Melrose Free Press
Oct. 11, 2012
By Andrew Pezelli
Whether you are a professional athlete in need of major knee reconstruction or a local competitor looking to ease that nagging back pain, Hallmark Health System’s new Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is the place for you.
The center has gone from relative obscurity, to one of the more highly regarded programs in the Greater Boston area.
In early March, Hallmark Health System decided to take a closer look at how their sports medicine program was being marketed.
The center, formerly called ‘Bone and Joint,’ had already been in existence for a while, but there was a feeling that there was a misconception over the kinds of services they offered.
An extensive market analysis was conducted with a patient care committee as well as local community members, which asked what they associated the title “Bone and Joint” with. The results showed overwhelmingly that no one associated Hallmark Health Systems’ program center with Sports Medicine.
“We wanted to rebrand ourselves,” said Anthony Alley, the Patient Care Director for the new center. “We wanted to reflect the service line that we…the title ‘Bone and Joint’ didn’t capture the full scope of our services.”
One of the changes that came immediately from this rebranding effort was the hiring of a Patient Care Director; Anthony Alley.
The patient care director is like a guide. Navigating patients from the first time they come in to the office all the way through surgery and rehab.
“If they ever have any questions they can call me,” said Alley. “I think it lessens the patients’ and their families’ anxiety, knowing they have someone they can come to for anything.”
The center also offers a program called ‘Joint Camp’ for people who are scheduled to have an orthopedic procedure.
Patients and families are part of a one-hour class that covers everything from the preparation to surgery, expectations while in the hospital, requirements for rehab, and insurance. Everyone gets to be together and go through the experience at once.
Creating these groups has been met with much appreciation since creates a sense of community and gives the patients and families a support group.
“It’s what sets us apart,” said Alley, “giving personal care to the patients and families.”
The center offers a number of different services, offering joint replacement for hip, knee, and shoulders along with custom joint replacements. Hand surgical procedures to fix fractures, address carpal tunnel issues, repair nerves, and treat arthritis. Surgical and non-surgical treatments of arthritis, flat foot problems and tendon injuries. As well as general orthopedic treatments for broken bones, tendon ruptures, back pain, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
And they aren’t stopping there either. The center continues to bring in specialists for hand, foot, and upper extremity injuries.
They also have brought a surgeon on board who practices in customized total and partial knee replacement; the only surgeon north of Boston providing that service.
The center also provides hip arthroscopy for patients right at the center so that they do not need to go to an outside hospital in Boston.
“Patients in the community can come here,” Alley said. “There’s no need to go somewhere else.”
One thing that many athletes will appreciate about the centers services is their speed and minimally invasive procedures.
“Ninety-Nine percent of our patients go home the same day after orthoscopic procedures,” said Alley. “We make to small incisions which lessen scaring and healing time, which is what the athletes want. They want to come in, have the procedure done, and return to their sport.”
The center’s biggest impact on the local community has been through its partnership with the Boston Bruins.
As part of the partnership, Hallmark received a $10,000 grant, which was used to start up a concussion program.
With concussion awareness becoming a bigger issue from the professional sports level all the way down to peewee leagues, having a resource center for coaches, players, and parents is invaluable.
The center provides screening for high school students, as well as providing resources to teach parents and coaches to know the signs and symptoms of concussions, which can go unnoticed without proper training.
The money from the grant was also used to purchase the ImPACT program (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), which is considered the most widely used computer-based testing program in the world for concussions.
“We’ve been able to train thousands of local families,” said Alley. “It’s probably been one of the most impactful benefits of our partnership with the Boston Bruins.”
Hallmark Health Systems sports medicine program has gone from obscurity, to their new Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine being one of the premier care providers in the area.
Its personal based care and state of the art technology set it apart from the rest, and makes it a great choice for professional athletes, as well as supporting the local community.