Christopher A. Kontogianis, MD, FAAOS

"After multiple rotations in the different disciplines of medicine (both surgical and nonsurgical), I was astounded by the difference in quality of life that orthopedics makes. Cardiac and trauma surgeons save lives, no doubt, but orthopedic surgeons allow people to run again. I wanted to be that guy who gives someone the chance to run again or ski with their kids.

"As many of my patients know me from the ski hill or bike riding as know me from my office. We share a common love of outdoor pursuits. I have a very straightforward approach. I speak with my patients, not at them, in language they seem to understand. Quite simply, my job is to get them back to doing whatever it was that they were doing before they got hurt. I understand what it's like to have to give up something you love doing and hope my patients won't have to."

Board-Certified: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Fellow: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery
Residency: Orthopedic Surgery, Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, New York, NY
MD: New York University, New York, NY
Adjunct Faculty: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Member: American Medical Association, Washington State Orthopedic Association, Benton Franklin County Medical Society
Orthopedic Interests: Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic Surgery, Knee Surgery, Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Injuries, Hand Surgery, Work Injuries, Fracture Care.

In his free time, Dr. "K" enjoys skiing, biking, hiking and hunting. He also sits on the Washington State Board of Orthopedics and is involved with the national academy. He has a particular interest in medical economics, the future of medicine and its impact on our country and its future.

David W. Fischer, MD, FAAOS

"As a child growing up in Idaho with my four younger brothers, I had the opportunity to spend many hours in my father's medical family practice office. I was always intrigued with developing X-rays and the
use of plaster for casting.

"When I started medical school, my first major class was anatomy. The study of anatomy was fascinating and remains that way to this day. After a full week of medical school classes, I spent Friday afternoons observing hand and upper extremity surgeries in the operating room at the University Hospital.

"While I enjoy general orthopedic surgery, I have a special interest in hand, wrist and elbow surgery. The human hand and wrist fascinate me most with their intricate anatomical parts and interactive function. It's gratifying to help restore the patient's use of his or her hands to return to activities of daily living, including work.

"I like to think of my patients as part of my family, trying to keep their best interest foremost."

Board-Certified: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery)
Fellow: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery
Residency: Orthopedic Surgery, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
MD: Loma Linda University
Member: American Association of Hand Surgeons
Orthopedic Interests: Orthopedic and Hand Surgery

In his free time, Dr. Fischer enjoys riding bicycles and hobby farming. He farms juice grapes and hay and has about 50 acres.

Heather L. Phipps, DO, FAAOS, MBA

"I worked as an athletic trainer when I was in high school and enjoyed working with and treating athletes. Orthopedic surgery was a natural progression when I got to medical school. Orthopedic surgeons help patients recover from painful injuries and diseases. We can help patients increase their function and regain their independence.

"Seeing a patient who was barely able to walk or move when they first came to the office walk out of the office without pain and return to their desired lifestyle or work is extremely gratifying. I like helping someone return to work or sports activities. I feel empathy toward the pain the patient is feeling. I also believe in helping the patient honestly assess his/her injury and the potential for improvement. I think patients should be actively involved in choosing a preferred treatment option based on the pros and cons of all the available options. I hope to give my patients the choice for a better life."

Board-Certified: American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Fellowship Training: Currently participating in AACOM Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship
Residency: Orthopedic Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Stratford NJ
DO: Ohio University, Athens, OH
Adjunct Faculty: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Member: American Orthopedic Association, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics, American Medical Association, Washington State Orthopedic Association, Washington Osteopathic Medical Association, Washington State Medical Association (past delegate), Benton Franklin County Medical Society (past president)
Orthopedic Interests: Sports Medicine including Knee & Shoulder Arthroscopy, ACL Reconstruction, Rotator Cuff Repair; Arthritis Care including Joint Injections, Total Knee and Total Shoulder; Hand Surgery; Fracture Care; Musculoskeletal Care; and Care of the Injured Worker.

In her free time, Dr. Phipps enjoys hiking, skiing, photography, reading and visiting national parks.

Michael C. Sherfey, DO, FAAHKS

"I enjoy helping those with injury or arthritis restore their ability to function. Orthopedics combines clinical excellence with the art form of working with one's hands to produce reliable and successful results. I like the personal interaction with patients and restoring their mobility and function. I'm compassionate and caring, but I also have high standards for excellent outcomes. I hope to give patients the means and encouragement to pursue their work and hobbies. This allows me to build a level of trust with my patients."

Board-Certified: American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Fellowship Training: Adult Reconstructive Surgery of the Hip and Knee, Texas Hip and Knee Center, Fort Worth, TX
Residency: Orthopedic Surgery, Michigan State University/MSUCOM, Botsford Hospital, Farmington Hills, MI
DO: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA
Medical Director: ForKennmrewick General Hospital Total Joint Program
Adjunct Faculty: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Member: American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Medical Association, Washington State Orthopedic Association, Washington Osteopathic Medical Association, Washington State Medical Association, Benton Franklin County Medical Society
Orthopedic Interests: Adult Reconstructive & Total Joint Surgery; Total Hip & Total Knee Surgery; Sports Medicine including Knee Arthroscopy, Rotator Cuff Repair; PRP/Regenerative Injection options; Arthritis Care including Joint Injections; Fracture Care; Hand Surgery; Musculoskeletal Care, and Care of the injured Worker.

In his free time, Dr. Sherfey enjoys outdoor sports, fishing, hunting and spending time with his wife and three sons. In the community, he's involved with the church and giving educational lectures on orthopedics.

Randall A. Espinosa, MD, FACS

"I have always loved the hands-on aspect of Orthopedics, the close interaction with patients as well as the practicality of being so focused on the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system and the pragmatism of identifying a problem (diagnosis) and being able to fix it (treatment or surgery).

I view myself as a partner together with the patient in the process of addressing the patient's specific problems. I believe that it is my responsibility to educated and to guide them in the process of making informed sound choices and decisions regarding their specific treatment and recovery. I consider myself as an advocate for my patients; especially in regard to safety and access to quality care."

Board-Certified: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Fellowship Training: Hand Surgery Fellowship, Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Residency: William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas
MD: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Years of Practice: 30 years (Since first licensed after Medical Boards)
Member: Diplomat National Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Fellow American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, Fellow American Orthopedic Association, Washington State Orthopedic Association, Western Orthopedic Surgeons, International Association of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Orthopedic Interests: Orthopedic & Hand Surgery; Fracture & Wound Care

In his free time, Dr. Espinosa enjoys Alpine Skiing/Ski Patrolling, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and motorcycle riding. He has a love for teaching, and being involved in International Humanitarian activities. Over the years this passion has brought him to be involved in projects in Burma, Thailand, Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Stephen Dechter, DO, FAAPMR

I am a native of the Tri-Cities and am humbled by the opportunity to come home and practice in our area. I come from a long family line of educators which has fueled my passion for training our next generation of doctors. You will often find me with a medical student or two in tow.

My background in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Interventional Pain Management gives me a unique skillset and the ability to offer patients alternative options to just medications or surgery. I take pride in being able to take a step back, look at a problem from a different angle, and bring a new perspective to a treatment algorithm. My goals are to provide quality patient care and have excellent outcomes by reducing pain, restoring function, and improving quality of life.

Board Certified: American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Subspecialty of Pain Medicine
Fellow: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Fellowship Training: Pain Medicine, University of California Los Angeles/VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Residency: Metrohealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA
Adjunct Faculty: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, Tri-Cities Regional Dean Liaison, Master Preceptor
Special Emphasis: Sports Medicine, Spine and Musculoskeletal Interventional Procedures, Regenerative Medicine Techniques, Neuromodulation and Spinal Cord Stimulation

In his free time, Dr. Dechter enjoys fitness, nutrition, woodworking, being outdoors, medical education, and spending quality time with his family.

Derrick J. McKay, DPM, FACFAS

I was introduced to foot and ankle surgery when I began college, and I was immediately fascinated by the complexities of the foot and ankle. I frequently hear patients say, "I don't notice my feet until they start bothering me." Foot and ankle pain can be very debilitating and interfere with our activities. I enjoy helping people to literally get back on their feet and resume their normal lives.

While living in Chicago and Boston during my medical training, I still considered the Columbia Basin to be home. As a Kennewick native, it was important to me that I return to the Tri-Cities to begin my career and be able to give back to the community that has already given me so much.

Board Certified: Foot Surgery, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery®
Fellow: American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Podiatric School: Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Residency: St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, MA
Special Emphasis: Foot and Ankle Surgery; Trauma; Sports Medicine; and Pediatric and Adult Deformity Corrections.

In his free time, Dr. McKay enjoys reading, playing tennis, hiking and camping, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Andres Garcia, PA-C

Andres Garcia Jr. (Andy) is a Physician Assistant-Certified with experience in Family Practice, Emergency Room Medicine. He has an extensive background in Diagnostic Imaging and Orthopedics and special interest in general Orthopedics, fracture care, sports medicine and arthritis. His career in medicine started in 1986 as a Certified Radiologic Technologist with certifications in general radiology, CT and MRI imaging. Andy then attended the University of Washington (MEDEX) and received his certification as a Physician Assistant in 1997. This was followed by a position as a PA-C in Columbia County (Dayton, Washington) working in the emergency room and family practice. He has been part of our group since March of 2001.

PA-C: University of Washington (MEDEX Northwest)
BS: Clinical Health Services, University of Washington
Member: American Academy of Physician Assistants, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, Washington Academy of Physician Assistants, Washington Society of Radiologic Technologists

Wes Wagar, PA-C

Wes Wagar is a Physician Assistant-Certified with experience in Neurosurgery and all aspects of Orthopedic Surgery with special interests in spine, arthritis, fracture care, sports medicine and genera l orthopedics. His career in medicine started in 1994 as a Physical Therapist Assister, certified Athletic Trainer and Certified strength and conditioning specialist. He attended Central Washington University gaining his degree in Physical Education: Exercise Science and Athletic Training, then completed his education as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Green River Community College. After working as a Physical Therapist Assistant and Athletic Trainer-Certified for seven years, he attended the University of Washington where he received his certification as a Physician Assistant. In 2001 Wes began working as a Physician Assistant-Certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery.

PA-C: University of Washington (Medex Northwest)
BS: Clinical Health Services, University of Washington Physical Education, Central Washington University
Member: American Academy of Physician Assistants, National Commission on Certification Physician Assistant, National Athletic Trainers Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.