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Hospital for Special Surgery Announces Leadership Change

Bryan Kelly, MD, MBA to Succeed 17-Year Veteran Louis Shapiro in Phased Transition; Kelly Becomes First Surgeon in 160 Years to Lead HSS

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) today announced that Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA will succeed President and Chief Executive Officer Louis A. Shapiro in a phased transition over the course of 2023, becoming the first surgeon to lead the 160-year-old academic medical system specialized in musculoskeletal health. 

Shapiro was appointed President and CEO in 2006 and has worked in close partnership with Kelly as Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director since 2019. Kelly assumes the role of President, effective immediately. Shapiro will remain as CEO during the transition period, after which Kelly will become President and CEO.

“Lou shaped and cultivated a groundbreaking vision for HSS that saw the institution transform from a specialty hospital in New York to an international network with universal prominence,” HSS Board co-chairs Thomas H. Lister and Robert K. Steel said. “Having led the enterprise through unprecedented growth and challenges, including COVID, Lou decided the time is right to make this change. HSS is well positioned to continue to strengthen and expand its global preeminence in musculoskeletal health under Dr. Kelly’s proven leadership and extraordinary capability.”

With a background of leadership positions at health systems and McKinsey and Company, Shapiro came to HSS from Geisinger, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Shapiro led HSS to achieve world leadership in orthopedics, rheumatology, and related disciplines. HSS has been ranked No. 1 for orthopedics in the nation since 2010 and in the world since 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek, respectively. Among his accomplishments, he led the expansion of the HSS physical care delivery system to four states, a nationwide rehabilitation network, and a robust innovation portfolio, including a global first in on-site 3D printing, and a national first in virtual triage and physical therapy. He also oversaw the relocation of the HSS Research Institute to expanded facilities, and the development of the HSS campus in Palm Beach County, Florida, which opened in 2019 and established a foothold in the state for continued growth.

During Shapiro’s tenure, HSS grew organically more than 300 percent, dramatically improved its balance sheet, and improved its performance in virtually all metrics across clinical quality, patient experience, employ engagement, financial, and market positioning. Shapiro’s focus on culture and patient experience led to a Net Promoter Score of 94, more than three times higher than the healthcare industry average.

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve HSS and thank the Board of Trustees for their support,” said Shapiro. “Bryan’s leadership abilities are innate. Supporting his transition is one of the many capstone achievements I look forward to in the coming year. Bryan is ready to lead HSS.”

A world-renowned surgeon, scientist and educator specialized in sports medicine and hip preservation, Kelly arrived at HSS in 1996 with undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and Duke University. He completed his residency and two-year fellowship at HSS, followed by additional fellowships under the direction of Dr. Marc J. Philippon at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Herbert Resch at the Landeskliniken Hospital in Salzburg, Austria, and with Professor Reinhold Ganz in Bern, Switzerland. Kelly completed his MBA at NYU Stern School of Business in 2019.

Over the past 20 years, Kelly has played an instrumental role in the evolution and maturation of the field of hip preservation, which helps people of all ages with non-arthritic hip disorders to maintain mobility and stability. In 2010, Kelly started the Hip Preservation Service at HSS, which is now the nation’s largest with a 10-year record of fellowships. In 2014, he was appointed chief of the HSS Sports Medicine Institute, and in 2019, became HSS Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director.

Kelly has a broad range of both clinical and basic science interests. He has authored nearly 200 scientific publications, chapters, review articles and books, and is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He has been Head Team Doctor and Medical Director for the New York Rangers since 2015 and was previously an Associate Team Doctor for the New York Giants. He continues to serve as a hip injury consultant to multiple collegiate and professional sports teams.

The sudden, enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York City in the spring of 2020 proved to be a defining test of Shapiro’s legacy and Kelly’s readiness to lead. HSS voluntarily suspended the 90 percent of its patient care that was not emergent and transformed to treat New Yorkers impacted by the virus.

“Dr. Kelly is a world class leader in the operating room and the board room, and well equipped to build on Lou’s legacy of advancing and balancing what is best for patients, medical specialists, and the institution,” said Lister and Steel.

“It is hard to imagine anyone better suited than Lou to lead the evolution of HSS to become an outsized influence, not only on musculoskeletal care, but also on how better-quality healthcare can be achieved at large scale,” said Kelly. “Our next chapter will build on this by advancing and widening our core strength in clinical care, scientific research, education, innovation, and making superior care and outcomes more accessible to more people in more places.”

Unlike many clinicians who become business leaders, Kelly plans to continue his surgical practice with a limited number of patients. 

HSS serves patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries and supports more than 1.5 million employees of large corporations. It earned a positive margin on $1.8 billion revenue in 2022. Conditions affecting the musculoskeletal systems, such as injury, wear and arthritis, are the world’s leading cause of disability.

About HSS

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 14th consecutive year), No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2023-2024), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2023-2024). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a fourth consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. In addition, more than 200 HSS clinical investigators are working to improve patient outcomes through better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat orthopedic, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 165 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.