Travis Howard was looking for a small town surgery practice at the same time Payson Regional Medical Center was recruiting for a general surgeon.
Payson was the right place for Howard, and he was looking for a new post at the right time for PRMC.
Howard and his family moved to Payson this past June from Tulsa, Okla., where he has practiced surgery for five years. He earned his degrees from Brigham Young University and Oklahoma State University's medical school in Tulsa.
He knew about Payson from visiting friends in the White Mountains and his wife's family in the Phoenix area. Originally from Idaho, he said, it was the kind of small town he wanted to live in to raise his family. Howard and his wife have four sons, ages 11, 9, 6 and 20 months.
"General surgery is primarily abdominal surgery," Howard said of his specialty, "gall bladder, hernia, appendix, plus colon, liver and breast cancers.
"Small towns need general surgeons."
He receives most of his work through referrals from primary care physicians.
However, about 10 percent of the patients he has seen since starting his practice have been walk-ins.
Working in the practice with Howard are Clare Casselman, office manager, and Teddy Flake.
His future plans are to grow the practice and, at some point, bring in a partner.
"We came here to stay," Howard said.
When not working, he is the Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 454 and enjoys hiking and other outdoors activities. He was on the Payson Parks and Recreation Department men's volleyball team and would like to find the time to try fishing.
Howard's office is located at 701 S. Ponderosa St., Suite C, in Payson. His phone number is (928) 474-5330.