Beacon Orthopaedics: Better Together - Celebrating a History of Orthopaedic Care

Beacon Orthopaedics: Better Together - Celebrating a History of Orthopaedic Care

If you stood outside of Good Samaritan Hospital on a Wednesday night in the mid-’90s, you would have seen a group of eight doctors enter the building. If you followed them, you would end up in a conference room together. And if you were a fly on the wall in that room, you would hear those doctors ask two powerful questions: “Where is health care moving, and what can we do better together than we can do by ourselves?” 

Two of those doctors were Dr. Robert Burger and Dr. Timothy Kremchek, two orthopaedic surgeons with the same mission: fast, patient-centered care. 

(Recognize those names? It’s because Burger is the Xavier University Medical Director and Kremchek is the Cincinnati Reds Medical Director.) 


“In the early ’90s, as I started taking care of high schools and a professional hockey team, I found that it was very difficult to get patients taken care of,” Kremchek says. 

Athletes often had to wait weeks after an injury to get an MRI or a physical therapy appointment, meaning that they kept playing when they shouldn’t have or sat on the bench when they could have been out on the field. 

Kremchek remembers the epiphany he had as a young doctor. “This has to change. We have to put together a program that can be more seamless. You come in, get everything done and make it simple. You will know in the next hour what is wrong with you.” 

Burger wanted to help out the community, asking, “How can we provide high-level, value-based orthopaedic musculoskeletal care in a patient population? We wanted to best address what we anticipated as the needs of our community.” 

And that’s when Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine was born. It’s a full-service orthopaedic practice where consultations, MRIs, X-rays and surgeries all happen under the same roof. 


There’s no doubt about it — when Kremchek and Burger founded Beacon in 1996 with Dr. John Wolf, they were taking a risk. 

“Beacon was a huge undertaking. We put our houses and everything on the line,” says Kremchek. 

“Failure wasn’t an option,” Burger adds. “Even if we didn’t completely see eye-to-eye, we were committed to grow and to make it work.” 

It was their mission to help people that kept them committed.

“I would rather build my own surgical suites in my office and lose money — just to have the ability to do these things ourselves and take care of people,” Kremchek says. 

Spoiler alert: They didn’t lose money. 

As Beacon grew and they built their flagship surgical center at Summit Woods in Sharonville, that risk paid off in spades. Today, thanks to their tenacity, they are the largest orthopaedic practice in the region. 

“It was a willingness to dream bold dreams, a willingness to do something that wasn’t there before. That doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges,” Burger says. “We stepped in our holes, and we made mistakes along the way.” 

That willingness to dream bold dreams was the key to their success. “If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else believe in you?” Kremchek says. 


What is the Beacon difference? According to Burger, it’s “responding to patients’ needs, exceeding expectations and doing what’s right and what’s best for our patients.” 

Today, Beacon has a team of over 60 specialized doctors, all board-certified and fellowship-trained. You name it, and they have a doctor specializing in it: foot and ankle surgeons, hand surgeons, total joint surgeons, spine surgeons, tumor specialists, knee and shoulder specialists, and more. 

Burger and Kremchek speak highly of the people they’ve added to their team. “Our success and our presence are a tribute to the persistence, dedication and hard work of the people who work with us on an everyday basis,” Burger says. 

And it’s not just the doctors — they also have a powerhouse administrative team led by Andy Blankemeyer, Beacon’s CEO. 

“He doesn’t just see where things are today; he’s able to anticipate where things might be tomorrow and how we can further impact musculoskeletal healthcare,” Burger says. 

To Beacon’s founders, it’s not just about hiring skilled doctors; it’s about hiring people who love their job and bring a positive attitude to work every day. 

After all, when a patient comes to Beacon for an appointment, it’s almost always because they are in pain and cannot do the sport or physical activity that brings them joy. In those moments, having a doctor who cares matters. 

“Medicine is a people business,” Kremchek says. “We hire doctors with great personalities, who love what they do and are in it for the right reasons. That’s the difference.” 

The doctors at Beacon do go above and beyond. If you go to any number of high school football games in the Greater Cincinnati area, you may see a Beacon doctor on the sidelines, ready to diagnose and treat in case of injury. 

“We go out of our way to overextend ourselves for the convenience of a patient. We stay later, come in on weekends, and get tests done sooner,” says Kremchek. 


Kremchek shared a story that exemplifies the Beacon difference. 

A young man named Miles was the starting quarterback and basketball player at Moeller High School. On a Friday night, early in the season of his junior year, he suffered an injury during a football game. Kremchek set it at the game, and Miles made an appointment at Beacon the following day where doctors realized it was a more significant injury. 

He wanted to play college basketball, and this injury put that dream in jeopardy. One of Beacon’s top-tier foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Adam Miller, discussed options with Miles and determined surgery was the best option 

The surgery was successful, and Kremchek was hopeful that Miles would get to play his senior year of football and basketball. 

He did. Not only that, he played in the NCAA for Coach Bob Huggins. Miles was eventually drafted by the NBA in the second round and now plays as a point guard for the New York Knicks. 

“I knew he was a quarterback for Moeller football, but I had no idea that he was going to end up in the NBA,” Kremchek says. 

This story exemplifies the career-saving power of Beacon’s fast care, and it shows the heart behind what they do. 

“Ninety-nine percent of high school athletes won’t play college ball or go to the big leagues,” Kremchek says. “But we recognize how important [fast care] is for these students’ fun and satisfaction.” 

Kremchek cares just as much about the high school athletes he cares for through Beacon as he does for the Cincinnati Reds players with whom he also works. 

But Beacon isn’t just a sports medicine clinic — half of what they do is orthopaedic care and joint replacement for the general population. 

The number of total joint replacements in the U.S. has been steadily increasing due to people living longer lives and staying active. But these kinds of surgeries aren’t as difficult as they used to be. Thanks to outpatient services like Beacon’s, a patient can get a hip replacement in the morning and be home by the afternoon. 


Today, you can find Beacon offices all over the tri-state for greater accessibility. From Sharonville to South Lebanon, Miamisburg to Montgomery, and Wilmington to Western Hills, they have a total of 25 locations. You’re never far from Beacon! 

All-in-one orthopaedic practices like Beacon may soon spring up around the nation, but that doesn’t phase Kremchek. “It makes me more proud than anything. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” he says. 

Most recently, Beacon announced a joint venture with TriHealth, with Beacon providing support in leading TriHealth’s musculoskeletal service line at all TriHealth hospitals. “This is one of the first partnerships of its kind in the country, and an innovative approach with a national model for how independent physician groups can partner with health systems,” says Beacon CEO Andy Blankemeyer. 


Whether Beacon is providing emergency foot surgery on a high school athlete, performing an elbow operation on Marty Brennaman so he can get back to playing golf, or giving someone a hip replacement so that they can walk their dog again, it’s always about giving patients the best, most efficient care. 

For Cincinnatians in pain, the orthopaedic practice that started as an idea in Good Samaritan Hospital really is a beacon of hope. 

Beacon’s success illuminates the power of the mission on which they were founded. Kremchek says it best: “If you put the patient first, you will always win.” 

Bothered by orthopaedic pain? You can schedule online or by phone 24/7 at or call 513-354-3700.

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