Coral Gables Hospital orthopedic director Dr. Gilbert Beauperthuy-Rojas on the importance of building a team with innovative minds

Gilbert Beauperthuy-Rojas, DO, an orthopedic surgeon by training, knows Coral Gables Hospital. The familiarity is not only because he serves as director of its Orthopedic Center of Excellence, but because he began supporting the hospital as a volunteer when he was just 17 years old.

Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas earned his medical degree from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, dove into a career in private practice and affiliated with Coral Gables Hospital, where he established the Orthopedic Center of Excellence in 2015. 

In 2017, under the steadfast leadership of Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas, the 245-bed hospital became the first facility in Miami-Dade area to achieve certification for both total hip and total knee replacement from the Joint Commission. This marked one of his proudest moments with the hospital.

Here, Dr. Beauperthuy-Rojas divulges more about his proudest moment since joining Coral Gables, discusses the biggest challenge the healthcare industry faces and reveals his top passion outside of healthcare.

Editor's Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity

Question: Since joining Coral Gables Hospital, what has been one of your proudest moments?

Dr. Gilbert Beauperthuy-Rojas: I've been with Coral Gables Hospital since I went into private practice about 23 years ago. In my 23-year career, my proudest moment was establishing the Orthopedic Center of Excellence within the hospital. I took on that challenge about three years ago and developed a program that delivers excellent orthopedic care to the community. I think that is one of the proudest moments for both me and Coral Gables.

We were already doing great things with orthopedics at the hospital, so I approached the administration and said, "We have a good thing going here. I think we can make it even better by establishing guidelines for physicians and ensuring all patients receive the top-notch care they deserve." The administration, under the leadership of our fearless CEO Cristina Jimenez, backed me and we decided to go after the Joint Commission certification by establishing the center in 2015, presenting the updated guidelines to other physicians and working with them to ensure they understood the initiatives and goals. After establishing the center and working hard to ensure its success, we obtained the Joint Commission certification in 2017.

We took a small community hospital and made a great program that other hospitals in the area envied. Our CNO, among others, began receiving phone calls from other hospitals wanting to know about the program and things they could do to establish a similar program at their facility. I'm quite proud of that.

Q: What is one goal that you have for the Orthopedic Center of Excellence at Coral Gables Hospital in 2019? How will you achieve it?

GB: My next goal for the center is to obtain the advanced certification with the Joint Commission. We've applied for it and we are working to achieve that goal by spring of 2019. The other goal is to be recognized by Becker's Hospital Review as an Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

To achieve those goals, we've established a stringent set of criteria, including reducing our readmission rate, limiting our surgical site infection rates and increasing our discharge-to-home vs. discharge-to-rehab rates. As a team, all departments meet once a month to look at those parameters, discuss our strategies, come up with a detailed plan and tweak the plan to improve if needed.  

Q: What advice would you offer other orthopedic directors?

GB: Surround yourself with hard workers that have innovative minds. I would also say listen. Listen to what they have to say and always take their advice into consideration. My team consists of CNO Jessica Miller, RN, who is brilliant. Then, I have other great nursing aids, registered nurses and charge nurses on the floor with me that have taken on the spirit of true teamwork. They are consistently helping each other and have made a paramount effort to always put the patient first. Really, the center's success is built around the entire team, not just the leader of it.

Q: What is the biggest challenge the healthcare industry faces?

GB: Cost containment and delivering higher quality healthcare. With the way things are going, it is challenging to see how costs are going to be contained. All areas in healthcare are strained, specifically hospitals and physicians. The cost of care is going up, but there is no increase in reimbursements. It's on us to control the rising costs, while also improving care delivery, and I think it is going to be quite a challenge for us as leaders and physicians.  

Q: Outside of healthcare, what is your passion?

GB: Competing in triathlons. I have done about 20 triathlons in my lifetime, both the Olympic distance and the full Ironman. I have completed two full Ironman races. When training for a full Ironman, I complete about 15 hours of exercise per week, with about seven hours on the weekend and eight during the work week. To fit in the training during a busy workweek, I complete the exercise in the morning, before I start work, because I can control those hours a little bit better than my evening hours. In the afternoon, things pop up, emergencies happen. However, I have a bit more control over the time in the morning before I get to the office or the hospital.

Q: Who inspires you?

GB: My parents.  They were immigrants into this country. They came with nothing. They were the ones that taught me that anything can be accomplished with hard work and persistence.

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