Military service is a Mitts family tradition. “My father was in the Navy, so we moved a lot,” remembers Kevin Mitts, MD. For the younger Mitts, the military was his route to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
A board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Mitts has been in Berkshire County since 2001. “Becoming a general orthopaedist – with an emphasis on sports injuries – was a natural offshoot of my military training and experience,” he says. “That’s what orthopaedic surgery is in the military: healthy populations with sports injuries and occupational trauma; their children and families with orthopaedic issues; and retirees and ‘boomers’ wanting to keep an active lifestyle.”
Dr. Mitts makes a point of staying up-to-date. “As a group, we really are on the cutting edge of advanced techniques in joint reconstruction, fracture care, and sports. We want to make surgery better, less invasive, less painful. I’m very interested in more specialized implants, advanced materials such as all-ceramic and metal-on-metal joint replacements, gender-specific implants, smaller incisions, and advanced pain control modalities. These technologies trickle down to all areas of practice to allow better care and better results.”
As a graduate of Humboldt State University and The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Mitts served for three years as a US Naval Flight Surgeon with the Marines, including a few overseas tours. He completed his residency in San Diego at the Naval Medical Center, and moved with his family for three years to Okinawa, Japan where, at the US Naval Hospital in Okinawa, he was director of surgical services. He returned to the U.S. to complete his Navy career at Newport, RI.
Dr. Mitts sees community education as essential. “Doctors can make a difference. We should help our patients take an active role in maintaining healthy lifestyles,” he explains. “We need to encourage them to reach for walking shoes and snow-shoes before they need Lipitor and Insulin. We should start at a very early age and continue to educate and lead through to the golden years. Happiness includes staying active, non-impact activities, low body weight and maintaining fitness.”
Dr. Mitts, a “Navy brat” with roots all over, is gratified to have settled in the Berkshires with his wife and three daughters. “We’ve been around the country and the world, and we feel we have something special here for our family.”