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Dr. Alejandro Badia, M.D. was recently admitted to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Badía is co-founder of the Miami Hand Center

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand provides education for patients and health care professionals regarding diseases and injuries of the hand and wrist.. Badía is co-founder of the Miami Hand Center, and is an honorary member of the Venezuelan and Argentinean hand surgery societies. He also participates in a fellowship program that teaches hand surgery abroad. Ten Latinos from Southern California have been honored as “local heroes of the year” by two public television stations—KCET in Los Angeles and KPBS in San Diego—and by the Union Bank of California. The honorees include David Bejarano, chief of police of the City of San Diego; Chelia Flores, principal of Horton Elementary School in San Diego; Edward López, community relations representative for Cox Communications; Héctor C. Molina, station manager for the Univision affiliate in San Diego; Olivia-Puentes Reynolds, community activist; Socorro Caudillo, owner of Celaya Bakery; Yolanda González, artist; Rubén Hernández, founder of the Unification of Disabled Latin Americans; Thomas Sáenz, regional counsel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Rubén Smith, president of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations to Dr. Alejandro Badia. He was honored at the 14th Annual Philadelphia Hand Surgery Symposium on March 3-5 2012, where he spoke about the all too common problem known as Trigger Finger. He discussed a treatment for this condition known as percutaneous trigger finger release, which is a more recent option available at Badia Hand to Shoulder center. This is a same day procedure allowing the patient to return home immediately after.

 Also honored at this event was Dr. Badia’s long time mentor, Dr. Joseph Imbriglia, an Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon out of Philadelphia. 

Diversity MBA Magazine, an internationally distributed publication, announced the names of the Top 100 under 50 Diverse Executive and Emerging Leaders for 2014. This year was the most competitive yet and Chief Medical Officer at OrthoNOW™ Doral, Dr. Alejandro Badia, was among the leaders chosen. Dr. Badia was selected from a group of more than 300 highly qualified candidates from both public and privately held companies, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

“I am flattered and humbled,” said Dr. Badia. “This award not only reflects my work but also the contributions of OrthoNOW Doral’s team of doctors and staff on behalf of our patients and community.” OrthoNOW, which opened its first location in Miami in 2010 and developed into a franchise program in 2013, is a network of specialized urgent care centers focused on treating the full range of orthopedic and sports medicine injuries on a walk-in basis. These injuries include anything related to the foot, ankle, knee, wrist, spine, and shoulder, as well as concussion related injuries.
OrthoNOW is poised to open a second clinic in Weston, with other clinics expected to be opened in Lincoln, Nebraska; Kansas City; Virginia, Orlando, Colorado and New Jersey before the end of 2014.

“OrthoNOW prides in providing the community with exceptional and trusting orthopaedic service. We are honored to be recognized for our work and team members,” Badia concluded.

This year’s honorees will be featured in Diversity MBA Magazine’s September 2014 Top 100 Under 50 issue and honored at the magazine’s awards gala on September 18th at the Doubletree by Hilton in Oak Brook, Illinois.

About Alejandro Badia, M.D , F.A.C.S.:
Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS is a hand and upper extremity surgeon at Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in Doral, Florida. Dr. Badia studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at NYU, where he also trained in orthopedics. A hand fellowship at Alleghany General Hospital in Pittsburgh was followed by an AO trauma fellowship in Freiburg, Germany.

He runs an active international hand fellowship, serves on the editorial board of two hand journals, and organizes a yearly Miami meeting for surgeons/therapists devoted to upper limb arthroscopy and arthroplasty. This international meeting is held at the world renowned Miami Anatomical Research Center (M.A.R.C.), the world’s largest surgical cadaveric training lab which Dr. Badia co-founded in 2005.

In 2008 he completed the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center, a fully integrated clinical facility for the upper limb also encompassing the Surgery Center at Doral, Integra Rehabilitation and an MRI imaging facility. More recently, Dr. Badia inaugurated OrthoNOW, the first immediate orthopedic care center in south Florida which is staffed by surgeons from the International Orthopedic Group (IOG), a group of surgeons from lower extremity and upper limb and spine subspecialties who also treat elective orthopedic problems in international patients.

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Dr. Alejandro Badia, Entrepreneurial Surgeon, Surgeon of the Hand and Upper Extremity Badia Hand to Shoulder Center Chief of Hand Surgery, Baptist Hospital of Miami Co-founder, Miami Anatomical Research Center (M.A.R.C.) www.surgicaltraining.com

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Vision. One must know clearly what the goals are and accept that some significant level of risk is involved in order to achieve them. In the medical field, service is a key component and you must fulfill the three A’s criteria: Be affable, admirable, and accessible.

What did inspire you to start your business?
I had co-founded an extremely successful surgical practice…so successful, that we soon found that we needed more surgeons in order to cover our community needs for our subspecialty to better serve our patients. The problem was that the busier we got, the less time I was able to spend with my patients and the more difficult it was to ensure that each person received the special attention they deserved, particularly the patients who traveled from abroad to see me for a particular hand and upper limb problem. I soon realized that I needed to downsize my practice but improve the service and infrastructure to deliver that care. Badia Hand to Shoulder Center is designed with this at the forefront.

How did you finance it?
I purchased the real estate shell with my local bank, who knew my practice and income potential, and then I financed the build out of the office and therapy center myself. I wanted to minimize my debt burden. I then partnered with a national ambulatory surgery center company who understood the construction and startup needs for a surgical facility better than I could on my own. This created efficiency and an expeditious process.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Being Hispanic played a major role on WHERE I decided to practice and the type of patient pool I could best serve. While I was solely educated in the US, and obtained an Ivy League degree, I was sure to maintain my Latino roots and cultivate these idiosyncrasies. This allowed me to better bond with patients whose primary language is Spanish, whom often travel to see me from Latin America. Practicing in Miami allowed me to provide US level medical care, with the technology and expertise that entails, while making my international patients feel they were still immersed in their home culture.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Adversity is a matter of perception. One must know and accept that not everything can go exactly according to plan. It is like performing surgery: the best surgeons know how to work around a sudden alteration in the pathology or anatomy. Managing complications is part of the “art of medicine”.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Developing a new surgical practice and center requires depending on many different people, particularly bureaucrats and construction subcontracting firms. Keeping everything on track and focused has been a huge challenge.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
As a physician caught up in a complex medical system, I wish that I could deal only with the patient, much like any other business, where there is simply the customer and the provider. I particularly enjoy serving international patients because I do not have to request “authorization” from an insurance company low level employee who usually knows little about the pathology in question; let alone the best treatment options. It is pure medicine.

What was your childhood ambition?
I always wanted to be a physician. Furthermore I was quite convinced that I would become a surgeon and often performed dissections on fish or frogs in front of my 6th grade class, much to the delight of my teacher who shared my enthusiasm for biology. At eight years of age, I accompanied my grandmother to see a famous hand surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC due to her crippling rheumatoid arthritis. That moment stayed with me… In fact, that surgeon trained the surgeon who would later train me in Pittsburgh, decades later.

In middle school, I read the book “The Making of a Surgeon” and later reread it noting that the author was a product of Cornell too…

Lastly, there is a great tradition of physicians in my family in Cuba and I only recently discovered that I was a descendant of the founder of the Cuban Academy of Sciences.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Craig Venter – founder of Celera Genomics. He took his scientific skills to create a company that would beat the NIH in sequencing the human genome. He illustrates the power of free enterprise over government: even in science.

Bill Gates (of course) – His story is epic, but most importantly, he has taken this money and wisely invested it in solving some of mankind’s issues. While widely criticized for his lack of early giving, he proved that one must also be strategic and patient in making philanthropic decisions.

Mohammed Yunus – The innovator of micro-credit. His type of entrepreneurship has positively affected the lives of millions of people and indirectly helped them lift themselves out of poverty. It is fortunate that this was aptly recognized via a Nobel peace prize.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner only. Late. I work too early for normal breakfasts, and surgeons rarely eat a real lunch!

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
The “sacrifices” are huge, but then again, I do not really consider them sacrifices. I love what I do, but it certainly can intrude on my personal life in many ways. I married late in life and just started building a family. Regardless, I would not have done it any other way…

What is your favorite quote?
A NY surgery professor once told me, “Surgeons don’t work hard; they work a lot. Ditch diggers work hard!”

I often try to think of that when in the operating room, frustrated, in the wee hours of the morning….

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
“Conventional” is a matter of semantics. The truth is that conventional implies one does the same as the vast majority. Since success implies that one differentiates themselves in a positive way from the status quo, you MUST be unconventional to reach new heights. This does not mean mistakes are not made.

Biggest mistake made?
I had an opportunity to join a swim team at an early age, apparently due to some innate talent that was recognized. I did not pursue it and picked up the sport at a much later date when it was likely too late to reach my potential. I often wonder what athletic heights I might have achieved. Watching Pablo Morales, a fellow Cuban-American and Cornelian, win gold medals in the butterfly, also my stroke, rekindled that feeling. My passion for these individual sports led me to personally attend the last 4 Olympic games as an enthusiastic spectator!

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why
I believe I am an innovator as I have managed to combine the pursuit of scientific and clinical excellence, with a desire to educate the public on common maladies in my little known surgical specialty. These goals require two different mindsets. My future goal is for the general public to understand ubiquitous clinical problems within the hand and upper limb, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or shoulder bursitis (impingement syndrome). Educating the public, while furthering our scientific understanding of these issues involves two varied, but equally important, skill sets.

 
Contact Dr. Alejandro Badia at www.drbadia.com

 

Miami, February 07, 2011 – Dr. Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, and world-renowned Hand & Upper Limb Surgeon is the new President of the ISSPORTH (International Society for Sport Traumatology of the Hand). Hand specialists from different countries around the world (including the US, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Estonia and United Kingdom) will team up to discuss, learn and promote new procedures and techniques on hand sport injuries. The goal of ISSPORTH is to educate athletes, trainers and physicians alike about the nuances of athletic hand and wrist injuries. Members of ISSPORTH will convene in Milan, Italy on March 18th 2011. 
 
Dr. Badia affirms – “The understanding of orthopedic issues has greatly increased within the athletic world. ISSPORTH aims to further that knowledge by focusing on a little mentioned area of anatomy; the hand and wrist”. He is also expecting to share with other colleagues and medical practitioners interested in join ISSOPORTH member’s passion. Dr. Badia has just been nominated one of the top 45 great hand and upper extremity surgeons to know by Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review. 
 
The ISSPORTH aims to promote the unrestricted and complete exchange of knowledge among the participating members of the Society; to exchange knowledge through publications and scientific meetings; to facilitate and extend study possibilities in and among the various countries, to promote as well, co-operation between Hand surgeons, Orthopaedic surgeons, Sport medicine doctors, Hand therapist or other specialists and professional figures who have a major interest in the hand and wrist sport related injuries. 
 
Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS is a hand and upper extremity surgeon. He studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at NYU, where he also trained in orthopedics. A hand fellowship at Alleghany General Hospital in Pittsburgh was followed by an AO trauma fellowship in Freiburg, Germany. He runs an active international hand fellowship, serves on the editorial board of two hand journals, and organizes a yearly Miami meeting for surgeons and therapists that are devoted to upper limb arthroscopy and arthroplasty (www.miamihandcourse.com). This international meeting is held at the world-renowned Miami Anatomical Research Center (M.A.R.C.), the world’s largest surgical cadaveric training lab that Dr. Badia co-founded in 2005. In 2008, he completed the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center, a fully integrated clinical facility for the upper limb encompassing digital radiography, MRI extremity imaging, Integra rehabilitation facility and the Surgery Center at Doral. More recently, Dr. Badia inaugurated OrthoNOW, the first immediate orthopedic care center in South Florida which is staffed by surgeons from the International Orthopedic Group (IOG), a group of surgeons from lower extremity, upper limb and spine subspecialties who also treat elective orthopedic problems in international patients. He is member of the ASSH, AAHS, AAOS as well as honorary member of many foreign hand surgery societies. He can be reached via www.drbadia.com, a patient education portal and website for hand surgeon academic exchange, or via (305) 227-HAND at the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center or at OrthoNOW, (305) 537-7272. 

Dr Alejandro Badia reviews x-ray imagery with local doctors after a presentation at the Marriot, Invaders Bay. Photo by Mark Lyndersay. Inset images of a before and after case of ulnar drift courtesy of Dr Badia.

“There is a nexus of different medical disciplines in the hand,” Dr Alejandro Badia explains to a group of medical professionals at the Marriott at a meeting two weeks ago.

 

The hand is a particularly complex arrangement of muscle, nerves, fine articulated bones and blood vessels that is all too easily damaged and is uniquely challenging to repair. Fusing, for instance, the abandonment of movement in a digit to control pain, remains a valid, if last ditch option in hand surgery.

 

For several of those in attendance, this is stuff they learned before they cut their first cadaver. For the few lay persons in attendance, it’s a revelation, as Badia leads the group through an explanation of his techniques.

It’s a surprisingly frank and open session. Badia doesn’t hide the techniques he uses. In fact, part of his mission is to teach them—which he and a group of partners do at the Miami Hand Center—and to

expand the scope of those learning opportunities at the Miami Anatomical Research Center ( M.A.R.C.) www.surgicaltraining.com, an 18,000 square foot facility under construction near South Beach in Miami.

 

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