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Orthopedic Care That Spans Generations

Ronald R. Suntken, Ed.D., President and CEO, Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center, Orthopaedic Focus Winter 2010

To call 1989 an important year for healthcare delivery in northeast Ohio is a bit of an understatement. in that one year, Akron City Hospital merged with St. Thomas Hospital to form Summa Health System and a group of local orthopedic surgeons joined together to form Crystal Clinic.

Both organizations grew substantially during the following years, resulting in valuable contributions to the greater Akron community and the industry itself.

Summa, now one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio, has made a name for itself by consistently delivering high-quality, compassionate care. Similarly, Crystal Clinic surgeons made it their mission to provide the best musculoskeletal care in the state.

Both have experienced incredible success, but together Summa and Crystal Clinic have done more. They have become places where a notable family has been able to provide orthopedic care across multiple generations.

Ivan Gradisar Jr., M.D., began practicing as a member of Orthopaedic Surgeons Inc. in 1973 after completing his formal education and training at the University of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

After his own practice was established, Dr. Ivan Gradisar partnered with other physicians to found Crystal Clinic. He also served as the organization’s first president.

Over the last few decades, he watched two things grow:
Crystal Clinic – now the leading musculoskeletal care and surgery center in Akron – and his son, Ian.

Like his father, Ian Gradisar, M.D., chose to attend the University of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University College of Medicine before deciding on a career in orthopedic surgery. After completing his internship and residency, he opted to return to Akron to practice at the Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center – a Summa-Crystal Clinic joint venture.

“My dad had more of an influence on my life than he knows. In some respects, it seems like I’ve been
preparing for this my whole life,” Dr. Ian Gradisar said. “Akron is home.”

Dr. Ian Gradisar was named the newest member of Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center’s surgical staff
and has chosen to focus on total joint replacement.

“I chose to concentrate on total joint replacement because I have seen how it can give patients their lives back. It’s one of the most successful operations we do as orthopedic surgeons,” Dr. Ian Gradisar said. “As a resident at Summa, I was able to see firsthand the excellent care that patients receive from Crystal Clinic providers. They are leaders in the field, excellent clinicians and excellent people. And I knew this is where I wanted to work.”

Dr. Ivan Gradisar retired from practice in 2004 to travel and teach orthopedic techniques throughout the United States and abroad, including locations in China and Russia.

“Summa was perhaps the best place for an orthopedic surgeon to work because it gave us a very high-quality medical center, access to academic research and the teamwork associated with private practice. We have people all around who were at the forefront of their field,” Dr. Ivan Gradisar said.

Dr. Ian Gradisar has diligently carried on his family’s tradition of practicing medicine and Akron’s history of expertise in orthopedic surgery.