John Brugos

John Brugos

“I Could Not Wait to Get in and Do the Surgery"
On May 11, Broward Health Medical Center welcomed its first patient undergoing joint replacement surgery following the state’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions on elective procedures. For John Brugos, 66, this was the first step to being healthy.

The Oakland Park resident was initially scheduled to have his knee operation on April 5. The state lifted its order on May 8.

“I could not wait to get in and do the surgery,” John said. “I did not have any concerns about coming to the hospital.”

Patients will notice a number of safety precautions in place to ensure their well-being starting with their arrival. First, everyone participates in a COVID-19 health screening and a no-contact temperature check. This standard safety procedure is for both patients and employees each time they enter a Broward Health location. Also, the healthcare system continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on keeping patients with COVID-19 separate from other patients.

“The nurses have been fabulous and have been cautious about everything,” said John. Broward Health has added enhanced sanitation measures, such as electrostatic spraying of disinfectant that kills COVID-19 in minutes. “We have always taken measures to reduce the risk for infections in our patients,” said Odette Hamilton, MSN-Ed, RN. Hamilton is the coordinator of the Total Joint Care program at Broward Health Medical Center. “We are constantly reviewing other measures to help ensure the safety of all those entering the hospitals and outpatient centers.”


Following his surgery, John has taken a few steps and said he feels great. Andrew Ellowitz, MD, orthopedic surgeon, anticipates John will be taking longer walks in about two to three months. “Mr. Brugos was interested in doing the surgery because he was having such great pain,” said Ellowitz. Surgery is an option to provide relief for people with great disability, he said.

John, who was discharged May 13, will continue his treatment with physical therapists at the outpatient rehabilitation center at Broward Health Medical Center. He is looking forward to returning to his 10,000 steps-a-day routine.
Orthopedic Services