Hospital for Special Surgery and NCH Healthcare System Appoint David L. Helfet, MD, Executive Medical Director of HSS at NCH

 David L. Helfet, MD

NAPLES, Fla., July 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and NCH Healthcare System today announced that David L. Helfet, MD, renowned HSS orthopedic trauma surgeon, has been appointed Executive Medical Director of HSS at NCH, the collaboration formed to bring high quality orthopedic care to southwest Florida. The pioneering collaboration is part of the transformation of NCH to become an Advanced Community Healthcare System.

Founded in 1863, HSS is the world’s largest academic medical center specialized in musculoskeletal health, ranked no. 1 in orthopedics worldwide by Newsweek, and nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

HSS at NCH will bring world class care closer to home for the thousands of southwest Florida residents affected by orthopedic conditions each year. The two organizations are collaborating to design and build the most advanced medical facility for HSS at NCH, at the North Naples Hospital campus. That facility will be more than 80,000 square feet and be a destination for comprehensive outpatient and inpatient musculoskeletal services, including a jointly owned and operated ambulatory surgery center, clinics, imaging, and rehabilitation services.

Through this collaboration, HSS knowledge, standards and methods are being implemented at NCH and will be at the new facility. Dr. Helfet will oversee HSS at NCH program development and growth, clinical quality, and all aspects of patient care.

Dr. Helfet is Director Emeritus of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at HSS, a professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the 2015 recipient of the HSS Lifetime Achievement Award presented by his longtime patient Dr. Henry Kissinger. He is a past President of the National Orthopaedic Trauma Association and has published over 383 papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to over forty books.

“This will be the first and only healthcare center of its kind in southwest Florida, thanks to the vision and community commitment of NCH President and CEO Paul Hiltz and the NCH Board,” said HSS President, Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA.

“Dr. Helfet is supremely qualified to blend the best of both organizations in HSS at NCH, bringing world class orthopedic care and patient experience to the people of southwest Florida,” said Kelly.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. David L. Helfet as the Executive Medical Director of HSS at NCH,” said NCH President and CEO Paul Hiltz. “Dr. Helfet’s expertise will ensure the highest standards of care for the residents of southwest Florida and beyond. This visionary collaboration is a testament to our commitment to elevating the standard of orthopedic care and enhancing the quality of life for our community.”

While Dr. Helfet’s focus on orthopedic trauma has earned international acclaim, he also specializes in hip conditions and is part of the Hip Preservation Service at HSS. He is consistently ranked as one of New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors in New York” and Castle Connolly’s “America’s Top Doctors”. Additionally, Dr. Helfet often provides medical care to public safety individuals as the designated Orthopedic Trauma specialist for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New York State Police.

Dr. Helfet received his medical degree at the University of Cape Town Medical School in South Africa before completing his residency at Johns Hopkins University. He has held fellowships at the University of Bern in Switzerland and the University of California Los Angeles.

“I am honored to be selected to lead HSS at NCH and work alongside NCH and HSS colleagues to build upon a longstanding foundation of medical excellence,” said Dr. Helfet. “In orthopedics, quality varies widely and together we will make the highest quality of care available closer to home for the people of Naples and all of southwest Florida.”

“HSS remains laser-focused on providing access to the highest quality musculoskeletal care close to where people work and live, and we recognize Floridians’ high expectations for quality of life,” said HSS Florida CEO Tara McCoy. “NCH shares this commitment and Dr. Helfet’s appointment is another demonstration of the substance behind our promise to the people of southwest Florida.”

Dr. Helfet’s new role is effective July 1, starting a phased transition from his practice at the HSS main campus in New York over the next three years.

Donations to support orthopedic services at NCH are matched by the $20 million grant pledged by Jay Baker, Naples philanthropist and NCH board member, and his wife Patty. For more information, please contact the NCH Center for Philanthropy at 239-624-2000.

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 13th consecutive year), No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2022-2023), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2022-2023). 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. 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.

About NCH

NCH is a not-for-profit, multi-facility healthcare system located in Naples, Florida, and is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The System is more than just two hospitals (referred to as the NCH Baker Hospital and NCH North Naples Hospital) with a total of 713 beds. NCH is an alliance of 775 physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Collier County and southwest Florida that offers nationally recognized, quality health care to our community. NCH delivers 3,500 babies and houses the only pediatric ER in Collier County serving more than 19,000 children every year. Our mission is to help everyone live a longer, happier, healthier life. For more information, visit

SOURCE Hospital for Special Surgery

Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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