Why Florida? HSS CEO Louis Shapiro & Dr. David Altchek elaborate

Practice Management

New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery opened a 60,000-square-foot hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 27, expanding the hospital's footprint to a second state.

The expansion was the second HSS announced in late January. Here, HSS President and CEO Louis Shapiro explains what HSS brings to Florida and elaborates on what's next for the health system.

Note: Responses were edited for style and content.

Question: Why was it important for HSS to open a location in Florida?

Louis Shapiro: While HSS attracts patients from all 50 states and over 80 countries, we saw nearly 3,000 Floridians at our main campus in New York City in 2019 alone. There is definitely a demand for high-quality orthopedic care in this region, and a great opportunity for us to extend our impact. The day we opened, we already had almost 1,000 patient appointments scheduled.

Q: Is HSS considering additional locations in Florida, or are you taking a wait-and-see approach?

LS: At this point, HSS Florida includes both the new facility in West Palm Beach as well as an office in Wellington, Fla. Any further expansion is not planned at this time.

Q: This is the second expansion for HSS in a week. Are there more markets you're looking to get established in?

LS: HSS has the responsibility and opportunity to advance musculoskeletal care and quality of life in many places, and in many ways. Among those ways is developing our own new facilities closer to where people live and work such as HSS Florida, and also HSS Brooklyn, which opened last month, and collaborations such as in Aspen, Colo., and more recently announced support for a new regional medical center in Cartagena, Colombia. We look forward to opening other locations and extending our network through select partnerships where the need and desire is strongest.

Q: Will the move to Florida subtract from the patient volumes in New York?

LS: We do not anticipate this, as we are continuing to demonstrate strong growth in New York as well. In addition to serving many new patients in the Florida community that will stay local, we anticipate that some Florida residents will still come to our main campus in New York, depending on their condition.

Here, sports medicine surgeon and HSS Florida Founding Medical Director David Altchek, MD, shared his goals for the Florida outpost:

Question: What will you bring to HSS Florida?

Dr. David Altchek: I am thrilled to be the founding medical director of HSS Florida. Bringing HSS to Florida has been a particular passion of mine for a long time now. As a local homeowner, I am very familiar with the area and look forward to working with some of the world's most highly skilled surgeons, physicians and other specialists at this new facility. We plan to bring to HSS Florida the same level of quality and amazing patient experience that everyone has come to expect in New York.

Q: Some key figures in the sports medicine institute made the move with you to Florida. How will that affect the institute?

DA: HSS Florida consists of surgeons and physicians from numerous specialties including sports medicine, hand and upper extremity, joint replacement, physiatry, and trauma. The HSS Sports Medicine Institute is not tied to one location and is a team of physicians dedicated to treating active individuals of all ages. The geographic footprint includes the main campus on the Upper East Side [and] our new West Side location, as well as facilities in Paramus, N.J., Westchester, N.Y., Stamford, Conn., and now also West Palm Beach.

Q: What do you want patients to expect from HSS Florida?

DA: This new facility and team are designed to provide patients an unparalleled experience with the highest levels of care and customer service. Patients can expect to receive specialized treatment that is customized to each patient's need. HSS Florida offers a convenient option for area residents who seek care from the country's No. 1 ranked orthopedic hospital.

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