Care Center Spotlight: Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine

Published April 21, 2017

Dr. Ralph Salvagno and the late Dr. Tom Altizer joined together in 1996 to found the Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine in Hagerstown, Maryland. Both doctors embraced their vision to more fully improve the quality of patients’ lives through total joint replacement, while engaging with the local community through charitable and philanthropic causes to promote active and healthy lifestyles.

Dr. Roberta “Bobbie” Rothen joined the group in 2001. After previously serving 16 years in the U.S. Navy, including spending time as the General Medical Officer on a base in South Korea, she brought with her a wealth of experience in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries and sports medicine. The practice also hired Dr. Alvaro Cabezas to help round out the Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine’s offerings. Dr. Cabezas is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving under Operation Enduring Freedom. Being fluent in Spanish, he has helped bring comprehensive care to a wider range of patients. The care center plans to expand further, hiring an additional three physicians – Drs. Thomas Amalfitano, Michael Stowell and Richard Milford – in May to meet the growing patient demand.

Under founder Dr. Salvagno’s leadership, the Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine has emphasized giving back to the local community through a variety of initiatives. More than 20 years ago, the care center began hosting an annual “Joint Reunion” for all former patients to recognize their successful return to active lifestyles. Hundreds of patients attended each gala, a testament to the deep bonds the doctor and staff have forged with their patients

In honor of Dr. Altizer, the care center endowed an annual scholarship program, providing assistance each year to two high school seniors who have shown strong academic excellence, commitment to civic engagement and perseverance in the face of adversity. In addition, Dr. Salvagno developed a Joint Cruise program, which provided the opportunity for former total joint replacement patients to sail the seas with the staff and other patients, celebrating their health and providing continued orthopaedic education. Activities have included “Joint Jeopardy,” tailored exercise lessons, lectures by Dr. Salvagno and a culminating cocktail party.

After more than 20 years of dedicating himself to the Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine and the Hagerstown community, Dr. Ralph Salvagno will retire at the end of April. Thanks to his dedication, the thriving care center now has a strong reputation for personalized care and community involvement and is looking forward to continued growth.