The Impact of COVID-19 on Increased Number of Hospital Infections

Dr. Antonia Chen, Director of Research for the Division of Adult Reconstruction and Total Joint Arthroplasty in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – who specializes in hip and knee replacements – discusses the recent surge in hospital site infections and (SSIs) as a result of challenges related to Covid-19. She shares her insights as a practicing orthopedic surgeon on why antibacterial sutures should be standard in every U.S. operating room and how advancements in wound closure are leading the fight in saving costs and reducing “SSI to 0”.

Dr. Antonia Chen is the Director of Research for the Division of Adult Reconstruction and Total Joint Arthroplasty in the  Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) who specializes in hip and knee replacements. She is board certified in Orthopaedic Surgery, and her clinical practice is focused on taking care of patients with arthritic hips and knees, as well as avascular necrosis. In addition to primary hip and knee replacements and partial knee replacements, she also specializes in the care of  complex patients who may require revision procedures or further treatment of their previous hip and knee replacements. She also takes care of patients who experience complications with their hips and knees, including infection, stiffness and fractures.Dr. Chen graduated from Yale University in New Haven, CT with an undergraduate degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, after which she received her medical degree from Rutgers Medical School, where she graduated with Distinction in Research and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Chen also received her MBA from Rutgers Business School during her medical training and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Subsequently, she completed her residency training in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by her fellowship in hip and knee arthroplasty at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. She then joined the faculty at Rothman Institute and Sidney Kimmel Medical College / Thomas Jefferson University, where she was the Associate Director of Research and quickly rose to the rank of an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. She also served as the Director of Medical Education Curriculum for Musculoskeletal Studies  at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Chen was then recruited to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in early 2018 to lead research efforts in the arthroplasty division and treat patients with hip and knee arthritis.Dr. Chen is an actively practicing orthopaedic surgeon, as well as a dedicated researcher and clinician scientist. Her research involves studying clinical outcomes after total hip and knee replacements, including studies looking at “pre-habilitation” (activity prior to surgery to improve postoperative outcomes), activity after joint replacement, opioid use following hip and knee replacements, in addition to infection and joint stiffness. Dr. Chen also carries active collaborations with basic scientists investigating these complex scientific problems in laboratories across Harvard Medical School. For her research efforts, she has been awarded multiple grants and has been recognized with numerous national and international awards recognizing her practice changing work.Nationally and internationally, Dr. Chen is a recognized and sought-after leader in her field. She recently served as the President of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) and is the Appropriate Use Criteria Leader for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Evidence-Based Quality and Value Committee. In the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) organization, she is Vice-Chair of the Women in Arthroplasty Committee and is a member of the International Committee. She has been recognized for her scientific analysis as an Associate Editor for the Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR) Journal and Associate Editor for the Annals of Joint (AOJ) Journal. Additionally, she sits on multiple editorial boards for orthopaedic journals, including the Journal of Bone & Joint Infection (JBJI); Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy (KSSTA); Bone & Joint 360; and Healthcare Transformation. Internationally, she is a board member of the European Knee Association (EKA) and leads the Research Committee.

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