Out on their own
Orthopedic surgeons open practice in Cedarburg

By Craig McCarthy - News Graphic Correspondent

Sept. 22, 2015

  Dr. Robert Manz and Dr. Kristen Maskala recently opened M Ortho in Cedarburg.
Photo by Craig McCarthy

CEDARBURG - Dr. Kristen Maskala and Dr. Robert Manz are going against the mainstream when it comes to practicing medicine.

That’s because while most physicians are working for large health care systems, these two orthopedic surgeons recently opened M Ortho in Cedarburg, a health clinic offering specialized, board-certified orthopedic care.

“Dr. Manz handles upper extremities and hand surgery, while I focus on sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement,” Maskala said.

The two have known each for nearly 20 years. When they met during their residency time at the Medical College of Wisconsin, little did they know that all these years later they would be working together, side by side in their own clinic.

“It’s been an adventure,” Manz said.

The clinic, located on Washington Avenue, opened in March. The two left another clinic they were working at in West Bend last October. They took time off to study for board recertification and to get M Ortho up and running.

“It was a period of time to recharge ourselves and reexamine why we went into medicine in the first place,” said Manz.

“We’re primarily focused on providing better individual care for each and every one of our patients,” Maskala added.

The duo sees about 75 patients a week in their Cedarburg clinic and performs between 25 to 30 surgeries a month at neighboring hospitals, including Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee, St. Joseph’s in West Bend, the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin and the Menomonee Falls Surgery Center.

“We’re getting probably 70 percent of our patients from the West Bend area,” Maskala said. “It’s also been word of mouth. We get new referrals every month from physical therapists, people we work with at the hospitals and independent doctors in the area; its been great.”

In fact, the venture has been going so well thus far, the two are developing plans to open a second clinic next fall in West Bend. This means bringing on more doctors, hiring more staff and having more direct contact with patients in the area. “It’s become a more patient-centered focus, a more intimate feeling connecting with patients,” Manz said.

It’s definitely been a learning curve for these two doctors, operating their own clinic, but one in which technology and social media are helping them reach a wider audience.

“What’s unique about us is that we have a really nice Internet presence. We have a Twitter account, we have a Facebook account. When he (Manz) set up the Facebook page, within the first 48 hours we had something like 5,000 views so we’re networking that way,” Maskala said.

Even the clinic’s logo was designed by Manz and the colors (green and brown) are the same colors that can be seen throughout the clinic’s interior. According to Maskala, these colors were chosen for a specific reason and reflect their personalities.

“The green represents new growth and rebirth, while the brown represents the earth and being grounded, remembering where you came from,” Maskala said.

In an ever-changing health care landscape, M Orthro seems to be starting out on the right foot.