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World Leader In Musculoskeletal Health HSS Announces Douglas E. Padgett, MD To Become Next Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director

Padgett Will Succeed Bryan Kelly, MD, MBA Upon His Transition to CEO Later This Year at Hospital For Special Surgery, Top-Ranked For Orthopedics and Rheumatology

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) today announced that Douglas E. Padgett, MD will be appointed Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director when Bryan T. Kelly, who has held those positions since 2019, transitions to Chief Executive Officer later this year.  The 160-year-old academic medical system specialized in musculoskeletal health last month announced that Kelly will succeed 17-year veteran Louis A. Shapiro as CEO in a phased transition over the course of 2023.

Padgett is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, educator and researcher, focused on clinical outcomes, biomaterials, and the role of enabling technologies in joint reconstruction. He is Chief Emeritus of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at HSS, and a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was appointed Associate Surgeon-in-Chief at HSS in 2019, and is a former Board member of preeminent professional organizations including and The Hip Society, which he also served as President, and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Prior to his arrival at HSS as a Resident in 1985, Padgett earned the Naval Achievement Medal for meritorious service as a Battalion Surgeon in U.S. combat operations. 

Now in its 160th year, HSS treats patients from more than 80 countries and all 50 States. It has been ranked no. 1 for orthopedics in the world for the past three years, and in the nation for the past 13 years. HSS has been top ranked for both orthopedics and rheumatology for the past 31 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. HSS performs 90% more orthopedic surgeries than the next leading hospital, but maintains the lowest readmission rates and among the lowest infection and complication rates in the nation.

“Dr. Padgett’s appointment is a milestone in the historic, phased leadership transition started last month,” said HSS Board co-chairs Thomas H. Lister and Robert K. Steel. “Together, Dr. Kelly, Dr. Padgett and the many other great leaders across the enterprise are poised to build upon the remarkable heritage of HSS to achieve even greater success for patients and impact on the field of musculoskeletal health.”

Kelly, who arrived at HSS as a Resident 27 years ago, will become the first surgeon to lead HSS as CEO when the transition is complete later this year. “Dr. Padgett has distinguished himself among the many giants in our field who call HSS home,” said Kelly, who added the title of President last month.  “I have appreciated the power of his example over many years, and look forward to further strengthening the impact of our close partnership in the years ahead.”

Shapiro said he views Padgett’s advancement to Surgeon-in-Chief later this year to be a capstone on his own legacy. During Shapiro’s tenure, HSS grew more than 300 percent, and improved its performance across clinical quality, patient experience, employee engagement, financially, and market positioning.

“Dr. Padgett was Chief of the Hip Service when I arrived at HSS in 2006, and since that time has emerged as a beacon of leadership and the values and purpose of the organization,” said Shapiro. “It has been my priority to leave the people and patients of HSS today and tomorrow in the very best of hands, and I can think of no leaders more able and worthy than Dr. Padgett and Dr. Kelly.”

“I am deeply humbled by this honor and responsibility, and mindful of the giants on whose shoulders I will stand and those with whom I am privileged to serve alongside,” said Padgett. “We will continue to advance the quality and reliability of patient outcomes, and the field of musculoskeletal health worldwide, through focused excellence in research, education, innovation and clinical care.”

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.