UCLA Health, Southern California Orthopedic Institute Sign Strategic Alliance to Improve Access, Expand Treatment Options for Patients

Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of its hospital system, and Ronald Karzel, MD, managing general partner of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, at a recent signing ceremony.
Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of its hospital system, and Ronald Karzel, MD, managing general partner of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, at a recent signing ceremony.

UCLA Health and the Southern California Orthopedic Institute have signed a strategic alliance that brings together two organizations with reputations for excellence in orthopaedic care to benefit patients.

Under the alliance, patients in key communities, including the San Fernando, Conejo and Santa Clarita Valleys, as well as Bakersfield, will enjoy expanded treatment options to access high-quality orthopaedic care closer to where they live or work.

SCOI is a highly regarded medical group of 40 surgeons whose expertise covers a broad range of orthopaedic specialties. Headquartered in Van Nuys, the group operates additional locations in Valencia, Thousand Oaks, Porter Ranch, Simi Valley and Bakersfield. It also operates ambulatory surgery centers in four of the locations and those centers are a key part of the partnership.

SCOI’s presence in those areas complements UCLA’s current expansion into many of the same communities with its primary and specialty medical practices. Both organizations also share a strong commitment to teaching and research that the alliance will strengthen.

“UCLA Health is proud to partner with the SCOI group, an organization that shares our longstanding commitment to excellence in orthopaedics,” said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of its hospital system. “This partnership supports our expansion plans by offering patients more convenient access to high-quality orthopaedic care in their local communities.”

“Our physicians at SCOI are excited and honored to be aligned with UCLA Health, which we consider to be the preeminent healthcare system in Southern California,” said Dr. Ronald Karzel, orthopaedic surgeon and SCOI managing partner. “We look forward to partnering with UCLA to continue our rapid expansion and provide exceptional orthopaedic care to the UCLA network.”

The alliance also presents expanded opportunities for UCLA Health to retain many of its newly trained orthopaedic surgeons and offers additional resources to support its sports medicine programs, Spisso said.

UCLA Health is not acquiring the SCOI medical group, but has acquired a meaningful interest in its four outpatient surgery centers. Plans also include opportunities to share best practices to optimize patient care. SCOI will be implementing UCLA’s CareConnect electronic health record in the weeks ahead.