One of the most decorated speed skaters in Olympic history will be expanding his orthopedic practice to Tooele, following a ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday.
Dr. Eric Heiden, who won five gold medals at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, opened the newest practice of Heiden Orthopedics in the North Pointe Medical Park. Heiden Orthopedics also has practices in Salt Lake and Park City.
“I think it’s a unique practice in that patients to us are more than just a number,” Heiden said. “I think we really enjoy getting to know our patients and as a consequence, we also really enjoy having open communication with all the health care providers in the community.”
Drs. Daniel Gibbs and Enrique Feria will be based out of the Tooele practice. Gibbs specializes in hip, knee and shoulder surgery, while Feria is a foot and ankle specialist.
Gibbs said Heiden Orthopedics takes care of any issues relating to muscles, bones, tendons, and joints from the neck down for athletes and non-athletes. He said physical therapy and injections are part of the treatment options at the practice.
“We’re not just surgeons,” Gibbs said. “We employ a lot of non-operative, minimally invasive injections and different techniques to try to help people get back to doing the things they want to do.”
Feria, who recently finished his fellowship at University of California Davis Medical Center, said the doctors will make themselves available to patients at all hours and want to work with them on their treatment and recovery.
“We want this to be a back and forth relationship,” Feria said. “So not just us telling a patient what they need to do. We work together to come up with a plan.”
Attendees of the open house were given the opportunity to view the five Olympic gold medals Heiden won in a single games. In 1980, Heiden won every speed skating event from the 500 meters to the 10,000 meters.
Heiden grew up in Wisconsin and cited the frozen lakes and frigid winters in his decision to get into speed skating.
“There’s a lot of outdoor winter activities,” he said. “Skating is a big one. Speed skating and hockey are the two kind of big things that go on in the wintertime in Wisconsin.”
Following the 1980 Winter Olympics, in which his sister, Beth, also won a speed skating bronze medal in the 3,000 meters, Heiden became a professional cyclist. He was a founding member of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team and rode in the Tour de France in 1986.
Heiden first came to Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics, as a doctor with the U.S. speed skating team. After spending a month in Salt Lake, Heiden said he was pleasantly surprised with the community, amount of outdoor activities and family-friendly environment.
Heiden and his wife, Karen, who is a hand, wrist and elbow orthopedic surgeon, moved to Utah in 2006 to work at the The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray. They founded their own practice in 2008.
Heiden said he was familiar with Tooele County through cycling events like the Tour of Utah and races at Utah Motorsports Campus, as well as Park City High School football games in the county.
“An opportunity seemed to exist and we took advantage of it,” Heiden said.
Heiden Orthopedics is located at 2356 N. 400 East, in Building B of the North Pointe Medical Center complex. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.