St. John's Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics

The St. John's Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics, an important quality initiative lead by orthopaedist Angus "Gus" Goetz, DO., was launched in early 2011 after much research and planning including visits to top orthopaedic programs across the U.S.

Years of Experience

In addition to serving as the Medical Director for the Center of Excellence, Dr. Goetz has practiced orthopaedic medicine for twenty years and currently is Chief of Surgery at St. John's Medical Center. "We started the Center of Excellence to offer a better program than other hospitals relative to quality, compassionate care and superior outcomes," Dr. Goetz explains. "It's important to us that patients from the community feel confident about their choice to have surgery locally, with all the benefits of being close to home."

"We are focusing initially on our total joint replacement program for hips, knees and shoulders," explains Dr. Goetz. "We have enhanced the entire experience, from patient education prior to surgery through the surgery stay and the patient's integration back into home, work and community life." While the program was designed using standards set by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it was customized by St. John's to meet the unique needs of the Jackson Hole community.

A Team Approach

The team approach is a key feature of the Center of Excellence model. Surgeons, nurses and professionals from Surgical Services and other hospital departments are on the Center of Excellence team. Through a robust patient education component, patients have the opportunity to meet the staff who will care for them through the entire joint replacement process: surgeon, education, nursing, rehabilitation and social services. Arrangements for nursing and rehabilitation post-surgery are provided. All orthopaedic surgeons on the St. John's Medical Center staff had a role in the development of the Center of Excellence and are eligible to participate. Regardless of your choice of surgeon, all orthopaedic surgeries performed at the hospital have followed the new quality initiatives for joint replacement procedures since the new program was implemented.

Other Major Features

Other major features of the Center of Excellence program include:
• The use of clinical pathways re-designed to ensure consistency in quality and risk reduction for all patients
• An emphasis on blood clot and infection protection
• New "checklists" in the pre-operative, surgical and post-surgical arenas
• Advanced analgesic methods
• Better patient comfort with designated patient rooms, specific new beds and other enhancements

Patient Education and Empowerment

While many of the program's benefits happen behind the scenes, patient education and empowerment can make the greatest difference. For the best surgical experience, patients are encouraged to attend one the two-hour workshops offered by St. John’s Medical Center’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

For more information about the Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics, call Sherry Wieters, Program Coordinator, 307 739 7501