In his 25-year career in healthcare, Terry Lawrence has never worked in an environment quite like the one at Bone & Joint.
Lawrence is the CEO and chief ethics and compliance officer of Bone & Joint, which has clinics at 5200 Hummingbird Rd., Wausau, as well as Plover, Merrill and Medford and a business support center in Schofield.
Bone & Joint is a physician-owned provider of musculoskeletal services. How it delivers that care comes through many integrated services.
“We are a multi-specialty musculoskeletal group with integrated specialties such as orthopedics, spine, pain, podiatry and therapy,” Lawrence said, “but our patients don’t necessarily know the lingo. They just know that we help them feel better.”
Bone & Joint was established in 1969 when Dr. T. O. Miller opened his solo practice and ultimately performed the first joint replacement in the Wausau area.
Bone & Joint grew to be a medical group of physicians and moved several times before taking up residence in the Wausau Hospital (Aspirus) complex in 1979. It added satellite clinics in Merrill in 1981, Medford in 2002, and built a new Wausau area clinic in the shadows of Rib Mountain in 2008. It also added walk-in care services in 2013 to accommodate sports-related injuries, broken bones and other urgent orthopedic needs. Plover clinic and walk-in care services opened in 2016.
Earlier this year, the group brought physical therapy services in-house at the Plover and Wausau clinics.
“Having physical therapy services is extremely instrumental to our care model; it’s one of the last service lines we needed to bring in house to seamlessly provide care to patients,” he said
In addition, Bone & Joint also expanded its urgent care hours in Wausau earlier this year to meet patient demand. “We needed to do that to provide that immediate access to care,” Lawrence said. “It’s been a wonderful thing with many patients coming in on Saturdays and during our later hours.”
April also marked the conclusion of a remodeling project at the Wausau location that added 13 patient rooms to meet the growing demand in the area.
“Walking in the door, it’s really a one-stop shop for integrated care,” Lawrence said. “We can see a diverse group of patients in our community and that’s what we are here for — to serve them.”
Lawrence is quick to point out that while Bone & Joint has all these deliverables, it’s the people who make the difference. That includes 15 physicians and nine advanced practice providers as well as about 205 additional employees. Bone & Joint’s culture supports a dedication to delivering on a personalized patient experience throughout the entire patient’s visit.
“We really do live our mission to be the best — the best place for patients to receive care, the best place for employees to work and the best place for physicians to practice medicine,” Lawrence said . “It’s evident in patient experience. It’s evident in our employee engagement. It’s evident in our patient satisfaction scores. I couldn’t be more thrilled with where we’ve gone in the past four years.”
Lawrence sets the tone with employees from day one when he welcomes employees during orientation. He is a firm believer that “everything falls into place naturally by taking care of your people," he said.
“When you have an independently-owned practice as we do, you’re able to be more resilient, flexible and able to execute what needs to be done on behalf of the patient,” he said. “If something arises, we can call a meeting of all stakeholders, make a decision right there and create a level of satisfaction for everyone. We don’t have to go through a bureaucratic process that takes six months or longer to make a change to meet patients where they are.”