NCH logo

nch news

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

NAPLES, Fla. – July 10, 2023 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.

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.

# # #