Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr.
Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr. is a highly regarded Board Certified Arm and Hand Surgeon, and a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. Dr. Helgemo received his MD from Johns Hopkins University where he also completed an Orthopedic Surgery Residency. He limits his practice at Florida Hand Center to conditions affecting the arm, wrist and hands, allowing him to become an expert in this area. Pain in these regions can be quite debilitating, and his role as a physician and hand surgeon allows him to help his patients gain back the pain-free use of their hands and arms.
Dr. Helgemo is an active member of the American Society of Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Dr. Helgemo is Florida’s leading endoscopic carpal tunnel surgeon, according to ACHA data. His Hand Surgery Fellowship was done at the prestigious Union Memorial Hospital, named the “National Center for the Treatment of the Upper Extremity” by the United States Congress. He returned to Florida in 1997 and started Southwest Florida Hand Specialists, now known as Florida Hand Center, in 1999. Dr. Helgemo is currently affiliated with Charlotte Regional Medical Center, Peace River Regional Medical Center and Fawcett Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Helgemo is a native Floridian and enjoys endurance sports, scuba diving, salt water aquariums, fishing and photography when not performing hand surgery. He is married to Dannette Helgemo and has three children.
He specializes in minimally invasive techniques, offers many non-surgical treatments, and remains up-to-date in medical advancements to continue offering the best care available for his patients.
Dr. Ivan G. Olarte
Dr. Ivan G. Olarte, MD is a highly regarded and well respected hand surgeon in our community. He is a Board Certified General Surgeon who received his B.A. from Baylor University, in Texas, where he played NCAA tennis. He received his M.D. from Ponce School of Medicine, and he completed a General Surgery residency at St. John Hospital Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, where he ascended to Chief Resident. He then went on to receive sub-specialty hand and microsurgery fellowship training at the University of Mississippi.
Dr. Olarte sees approximately 200 patients each month at Florida Hand Center, treats 70% non-surgically, and performs an average of 60 hand and arm procedures each month. He believes the most satisfying part of his job is getting to know his patients and reducing and eliminating their painful conditions. He has presented at national hand surgery meetings as a featured speaker and has presented at local seminars and community expos. His professional interests lie in minimally invasive procedures such as endoscopic surgery (carpal and cubital tunnel release), needle aponeurotomy for Dupuytren’s contractures, treatments for arthritis and tendonitis, nerve and tendon repairs, and musculoskeletal trauma.
Through First Alliance Church, Dr. Olarte has also completed two medical missionary trips to Kenya and Ecuador, where he and a very skilled medical team, have brought much needed health care to very undeserved areas.
Currently, Dr. Olarte is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Olarte and his wife, Arelis, are the proud parents of three daughters. When he’s not spending time with his family, he participates in cycling races competitively and enjoys tending to his vegetable garden and his chickens. He also enjoys oil and acrylic painting and playing guitar for his church worship band.
Dr. Olarte has been received the following awards from Vitals.com, the awards are determined based on the reviews and ratings collected in the calendar year from millions of patients and are awarded to less 5 percent of all doctors nationwide.
Patients’ Choice recognition- reflects the difference a particular physician has made in the lives of his/her patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores, as voted by patients.
Compassionate Doctor certification- is granted to physicians who treat their patients with the utmost kindness. The honor is granted based on a physician’s overall and bedside manner scores.
Top 10 Doctor- are chosen by the millions of patients who visit Vitals each year to find a new doctor and share their experiences by providing ratings and reviews. In order to differentiate highly-regarded doctors from the rest for patients in search of quality care, Vitals awards Top 10 Doctor honors to those physicians within a certain specialty and geographic area who are consistently given top ratings by their patients.
Dr. Olarte is committed to providing quality patient care for hand problems and looks forward to meeting you at the Florida Hand Center. Dr. Olarte is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. For more information visit the Spanish section of our website.