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A “HAPPY COINCIDENCE” Creates the Foundation for Coastal Orthopedics’ 50-Year Legacy

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  • | 2:08 p.m. September 7, 2023
Debra Gregrich, Heather Gillen, RMA, Ashley Fowler PA-C, Rob Nixon PA-C, and Dr. Alan Valadie
Debra Gregrich, Heather Gillen, RMA, Ashley Fowler PA-C, Rob Nixon PA-C, and Dr. Alan Valadie
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It was a “happy coincidence” that laid the foundation for Coastal Orthopedics, says Dr. Jim Rogers, one of the original founders of the now well-known health care firm.

Formed in the early 1970s, the initial three-doctor partnership between Dr. Jim Rogers, Dr. Keith Lassen, and Dr. Horace Townsend was simply known as “Townsend, Lassen and Rogers, PC” - or “TL&R” for short. It wasn’t until Dr. Gary Dunlap joined the practice that they changed their name to Bradenton Orthopedic Associates.

“Before coming to Bradenton, neither of us had any personal connections with the town or each other,” said Dr. Rogers. “Aside from the obvious fact that orthopedics was the common denominator, each of us had very different personal and educational backgrounds. Horace was originally from Oklahoma, trained in the military, and was in Vietnam before coming here. Keith grew up in Arizona and went to school in California, Texas, and Iowa before coming to Bradenton after being in the Air Force in Pensacola. My schooling was mostly in the south, and since my father was an Army doctor, I was from everywhere and nowhere. But I claim Georgia, since I was born in Atlanta.”

Musculoskeletal Ambulatory Surgery Center staff members

Though their backgrounds and education were so different, their practice has clearly stood the test of time. Dr. Rogers says that their differences have become an unrecognized benefit of their collaboration.

“One very important element to our partnership was that I trusted my partners to care for my patients in my absence the same way that I would have, and I am sure they felt the same about me,” said Dr. Rogers. “Also, I can safely say that we developed a good reputation in our community for taking good care of our patients, so we enjoyed their trust as well. I think I can speak for Dr. Townsend and Dr. Lassen in saying that we picked the right specialty for a lot of reasons. One of which is that we truly enjoyed engaging with our patients and their families through the years. In this regard I think the proof was in the pudding, since most of the patients that came to our practice were referred by other patients.”

The organization’s name underwent several changes as doctors continued to join the team, finally becoming Coastal Orthopedics in 2004. Despite these changes, the mission to improve the quality of life for patients and their families has never wavered. Now, Coastal Orthopedics is celebrating 50 years of innovative health care, and is looking forward to a thriving future.

As Manatee and Sarasota counties have grown, so has Coastal Orthopedics. Last year, two new state-of-the-art facilities opened in West Bradenton and East Manatee, offering the latest in cutting-edge orthopedic technology. They also have an ambulatory surgery center to serve Florida’s West Coast.

Their commitment to providing the highest quality of orthopedic care to the community has driven Coastal Orthopedics to offer the most cutting-edge technology available to its patients, recently turning to robotics. In October 2021, they became the first in the region to offer Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm assisted knee replacement procedures in their outpatient surgery center, and have performed over 500 successful procedures using the technology.

“Now that I am getting older, I am on the other side of this healthcare business, since I have been treated by Coastal Orthopedics’ doctors for knee, shoulder, and hand problems. So I can confirm from a very personal viewpoint that I was treated very competently - as you would expect in this day and age - but also with respect and concern,” says Dr. Rogers. “I am proud to have been associated with Coastal from the very beginning, and I am very happy to see their continued growth and success as they expand from that little, small town ‘bone-and-joint’ practice to what it is today.”

ZooTampa Day with Zoe Quinn-Kelly, PA-C, Dr. John Harkess and family, and Dr. R. Stephen Otte and family

Today, 20 orthopedic surgeons and pain management physicians call Coastal Orthopedics home, maintaining hospital affiliations with HCA Florida Blake Hospital, HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, and Manatee Memorial Hospital. Overall, the practice employs over 300 - many who have been with the company for over 20 years.

“I have witnessed so much kindness in my 25 years with Coastal,” said registered technologist Patsy Patterson. “The medical assistants are so kind and helpful to us in x-ray. I have seen the physicians go to great lengths to help Coastal employees in need. Physician assistants, cast techs, as well as physical therapists, have willingly and graciously helped us lift patients when needed. I have even witnessed patients who don’t know each other showing great kindness and compassion to each other, and I continue to be inspired by our front desk staff who work so hard and are always cheerful.” To celebrate 50 years of community and care, Coastal Orthopedics treated their entire staff - and their families - to a day at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Several additional activities are planned throughout the month, among them a breakfast served by the management team. “

One of the things I like about working at Coastal is that our physicians are excellent,” said Patsy. “I see patients come in injured and in terrible pain. They come back for x-rays after surgery or treatment, and they are so much better. Sometimes the difference is so great, you would think it was a miracle.”

“It’s truly an honor to be with a company with such tremendous dedication to its foundational legacy, innovative care for its patients, and to this wonderful community that has supported our growth for five decades,” said Paige LeMay, Chief Executive Officer of Coastal Orthopedics. “We are thrilled to be a leading provider of comprehensive orthopedic care on the Suncoast, and we cannot thank our dedicated team of employees, physicians, and this community enough for their continued support. Here’s to the next 50 years!”

Coastal Orthopedics and Musculoskeletal Ambulatory Surgery Center
8000 SR 64 East • Bradenton, FL 34212

8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. 3rd Floor • Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

6202 17th Ave. West • Bradenton, FL 34209



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