Regular orthopedic services will be returning to Blue Mountain Hospital after several years’ absence.
Dr. Scott Jacobson, who is trained in orthopedic sports medicine and specializes in shoulder and knee injuries, traveled from The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical & Research facility in Bend to John Day for his first clinic day on Nov. 9.
“He’ll start out with a one-day clinic every other month,” Jenny King, the marketing and communications director at The Center, said. “You can do a lot in one day. If there’s more demand, then he could come to John Day every month.”
Jacobson said he stopped coming to John Day several years ago when he lost his charter plane. He said the type of orthopedic needs found in John Day would be typical, if not for the distance to care centers.
“It’s a long way to drive to Bend, so people sometimes wait too long to see a doctor,” he said. “Part of that is the independent nature of people in John Day, but a doctor will often see more advanced problems.”
Lynne Combs, the clinic manager at the Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic in John Day, said she was “very much looking forward to seeing this service restored.”
“We’re a very active community, so there is a higher risk for strain, fractures and bruised bones,” she said.
In addition to the area’s hunters, outdoor recreationists, timber workers and ranchers, there’s a growing elderly population in Grant County.
“These types of injuries can occur at any age, even children, but definitely our community has an older segment with approaching needs for knees and hips,” she said.
Combs noted that avoiding the lengthy drive times to medical services in Bend can be helpful, but it would also be easier on people with mobility issues.
King said Jacobson would provide pre-op and post-op evaluation and diagnosis, but procedures would need to be performed in Bend or other locations. She said Jacobson planned to fly to Grant County Regional Airport each time with Korena Larsen-Farris, a physician’s assistant who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation and has been seeing patients at Blue Mountain Hospital since 2010.
Jacobson has more than two decades of experience in orthopedic medicine. He earned his medical degree at UCLA and completed his residency at Duke University and his sports medicine fellowship at Southern California Center for Sports Medicine. He started working at The Center in Bend in 1995 and treats patients of all ages and diverse backgrounds.
Outside of medical work, Jacobson has placed in the top three as a national physique competitor in open and master’s men’s divisions, is a multi-engine, instrument-rated private pilot and enjoys playing the piano, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
“I’m looking forward to returning to John Day,” Jacobson said. “I enjoyed my time in John Day, and I’m sure the patients will enjoy seeing me here, too.”