Premier Bone & Joint Centers

Laramie, WY

In big cities, patients come to the doctors’ office. In Wyoming, one orthopedic group uses business aviation to see the people where they live.

With just seven doctors, Premier Bone & Joint operates 11 orthopedic clinics across Wyoming, serving about 75 percent of the state. All the doctors are based out of Premier’s headquarters in Laramie, WY, but they regularly visit the satellite clinics, often hitting two per day.

The doctors are flown across Wyoming by four King Air twin turboprops and four pilots. In addition to the four airplanes, Premier has 10 vans and cars positioned around the state. The pilots may fly three 30- to 80-minute legs a day.

“Long drives are part of the culture in Wyoming, but we couldn’t serve a rural community without this [operating] model,” said Tom Wolfe, Premier’s CEO. “In the big cities, the patients come to the doctors’ office. Here, you have to reverse that, and bring the specialists to the people.”

Premier Bone & Joint’s doctors are orthopedic and musculoskeletal specialists, with sub-specialties such as knee surgery, total joint replacement, sports medicine, hand surgery or physical medicine.

“I don’t see how we could operate 11 clinics without airplanes,” said Dr. Lawrence Jenkins, a spinal surgeon. “If we didn’t fly, we’d probably only have two or three doctors, and we couldn’t bring sub-specialist care to these small towns. During winter in Wyoming, there are lots of days when the roads are so bad we couldn’t get [drive] there.”

“As much as we can, we do surgeries at the satellite sites,” said Dr. Mark McKenna, who recently repaired a hand tendon at a clinic 100 miles from Premier’s main surgery center. “Normally, a patient would have to go to Denver for that. We couldn’t do this without the airplanes. They’re vital to the business.”

Learn more about Premier Bone & Joint Centers.