Meet David E. Hanpeter, MD
Dedicated trauma surgeon fosters a legacy
of excellence at Providence Holy Cross
It takes a special type of doctor to be a trauma surgeon. Excellence demands broad medical expertise, technical ability, problem-solving skills and the dedication to answer the call whenever a patient needs help, day or night.
“It’s hard to find people with all of those qualities,” reflects Dr. David Hanpeter, longtime trauma surgeon at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. “There are not many people crazy enough to do it.”
Similarly, it takes a special hospital to support an elite Level II Trauma Center; one that attracts top-tier surgeons by cultivating a culture that prioritizes patient needs, and empowers doctors to always do what’s best for patients.
That’s exactly why Dr. Hanpeter loves practicing at Providence Holy Cross.
“It’s just a really good place to be,” he says, “Where people believe in the mission.”
The road that led Dr. Hanpeter to Holy Cross was far from direct. He began his career as an engineer, and he never imagined that he’d become a doctor.
“I thought physics was real science. Biology was for wimps,” he jokes. But that was before he discovered a passion for physiology and decided to change paths. “I took the easy way out,” he says with a smile. “I got out of engineering and went into medicine.”
After graduating from Wright State University medical school, he did residencies at Washington University in St. Louis and Los Angeles County Hospital before joining Providence Holy Cross in 2003.
Los Angeles County Hospital before joining Providence Holy Cross in 2003.
His engineering background gives Dr. Hanpeter an appreciation of the importance of finding the right solutions, and he says he applies those skills in the operating room.
“In trauma, you work with everybody. It’s never boring,” he says. “It’s a great problem-solving specialty.”
But delivering the right solutions for patients requires a team of exceptional people, from doctors and nurses to administration to support staff. And he says that’s what sets Providence Holy Cross apart: “It’s a great culture. The entire staff is willing to pitch in, always willing to go above and beyond.”
“The response has always been, ‘Do what’s right for the patient.’”
Dr. Hanpeter’s work as a surgeon isn’t the only way he supports the Providence Holy Cross mission. His influence has helped shape the culture and processes of the trauma department by always putting the patient’s needs first. And he also recently made a generous gift to the hospital as a tribute to his late wife, who was a patient at Providence Holy Cross.
He says he hopes both his leadership and his philanthropy will ensure a legacy of excellence.
“The way I insist this practice run is somewhat old-fashioned, but I think it’s the right thing for patients,” he says. “I hope it endures.”
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.