A new orthopedic surgeon has joined the staff at Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center. Ronald Wheeler, M.D., meets with a patient in the clinic. (Special to The Prairie Press)

Wheeler joins PCH/FMC

A former chief physician for sports at Western Illinois University is the new orthopedic surgeon at Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center.

With the addition of Ronald Wheeler, M.D., comprehensive orthopedic care and surgery has returned to Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center.

As a full-time employee in the Paris Family Medical Center, Wheeler is leading the orthopedics team that also includes family nurse practioner Angela Hamilton as well as an experienced nursing staff. The department offers a full range of services from fracture care to advanced knee and hip reconstruction and oversees the athletic trainers who serve Tri-County sports, Paris High School and Chrisman High School.

“I love orthopedics and helping people,” said Wheeler. “The patient comes first in everything I do.”

Wheeler provides care for patients of all ages. He has an extensive medical background in orthopedics, having trained and conducted research at several prestigious medical institutions throughout the country, including Mt. Sinai School in New York City and Stanford University in California.

Wheeler performs arthroscopic surgery to treat a variety of conditions, including meniscus tears, ACL reconstruction and cartilage problems. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive approach utilizing a tiny scope and a small incision — meaning a faster recovery for the patient.

Wheeler has performed 6,000 total hip replacements and nearly 3,000 total knee replacements. He also performs reconstructive surgery for ankles and shoulders and treats elbow problems. In addition, Wheeler has performed a great number of hand surgeries.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Wheeler’s background includes sports medicine, He has served as team physician for many high school and college sports programs. He also treats traumatic injuries involving children and teens.

“I want my patients to be informed and understand that surgery is not necessarily the answer to everything, but it can be extremely beneficial,” Wheeler explained. “I’m a physician first — and then a surgeon.”

Wheeler said he prefers to practice in a small town having been born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho.

“I’m a small town guy,” he said. “They don’t need me in New York City or California. I pursued this opportunity here because there’s a need in Paris and eastern Illinois.”

Prior to PCH/FMC, Wheeler worked in Quincy and Macomb and was the chief physician for Western Illinois University sports.

A high honors graduate from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Wheeler completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Stanford University Medical Center in California. While at Stanford, he completed a fellowship in cerebral palsy/muscular dystrophy, for which only two national fellowships were funded.

Wheeler has also received many honors and has held a variety of teaching and professional appointments. He belongs to several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Wheeler and his wife, Rebecca, have four sons, a daughter and 12 grandchildren. In his spare time, he is a breeder for quarter horses, shows horses competitively and enjoys trout fishing.

“I have many titles, but my favorite is grandpa,” he said.

-A referral is not needed to see Dr. Wheeler. For an appointment, call 217-466-4714.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944