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News and Information

November 29, 2012

Operation Walk USA: St. Joseph Medical Center, Local Surgeon Provide Free Hip Replacement

St. Joseph Medical Center and Orthopedic Surgeon John Bargren, MD, are partnering to provide hip replacement for a patient at no charge as part of Operation Walk USA, a campaign that promotes orthopedic care for individuals who cannot afford to pay.

Dr. Bargren, a member of the Franciscan Health System medical staff, is donating his professional services. St. Joseph, the Franciscan hospital in Tacoma where the surgery will be performed Dec. 3, is providing the operating room, anesthesiologist and other clinical staff. The male patient, a 41-year-old Yakima resident, applied for orthopedic surgery through Operation Walk USA.

This is the second year that Dr. Bargren and St. Joseph Medical Center have participated in Operation Walk, which reports that it has helped more than 6,000 individuals across the nation to receive new knees and hips. Dr. Bargren is among 109 orthopedic surgeons in 29 states who are donating their professional services this year.

"We are very pleased to participate in the Operation Walk program because it offers life-changing benefits for individuals who are coping with severe pain and limited mobility," said Claudia Lengenfelder, regional director of Franciscan Orthopedic Services. "Mobility and living free of pain are essential for enjoying the simplest pleasures of life."

While more than 1 million hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S. annually, countless men and women continue to live with severe pain and immobility because they are uninsured, underinsured or cannot afford joint replacement surgery. The cost of a hip replacement, including surgery, hospitalization and post-operative care, can reach $100,000.

Last year, Franciscan orthopedic surgeons performed 2,041 joint replacement procedures. Franciscan's comprehensive orthopedic services include Joint Camp for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements at St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood and St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. Joint Camp removes the mystery from surgery by allowing groups of individuals to go through the process together — from pre-surgical education and surgery to rehabilitation.

"By involving our patients and their families in the process from the beginning, joint replacements become more positive and successful experiences," said Debi Williams, manager of Franciscan Orthopedic Services. "There's even a reunion party at which Joint Camp ‘graduates' meet again and share their success stories."

News Media Contact:

Scott Thompson
P: (253) 382-3858
E: ScottThompson@fhshealth.org