Q&A with Dr. Wade Ceola, neurosurgeon
Valley View Hospital
Dr. Wade Ceola is joining Dr. David Miller as the second neurosurgeon at the High Mountain Brain and Spinal Surgery Center at Valley View. He grew up in Tontitown, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where he also did his residency and met his wife, Kellina, who was the pediatric office director. They have a 6 1/2 –year-old daughter, Kitka. The family is in the process of relocating to the Roaring Fork Valley, and he will join the center in January 2015.
Q: Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Tontitown, Arkansas, which is Razorback Country. The Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, refers to the college sports teams at my alma mater, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Q: Why did you decide to become a neurosurgeon?
In sixth grade, I talked to our family medical doctor about becoming a doctor. In seventh grade, I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon and general surgeon and then Dr. Vince Reynolds, a neurosurgeon, who still practices at a VA hospital in Fayetteville. The combination of the challenges in the spine and cranial nerve function was a natural fit for me. I have a talent for it ± it’s a perfect fit for my personality. I love what I do.
Q: What do you do for fun?
We love the outdoors, and I love spending time with my wife and daughter outside. I work so many hours, and I don’t want to miss anything, so I want to be together as a family as much as possible. We love to ski as a family. We are also road bikers and love to hike.
Q: Where is the joy in medicine?
The joy is watching patients resume what they love doing. I had a 10-year-old patient who had a severe case of scoliosis. Now she is a college student sitting up straight. Seeing her become a successful college student has been unbelievably rewarding. She is also a swimmer and wants to become a physical therapist.
Q: What does patient-centered care mean to you?
Patients always come first. Everything I do is to get them healthy. And I will do whatever is right for them to make that happen.
Q: You have a reputation for as being a physician who is very accessible to his patients. Why?
I take care of the entire family. If one person is injured and she is the grandmother, I am not just taking of her — it’s her daughter, her husband, and the grandkids, too. I will be with them and there for them every step of the way. In some cases, I have been with patients for more than 10 years.
Q: Do you stay in touch with patients for the long term?
Absolutely. Even the neurosurgeon I originally shadowed, Dr. Reynolds, is now a patient of mine!
Q: What are the exciting developments in the field of neurosurgery?
Motion preservation can be the answer to long-term problems. Not everyone is a candidate. It’s minimally invasive, can help back aches and spinal chord injury recovery going forward.
Q: If you could sing a karaoke song, what would it be?
Do you enjoy fingernails on a chalkboard? If I could sing, I’d sing Ave Maria. But our family theme song with this exciting opportunity to be at Valley View is “The Jeffersons” theme song, “Moving On Up.”
Q: Rumor has it you are passionate about animals. Do you have any pets?
Oh yes. We have three dogs and three cats. Max is a Huskie, 14 years old; Margo is a 10-year-old German shepherd; and Yogi is a 1-year-old English sheep dog. Mooton is our 25-pound bobcat/desert lynx, mane coon mix; Isranami is our bob cat/jungle cat mix, and Mufasa is our jaguar cat.
Q: What is your favorite Coloradough?
I rarely eat anything sweet. And I haven’t had time yet to explore the offerings here in the valley. I am looking forward to trying out the local restaurants over the next six months.
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