have changed, but Oly Ortho’s commitment to excellence in staffing, training and technique is still going strong. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates

Oly Ortho’s management encourages continuing education, training and participation in consortium-type groups to keep ahead of changes. And like Zechmann, Shah understands that it’s hard to keep up with healthcare changes, but they never stop striving. “We just opened our Spine Center and administration building last September but we know we need more space.” Like the rest of the team, he’s excited for the Hawks Prairie project and prouder too of their vital role within the community. “Oly Ortho has been a part of this community for 50 years,” says Shah. “We continue to strive for excellence each day and make sure our community is well cared for. I’m so proud to work for this organization.”

You can follow Oly Ortho’s comings and goings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They also host an educational video library and featured wall of all-star patients before and after their surgeries. If you’d like to make an appointment, you can self-schedule on the website, send an email to scheduling@olyortho.com or give them a call at 360.570.3460.

Lived experience provides unmatched wisdom and the ability to predict what the future might bring. The Oly Ortho team has weathered many changes and is still going strong in 2022. Here’s to another 50 years of keeping Pierce County living “Life In Motion” no matter what lies ahead.


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