Gillette Children's paused to acknowledge the achievements of Steven Koop, MD, on his retirement from clinical practice as 2021 ended. The defining theme in Steve’s approach to patient care has been placing patients at the center of everything we do.
Steve attended Saint John’s Prep School in Collegeville, Minnesota, followed by Saint John’s University. In addition to his academic prowess at Saint John’s, he was chosen cross-country all-American. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1979, completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University-Veteran’s Administration combined program in 1984, and his Pediatric Orthopedic Fellowship from Newington Children’s Hospital in Connecticut the following year.
It was at Newington that Steve learned the technical aspects and clinical importance of gait analysis. He saw in Gillette a unique place for children that would allow them to thrive. He also saw Gillette as a place that would allow the patient to be the center of focus and allow him, as a physician, to always do the right thing. It was this outlook that helped foster multidisciplinary care and the establishment of the Gait Lab at Gillette. This mutual approach is seen across specialties at Gillette and will grow through the training of medical students, residents, and fellows. It is at the heart of Gillette’s mission. He recognized early on that the history of such a special place should be recorded, which he did with his unique contribution as author of the history of Gillette, We Hold This Treasure.
Steve has been many things at Gillette over the past 35 years. He has been professional in a way that made it impossible to separate who he is from the work he did. His heart and soul have been here, manifesting as a caring clinician, skilled and busy surgeon, medical director, teacher and mentor - all woven together into one professional human being. Although he retired as Medical Director three years ago and retires from clinical practice in 2021, his influence will be felt for years to come.
Gillette has grown to be a recognized leader throughout the world in the care and treatment of children with complex, rare and traumatic conditions. As an organization, we are eight times larger than when Steve started and more diverse in the spectrum of care that we provide, all while maintaining a clear focus on multidisciplinary care. Steve’s clinical expertise and patient-centered focus were critical for these successes to occur. He has helped lay the foundation for Gillette to expand this exceptional care model for all patients who need us and for all providers who want to join us.