COOS BAY — “Support your local surgeon” was the theme of an event at the South Coast Surgery Center earlier this month.
In an effort to raise awareness that the center treats sports injuries, as well as any outpatient surgeries, cadavers were brought in to operate on in front of the public.
So many attended South Coast Surgery Center's new "support your local surgeon event," it may now be held annually.
“We had one room showing the latest gold standards for knee ACL repairs and another room doing foot and ankle technology with an internal brace,” said Brandon Shaw, sports medicine representative for the center from Arthrex, an orthopedic medical device company based out of Florida. “The theme of the event was to support your local surgeons and a lot of people showed up.”
For orthopedic surgeon Dr. Garry Vallier, co-owner of South Coast Surgery, the event meant showing the community that local medicine is just as good as what can be found in Eugene.
“We aren’t being given a chance because no one hears about us,” he said. “So for this event we sent out flyers to coaches, teachers and students.”
Vallier said close to 50 people attended, which was more support than he had anticipated but enough to make the event return next year.
“It’s important for the local community to know these guys are trained on the latest technology,” Shaw said. “I am the representative who comes in and sets up arrangements throughout the year for these surgeons to practice the latest technology, not just here but up in Eugene too. We train these surgeons the same.”
In fact, Oregon State student, Philip Hernandez, shadowed surgeons from the center this month. Not only is he looking to become an orthopedic surgeon, but he is also a Marshfield High School graduate.
“We support local students,” Shaw said.
During the event earlier this month, Shaw said that anyone was welcome in the operating rooms to view the latest and greatest medical procedures on cadavers. If anyone didn’t want to be in the operating room, a live feed was set up outside.
“Our goal is for people to know that when it comes to sports medicine, these guys are just as good,” Shaw said.
Vallier has been practicing orthopedics for 28 years, having served in the Army which he described as being “like sports medicine and trauma fellowship.”
“I trained at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, where we did total joint replacements because there is a big retiree population,” Vallier said.
Vallier is now embedded in the Coos County community, so much so that he stands on the sidelines during the Marshfield High School home games.
“We don’t do much at the games, but being there probably helps knowing the doctors are there,” Vallier said, adding with a laugh that none of the games are held until he or someone from the center shows up.
“We were pleasantly surprised by how many people attended,” Vallier said of the event. “We hope to make it annual.”