Patients: honesty, family-like treatment key to successful care at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sport Medicine

Patients: honesty, family-like treatment key to successful care at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sport Medicine
By: Allison Tunstall Last Updated: July 31, 2020

Finding the right doctor who will listen and take into account your unique needs is vital to receiving the right care. At Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, patients have found just that in a team who respects and values everyone in need of care as if they were family.

From a friendly staff that knows you by name to doctors who walk you through each step of your procedure, Great Lakes Orthopedics’ success stems from a goal to provide accessible and reliable healthcare to those looking for lasting relief.

Paulette Young

When Paulette Young began having an issue with her hip, her experience with another orthopedic doctor had been disappointing. After being refused care by the doctor, saying he would not be able to help her condition, she turned to Dr. Keith Pitchford at Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine who had previously repaired a torn meniscus for her.

“What I have always respected about Dr. Pitchford is that he never immediately decides surgery is the best route,” Young said. “He tries everything he can before surgery, which is something that I think is really important in a doctor.”

Dr. Pitchford’s reassurance that he could repair Young’s hip easer her worry. He was able to successfully complete the procedure, and since then has been the orthopedic doctor she has gone to for two knee replacements and a shoulder repair.

Today, Young is back on her bike, a hobby she loves. She felt that Dr. Pitchford listened to her, and cared for her well, something she had never truly experienced at that level in a healthcare professional before.

“I went in as a patient, I left as family,” Young said. “His staff as well is unbelievable. After the procedure, they called and checked up on me and my progress constantly, something they did on their own time. They go out of their way to make sure you’re cared for.”

For Pamela Altgilbers, Dr. Pitchford’s and Dr. Tim Williams’ straightforward approach to care stood out to her as she went in for her knee procedure.

Portrait of woman and husband Pamela Altgilbers patient Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Pamela Altgilbers

“Before the procedure, they made sure I understood exactly what the procedure entailed. And after my procedure, they didn’t rush me out of the office,” Altgilbers said. “They took the time to make sure I understood what to expect as I recovered from the surgery.”

“They didn’t sugarcoat it,” she said. “They told me up front, ‘You’re going to hurt afterward. You’re going to have to put in the work as you recover.’ I appreciated that honesty from my doctors.”

Altgilbers was referred to Great Lakes Orthopedics by a family member for a knee procedure. She remembers how, after the surgery, Dr. Pitchford took the time to go through the procedure and aftercare with her and her husband to ensure they took all the right steps to get Altgilbers back on her feet.

“They were sure to tell us that if I had any pain, any complications whatsoever, to call Great Lakes right away and I would be able to talk to someone immediately,” she said. “Not a machine, not a robot, a real person. They go above and beyond to make sure you are taken care of.”

“They told me that it’s possible I will need the same surgery on my left knee, and at first I was hesitant because there was a lot of pain, as is normal in a surgery like that,” Altgilbers said. “But they were there from the beginning, telling me that I got this, and supporting me through physical therapy. So, when I need that surgery on my left knee, I will be right back in their office where I will feel that same support.”

Norma Sims experienced that same level of support and care when she went to Great Lakes Orthopedics searching for relief after a full knee reconstruction surgery from another provider that didn’t hold, leaving her in pain and with an infection.

“It had been four years of pain and constant infection, but Dr. Pitchford and Dr. Williams were able to get me into surgery, fix my knee, clean the infection, and get me into physical therapy quickly,” Sims said.

This was the second time Sims had been a Great Lakes Orthopedics patient. The first was when she experienced some nerve damage in her knee while out for a run, causing her to seek Dr. Pitchford’s expertise. Each time, she has gotten back to her life and hobbies.

“It’s been six months since that second surgery, and I’m walking, I’m riding my bike, and I’m doing everything I wasn’t able to do for years,” Sims said. “I’m not sure what would have happened if they hadn’t stepped in and helped me when I really needed it.”

Much like Young and Altgilbers, Sims was treated like family whenever she walked through the doors. Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is proud of their dedication to patients and their well-being—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

For more information about Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, please visit their website at