Hospital for Special Surgery
The Hospital for Special Surgery is one of the nation's leading orthopedic and
rheumatology hospitals. The main hospital building has been renamed the
David H. Koch Pavilion in recognition of David Koch's $25 million gift.
What began in 1863 as The Hospital for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled is today Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), an acknowledged leader in orthopedics and rheumatology. Located on the East River in New York City, HSS performed more than 26,000 procedures in 2011. The staff of HSS has pioneered and perfected breakthroughs, such as the first total knee replacement, which have vastly improved the lives of tens of thousands of patients throughout the world. The list of former patients of Hospital for Special Surgery includes David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, Inc., and a member of the hospital's Board of Trustees. Mr. Koch has had several surgeries at the hospital, including shoulder and bilateral knee replacement stemming from injuries he suffered in prep and college athletics. "When I was finally elected to the board," says Mr. Koch, "I attended my first meeting, was introduced graciously, and told them that it was a lot more pleasant being at the hospital and looking from the top down rather than lying on my back in the O.R. looking up."
The hospital's well-documented excellence, it has been consistently ranked number one or two in orthopedics and among the leaders in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report, has kept its facilities operating at the outer edge of its capacity, despite the addition of 95 medical staffers and establishment of numerous centers dedicated to patient care, research and education. Hemmed in on three sides by existing structures and on the fourth by the East River, the hospital's expansion presents unique challenges. Nonetheless, with the general population living longer and staying active, further expansion was necessary to meet the growing demand for the hospital's services.
In 2007, Mr. Koch donated $25 million — the largest single gift — to the hospital’s Building on Success campaign. The fundraising effort exceeded its goal of $100 million financee the largest expansion in the hospital’s history. "David Koch's commitment to HSS and to health care is extraordinary," said Louis A. Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of Hospital for Special Surgery. "Due to the efforts of philanthropists like David, HSS continues to achieve and lead in orthopedic care." In recognition of Mr. Koch's generosity, the main hospital building has been named the David H. Koch Pavilion.
Mr. Koch's prior philanthropic support to the hospital made possible the establishment of the David H. Koch Chair in Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration. "I am a passionate believer in research," says Mr. Koch, who also serves as co-chairman of the hospital's research committee. "Our continued focus on research and innovation would not be achievable without the generous support of David Koch and others," said Thomas P. Sculco, MD, HSS surgeon-in-chief.
A long-time philanthropist, Mr. Koch has given generously to a variety of organizations and programs, including more than $506 million in total contributions to support medical centers and cancer research.
In an interview with Conde Nast Portfolio, Mr. Koch attributed some of the motivation for his philanthropy to a catastrophic airliner crash in 1991, in which he was the only passenger in the first-class section to survive. Says Koch, "Yes, you think, ‘My God. The good Lord spared me for some greater purpose.' My joke is that I've been busy ever since, doing all the good works I can think of so He will continue to have confidence in me."