Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is a business that says yes. Yes to new patients, yes to insurance companies and yes to any opportunity that broadens their capability to help more people. Because of their “yes” patient care mentality they have grown substantially since their humble beginning.
Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can be traced back to the founder, Dr. Terrence Hess. After high school, Dr. Hess went straight into pharmacy school. “The first year I had a job I was really excited, but by the second year I realized I wasn’t helping people the way I had intended.” Looking for a new opportunity, Hess began to interview doctors when they would call in their prescriptions. “I made a list of what seemed to fit best. Anesthesiology, because I knew medications well, dermatology, because financially they balanced personal and work well. It Finally, podiatry because it sounded interesting. It was on the bottom of the list as I didn’t know much about it.”
Hess shadowed anesthesiology. “It was pretty cool, but also for me it was boring because the patient is asleep when surgery is happening,” explains Hess. After shadowing dermatology I still wasn’t satisfied in the way I was needing to help people, Hess finally landed in podiatry. “Podiatry, this uncommon foot specialty was spectacular!” he exclaims. “Old people, young people, active and inactive people, everybody! Patients would get better.” Because of the diversity in clientele and the mix of surgery and non-surgical healing modalities, Hess found his calling.
“When I went into practice no one knew who I was,” shares Hess. “I realized it is important to reach out, so I shook hands with everyone under the sun.” Hess and his long-time coworker Laurie, found in the early years we that if we pushed hard and went to different places like, Shelton, Centralia and Montesano to set up practice even for just one day a week, their clientele would quickly grow.
“I just found old goal list where I wrote ‘create the meca,’” shares Hess. “For me that means helping more people get care.” After working in another practice for many years Hess left to pursue his vision of growing the “mecca” and created Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates in 2002. “From 2002 on, it just exploded, we didn’t know how to say no,” he adds. “We don’t even tell certain insurances we don’t want them, we try to let everyone in. Business got so busy that I either needed to clone myself or do something. So, I brought Dr. Burghardt, a classmate of mine, over in 2004 and it has just been growing ever since.
More recently, Dr. Hess and his associate, Joelene decided Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates should broaden their awareness from solely podiatry into a more encompassing sphere of total wellness. They offer physical therapy, massage therapy, sports medicine, PRP, surgical centers and have previously offered weight loss programs. They are hoping to add nutrition classes for their diabetic patients and a fall prevention program for their elderly clientele. One of the reasons for broadening their services is to provide people with the tools for prevention before they have a major ailment or injury. “People don’t want to go to the doctor until there is something wrong,” Hess says. “But do you really want to wait until your car is out of gas before you do something about it?”
Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates has grown to 9 Podiatrists, a Family practice Doctor and 5 locations with another office opening in early 2019. FASA encompasses just over 80 staff members over all locations. Their staff members stay connected with one another by participating in their own sports teams; baseball, volleyball and bowling teams and taking part in a team building day each year. They work to connect with the community by doing a monthly outreach program such as planting trees or participating in Northwest Harvest. The team also connects globally by sending some of their doctors and staff on mission trips, this year being Puerto Rico.
Because of the awesome team at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, they have helped 60,000 patients this year. “The hope is in 2 or 3 years we can help 120,000 patients a year. We have an awesome team of staff members that can take us there, shares Hess.
We are currently in process of remodeling our newest location in Lacey which is due to open in February 2019. The new space will give Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates 2500 more square feet to serve even more clients.