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HSS Receives $3 Million Grant from The Starr Foundation

Gift Will Establish the C.V. Starr Endowed Chair in Pain Management

The Starr Foundation announced the gift of a $3 million grant to Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) to establish the C.V. Starr Endowed Chair in Pain Management. This commitment will provide support to enhance pain management research, program development and physician education at HSS.

As the No. 1 hospital for orthopedics in the United States for 10 straight years, HSS has a responsibility and opportunity to set the highest standard for opioid management, as orthopedic surgeries are linked to substantial postoperative pain and higher numbers of opioids prescribed.

“As a leader in pain management, HSS is sharing knowledge and assisting other organizations in the implementation of safe, responsible and effective practices for managing postsurgical and chronic pain, and this grant will allow us to continue that work,” said Louis A. Shapiro, CEO and president of HSS. “We are very grateful for The Starr Foundation’s generosity and dedication to keeping all patients safe.”

HSS established a Controlled Substances Task Force in 2016 to build a better model for safe opioid prescribing while also effectively managing pain in a personalized and multifaceted way. Since its inception, the task force has taken a comprehensive look at current practices across the hospital and implemented new systems, guidelines and educational initiatives to improve patient safety and advance how perioperative and chronic pain are treated.

“HSS is a living laboratory for musculoskeletal pain management, in which we workshop new ideas, build scientific cases for support and work with medical and industry partners to bring our findings to life,” said Seth A. Waldman, MD, director of the Pain Management Division in the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Management at HSS, who will be the inaugural holder of the chair. “We have developed science-based protocols, contributing to a safer prescribing environment and a more comprehensive care model across the hospital.”

This grant will both enhance existing pain management studies and allow for new studies to be initiated, accelerating the research timeline to translate findings into practice. It will also fund a full-time PhD researcher who will be responsible for coordinating those studies across HSS, to improve safe prescribing practices and explore alternatives to opioids.

“We are strategically focused on developing new multimodal programs and a clearer understanding of the bioethical issues related to pain treatment,” added Dr. Waldman, who explained that research can lead to the most rapid and meaningful advancements in patient care. “This grant will help us achieve our goals.”

HSS is also collaborating with other leading medical organizations to advance opioid initiatives across the healthcare community. One part of this effort was an international multidisciplinary forum titled “Toward Opioid-Free Arthroplasty: A Leadership Forum,” featuring representatives from orthopedics, anesthesiology, psychiatry, bioethics, health information technology and law. Coming out of that forum, held in 2018, was a consensus statement to shift toward opioid-free arthroplasty for hip and knee replacements.

While the Starr Endowed Chair will live within the Pain Management Division, the work will influence research studies across HSS.

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. www.hss.edu.