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The Scope of Serving: Dr. Peter Holmes' Decades of Helping San Antonio

By Katie Chancellor

After serving the San Antonio area for twenty-five years, some folks might feel the community owes them at least a little recognition. With Dr. Peter Holmes, however, you won’t find even a hint of that attitude. To Dr. Holmes, every bit of time and money poured into the city and the people around you simply makes you more closely knit to the community. In his eyes, years of volunteering with local high school football programs and helping youth over the last two and a half decades has just made him “part of the team.”

During his early medical training in Houston, Dr. Holmes was involved in sports injury care of the Houston Oilers and the Astros, even traveling with the Oilers for their away games. The experience led him to the decision to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery specifically dealing with athletic injuries.

Dr. Holmes first opened Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery on the northeast end of San Antonio in 1988 with the purpose of attending to patients individually as opposed to being part of a larger practice with multiple physicians attending to many patients. From the beginning, his motives were driven by a desire to serve and serve well.

One of his reasons for choosing San Antonio was to meet the needs of military families in the area. After decades in practice, that remains a key aspect of his work. “With Tricare, many military retirees and their families and dependents have been put on the back burner,” said Dr. Holmes. He strives to make them, along with his other patients, feel valued and cared for. Over time, the office moved to a new home at the Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital and eventually expanded to a second offi ce in Schertz, which opened in 2009.

You would be hard-pressed to discuss orthopedics in the San Antonio area, quite possibly the state, without Dr. Holmes’ name coming up. He is well-known for his expertise and patient-focused care, whether for a teenage athlete suffering from a torn meniscus or a senior citizen in need of knee or hip replacement. Dr. Holmes’ dedication to the people he helps and his years of work in orthopedic surgery have gained him enormous respect in his field.

Ask just about any past or present athlete from the area, and you are sure to find a fan. Even the water ski team and dancers at Sea World knows Dr. Holmes by name as he has served there as the team’s doctor for the past twenty-five years. He has also served as team physician for the football team at Clemens High School since first opening his practice and also at Steele High School since the school’s inception. “Many of my patients have grown up with me,” said Dr. Holmes.

At his long running free sports clinic for student athletes, scads of young athletes have been helped every Saturday morning during football season. The free clinic, which runs from September through December, is held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Schertz office. “A lot of kids get hurt in football but aren’t able to see a specialist right away because of military health insurance or HMO managed care plans requiring them to see a primary care physician first. This way, they get the care they need immediately, and it’s completely free,” said Dr. Holmes. Appointments are not necessary, but an early wake-up is required if you want to be seen by a doctor at the first-come, first-served clinic. Athletes who arrive early receive free x-rays and an evaluation at no charge.

In addition to helping kids at the sports clinic every year, Dr. Holmes works side by side with the schools to offer affordable school physicals and turns 100% of the profit from the physicals back to fund supplies in the school’s training rooms. He has also spent years serving at the county hospital taking care of injured children with little to no insurance coverage. Working out of the hospital requires hours of additional volunteer work in emergency care.

The Orthopedic Kneed Foundation grew out of the necessity to attend to these kids without taking time away from serving in his specialty. Dr. Holmes created the non-profit organization in 2004 with the mission of providing orthopedic medical care to under- or uninsured children in the area. Dr. Holmes and his team donate their time to provide the services and surgeries each recipient requires. Charitable donations and an annual fundraiser, the next which will occur in March 2014, go directly to paying for operating room and emergency room expenses. “We help about twenty to twenty-five children a year. So far, we’ve never had to turn a kid away,” said Dr. Holmes.

There seems to be no end to his willingness to serve the people around him. “You give back because you’ve been blessed,” said Dr. Holmes. “It’s amazing to think that donating just one hour of my time might mean a scholarship for a kid who wouldn’t have gotten one otherwise.” His contributions to the community over the years have certainly earned him a place on the team.

For more information about Dr. Holmes’ practice: www.socksrocks.com
For more information about the Orthopedic Kneed Foundation: www.kneedfoundation.org