Pediatric surgeon joins Sacred Heart surgical team
Sacred Heart Medical Center is pleased to welcome pediatric surgeon Garret Zallen, MD, to Lane County.
Dr. Zallen, our area’s only pediatric surgeon, will be a familiar face to many of his young patients and their families. He comes to Sacred Heart from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, which had previously been the closest hospital providing specialized pediatric surgery. Dr. Zallen estimates that about 30% of his patients at OHSU came from in and around Lane County.
That’s one of the reasons he was attracted to Sacred Heart.
“Having this type of quality care available here, close to home, will make a big difference to many of these families,” he said. “I think there need to be more places in Oregon that take care of kids.”
Dr. Zallen, who was an assistant professor of pediatric surgery at OHSU, specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques for his young patients, using smaller instruments and smaller incisions.
Such techniques mean less pain, quicker recovery time and a better outcome for patients.
Dr. Zallen brings to his practice an approachable, down-to-earth style that puts patients at ease. “When I walk into a room, I don’t want them to feel, ‘Oh, here comes a doctor, something bad is going to happen’” says Dr. Zallen, who favors casual attire.
His passion for helping and healing the young drives his work. He thinks of his young patients as “innocent bystanders,” who find themselves in his care not because they made poor choices or neglected their health, as is sometimes the case with adults. “It’s just happenstance,” he says.
His special interests include congenital chest wall abnormalities, and he’s authored several papers on the subject.
Dr. Zallen completed a pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he also obtained his MD. He grew up near Denver, Colo.
He is committed to continuing his charitable work with both Shriners Children Hospital in Portland, where he treats and performs surgery monthly on patients who can’t afford to pay, and Athletes 4 Cancer, an organization he co-founded in 2007 whose mission is to rebuild and renew the lives of young adult cancer survivors through outdoor adventure.
“I’m happiest seeing my patients after they’re no longer in my care,” he says. “Seeing them better—to me that is the ultimate reward.”
Dr. Zallen was named one of Portland’s Top Docs for six years running, and maintained one of the busiest pediatric surgery practices in the state.
To make an appointment with Dr. Zallen, please call 541-222-6135.