By Erin Williams
Capital Ortho, formerly known as Capital Orthopedic, has been a staple in the local healthcare community for almost 30 years. With physical locations in Flowood and Madison, and satellite locations in Forest, Kosciusko, Crystal Springs, and Magee, Capital Ortho serves thousands of patients each year with a wide scope of injuries and ailments.
Comprised of a growing support staff and nine surgeons—Dr. Kellum, Dr. Kneip, Dr. McCraney, Dr. Futvoye, Dr. Hosemann, Dr. Brien, Dr. Dulske, Dr. Hendrix, and Dr. Kennedy—Capital Ortho specializes in general and specialized orthopedic care for patients in Jackson and around the state. With many long-term patients that have used Capital Ortho for years, the surgeons have garnered a loyal following that lives up to the hype.
While the training and quality care the staff at Capital Ortho provides is well known, the backbone of their success and the reason each of the doctors ultimately practices is because of their strong Christian faith—the same faith that they aim to be at the heart of each patient interaction.
One way they incorporate their faith into their practice is within the physician-patient relationship. Each of the doctors strives to build lasting physician-patient relationships that go beyond just the initial physical operations and recovery.
“Healing takes on many aspects; whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental,” said Dr. Kellum. “Happier patients lead to better outcomes and that comes with each of us talking to them and really spending some time with our patients during their appointments versus rushing in and out.”
Dr. McCraney echoed his colleague’s statement when he shared, “We try to practice medicine in a way that’s not just the academic side; we get involved in our patient’s lives because health is holistic and we take all of those aspects of their lives into account when considering treatment plans for them.”
While each of the surgeons is training in general orthopedic care, many of them also bring with them specialized areas of training. One of these, Dr. Futvoye, was a practicing physical therapist before deciding to go to medical school to pursue orthopedic surgery with a specialization in total joint reconstruction. He credits his background in physical therapy for giving him a different perspective on patient care and their struggles, namely in rehabilitation and recovery.
“I’ve seen how hard it is for some patients to recover and the amount of work it takes to do rehab with orthopedic injuries,” said Dr. Futvoye. “We each try to encourage them and give them the time to be heard—you know, just glorifying God in our work whether it be surgery or rehab or recovery or even the initial patient visit.”
As I talked with each of the surgeons, one thing that kept coming up repeatedly as being crucial to good patient care is the ability to empathize with their patients and put themselves in their patient’s (sometimes not so stable) shoes.
“Orthopedic injuries are typically traumatic and life-altering, so we try to guide our patients through the process and tell them that God has a plan for them and that, although this might seem like a detour in the road, this is a part of His plan for their lives,” said Dr. Hosemann. “We tell them that there’s a reason, for better or for worse, that God has chosen them to go through this trial and that they can turn this negative into a positive if they’ll work hard and trust Him.”
Oftentimes, at the patient’s request, they have brought in their ministers to say a prayer with them and their doctor before surgery.
Another way the doctors incorporate their Christian faith into their practice is through supporting the state Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Each year, Capital Ortho sponsors three FCA events. As a matter of fact, on a Friday of one of our interviews, Capital Ortho’s administrator, Jeff Bedford, came in wearing an FCA shirt and had been at one of the meetings that morning.
Although each is busy with work demands, the doctors also work to live out their faith at home in their other roles as husbands and fathers.
“The Bible says you can be successful by men’s standards and not the Lord’s,” said Dr. Brien. “I want my kids to know what it requires to know the Lord as their savior. I want them to know that life isn’t always easy, in the same way it is for my patients sometimes, but you have to keep going whether you’re in the hills or in the valleys.”
Because many of them are just as passionate about their families as they are about the practice, each of the doctors has formed a great relationship where they work in a team atmosphere so that everyone can enjoy a good work-life balance. According to many of the doctors, it’s one of the main reasons they’ve stayed at Capital Ortho over the years.
It isn’t just Mississippians who have benefitted from Capital Ortho’s services as many of the doctors have also gone on various medical mission trips over the years where they’ve performed free services to the less fortunate overseas. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Futvoye, in partnership with Operation Walk, have gone on several medical mission trips to El Salvador where their teams have performed free joint replacement surgeries on individuals who would’ve never been able to afford them otherwise.
Capital Ortho hopes to be in their new state-of-the-art, full-service facility by Labor Day, and they are excited for their patients to have the opportunity to receive outpatient surgery in the clinic, participate in in-house physical therapy, or be able to take advantage of the in-house pharmacy. Although they hope to continue to grow and care for more patients, the doctors are adamant to not let the growth affect their patient care.
“Sometimes it good to ask ourselves ‘Why would people want to come here?’ and let that answer affect how we want to grow,” said Dr. Kneip. “I want to grow because people see that we are different—we’re kind, compassionate, and we spend time with our patients. I often pray on the way to work for God to give me the eyes to see my patients the way that He sees them, as a child of God, and not just as a patient.”
If there was one thing I was certain of at the conclusion of our interviews, it was that these doctors had grit.
Listening to each of them talk, their passion for what they do screams from their eyes, and it pours out into every interaction they have. It’s why the patients keep returning year after year, and it’s what has allowed them to expand. Although, if you asked them what the secret to their success is, you’d find that it really isn’t a secret at all.
According to the doctors, that secret is a lot of hard work, a lot of prayers, a wonderful staff that they are grateful for each day, and a lot of The Golden Rule.