FVO Marks 50 Years of Independent Care

Fox Valley Orthopedics (FVO) has been physician-owned and operated since its inception in 1974, and its independence has made it a shining example of what hometown medicine can look like in the 21st century.

“We’ve taken where we started, which was this very local, community organization founded in St. Charles with just two doctors, and we’ve grown that,” says Dr. Vishal Mehta, who joined the practice in 2006 has spent the past eight years as its president and managing partner. “We’ve always had this mission to provide the best orthopedic care to our community.”

When Mehta says the practice has grown, he’s not kidding. FVO has more than 40 providers at 10 suburban sites, including a new office in Yorkville, which opened last fall.

“We have over 350 employees,” he says. “We’ve increased the scope of what we do, as well. But as we grow, we always want to provide the best possible care.”

That’s evidenced by things like a new MRI purchased for the Elgin office and top-of-the-line physical therapists, which Mehta says is one of the biggest draws to FVO.

All of this has been possible because of FVO’s commitment to staying independent.

“For me, the most important thing is having respect for the people we take care of,” says Dr. Craig Torosian, a hand and wrist orthopedic surgeon who joined the practice in 1995. “We respect all of our patients, and it has that much more value when you live in the same community.”

Dr. David Morawski, joint orthopedic surgeon, vividly remembers when he first joined FVO in August 1993.

“I was excited because I believed the existing partners were really forward thinking and had a vision of building a place where you can not only see patients and diagnose their problems through X-ray imaging, but you would also have therapy to send them to,” says Morawski.

When Morawski started, he performed total hip and knee replacement surgeries in a hospital. Patients typically stayed overnight and then went to rehab.

Today, 95% of Morawski’s cases head home the same day as their surgery – which is performed in FVO’s own outpatient surgery center.

FVO continues to grow, having also added a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, podiatrist, rheumatologist, spine surgeons, hand surgeons and physiatrists.

Staying independent in today’s health care environment has allowed FVO to keep its hometown feel, despite its larger size. And that’s been incredibly important to FVO staff.

“At least early on, the first eight, nine surgeons all lived in the Tri-Cities, and we very often saw our patients on the streets at high school games, movie theaters, other places in town,” says Morawski. “So, when we do have a Yorkville office, we like to fill that up with people who are from Yorkville or the southwest side of Naperville and Aurora and live in that community near that office.”

The term “individual practice” has a powerful presence behind it that patients can sense, as well, Mehta says.

“When I walk through my office, if there’s a piece of paper on the floor, I clean it up,” he says. “We close up at 5, but if a patient shows up at 5:01, I take care of that patient. It’s a different sense of pride and ownership and truly caring because each individual is Fox Valley Orthopedics. We are the organization.”

Independence also helps FVO stay on the cutting edge.

“Technology is a large part of what we do,” Mehta says. “That’s why we’ve invested in the latest implants, the latest imaging in the operating room. We purchased robotics for hip and knee replacement because we always want to make the investments to provide the latest surgical technology.”

Staying a step ahead is key, but celebrating 50 years has provided FVO staffers time to sit back and reflect on where it was and what it has become, Mehta says.

“I think it really comes back to that constant,” Mehta says. “The reality is that everything around us will change. The population will grow, technology will change, but the constant is taking care of our community. That commitment will be there 50 years from now. We will continue to change as times change and be on the forefront of orthopedic care. We are really looking forward to what the future brings.”

Fox Valley Orthopedics has locations in Algonquin, Barrington, Elgin, Geneva and Yorkville. Call (630) 584-1400 to schedule an appointment.