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A New Lease on Life: Hip Relief for an International Patient

As CEO of Banca del Ceresio, a small family-owned bank in Lugano, Switzerland since 1958, Mr. Alberto Foglia had no time to slow down. So in 1988, when hip pain began making it difficult for him to walk, he wanted to find the best orthopedic surgeon to get him back on his feet.

Upon being introduced to HSS Attending Orthopedic Surgeon Eduardo A. Salvati, MD, by a mutual friend, Mr. Foglia knew that he had found a surgeon he could trust. “I immediately felt that his hands were far more sensitive than the hands of the other three or four surgeons who I had seen previously,” says Mr. Foglia, who had enjoyed soccer, tennis, golf, skiing, and mountain biking throughout his life. Mr. Foglia was also delighted that they would be able to easily communicate in Spanish, Dr. Salvati’s native language.

Although Mr. Foglia, a Swiss and Italian citizen, hadn’t previously heard of Hospital for Special Surgery, his confidence in Dr. Salvati was reason enough for him to travel overseas for his surgery. He had one hip replaced in 1990 and returned eight years later to have Dr. Salvati replace the other hip.

“There was no doubt in my mind that I would come back to HSS for my second hip operation, as my experience there was most satisfactory,” he says.

With both hips working again, Mr. Foglia, now 80 years old, says that his quality of life has improved immensely. He walks, plays golf, and bikes two or three times each week, including a weekly 15-25 mile ride with friends through the Swiss Alps. He and his wife of 50 years, Maria Pia, also have four children and 18 grandchildren to keep up with.

The Foglias have been making very generous gifts to Hospital for Special Surgery since 1993. Most recently, they have elected to support the Eduardo A. Salvati, MD, Chair in Hip Arthroplasty. This fund provides vital perpetual support to HSS’s joint replacement research, while honoring Dr. Salvati for his 40 years of service to Special Surgery – a career that has enriched the lives of thousands of patients, students, and colleagues, while advancing the course of hip surgery throughout the world.

The Chair was created as a means of acknowledging Dr. Salvati’s tremendous contribution to the field of joint replacement, and will help to ensure that his legacy of excellence in care will continue by advancing work to restore mobility and improve the lives of our patients. The Eduardo A. Salvati, MD, Chair in Hip Arthroplasty has already received over $1.9 million in funding since its establishment.

According to Mr. Foglia, the decision to support Hospital for Special Surgery was an easy one. “I wanted to thank Dr. Salvati, HSS, and all of the people there,” he says. “Thanks to them, I have been given a new lease on life.”