Expanded Orthopedic Center Planned for Scripps Encinitas Campus

Center will offer treatment, diagnostics, research and education

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas announced today that San Dieguito Orthopedic Medical Center will open a comprehensive orthopedic center on the hospital’s campus.

The new facility, which is scheduled to open in early Fall 2004, will be located in a fully-renovated 20,000 sq. ft. medical complex on the northern end of the campus, with immediate access from I-5. The expanded orthopaedic facility will offer a broad range of services including MRI and other advanced diagnostics, physical therapy, operative and non-operative treatment alternatives, clinical research and patient and physician-education programs.

“The new center will enable our team of orthopaedic specialists to address the full range of patient needs in one place,” said Tom Dawson, San Dieguito Orthopedic’s Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to the comprehensive services offered through the orthopaedic Center, our presence on the hospital’s campus will allow us to work hand in hand with the medical staff to ensure patients receive the highest quality care possible.”
San Dieguito Orthopedic Medical Center currently has six fellowship trained specialists: Dr. Robert Gelb concentrates on surgery of the hand; Dr. Michael Skyhar and Dr. Gregory Loren specialize in sports-related injuries; and Dr. Timothy Peppers, Dr. Raymond Linovitz and Dr. L. Erik Westerlund focus on disorders of the spine.

With the opening of the Center, the group will be creating new sub-specialty programs and expanding its physician base to compliment their existing centers for sports medicine, spinal disorders and hand surgery. “We want to be able to meet the increasing demand for orthopaedic care in the North County’” said Dr. Michael Skyhar, the group’s president. In addition to new doctors, the center will be expanding some of the group’s unique services including outreach programs for extreme athletes, specialty services for injured workers and health-education opportunities for local employers.

“Scripps Encinitas is well known for providing advanced orthopaedic surgery and physical rehabilitation,” said Jay Kasey, interim administrator at Scripps Encinitas. “Those services will grow as the medical group grows. Their research and education and new diagnostics capabilities fit nicely with our surgical and rehab services. And the physician leadership that comes from being a regional center of excellence will serve to educate the rest of our staff on the latest advances in orthopaedic diagnosis and treatment. That’s good for our patients, our staff and for the entire North County community.”

As part of the group’s growth, the Center intends to develop expanded research and teaching capabilities including a program dedicated to bringing the latest surgical advances and technologies to San Diego. Raymond Linovitz, MD, who will become the new Center’s research director, will lead the group’s efforts to become a regional center for clinical trials and surgeon training. “Once new procedures are approved and available to everyone, physician training is of paramount importance. We intend to expand our role as a training center to the international level,” said Dr. Linovitz.

The group is currently participating in a half-dozen treatment investigations and hopes to double that number once the new Center is opened. New surgical techniques such as total disc replacement surgery – currently under study at Scripps Encinitas – will be one of the focuses of the Center’s research. Currently, Scripps Encinitas is one of only four sites in the state performing the procedure.