Bryan T. Kelly,  HSS

Dr. Bryan T. Kelly

The Future of HSS

Editors’ Note

Dr. Bryan Kelly has served as HSS Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director since 2019. At the start of 2023 he was appointed President and later this year will add the title of CEO, becoming the first surgeon to lead the organization in its 160-year history. He currently serves as Head Team Physician for the New York Rangers, and cares for several collegiate teams in the tri-state region. After the completion of his residency at HSS in 2001, Dr. Kelly completed a two-year fellowship at HSS, specializing in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery. He then completed a fellowship in Hip Sports Injuries and Arthroscopy at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Center for Sports Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Marc J. Philippon, MD. Prior to starting his practice he also completed an AO International Traveling Fellowship where he spent time with Dr. Herbert Resch at the Landeskliniken Hospital in Salzburg, Austria, as well as with Professor Reinhold Ganz in Bern, Switzerland studying advanced techniques in open management of hip and shoulder injuries. Dr. Kelly is Chief Emeritus of the Sports Medicine Institute and served as Co-Director for the Center for Hip Preservation. He has authored approximately 200 scientific publications, chapters, review articles, and books. Dr. Kelly received his MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business in 2019.

HSS main campus

HSS main campus on Manhattan’s East Side at twilight

Has the role of leadership in healthcare changed over the course of your 27 years as a surgeon?

Yes and no. What has not changed is the responsibility of leadership to enable their organization with a clear and compelling vision, and the talent and other resources required to succeed. In a dynamic environment, some degree of change is often inherent in the vision, and so to make it compelling leadership must articulate a clear “why” and “how” that is relatable to all stakeholders.

Over the course of my career so far, two forces have changed the role of leadership in healthcare: complexity and speed. Complexity in the nature and range of opportunities and challenges related to clinical care, in innovation and in delivering sustainable value for patients and payors. Speed in the velocity and magnitude of change.

Healthcare systems are incredibly complex, and I know that is a major understatement. At HSS and many other organizations, patient care is provided by numerous professional departments, specialties, and multidisciplinary clinical teams working together in nonlinear ways toward a shared goal. And today’s healthcare landscape brings additional complexity into this equation. Heightened competition, changing consumer preferences, and economics have pushed hospitals to demonstrate superior value.

In my experience, the most influential healthcare leaders are those who rally every single individual in the organization toward a common purpose and empower them with the tools and support they need to succeed on a daily basis. Again, collaboration is key. Adopting a shared leadership model, as we have done at HSS, promotes transparency and autonomy, and maximizes talent by empowering individuals to act as leaders and agents for positive change – regardless of their title and role.

HSS main campus

HSS main campus on Manhattan’s East Side in daylight

What are your priorities on the path to the transition from Surgeon-in-Chief to CEO?

As I prepare to transition to CEO of HSS, I am focusing on a few different things. Among them is further strengthening the connectedness between clinical care and the myriad enabling roles across the enterprise. Additionally, engaging and enabling physician leadership, and driving strategic alignment between medical staff and the institution with a shared vision for the future. Our world leadership is a result of the whole of HSS, no one or few parts, and that will be the core of our growing ecosystem and outsized impact.

As Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many talented individuals from across our 20 locations and dozens of partners in care delivery and innovation. I will be seeking to broaden these relationships in a more formalized way, listening, learning, and enabling our shared journey to making better quality of life through better quality of movement more accessible to more people. It will also be important to continue to reinforce our core foundational pillars of excellence in clinical care, academics, research, education, teaching, and innovation.

What is your vision for HSS?

My vision for HSS is a future where we have not only strengthened our foundation of excellence in patient care, research, education, and innovation, but have added to it with new capabilities, collaborations, and offerings to advance musculoskeletal wellness and care globally. HSS’ core competencies will always be top of mind and essential to everything we aspire to do – our unique culture, world-class clinical expertise, superior patient experience, excellence in research and long-standing commitment to academics and innovation.

We will continue to fortify and capitalize on all of these things today and tomorrow, leveraging our growing footprint, emerging digital and data capabilities, and national provider network to extend HSS’ impact and influence as the leader in musculoskeletal health and patient care.

“Our world leadership is a result of the whole of HSS, no one or few parts, and that will be the core of our growing ecosystem and outsized impact.”

How will you balance the heritage that has propelled HSS to world leadership in your field with capitalizing on evolving needs and opportunities?

Our focus on growing and strengthening the things that HSS does best – patient care, research, education and innovation – will remain relentless as we continue to grow and evolve. These foundational pillars are woven into the fabric of HSS, and brought to life by our purpose-driven culture.

On our journey to sustained leadership in musculoskeletal health, we will continue to focus on the areas where we excel and use them to evolve our organization for the future. An example of this is RightMove Powered by HSS, our new virtual physical therapy platform and first spinout venture. Through RightMove, we have been able to scale our foundational clinical expertise in physical therapy, giving consumers access to high-quality care from anywhere in the world and enabling us to increase HSS’ reach and impact.

Looking ahead, we will continue to make strategic investments in the areas that have propelled HSS to its current position as the world’s leading musculoskeletal provider, and build upon them. This is not only mission-critical, but strategically necessary. I will use my background and experience as a surgeon who has worked directly with our patients to look at things in new and different ways, ensuring we are meeting needs of patients, the organization, and the communities and populations we serve.

“Adopting a shared leadership model, as we have done at HSS, promotes transparency and autonomy, and maximizes talent by empowering individuals to act as leaders and agents for positive change – regardless of their title and role.”

What excites you most about the future of HSS?

I am most excited by the opportunity to influence and improve people’s lives in more places and relieve the healthcare system of the unnecessary cost of lesser quality diagnosis and treatment. We will continue to grow our footprint in our core New York tri-state market, and there will be many exciting opportunities in Florida as we establish the state as our second core market.

In the coming years, we will be able to impact more populations across the United States and internationally through our growing digital health capabilities, collaborations with like-minded partners, and amplified excellence in patient care using data-driven tools. Our goal is to meet people where they live and work, whether that is through physical locations or virtual platforms. We will build upon the great successes that we have already achieved, but also evolve with the changing times to help us remain at the top of our field.

I am also excited about what the future has in store for all of my colleagues. The people who work at HSS – whether they are physicians and other clinical staff or those working behind the scenes to support everything we do – are so special and unique. I look forward to continuing to grow and support every member of HSS so we can grow to become even better than we are now.

The future is bright for HSS and in this ever-changing healthcare landscape the possibilities are endless. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the next chapter of this iconic healthcare institution and look forward to building on our collective efforts to make HSS the best place for patients to receive care, the best place for doctors and clinicians to provide care, and the best place for healthcare professionals to advance their careers.