HSS Appoints Mary E. Cassai, RN to Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
World Leader in Musculoskeletal Health Taps Acclaimed Leader of Large-Scale Operations to Enable High-Quality Performance, Accelerating Growth & Transformation
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) today announced the appointment of Mary E. Cassai, MPA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, following a nationwide search. Founded in 1863, HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center specialized in orthopedics, rheumatology and related disciplines. HSS is ranked No. 1 in orthopedics worldwide by Newsweek, and nationwide by US News & World Report.
Cassai will join HSS on August 14, reporting to President, Surgeon-in-Chief (SIC) and Medical Director Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA. Dr. Kelly will add the title of Chief Executive later this year, with completion of phased transition with Louis A. Shapiro who is retiring from HSS following 17 years as president and CEO. At that time, Dr. Kelly will be succeeded as SIC and Medical Director by Douglas E. Padgett, MD, who joined HSS as a Resident in 1985 as a decorated Battalion Surgeon in U.S. combat operations.
Cassai joins HSS from New York-Presbyterian, one of the world’s largest hospital systems, where during her 16-year tenure she advanced from an entry-level nursing position to the role of Senior Vice President of Perioperative Services, in which she was responsible for thousands of staff across 11 campuses, including 172 operating rooms. She also led design and implementation for operational innovation and transformation, including the system’s vast and dynamic response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as changes to methods and systems leading to higher performance. Cassai received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Long Island University, a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University, and is a graduate of the Academy GE Fellows Program. Throughout her career she has been a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion and empathetic collaboration.
HSS performs almost twice as many orthopedic surgeries than the next most popular hospital and 20 times more orthopedic surgeries than the average US hospital. HSS has the lowest readmission rates in the nation, and among the lowest infection and complication rates. HSS was the first hospital 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 over 20 facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut, in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, and in Florida.
HSS is the only hospital in North America designated by the World Economic Forum as a Global Innovation Hub for Value in Healthcare, and is a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence. Members of HSS’s medical staff serve as physicians for the athletic programs of several colleges and universities and numerous professional sports teams, including the New York Mets, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, New York Giants, New York Red Bulls, and New York Liberty.
In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation, and education and serves as a major teaching hospital in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College.
“Mary’s capability and character match this moment of historic opportunity for HSS to meet the demand for excellent musculoskeletal care,” said Dr. Kelly. “I look forward to her partnership and leadership in advancing the operational excellence needed to ensure HSS is the best place for doctors and other clinicians to provide care, for patients to receive care, and for all colleagues to realize their full potential.”
“Mary joins a world-class leadership team configured to Dr. Kelly’s personal strengths and priorities and will help sustain continuing leadership and success for HSS well into the future,” said Shapiro.
“HSS is one of the most admirable organizations of any kind, and famously home to the most talented people committed to advancing excellence in every way,” said Cassai. “I could not be more humbled and excited to help the organization and my new colleagues to become even better together."
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 third 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, diagnosis, 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. www.hss.edu.