Movement and functionality are two of the primary keys for comfortable and successful navigation of our everyday lives. Most of us may not even realize the degree to which we use our bodies daily - anything from maneuvering through the twists and turns in the office; bending over to grab something at the grocery store; scooping up the kids in our arms after a long day; or even walking to the end of the driveway to check the mailbox. So, what happens when an accident, injury, or surgery causes us to lose that mobility and functionality? For Colorado, there’s been one premier healthcare provider for nearly 54 years. As the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies (OCR) continues to expand its capabilities for care further into the Greeley market, it continues to reinforce a commitment to high-level care, recovery, and restoration to healthy living for residents on this side of the Rockies.
“There’s something to be said about combining compassion with excellence in the way we serve each and every person that walks into our facilities,” proudly shares CEO Mike Bergerson, who has spent nearly 17 years with OCR. “When dealing with OCR, there should be nothing less than excellent care provided from the moment you pick up the phone to your final step outside of the facility after treatment.”
Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies’ commitment to compassionate and high-quality treatment stems from its inception in 1969, when four Fort Collins physicians formed a lasting partnership under the name “Fort Collins Orthopaedic Associates.” While each came from diverse backgrounds, they were united by a desire to provide the highest quality orthopaedic care to patients and families in the region, while pioneering new standards in the realm of orthopaedic patient care. The practice continued to grow throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, allowing for the partnership to rebrand as “Orthopaedic and Spine Center of the Rockies” and move to its current location on East Prospect Road in Fort Collins (1990). OCR opened its Loveland office in 1985 and expanded to a larger building in 1997. In December of 2009, the final footprint of OCR Loveland was built, and as of 2019, OCR expanded its brand adding its Ambulatory Surgery & Recovery. OCR opened its Greeley campus in 2016 to serve the growing number of residents in Greeley and communities in eastern Colorado. Now, with over 45 physicians providing care across 6 medical campus, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Lafayette, and Westminster, OCR has nearly 750 employees, and an expanded network of care that includes Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and beyond.
The OCR physicians and team are excited for their new Greeley facility, a brand-new, state-of-the-art Orthopaedic Care and Treatment Center, anticipated to open in May. Located in the Fox Run Development on the Northeast corner of 20th Street and 59th Avenue, this 46,934 square feet facility seeks to further seat OCR’s reputation as “Greeley’s Hometown Orthopaedic Group.” This specialized facility will lead to further opportunities for same-day appointments, increased capacity for patient care and volume, and will contain the foremost advancements in technology and medicine for casts, digital imaging, durable medical equipment (DME), physical therapy, x-rays, and more.
“We’ve loved being a part of the Greeley community since we first moved here in 2016,” Bergerson affirms. “Our company had been talking about expanding in Greeley for 20-30 years before we were first able to move here, albeit in a smaller capacity than we first dreamed. With the construction of this facility, our chance to reach Greeley, the surrounding Weld County community, and even further out east has grown exponentially, and we couldn’t be more thankful and more thrilled for this opportunity to continue to build a strong relationship with the community and to give back.”
The new facility’s size allows for minimized foot traffic congestion on-location, and increased building capacity allows for the addition of hand surgeons all while giving patients the ability to consult with any one of the eight physicians on-site at any given time. This not only builds off the limited space allowed in their current Greeley location, but also means that patients will no longer have to travel to reach facilities in Loveland or Fort Collins for more specialized care.
“Weld County is displaying a large amount of growth, with more housing and more opportunities for industries and employers to invest,” Bergerson reflects. “OCR has had a high value for the industries of Weld County for decades – whether that be the gas, oil, or agricultural fields – and has sought to serve and honor those patients well. Now, we have an opportunity to present people with an improved, special type of orthopaedic care here like never before.”
While the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of Rockies is certainly well-known for their consistent commitment to the highest quality of care and treatment, it isn’t the only reason they’ve made a name for themselves in the Weld County community. Outside of medical care, commitment to their patients and to the communities that they have served continues to be a top priority at all levels of OCR, and it’s not something they’ve ever had trouble emphasizing.
“To give back to the communities that have given so much to us is absolutely critical,” CEO Bergerson passionately proclaims. “We believe in being physician-owned and led and believe that giving back to our community – whether that be through the arts, through cultural immersion, or any other variety of serving opportunities – is at the heartbeat of our mission to serve others. And it’s never something we’ve had to force on our employees – it’s just what we value.”
OCR currently partners with and sponsors a wide variety of organizations and service projects in and around Weld County, including the Greeley Stampede, Weld County Food Bank, the Colorado Eagles, Partners Mentoring Youth, and the Women’s Fund of Weld County, just to name a few. CEO Mike Bergerson himself has served extensively with Partners Mentoring Youth and is on the board of Respite Care, which recently held their annual ball to raise over $639,000 to provide specialized care for kids and families in Northern Colorado. In constructing their new facility, OCR’s Leadership team - including Carli Taylor-Drake, Director of Marketing and Practice Development - has taken a special approach to making sure design elements within the lobby and throughout the building represent Greeley’s rich history and diversity of industry opportunities.
Previously built relationships with the University of Northern Colorado, who works with their current campus on 16th Street, will allow for a partnership with the university’s osteopathic medical school for student opportunities and training within the medical field in the new facility. This will continue to promote OCR’s long-standing value of providing opportunities for people from Weld County to find employment opportunities within their own community.
While access to state-of-the-art equipment and a commitment to pouring into their surrounding communities has certainly helped OCR gain a high reputation within the Colorado community, Bergerson also believes the workplace environment has equal footing. “Our longest termed employee at OCR has been here for 51 years,” Bergerson stated proudly. “Longevity amongst the staff at OCR is widely known and something we take pride in. We’re not just about creating job opportunities - it’s about building a team that truly cares about the community, the patients, and building the highest level of orthopaedic care with efficiency and comfort.”
“We have truly the best of the best when it comes to specialized physicians in Colorado,” affirms Carli Taylor-Drake. “And not only that, but we have been recognized as a top employer in Greeley, which further speaks to the culture and team we’ve built here, and we’re thrilled to expand that environment within the new facility.”
Healthcare is an industry that took an enormous hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many companies struggled to keep employees healthy, well-taken care of, and with high morale during the difficult season. OCR has proudly reported that even amidst the challenges and struggles, OCR remained open every day and served the community, and Bergerson attributes that to the special kind of people that it takes to work in healthcare.
“It was truly because of our employees’ loyalty to their patients and their commitment to high level care that we were able to withstand the effects of COVID-19 on our staff and on our culture,” Bergerson reflects. “And as we continue to grow, we welcome and embrace anyone from any background to come and display that level of commitment and loyalty and to join our team.”
When the new Greeley facility for Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies opens in May 2024, they plan on hosting a community open house for people to come and witness for themselves the high standard of patient care and staff culture that OCR prides itself on. Until then, OCR continues to express gratitude towards the community for their support, and they look forward to continuing to be a positive part of Greeley as it builds towards the future.
“We’ve loved being a part of the Greeley community since we first moved here in 2016. Our company had been talking about expanding in Greeley for 20-30 years before we were first able to move here, albeit in a smaller capacity than we first dreamed. With the construction of this facility, our chance to reach Greeley, the surrounding Weld County community, and even further out east has grown exponentially, and we couldn’t be more thankful and more thrilled for this opportunity to continue to build a strong relationship with the community and to give back.” -Mike Bergerson, CEO