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HSS Names Michael P. Ast, MD, Vice-Chair and Chief Medical Innovation Officer

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) President and CEO Louis A. Shapiro and Surgeon-in Chief and Medical Director Bryan T. Kelly, MD, today announced the appointment of Michael P. Ast, MD, hip and knee replacement surgeon and assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, as the new Vice-Chair of the HSS Innovation Institute and Chief Medical Innovation Officer.

Since 1979, HSS has been a pioneer in creating and bringing innovative technology to market to advance patient outcomes. HSS has led the industry in musculoskeletal innovation by supporting new ideas from inventors and by partnering with HSS experts to improve wellness, performance, and patient care. The HSS Innovation Institute was established in 2016 to accelerate state-of-the-art concepts and inventions through partnerships with industry, investors, and entrepreneurs and deepen relationships between engineers, physicians, researchers, surgeons, and scientists.

Today, the Institute is working to advance the use of patented hardware and analytical software, intelligent strength training and rehabilitation techniques, and devices to reduce pain, increase stability, correct deformities, and restore functions.

“HSS is the leader in musculoskeletal health around the world, and for decades our clinicians, scientists, and biomechanics engineers have been working side by side to advance technology and accelerate the discovery of treatment options,” said Mr. Shapiro. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Ast to our executive leadership team to help us remain laser focused on our approach to innovation, to drive forward-thinking leadership, and create new pathways that benefit patients everywhere.”

“HSS is uniquely positioned to capitalize on our expertise and leadership to continue to advance the field of musculoskeletal care across the world,” said Dr. Kelly. “The importance of collaborating is paramount now more than ever to ensure that we fulfill our responsibility to discover and improve treatment solutions for the routine and the most complex cases.”

In his new role, Dr. Ast will work closely with Mr. Harmon and the Innovation Institute team to support new, viable offerings that can improve clinical outcomes, enhance the patient experience, or lower the cost of care delivery in a meaningful way. 

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Ast to the Innovation team,” said Jordan Harmon, VP, Chief Innovation and Commercialization Officer at HSS. “Creating innovative healthcare solutions requires collaboration between clinical, administrative, and business experts. The HSS Innovation Institute will benefit greatly from Dr. Ast’s expertise in these areas. Dr. Ast will bring his vast knowledge and pioneering expertise from both a medical and business perspective, which will be invaluable as we navigate the healthcare landscape of tomorrow.”

“As a surgeon with both academic and private practice experience, I understand the challenges of a clinical practice and how innovation can offer solutions,” said Dr. Ast. “I look forward to utilizing my background in value-based care implementation, advanced technology for surgical training, and data integration and analytics to help achieve the goals of the HSS Innovation Institute.”

Dr. Ast added that innovation is more than product development. “As healthcare becomes more complex, we must continue to innovate care delivery strategies, education, and data management,” he explained. “Looking to the future, innovative solutions in healthcare will require a multifaceted team effort with viewpoints from the clinical, administrative, and business sides.”

As a member of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at HSS, Dr. Ast’s clinical practice focuses on rapid-recovery, short-stay, and outpatient joint replacement surgery. He has extensive experience in robotic and computer-assisted surgery. Dr. Ast is a published researcher and noted speaker nationally and internationally on topics including technology in and around the surgical episode, healthcare economics and the business of clinical orthopaedics. Dr. Ast completed his fellowship in Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement surgery at HSS and went on to develop and direct one of the largest and most successful outpatient joint replacement programs in the northeast before returning to HSS in 2018.

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.