Dr. Barry Werries

  • Photos/Special to The Source
Werries talks with a patient. “When I treat my patients, I treat them like I would want my family members treated.
  • Photos/Special to The Source
Werries has joined the Blessing Health System team as a doctor at Blessing Physician Services.
  • Photos/Special to The Source
Dr. Barry Werries has moved back to the Midwest.

By Kyla Hurt

Dr. Barry Werries practiced in Jacksonville for 19 years before providing orthopedic care in Florida for the last two years.

Now, Werries is back, having joined the Blessing Health System. He is affiliated with Blessing Physician Services, where he specializes in orthopedics and sports medicine.

The timing may not have been the best, as Werries was scheduled to start seeing patients on March 16 at Blessings Physician Services in Quincy, just days before Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect. Still, that didn’t affect Werries’ excitement to be back in the area again. After all, this is home base.

Werries and his wife, Leslie (Willard) Werries, are both from Jacksonville and both of their parents still live in Jacksonville. They have a daughter, Chelsea Alarcon (Xavier), in Chicago, and another daughter, Chloe Heneisen (Jacob) in Sedalia, Mo. “So, Quincy is perfect for us,” said Werries of the proximity to both of their girls.

The Werries have four children, with two boys balancing the mix. One son, Cal, was accepted into a school in Jupiter, Florida; this is why the Werries left Jacksonville originally. Cal Werries is autistic and the opportunity to enroll him at The Els Center of Excellence was one that could be a game-changer for individuals on the spectrum. So, the Werries moved to Florida and Dr. Werries set up practice there.

“Our second son [Clayton] went to Mac [MacMurray College] and actually works at the school [The Els Center of Excellence],” added Werries. They’d retained their Florida home for a while, but Leslie Werries moved to Quincy the fourth week of June. Then, the two of them will return to Florida for Cal’s graduation, which was delayed until August due to the pandemic.

“I will tell you that my experience down there [in Florida] was very educational because I don’t think the people in the Midwest understand the quality of care that they get,” started Werries. “The staff around there … just the healthcare … was not up to my expectations.” Then, as if the smile was audible during our phone conversation, he changed the tune, “I just love treating patients from the Midwest. In the Midwest, your patients want to strive for excellence and get better. It really made me appreciate the support system at the hospitals and the patients that I see in the Midwest. It’s like night and day.”

In May, Werries was able to start taking elective cases. “Blessing has taken care of me very nicely as far as the transition. Blessing has been a class act,” he said. Not only did Blessing make a good impression, but also they did so amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He must be in a good environment when he can make an exclamation like this: “When you get somebody that brings you morel mushrooms, I mean, c’mon!”

Twenty-two years into practicing his career in sports medicine and orthopedic surgery, this would seem it was the correct path for Werries. Having played Division 1 baseball at Western Illinois University and being active in sports prior, Werries’ involvement in sports was a great background and also makes for a good connection with patients whose injuries are sports-related.

Werries said, “My mom was a registered nurse and was really dedicated to her profession, and being an athlete, I thought sports medicine and orthopedics was a good fit for me.“ He earned his medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and by the time he was finished with his residency, the family was a family of six. Now, he says, “I’m getting to enjoy grandkids.”

Everything is working out. In fact, Werries is back together with Dr. Darr Leutz, who is also affiliated with Blessing Physician Services. Leutz had also practiced in Jacksonville. Werries explains, “I was interested in coming back to the Midwest and had interviews all over Missouri because of benefits there for autism and Darr had called me, saying, ‘Hey, I have a great opportunity for you.’

For me, it’s a prayer answered … We are partners … We were competitors in Jacksonville, but I always said I wanted to be with Darr instead of against Darr. I do think that it was a prayer answered that he did give me a call and I’m very happy to be on his team.”

At some point, the family will be able to be in this area together, but Werries says he will miss something from Florida.

“One of the biggest things and it may sound weird to other people, is that we had a great church that we’re going to miss in Florida,” Werries began, adding though, “with the pandemic, everything is streamed so we’re able to stream it and watch it here.”

Werries is also taking patients at Illini Community Hospital in Pittsfield, which is owned by the Blessing Health, so that is a great option for patients who come from Jacksonville or surrounding towns that had been patients of Werries previously and would like to continue in his care.

To do so, call Blessing Physician Services at 217-214-0444. Werries notes, “They can call and they really need to say that they are a former patient and that they’d like appointments at Illini Community Hospital.”

Werries practices in Pittsfield on Wednesdays only; on the other hand, it’s a short drive. Patients are still welcome to travel to Quincy to see him and enjoy some shopping, etcetera while there. “Larger cases such as total joint replacements [for example] must be done in Quincy, but follow-ups can be done in Pittsfield.”

Regardless of the need for orthopedic or sports medicine-related care, many assuredly are happy to know you have come back to the Midwest, Dr. Werries. Welcome home.

Share This