McLeod Sports Medicine Features Olympic Gold Medalist

This past Thursday evening, McLeod Health hosted a unique event to celebrate the work of our McLeod Human Motion Specialists program and the exciting growth ahead. McLeod Human Motion Specialists brings together the medical specialists and practitioners who treat muscular and skeletal issues resulting from injury, illness or aging.

We were pleased to have a special guest and speaker join us in the celebration, Eric Heiden, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and a United States Olympic gold medalist. His engaging presentation reflected on key people in his life who moved him to higher pursuits and were an inspiration, as well as  his past experiences as a “champion.”  He highlighted his passion for modeling “fit” behavior and underscored the need for our culture to embrace the need to fight the growing crisis of obesity and overweight by focusing on physical activity and nutrition. “The negative results of a sedentary population is all around each of us,” he told the crowd.    

Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Heiden, M.D., at left, served on a panel discussion during the McLeod Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Conference. Other panelists seen with Dr. Heiden included Dr. Pat Denton with Pee Dee Orthpaedics and Dr. Brian Blair with McLeod Orthopaedics.

Dr. Eric Heiden is a true American sports icon. He has earned more medals in a single Olympics than any previous Olympic athlete and has set 15 world records in his speed skating career. At the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games, he won the Gold in all five speed skating events and set four Olympic records and one world record.

After retiring from speed skating, Dr. Heiden began a second career in cycling. He won a United States Cycling Championship and competed with the 7-11 team in the 1986 Tour de France.

By 1991, Dr. Heiden had earned his medical degree from Stanford University and was ready to begin his third career as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. In 2006, Dr. Heiden and his wife, Dr. Karen Heiden, relocated to Park City, Utah, and after working extensively with The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), established their own orthopedic practice. Dr. Heiden is also the Co-founder of the University of California Davis Sports Performance Program, and the author of “Faster, Better, Stronger.”

“I am proud of the collective work being done here at McLeod, the work to be proactive and committed to both prevention and treatment processes,” said Dr. Heiden.

One of the goals of McLeod Human Motion Specialists is to offer a seamless delivery of care to all orthopedic and spine patients. Through the consolidation of adult therapy, patients will soon have complete and convenient access to all of their therapeutic needs in one location.

The adult outpatient therapy services of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, work recovery, sports medicine and the Occupational Therapy Hand Center will be housed together in one location on the McLeod Wellness Campus, adjacent to the McLeod Health and Fitness, scheduled to open in June.We look forward to being able to provide convenient access and to continue our outstanding care to the patients we serve.

We were appreciative of  Dr. Heiden’s visit to our community and McLeod and his participation both in our Thursday night reception and our day long annual Orthopedic Conference on Friday. There were more than 150 attendees, and 34 physicians from 13 counties at the educational program. Dr. Heiden’s address at both events was extremely meaningful and very well received by all.

Thanks to all who attended these special programs and to all who made the events possible.


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