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updated: 1/30/2023 2:40 PM

Coffee Break: John Brady, CEO of Fox Valley Orthopedics

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  • John Brady

    John Brady


Q: Describe your company.

A: We are a full-service orthopedic surgery medical practice with seven offices located across the Fox Valley (two in Geneva, three in Elgin, Algonquin and Barrington). As part of our offerings we have three MRI clinics, therapy services and an ambulatory surgery center dedicated solely to orthopedic surgery.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: We intend to continue growing in the coming year and will be opening a new location in Yorkville offering a medical clinic and physical therapy services, as well as offices in Huntley and Aurora where we are opening stand-alone therapy clinics. With this expansion will come the hiring of medical staff, other clinicians and support team members.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: Like all businesses we are focused on retaining and recruiting the best talent possible to provide superior service to our patients. We are also committed to offering the most efficient patient care experience possible. To accomplish this we are upgrading our electronic medical record platform and will be integrating our IT operations across all of our locations. The value to patients will be greater access and a more consistent experience regardless of which of our locations they visit.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Robotic-assisted surgery for orthopedic surgery is a growing area of focus. In 2022 we became one of the first ambulatory surgery center operators in Illinois to incorporate the Velys surgical robot system from DePuy Synthes. This is one of several technological innovations we are making to improve overall efficiency and outcomes for the care of our patients.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: I would remind them of two pieces of wisdom my grandfather shared with me. The first is that it's what you learn after you know it all that really matters, and the second is to remember the only job you start on top is digging a hole. Further, I would challenge them to remain curious and to be a lifelong learner. The world changes at an amazing pace, it would be the height of arrogance to think you don't have to study to keep up ... nobody's that smart.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: Simple: Get stuff done. Too many people overthink things and "what-if" them to death. Make lists and cross things off as you get them done. That's the key to moving forward.

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: There are too many to count and I'm sure to miss someone if I tried to mention them all. That said I learned to create value in everything I do from my dad. He used to say, "It takes hard work to get people to see the value in what you're offering, and no one is going to buy something they don't value."

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: Fox Valley Orthopedics is one of the oldest, independent orthopedic surgery practices in the area. We'll be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2024 and we are continuing to find new and unique ways to provide the highest quality services possible to those who trust us with their care.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: A "moment" or "moments?" Like everyone I've had my share of wins and losses, and I constantly remind myself of the words of the great tennis player Arthur Ashe, who said you can't ask "why me" when things go bad if you don't ask it when things work out (or exceed expectations). My big life lesson take-away is mistakes don't need to be fatal. As long as you own your failure and learn the lessons it offers, you can move on and still be successful.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time with my wife and kids ... boring and basic, but that's how we like it.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: "Master and Commander" by Patrick O'Brien is my fiction choice for now as I waiting for my copy of "Leading with Your Upper Brain" by Michael Frisina, PhD.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: I actually sleep pretty well. I'm blessed with a great family and I work for a tremendous group of physicians who understand how dynamic the health care marketplace is. Sure I worry about deadlines and am concerned about the costs of capital and labor shortages, but those things are part of the job. We'll always find a way to work those out. As long as our group is providing the best care possible, in as efficient manner as possible ... everything will be fine.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I know for certain that I would be teaching health care administration at the college level. It's where I was before coming here and where I will be after I leave (in several years).

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: I was a bagger at the Jewel. My kids cringe every time I help the baggers at the store, but I have to keep the skills up in case things don't work out.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Sports sponsorship is a natural fit for an orthopedic surgery practice, so for the right price, we'll go with any of them in Chicago. I do think Fox Valley Stadium would make a great venue for the Bears.

Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)

A: I actually am not on Twitter. I'm not a fan of that medium as it's a bit of an echo chamber. I'd rather engage in a real conversation, so I tend to pick up the phone when I have something to say.