Who We Are
Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) is a group of orthopedic surgeons and other providers committed to delivering world-class care in a friendly, patient-centered environment.
The OPA "care team" model of service helps patients enjoy the personalized attention and a family feel of a small practice...with all the conveniences, advanced technologies and cost-saving advantages of a large group practice. The group includes:
- Orthopedic Surgeons
- Physician Assistants
- Physical Therapists & Occupational Therapists
- Athletic Trainers
- Support Staff (medical assistants, surgery schedulers, etc.)
To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.
Our Core Values
- Quality Care
- Service Excellence
- Continuous Improvement
- Personal Fulfillment
- Community Service
- Employee Fitness
- Environmental Consciousness
1966: Ed Voke, MD, Founds Practice
OPA had its beginnings in 1966, when renowned spine surgeon Edward M. Voke, MD, founded the practice after spending two years practicing
with the Public Health Service in Alaska and after completing his surgical residency in Ohio. In those days, there were only 3 orthopedic
surgeons practicing in the Anchorage area. His medical-surgical expertise and good humor improved the quality of life for thousands
of grateful Alaskans. Dr. Voke worked well into his seventies before finally retiring to spend more time with his family. He passed
away in 2015.
2001: Group Practice Expands
In 2001, Dr. Voke brought on his colleague and friend Robert J. Hall, MD—a young, highly regarded orthopedic surgeon from Iowa who
had been living and practicing in Alaska for several years, and who was then specializing in joint replacements.
Within a short time, Drs. Hall and Voke recruited James M. Eule, MD, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon from Colorado. Dr. Voke soon transitioned control and leadership of the practice to his colleagues, and in 2003 Hall–Eule, Inc. was formed, adopting the name Orthopedic Physicians Anchorage only a few months later.
Several other talented surgeons with complementing surgical interests and expertise joined OPA over the next few years. These included, in 2003, Eugene M. Chang, MD, a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon from Anchorage; in 2004, William J. Mills, MD, former associate professor at the University of Washington Medical School (also from Anchorage), who has since passed away; in 2005, Marc J. Kornmesser, MD, a fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity surgeon from Detroit; and in 2006, Christopher J. Manion, MD, former Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Alaska Native Medical Center, specializing in sports medicine.
2006: Additional Leadership Added
In 2006, Rick Watson, CMPE, joined OPA as Chief Executive Officer. Rick's vision was to foster growth and development to help OPA become the best orthopedic practice in Alaska. The practice grew quickly under his direction and expanded to include additional services that had not been offered by OPA in the past. OPA continues to improve and develop under Rick's leadership today.
2008: Alaska's First Orthopedic Walk-in Clinic
OPA opened Alaska’s first orthopedic injury walk-in clinic in 2008. The clinic helps injured patients save time and money and receive direct access to orthopedic specialists. With the clinic’s success, OPA hired additional orthopedic-trained, certified physician assistants to operate the walk-in clinic, and today offers walk-in hours 7 days a week. OPA remains Alaska’s only orthopedic injury walk-in clinic that is open every day.
2008: OPA Athletic Trainers Begin Covering High School Teams, Free of Charge
OPA hired certified athletic trainer Lynne Young, ATC, MEd, in 2008 and donated her services to the Anchorage School District and other community sporting events. Soon thereafter, OPA expanded its athletic training staff to a team that now consists of seven full-time trainers, led by Ms. Young, who are dedicated to serving the Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley school districts as well as community athletic programs and events. OPA provides these services at no cost to the athletes or their sponsoring organizations, all in an effort to prevent injuries and support Alaskan athletes.
2009: Rheumatology Clinic Opens
Dr. John Botson, MD, RPh, CCD, a fellowship-trained rheumatologist, was brought on in 2009. His training in treating musculoskeletal diseases made him a natural fit for the existing orthopedic group, while offering much-needed rheumatology and infusion services to residents of Alaska. In 2012, the rheumatology clinic expanded, as Ryan Ragle, MD, also a fellowship-trained rheumatologist, returned to Alaska to join OPA and serve his hometown community.
2010–2014: Six Physicians Join
Mark E. Flanum, MD, fellowship-trained in both spine surgery and sports medicine, joined the OPA spine team in 2010. A year later, Tim Kavanaugh, MD, one of Alaska’s most well-known orthopedic hip- and joint-replacement surgeons and founder of Alaska Bone & Joint Institute, joined OPA. Fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon Greg Schweiger, MD, who also practices sports medicine, joined in 2013.
In 2014, renowned sports medicine specialists Eli Powell, MD, and Jeff Moore, MD, joined the OPA team. The two had co-founded of Alaska
Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine and together have served as head team physicians for the Alaska Aces (until the team disbanded
in 2017), the Great Alaska Shootout, and the University of Alaska Anchorage athletic programs. Fellowship-trained hand specialist Owen
Ala, MD, trained in upper extremity and microvascular surgery, joined later in 2014.
2015: OPA Expands to Mat-Su Valley and Incorporates "Alaska" into Its Name
In anticipation of its expansion into the Mat-Su Valley, OPA updated its name to Orthopedic Physicians Alaska. Drs. Deryk Anderson, DO, and Tucker Drury, MD, joined OPA in 2015 and began seeing patients at the OPA Wasilla office. Months later, the team opened an extended-hours orthopedic injury walk-in clinic there.
2015: Onsite Surgery (Alpine) & Recovery Services (Alpenglow) Open at Anchorage Location
After a remodel of most of the OPA building, the practice opened two state-of-the-art centers onsite to enhance patient surgical outcomes and to increase convenience and cost-efficiencies for patients. Alpine Surgery Center was created as an ambulatory surgery center specializing in orthopedic and pain treatment procedures. Several OPA physicians are on the Alpine Surgery Center Board of Directors, with Dr. Kavanaugh as its president. Located on the second floor of the OPA building, Alpenglow Short-Stay Assisted Living was designed to help residents discharged from Alpine Surgery Center recover in comfort. With 24-hour assistance from nursing staff in a beautiful and relaxing environment, Alpenglow patients prepare for their post-op return to life at home, and expedite their post-op exercise programs under the guidance of OPA physical therapists next door.
2016: OrthoAlaska, LLC Established; Patient Cost of Care Lowered
Beginning in 2016, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) and Anchorage Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic (AFOC), the two largest orthopedic practices in Alaska, integrated to leverage their collective medical expertise, technology, leadership, administrative capabilities, and other resources to reduce costs and further develop and improve patient care and value.
2017: Preferred Provider Contracts Finalized, Rheumatology Expands
In 2017, both the OPA and AFOC divisions of OrthoAlaska became preferred, in-network providers for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, CIGNA, and First Choice Health; they also became direct-contracted providers for Public Education Health Trust (PEHT) members and their enrolled dependents.
Also in 2017, Dr. Summer Engler, MD, joined the OPA rheumatology team. She is fellowship-trained and treats a variety of rheumatologic conditions, with a special interest in autoimmune diseases affecting musculoskeletal system.