On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Dr. Ryan J. Lingor, MD and Michelle Cummings, PA on the show to discuss HSS Ortho Injury Care.  Dr. Lingor serves as an Assistant Attending Physician at Hospital of Special Surgery, faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College, Medical Director for HSS Ortho Injury Care, and Team Physician for the New York Rangers.  Michelle is a physician’s assistant who enjoys helping patients get back to their active lifestyles while also providing them with a thorough understanding of their orthopedic diagnosis.

In this episode, we discuss:

-The unique offerings of HSS Ortho Injury Care

-Expanding patient’s access to quick and affordable medical care with the HSS Ortho Injury Care business model

-How to market your services and gain trust with your community

-And so much more!


HSS Ortho Injury Care

For more information on Dr. Lingor:

Dr. Lingor serves as an Assistant Attending Physician at Hospital of Special Surgery, faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College, Medical Director for HSS Ortho Injury Care, and Team Physician for the New York Rangers.

Upon graduating from St. John’s University in Minnesota, Dr. Lingor obtained certifications as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He went on to complete athletic training internships with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins and was named Head Athletic Trainer of NFL-Europe’s Hamburg Sea Devils.

Dr. Lingor graduated from medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed his residency in family medicine at Illinois Masonic in Chicago and his sports medicine fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. He is board certified in family medicine and obesity medicine with a subspecialty in sports medicine. His previous experience includes working as an Assistant Team Physician for the New York Jets as well several local high schools and colleges.

Having professional passions in weight management and comprehensive sports medicine, Dr. Lingor utilizes his background in nutrition, athletic training, and strength and exercise training to provide a comprehensive, personalized approach to help his patients achieve their health and performance goals.

At HSS, Dr. Lingor utilizes musculoskeletal ultrasound for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, performs and conducts research on biological treatments for chronic tendon problems, provides comprehensive concussion management, and employs dry needling for muscle and tendon problems. He is active as a researcher and regularly presents at national conferences in primary care sports medicine.

Outside of medicine, he enjoys traveling, cooking, and being active outdoors, having competed in several marathons and three Ironman Triathlons, including the Hawaii Ironman World Championships.

For more information on Michelle:

Michelle Cummings graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Kinesiology. During her studies, she spent three years as an undergraduate research assistant working on a study which focused on implementing health and nutrition programs into churches. Michelle then earned her Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Prior to going to HSS, she worked as a PA for a private orthopedic and sports medicine practice focusing on upper extremity injuries. Michelle enjoys helping patients get back to their active lifestyles while also providing them with a thorough understanding of their orthopedic diagnosis. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys running, cycling, hiking, traveling, and crossword puzzles.

Read the full transcript below:

Karen Litzy:                   00:01                Hi, Doctor Lingor and Michelle welcome to the podcast. I’m really happy to have you guys on today to talk about the HSS Ortho Injury Care. So thanks for coming on. Alright, so let’s sort of start from the beginning. All right, so what is the goal of this new clinic? What is the why behind it?

Dr. Lingor:                    00:27                It just has always been a good place for orthopedic and sports medicine conditions. One of the problems that we’ve had at the hospital is getting appropriate access early on when patients need to be seen. So our providers tend to be pretty busy. So what we wanted to do is create a resource for patients to be able to go for their acute sports medicine and orthopedic needs.

Karen Litzy:                   00:55                So that takes me to the next question is why sports medicine over other specialties? Obviously there was a hole to fill, right? So why this over others?

Dr. Lingor:                    01:08                For myself, I really enjoyed helping keep people active and I think somebody’s activity correlates with their quality of life. And so if we can help, you know, people when they get injured or something to hold them back from, from being active on a daily basis, that’s kind of where I wanted to help out.

Michelle Cummings:      01:33                For me, It’s two fold. One because I’m so passionate about sports in general and secondly, the specialty itself, you can actually make people better a lot quicker than in other specialties. So that’s what drew me to sports.

Karen Litzy:                                           I agree. I think with those sports injuries, I know coming from the physical therapist’s perspective, you kind of see this progression, right? So regardless of the age of the patient you kind of see from injury and you can really follow them through to recovery, which is really exciting from my standpoint and now, what are the commonly treated injuries seen in the clinic?

Dr. Lingor:                    02:14                So we see all sorts of musculoskeletal injuries, the common stuff if somebody has a shoulder injury or just shoulder pain, we see a lot of knee injuries after athletic event, hip pain, all sorts. So any of the extremity injuries we do specialize in. And for patients that have back pain, fortunately we are a suited at HSS to have a back pain clinic. So we direct those patients to the right, the right place.

Karen Litzy:                   02:47                And so why should a patient come to this Ortho care clinic versus going to the ER? What is the difference?

Michelle Cummings:                              So the difference? Well, the ER you’ll always have long wait times and they’re not always apt to treat just orthopedic and sports injuries. So here we have an x ray onsite. Quick access to films as well as splinting and casting availability here. And what’s Nice is you can actually schedule appointments online or call directly and we schedule same day and next day appointments. So if a patient sprains their ankle, you know, a night at basketball, they can go on and schedule an appointment early the next morning. So to try to shorten the wait time to the ER.

Karen Litzy:                                           So you alluded a little bit to the splinting and casting, but you know, as non-operative clinicians, what types of conservative treatment are you providing for these patients as they come in?

Dr. Lingor:                    03:49                So a lot of this stuff, you know, fortunately for us and most patients just don’t want it to be checked out to see if they have something that they need to be more concerned about and kind of be directed in the right area. And fortunately we’re kind of at a good position to give them access to all the resources that we have at the hospital for special surgery for those patients that need it. For stuff that we can take care of in the office here, we do have, as Michelle said, the x rays, we can do injections into different areas as necessary and we have the use of ultrasound to make sure that we are accurate with the injections and the care that we’re providing.

Karen Litzy:                   04:36                So this is how new? It’s pretty new, right? When did you guys first open?

Michelle Cummings:                              Yeah, we first opened in November of 2018 so it’s been a couple of months now.

Karen Litzy:                                           And as with everything new, every new venture, right, it has its ups and downs. So what are some of the challenges that have come up since this clinic opened?

Dr. Lingor:                    05:02                Well, the biggest challenge is just getting our name out there and letting people know that we exist. We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of interest both in our hospital and in the community to get people in the door when they need to be seen and get them moving in the right direction. So there’s been a lot of positive energy that we’ve been able to benefit from in our first few months and we’re still working out some kinks and not everything is smooth as you mentioned when you first get going. But, we’ve been very blessed to have a great staff around here that, that are all interested in, in doing what’s best for the patient and providing exceptional patient care.

Karen Litzy:                   05:46                And so you have some challenges, I’m sure there’s also been some pros, right. So what have you found since opening the clinic have been a real positive or maybe even things you didn’t even expect?

Dr. Lingor:                    06:03                I think one of the nicest things is that our patients generally are in a pretty good mood when they come here because they’re oftentimes patients, they’re looking to go to the ER and they anticipate, you know, waiting for a couple hours and may have been told to follow up with her orthopedist at that time. And so patients are, excited when they come to a very reputable hospital and then being able to get an appointment the same day or the next day. And so they’re pretty excited about that, about that opportunity. And so that’s just kind of fun to work in that kind of environment where everyone is in a good mood off the bat.

Karen Litzy:                   06:44                Yeah, that sounds amazing. And I would also have to think that, you know, when you go, if you have an orthopedic injury or like you said, it’s soft tissue ortho injury and you go to the ER, you’re not guaranteed to get an orthopedic specialist to treat you in the ER. Would you say that’s correct. So is that how this kind of differs?

Dr. Lingor:                    07:04                That’s exactly right. If you go to the emergency room, they have the resources for, you know, taking care of the life threatening or really serious things. And that’s perfectly appropriate for the ER because we don’t treat those sorts of things. And with patients that go to the ER and have a lot more of the, you know, 90% of the orthopedic injuries where it’s appropriate for us. And so this is a way for us to cut down on patient’s wait times and their costs as you know, an emergency room bill. Get them moving in the right direction right from the beginning.

Karen Litzy:                   07:50                Do you guys take insurance?

Michelle Cummings:                              It’s actually listed on our website. So if a patient had questions about the insurances we take, it’s all listed on the website, but we take all major insurances.

Dr. Lingor:                    08:04                And that’s pretty easy to find if you just Google HSS ortho injury care, you’ll see it pops right up and you can see the insurances that we take and you can book yourself online and really booking an appointment is about a three minute process.

Karen Litzy:                   08:19                Nice. And is this something that you patterned after? Like is there another clinic like this somewhere else in the country or is this one of a king clinics?

Dr. Lingor:                    08:33                To our knowledge, this is one of the first ones in the region. I think a lot of other orthopedic places that have walk in clinics and stuff like that. I think this is the first stand alone clinic that operates, kind of how we do and you know, something we saw as a need and it’s been a wildly successful in our first few months.

Karen Litzy:                   09:01                Which is amazing. Dr. Lingor, I have a question for you. So aside from being an orthopedic physician, you also have a nutrition background, which I find really interesting. So are you able to infuse any of that within this clinic or do you see that as maybe something that you might want to infuse into in the future?

Dr. Lingor:                    09:23                Well, with the sports medicine and medicine in general, being a field of nutrition in its other fields, it is something that I really enjoy learning about and trying to keep up with. In the clinic right now, it just helps me to better counsel patients and answer questions that they have, about nutrition and things that they can do to optimally heal and prevents some of the chronic conditions. And so I utilize it that way. And fortunately at HSS we do have a nutrition and dietetics team that we call upon as well as physicians who specialize in nutrition. We need more help. So it’s not, I don’t solely practice in the field of nutrition now, but kind of more as a complement to what we offer at the clinic.

Karen Litzy:                   10:16                Yeah, I think that’s great. Where do you see this going? Where do you see this, you know, that old question, where do you see this going in five years?

Dr. Lingor:                    10:29                Yeah, so we’re kind of looking at the hospital for special surgery as branching out to a couple of different other sites around the city, as well as a couple of places throughout the country in Las Vegas and in Florida. And so we’re looking at kind of making this, you know, this being the flagship and then kind of model after the places just because it has seemed to do so well for our patients and for our physicians as well to get patients in. So by that I mean that when patients call other doctor’s offices and they can’t be seeing those to us, and then if necessary, then we get that patient back at an appointment that’s a little bit more expedited then what the other physician would have been able to originally see them.

Karen Litzy:                   11:26                Yeah. So you’re sort of like, that patient could come in to you guys and if you feel like a referral is necessary, then you can kind of help streamline the process for the patient, which is amazing for patients because that’s what they want. Because they come to you, they don’t know what’s going on.

Dr. Lingor:                    11:41                Yeah, that’s exactly right. And often times when they call one of our surgeons office, it may be a day at the surgeon just happens to be in the operating room and you know, regardless of how bad they want to see that patient, if they just don’t have the ability to get them in. So, that’s why I always say that we are here when the patient needs us and kind of get them moving in that right direction.

Karen Litzy:                   12:01                And you know, and looking on the website, you have Michelle, a physician assistant and then a couple of other orthopedic physicians. How do you guys all kind of work together to make this clinic run?

Michelle Cummings:                              Now that’s a good question. So Dr. Lingor is here more than anyone else as the medical director. So He’s here usually five to six days of the week. We are closed on Sundays and I come in later in the morning and cover the night shifts and then we have the other providers that will cover sometimes on the Thursdays and also on Saturdays they cover in the need to fill in the gaps.

Karen Litzy:                                           Got It. And this will be kind of like you said, your flagship operation and then hopefully kind of move this model throughout the country. I guess my question is from where you are now then from where you started, I mean, you obviously see this as something that’s sustainable, right? Because I think a lot of people, when new things kind of move into their communities, there are always a little hesitant. What do you do for the community? And New York City’s a big community, right? Like you said, getting the word out is part of it. But do you have any plans on kind of being part of like really being part of maybe even smaller communities, New York is gigantic, but really kind of getting into the community to get people to trust?

Dr. Lingor:                    13:39                Yeah, I think that’s really great point. And that’s one of the things that just in our area, we’re located on 65th street and second avenue. And so we see a lot of patients just in our area with, you know, a few block radius of patients walking by who have seen the signs a little bit and then come in and check it out to see what it is and say, Oh yeah, I have this knee issue. I wonder if you guys can take a look at it. We do welcome Walk-in’s we prefer patients to make an appointment just to decrease their own waiting time. But we do see a lot of that and just providing that access to patients when they need it. I think has really helps build our name in our own little community that we serve right now.

Karen Litzy:                   14:22                Yeah. I have my own practice and that’s always the hardest thing, like you said, is getting the word out, letting people know you’re there. What other marketing things, have you guys done that you’ve found successful so that if people are listening, they’re like, wow, I really wish we had something like that in our community. Maybe they want to start it. What would your best advice be?

Dr. Lingor:                    14:49                Well, one of the things that fortunately New York City has a plethora of is sporting events around being open during those times. So, like for instance, when the New York City Marathon is going on, you know, on that Sunday will be open that day to provide, access and for again, people in the area just to kind of get our name out a little bit more that people are walking by and having, you know, welcoming people in if they need to be seen by one of our providers that day and not, you know, that for the runners. Cause they’re a little busy that day. Right? Yeah, exactly. Hopefully not too many of them. But we are just one block off the race course over the edge of some of those special events and volunteering with those groups. It’s something we look forward to.

Karen Litzy:                   15:48                Yeah. So kind of making partnerships within the community so they know you’re there and they can refer to you and all that fun stuff.

Dr. Lingor:                    15:56                Yeah. So we have several of our positions that do volunteer in past years with those events. And so we see when patients come in for the marathon Monday that they host after the New York City Marathon. Those patients, you know, they’re seen by a medical professional that then if they need to get further testing done now we can provide that access to people.

Karen Litzy:                   16:24                Fantastic. I mean, it sounds like you’ve got a great, a great niche over there and that you’ve definitely found a way to kind of plug that hole, right. You’ve found a way, you saw this sort of lack of accessibility and have made something a lot more accessible. So is there anything that we missed or anything that, you know, you want to the listeners to kind of remember about the clinic?

Dr. Lingor:                    16:53                Yes. Things come up and unfortunately musculoskeletal injuries come up unexpectedly at the worst possible times. And there’s a lot that can be done if when patients have that time of need, whether they’re going on vacation or have a major life events. That’s our primary goal is to provide access for the patients when they need it and help them sort through some of the frustrations. And difficulties that come along with musculoskeletal and sports injuries and you know, get them back to their level of health and quality of life that they’re used to enjoying.

Karen Litzy:                   17:38                Awesome. And Michelle, how about you? Anything that we didn’t touch upon or any closing thoughts that you want to share?

Michelle Cummings:                              No, I think just thank you for having us on the show and helping us get the word out. It’s very helpful from different aspects to get out the word out in New York. So thank you for having us.

Karen Litzy:                                           Yeah, you’re welcome. And you know, I think it’s also important, like now as a physical therapist, this is great for me to know because you know, we see patients directly now, so someone comes to me and I’m not sure, then for me it’s great to say, Hey, there’s a clinic that specializes in this. And then what it does for me is it kind of builds up my credibility with the patient because I’m sending them to a place where they’re going to get the help that they need.

Dr. Lingor:                    18:25                I’m very excited that physical therapists have the direct access, so through the physical therapy and find that, you know, the physical therapists that we commonly work with. It’s been a great relationship with that. We look forward to expanding on that. And again, thank you very much.

Karen Litzy:                   18:46                My pleasure. My pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on. So again, if you want to find out more information, you can go to hss.edu/ortho-injury-care. Is that right?

Dr. Lingor:                    19:06                The easiest thing is just go to Google and type in Ortho injury care.

Karen Litzy:                   19:14                Or you can go to podcast.healthywealthysmart.com and we’ll have the link right there for you so you can just click on the link and go right to it. And hopefully we see more and more of these types of clinics popping up around the country because it certainly does fill a gap. So thank you guys for all that you do to help people with sports injuries, musculoskeletal injury. So thank you. And everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.


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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.