Letter: A legacy of healing, indeed
“A legacy of healing” to describe the recent death of Dr. Richard Steadman genuinely characterized his compassion and contributions to the treatment of sports medicine injuries, especially involving the knee. I have been fortunate to have experienced Dr. Steadman’s affable and kind manner as a Hawkins Shoulder Fellow at The Steadman Hawkins Clinic (1991-92). His approach to his patients’ care was aspirational to all who were witnesses to that care.
It is necessary to correct the record of The Steadman Clinic’s history, which was inaccurate in the Vail Daily’s article, by excluding the historic essence of the clinic’s reputation. Dr. Richard Hawkins joined Dr. Steadman from his practice in London, Canada, in 1990, to create The Steadman Hawkins Clinic and Steadman Hawkins Research Foundation. The Foundation’s name remained unchanged until 2010.
Dr. Hawkins brought his international reputation as a shoulder specialist and educator to Vail to complement Dr. Steadman’s knee practice. Together they created a vibrant sports medicine practice for the Eagle County community as well as national and international patients and professional athletes. The clinic was and is still regarded as one of the finest and most competitive sports medicine shoulder fellowships in the country and the current Steadman Clinic staff physicians include some of the fellows from that era.
Many of the Steadman Hawkins fellows’ careers are noted as national and international leaders in the treatment of shoulder, knee and sports injuries as well. Hawk left for South Carolina in 2004 where he established the Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and during his tenure in Vail, a Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver was established. Both clinics remain in practice with a majority of the staff physicians having been trained in Vail under Steadman and Hawkins, furthering the legacy of their mentors. Many in the Eagle County community remember The Steadman Hawkins Clinic and have been recipients of Hawk’s orthopedic care and/or contributed to the Research Foundation.
Steve A. Petersen, MD, MSc