Care Center Spotlight: Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute

Published June 2, 2017

The Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute (MMI) began as a solo orthopaedic practice in 1977 when Dr. Frank Nisenfeld hung a shingle outside his first office, right across the street from Frederick Memorial Hospital.  

He was one of only two orthopaedic surgeons in Frederick at the time and quickly built a busy practice. After 9 years as a solo practitioner, Dr. Mark Chilton joined Dr. Nisenfeld and together the two surgeons established themselves as the preeminent orthopaedic practice in the Frederick area. Drs. Nisenfeld and Chilton practiced together for 10 years before deciding to hire two more doctors, and the practice has been growing ever since.  

The MMI care center currently has 155 employees including eight orthopaedic surgeons, two physiatrists, two rheumatologists, a podiatrist and eight mid-level providers. It also has a thriving physical therapy practice with 17 therapists providing a wide range of physical and occupational services, including specialties in hand/upper extremity, pediatrics, sports and spine.   

Growth of the practice required several moves over the years, and eventually the construction of their own 15,000 square foot facility in 2005. Currently, the MMI care center encompasses that main facility and three additional offices in Frederick, as well as offices in Hagerstown and Urbana. An additional 40,000 square feet is anticipated with the construction of a new facility in Frederick, planned to break ground within a few months. 

As their practice grew, Dr. Nisenfeld and Dr. Chilton focused on adding physicians with specialized training in different areas to round out their offerings. With this strategy, they were soon able to provide a wide variety of services including joint replacement, pediatric orthopaedics, sports medicine, hand surgery, foot and ankle care, and a complete Spine Institute.

The Spine Institute follows the vision for the larger MMI practice; as one-stop shop for back and neck problems, it offers physiatrists, physical therapists and a chiropractor alongside orthopaedic surgeons. MMI is also the only CAO care center to provide rheumatology as a specialty, strengthening their multidisciplinary approach to orthopaedic care. 

MMI was one of the original practices involved in the creation of CAO.  After engaging in discussions with the local hospital about a potential buy-out several years ago, the doctors at MMI decided they preferred the private-practice model as it offered more autonomy and opportunities to explore their own ideas for improving the standard of patient care. 

In the past year, MMI has embarked on two shared ventures with CAO partner Potomac Valley Orthopaedic Associates to bring much-needed services to each of their practices. In June 2016, MMI rheumatologist Dr. Enrico Villanueva began seeing patients once a week at PVOA’s Care Center in Olney to fill a growing need for rheumatology in that area of Montgomery county.  

In January 2017, PVOA spine surgeons Dr. Sanjog Mathur and Dr. Navinder Sethi began seeing patients at MMI’s main Frederick location. They have been able to provide spine care for MMI’s patients while the care center searched for a new spine surgeon.

Due to the success of these partnerships, MMI is currently in discussions with another CAO care center to develop a new joint venture opportunity. These cross-practice integrations of physicians and other services highlights the value of the CAO model by smoothly and efficiently increasing community access to care and providing more convenient, high-quality options to our patients.