Christopher Halphen, DO, completed his fellowship in orthopedic musculoskeletal oncology and complex limb reconstruction at Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta last year, making him one of fewer than 200 actively practicing fellowship-trained orthopedic oncologists nationwide.
As such, the Plaquemine, Louisiana, native had numerous opportunities across the country.
But Dr. Halphen was interested in bringing his specialty to an unserved area. Additionally, he and his wife, Allison, who grew up in Garden City, Kansas, were expecting their third child, and they wanted to establish roots closer to family and friends in the Midwest.
“Wichita had the largest catchment area where there was a need for an orthopedic oncologist,” says Dr. Halphen, who chose to join Via Christi Clinic’s multispecialty practice at Founders’ Circle because of the breadth and depth of cancer care already available within the Via Christi system.
Dr. Halphen, who received his medical degree and completed his residency training in Kansas City, began seeing adult and pediatric patients in August, bringing the specialty care they require closer to home.
This is important for patients with bone or soft-tissue sarcoma because diagnosis and treatment typically require numerous visits, followed by years of follow-up care.
“I often tell my patients that a diagnosis of sarcoma is like signing up for a part-time job,” he says.
“I’m here to be a resource to — and work closely with — other physicians to ensure patients with oncologic problems and other complex orthopedic issues receive optimal care in a timely manner and as close to home as possible.”
–Via Christi Clinic orthopedic musculoskeletal oncologist Christopher Halphen, DO
Being able to receive care close to home helps eliminate any delays in treatment, as well as the expense, inconvenience and discomfort of having to travel back and forth for specialty care.
Although Dr. Halphen is the area’s only orthopedic oncologist, he doesn’t practice alone. He is part of a larger team comprised of medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists and surgeons who review complex cases to collectively make recommendations as to the best course of treatment.
Although his practice is busy, Dr. Halphen says he is typically able to see new patients within a two-week time frame, and that he prioritizes tumor patients so they can be seen within a week.
David Rosen, MD, a community pediatric hematologist-oncologist, says he’s pleased his patients now have closer-to-home access to an orthopedic oncologist.
“He’s a much-needed resource,” says Dr. Rosen, who himself introduced pediatric oncology to south-central Kansas nearly 40 years ago. “He’s already consulted and performed surgery on one of my patients and was able to do so on an urgent basis, which is important for the patients and families in my care.”
Although Dr. Halphen specializes in treating benign and malignant tumors of bone and soft tissue, as well as metastatic bone disease, complex joint reconstructions are another component of his practice.
Dr. Halphen also sees patients with acute and chronic periprosthetic joint infections and stays current with the new and emerging developments in the areas of orthopedic biomaterials and implants.
“I’m here to be a resource to — and work closely with — other physicians to ensure patients with oncologic problems and other complex orthopedic issues receive optimal care in a timely manner and as close to home as possible,” Dr. Halphen says.
To make a referral or consult with Dr. Halphen, call 316-613-4640 or email email@example.com.