CONWAY — Having served the orthopedic needs of rural communities for most of his medical career, Chris FitzMorris, D.O., now brings his skills as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon to Memorial Hospital starting in May.
FitzMorris is looking forward to treating patients in Mount Washington Valley to help reduce pain with a variety of orthopedic procedures, including posterior hip replacements, knee replacements and hand surgery.
When recounting what brought him to Memorial Hospital and North Conway, FitzMorris was quick to share that it’s the people.
“Northern and Central New Hampshire people are the best — easy going, friendly and delightful,” he said.
He compared working at his previous positions, at Lakes Region Orthopedics in Meredith and Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, with his earlier career in New York, where he did rotations in orthopedic trauma, sports medicine and adult reconstructive surgery. While his time in New York area hospitals was exciting, he prefers serving in more rural locations.
FitzMorris has family ties to the area as his mother and grandparents vacationed here years ago. He said, “My mother came here as a child on vacation and remembers driving here from Jamaica, N.Y., in the DeSoto for a week as a teenager!”
FitzMorris was also attracted by the team in place at Memorial’s orthopedic practice.
He said, “The teamwork approach appealed to me. I’ve had patients in common with Dr. (Douglas) Taylor previously. I was impressed that the orthopedic team works so well together at Memorial Hospital.”
Joint replacement is just one specialty FitzMorris has honed over his decades of experience as an orthopedic surgeon.
His background includes time served as assistant chief medical officer at Lakes Region General Healthcare, responsible for patient safety and quality.
He said, “There are huge opportunities in quality. It’s very important to me. We can continue to improve patient outcomes.”
He is also a member of American Osteopathic Association, N.H. Medical Society, N.H. Orthopedic Society, and is senior clinical examiner for the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is an assistant professor of clinical surgery at University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.
FitzMorris said the improvements with anesthesia given during the procedures he performs is an advancement worth noting.
“Anesthetists have gotten really good with regional blocks for pain. It’s a huge improvement, working on proactive pain management. It’s been the focus of my career. It’s important.”
On a personal note, FitzMorris enjoys skiing, golfing, bird hunting, fishing and riding his Harley Davidson.
He and his wife Toni are looking forward to relocating to the North Conway area from Gorham in the near future. They share seven adult children who live both abroad and throughout the United States.
FitzMorris is joined by another new member of the orthopedic team, physician assistant Austin Creer.
Creer, a recent graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Worcester, Mass., has clinical experience including an orthopedics rotation at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center. He enjoys hunting and fishing, and looks forward to trying skiing. He grew up in a small town in the Midwest and looks forward to caring for the residents of the Mount Washington Valley in this, his first job after earning his master of physician assistant studies in 2018.
FitzMorris and Creer join Memorial’s long-time orthopedic surgeon, Douglas Taylor, M.D., who provides a wide range of orthopedic treatments, as well as physician assistant Abigail Lang who also treat patients at the practice and works closely with Taylor.
Orthopedics at Memorial Hospital is committed to giving patients the best care in the treatment of bones, muscles, joints and nerves. For more information, go to memorialhospitalnh.org/orthopedics or call (603) 356-7061.