Preparing to Open Philadelphia's Vincera Institute: Q&A With Administrator Dominic Vendetta
Q: When will the surgery center launch?
DV: The center will be open in the spring of 2013. Demolition of the existing building began in April 2012. Tenant improvements are scheduled to commence in the next few weeks. This construction will take approximately seven months to complete.
Q: Tell us a little about the physical details of the center — number of ORs, square footage, etc.
DV: Vincera Institute is located in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, an up-and-coming section of Philadelphia. The area is referred to as a keystone opportunity zone which is being used to attract businesses with the hope of bringing corporations and future jobs to Philadelphia. The Vincera Institute will be located in building #489 which used to be the old Navy USO Theatre. The building has been vacant since 1995. The total square footage of the facility is 34,000 square feet. Vincera Institute will be a comprehensive sports medicine facility [and] will house a number of departments to help us achieve our goal of core health.
Those departments include:
• Ambulatory surgery facility — 12,000-square-foot facility that consists of four Class C operating rooms and one Class B procedure room for pain management
• Imaging center — housing both MRI and X-ray units to meet our diagnostic needs
• Physician office Space – over 5,000 total square feet of physician office space
• Rehabilitation/fitness/yoga studio — located on the second floor, this will give our patients the unique ability to have their rehabilitation done by our professional training staff that focuses on core injuries
• Alternative and complementary therapies such as cryo-therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and an onsite nutritionist.
Q: Which specialties and procedures will be performed at the center?
DV: The surgeries we will be performing at the Vincera Institute will include core muscle injury repairs (i.e. sports hernia), hip arthroscopy for joint preservation in younger adults and other general sports medicine of the shoulder and knee. We will also have a pain management service in the center.
Q: How many physicians are involved with the project currently?
DV: There are currently 4 physicians who are leading the way at the Vincera Institute. Those physicians are:
• William Meyers, MD, is the president and engineer of this unique project. Dr. Meyers is the pioneer in the field of core muscle injuries, which is a condition that is commonly referred to in the media today as a "sports hernia." Dr. Meyers has performed more than 15,000 of these procedures since the early 1980s, when he first discovered the mechanism and surgical treatment for these injuries.
• Bryan T. Kelly, MD, is a specialist in sports medicine injuries. Dr. Kelly utilizes both the arthroscopic and open surgical management of non-arthritic disorders of the hip. Dr. Kelly is currently on staff at Weill Cornell Medical College, Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Kelly currently serves as the Associate Team Physician for the New York Giants, the New York Red Bulls MLS team, as well as the Team Consultant for hip injuries for the New Jersey Nets and several collegiate teams in the New York region.
• Struan H. Coleman, MD, PhD, specializes in sports medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery where he treats orthopedic conditions of the shoulder, hip and knee. Dr. Coleman is also currently on staff at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Coleman has trained using the latest arthroscopic techniques, including all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, multi-ligament knee reconstructions and arthroscopy of the hip for younger patients with hip pathology. Dr. Coleman is currently the head team physician for the New York Mets.
• Anil Ranawat, MD, specializes in sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery where he currently performs hip, knee and shoulder arthroscopy. Dr. Ranawat is also on staff at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Ranawat’s expertise focuses on complex ACL surgery (including double bundle surgery and revision ACL surgery), meniscal surgery, femoro-acetabular impingement surgery. He is an assistant team physician for the New York Mets.
Q: What was the impetus for starting this project?
DV: Dr. Meyers has been thinking about building a center that focuses on core health for years. He is partnering with MIS orthopedic surgeons because there is a relationship between core muscle injuries and hip disorders. Dr. Meyers has sent hundreds of patients to the physicians above and other well-known hip arthroscopists in the country.
Normally, this process can take weeks or months to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon in another state. At the Vincera institute, a patient can have an MRI in the morning, be evaluated by Dr. Meyers for a suspected core injury, and then can go down the hall to see an orthopedic surgeon if there is orthopedic pathology. The patient can then be booked for surgery the next day and should be well enough to go home the day after that. Very frequently, Dr. Meyers will have to operate on the same patient with one of our orthopedic surgeons and with this center a patient can have both repairs done on the same day.
The Vincera Institute will be a comprehensive center where we can reduce the time a patient may have to wait for surgery by weeks or even months. This allows them to get back to work, sports or just everyday living much quicker.
Q: Have you experienced any challenges or learned anything interesting during the process of planning and opening the center?
DV: Yes, and we haven't stopped learning. First and foremost is designing and building an ambulatory surgical facility. We have had minimal experience doing construction in the past, so this is a big deal for us. Pennsylvania is one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to design regulations.
For me personally, I would also say that moving from a big university hospital to the world of the ASFs has been a challenge. As a former operating room director in Philadelphia, I have noticed that the regulations are different for an ASF. So learning what those differences are is a priority for me. We have some great help though; Amy Mowles from Mowles Medical Practice Management is our consultant helping us on the project.
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