Executive Student Kelly Doyle Wins 2019 Brown Master’s Award for Professional Excellence

We’re proud to announce that an Executive Master student, Kelly Doyle, won the 2019 Brown University Graduate School Master’s Award for Professional Excellence.  A member of the Executive Master of  Healthcare Leadership (EMHL) Class of 2019, Doyle earned this distinction for her outstanding work on the forefront of the opioid epidemic and contribution to the advancement of alternative pain management solutions.  

In addition to being a student, Doyle is the CEO of Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital, a multiple-specialty surgical hospital located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania that specializes in orthopedic surgery, pain management, and sports medicine. She began her career over twenty years ago as an RN. Ten days after the opening convocation for the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership’s Class of 2019, Doyle’s son died of an opioid overdose. Rather than taking leave from the program, Doyle channeled her grief and academic energy into a professional response to her family’s tragedy.

As CEO of a hospital that prescribes narcotics to 100 percent of the patients treated, Doyle is no stranger to prescription opioids. With great clarity and mission, Kelly set out early in her program to harness Brown’s coursework to affect a cultural change at the root of addiction (initial prescription post-op) within her own organization. Her work directly addresses the national epidemic we are facing with the opioid crisis.

With an estimated loss of 62,000 American lives in 2017 to heroin and prescription opioid overdose, Doyle leveraged her coursework and professional position to review the practice of prescribing opioids in the orthopaedic surgical episode and its relation to subsequent addiction. Her goal: start a non-profit foundation with a large orthopaedic surgical practice, to raise awareness around the risk of opioid exposure and addiction.

Doyle utilized the program’s Critical Challenge Project (CCP) requirement to partner with the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute to create the Rothman Institute Opioid Awareness Foundation. This Foundation’s mission is to promote research, awareness, teaching and alternative pain management solutions.

Over the course of 16 months, Doyle established the Foundation which has already begun trialing new pain modalities at the hospital, looking for grants, enlarging the footprint of hospitals in the network, and sharing its research findings. These findings show that hospitals overmedicate and unnecessarily expose people to addictive substances, but, most importantly, there are alternatives.

According to EMHL Program Director Scott Goodspeed,

Kelly Doyle exemplifies professional excellence, humility and dedication, and is an outstanding representative of Brown’s mission to inspire in its students a commitment to serve the community, nation and world and to improve lives using science and technology. Doyle’s work in root causes of the Opioid Epidemic has made a significant contribution not only to the Rothman Orthopaedic’s prescribing practices, but to the post-operative culture, with potential impact reaching clinical practice guidelines.

For more information about Kelly Doyle: Nipping the Opioid Crisis in the Bud – Kelly Doyle, EMHL ’19 & CEO of Rothman Orthopaedic

Kelly Doyle EMHL ’19

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