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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua Joint Replacement Institute launched

Virtua has expanded its nationally recognized Orthopaedic Program of Excellence with the formation of the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute (learn more about Joint Replacement at Virtua). The Institute will provide knee and hip replacement services at three locations: Virtua Memorial Hospital (Mt. Holly) and Virtua Marlton Hospital, both in Burlington County, New Jersey, and at a third location planned for Camden County, New Jersey. The Camden County center will be located in a specialized unit within the new Voorhees Ambulatory Center scheduled for completion in 2012 on Virtua’s new campus on Route 73 in Voorhees, New Jersey. (The new Virtua Voorhees Hospital, which will sit adjacent to the Ambulatory Center, opens in May 2011.)

While the Institute will provide a wide range of surgical options, its premier service will be same-day and minimally invasive knee and hip replacements. “For those who are candidates,” says Scott Schoifet, M.D., the Institute’s Medical Director, “same-day surgery is an option that gets the patient home and rehabilitated faster with the goal of returning them to normal activity as quickly as possible. Minimally invasive techniques make faster recovery a reasonable expectation.”

Same-day knee replacement is possible thanks to a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve cutting the quadriceps tendon and requires only a three- to four-inch incision. Less pain medication is needed, physical therapy time is reduced and recovery is much faster. Many patients are able to discard their walkers and transition to a cane in less than a week.

Some joint replacement patients, however, will require an overnight stay. “Even patients who stay overnight,” explains Schoifet, “will get into street clothes and begin physical therapy the same day as surgery. These patients will not experience a traditional hospital stay. Improved surgical techniques, joint replacements and pain management enable us to accelerate the healing process.”

In addition to same-day and minimally invasive procedures, the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute is differentiated from other services by a robust patient navigation service. Each patient will be assigned a Personal Health Navigator who will obtain health insurance clearance and who will schedule appointments, pre-admission testing, pre-surgery education classes and rehabilitation. The navigators will be available to answer questions and guide the patient through the entire process.
Baby Boomers, who are more active than the previous generation, are requiring joint replacements at an earlier age. Thanks to improved implants that last longer, Boomers can have a higher quality of life further into the life cycle.

“Our joint replacement program has grown rapidly,” says Richard P. Miller, Virtua CEO, “and demand will continue to increase, especially among Baby Boomers, in the coming years. As more physicians choose to provide orthopaedic services at Virtua, and more patients choose us for care, it is imperative that we expand our facilities to accommodate that demand. Our third location will be able to meet the need for increased capacity.”

“Virtua’s Orthopaedic Program of Excellence,” says Ninfa Saunders, Virtua President and Chief Operating Officer, “has been recognized nationally for its quality and safety. We were the first healthcare organization in the Northeastern US to earn the prestigious certification of our joint replacement program from the Joint Commission, and we have maintained that designation for the past six years. Virtua performs more joint replacement surgeries than any other healthcare organization in southern New Jersey and we are proud to be the Official Orthopaedic Provider of the Philadelphia Flyers.”

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.