Dr. Gary Wyard, Twin Cities Orthopedics

Title: Chief medical officer

Age: 70


As the new chief medical officer at Twin Cities Orthopedics, Dr. Gary Wyard will work to balance quality and cost containment through the looming transition as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.

Wyard, formerly chairman of the group’s board of directors, said he will try to be proactive in his role as chief medical officer, which is a new position for Twin Cities Orthopedics.

“Because of the acceleration in regulation and the way medicine is going to be practiced and the different potential delivery systems, it was felt they wanted someone with experience who has been through a lot of change in the past, realizing that change in the future is going to be even more rapid,” Wyard said. “This is going to turn the world inside out for doctors. It will be about building relationships and someone taking the time to do it.”

Wyard said he has enjoyed the patient contact that comes with orthopedic surgery.

“You’re making decisions and you’re in charge,” Wyard said. “You go in and take care of a broken hip, a broken leg and there’s a lot of instant gratification.’’

Wyard’s entire career, beginning in 1977, has been with Twin Cities Orthopedics. With 85 orthopedic surgeons and 27 clinics throughout the Twin Cities, it is one of the largest orthopedic groups in the country. Wyard graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and has a mini-MBA in health care management from the University of St. Thomas.


Q: What are your responsibilities as chief medical officer?

A: We need to be informed and need to communicate to [our] physicians concerning changes in the health care delivery model going forward and try to be proactive to meet the transformations that are ahead. This will involve peer review, such as establishing and collecting performance issues, and listening carefully to the various competing thoughts from various physicians to help resolve those issues as they come up.


Q: What are your goals as chief medical officer?

A: To continue to provide quality care in a changing environment with a lot of appropriate pressures coming from cost-containment issues. The entire medical delivery system needs to get the quality/cost issues under better control. A lot of what we do in orthopedics has been industry-driven, which has not necessarily been the best for cost containment. My goals are to help Twin Cities Orthopedics have the proper structure, relationships, culture and compensation system as delivery systems evolve.


Q: What’s at the top of your to-do list?

A: We need to do our best to control costs and not compromise quality. We have to get that side of the equation properly balanced. We know that quantity of care does not equal quality of care. We do know that quantity of care equals higher-cost care. How we approach the utilization will be very important.