One underlying theme is, “What is best for our patients is best for us at Vella Hand Surgery”. Our only interest is our patient’s best interest. This can mean different action plans for different patients depending on their situation, type of problem and risk for severe illness if contracting the Covid-19 virus.

We are here to serve our patients!

If you have a new injury, need x-rays, concerned about a broken bone – we are here to serve you. If your child falls or injures their arm and you are concerned – we are here to serve you. If you have an urgent problem please contact our office so that we can triage this appropriately. We are in healthcare – we are here to serve our patients in need. Specifically, my practice treats patients who have dysfunction, pain, injuries to their upper extremities. We plan on continuing to do so to meet the needs of our patients. There are, however, a few caveats.

We ask our patients to have their healthcare workers in their best interest – this means if you do not need to, please do not come to the office. There is no need to increase the likelihood of transmitting Covid-19 to our staff.

Based on the various sources listed above the following are the current recommendations and in some cases mandated regulations regarding treatment protocols:

1. Elective surgery is on temporary hold
“All non-essential or elective surgeries … shall not be performed.”
“A non-essential or elective surgery means a surgery that can be delayed without undue risk to current or future health of a patient.” (EXECUTIVE ORDER by Governor Ducey)

In simple terms, if delaying your treatment may negatively impact your current or long-term outcome, then we will treat you as we always have. For example, if you have a broken wrist and it needs a cast or surgery, we will continue to provide that service. For any new trauma, new injury, laceration, need for an x-ray – we are here to treat you as we normally would.

We have created patient categories to help triage the correct pathway for those patients. There are those that need to be seen and those where care can be delayed because it is not deemed urgent.


  • Post-operative patients
  • New patients with Urgent care required
  • Follow up patients (ie. in a cast and need xrays and cast off)

3. DELAY OFFICE VISIT: Non-urgent patients whose outcome would not be affected by delaying treatment.
*** If you have concerns and questions for our doctor – please alert the staff and Dr. Vella may be able to discuss over the phone or teleconference.

We have and will continue to review our patient schedule and those who call in to assess the appropriateness of care without increasing risk to our patients and staff. If you receive a phone call to delay your office appointment, please understand your case has been reviewed by the physician and deemed non-urgent.


  1. Patients who call in with non-urgent conditions: we will make a list and contact you when the recommendations are lifted.
    *** If you have concerns and questions for our doctor – please alert the staff and Dr. Vella may be able to discuss over the phone or teleconference.
  2. Screening at the office: Patients who have a recent onset (14 days) cough, temp of 100.4 or greater, or travel within or outside the US will be asked to be rescheduled unless they require urgent care or post-operative care.
  3. Our office has limited access to masks, our staff will use them as needed.
  4. Gloves will be used during physical exams as needed.
  5. We will ask our patients to wait in the main lobby if our waiting room has more than 3 people.
  6. We ask that only the patient be brought back to the treatment room to minimize risk to other patients and office staff unless a minor accompanied by one adult.
  7. Patient rooms are cleaned in between each patient visit.
  8. Use of hand sanitizer is encouraged by patients and required by staff.

In summary, we are adhering to the Executive Orders, CDC and Department of Health and Human Services recommendations in order to provide the best quality care to our patients, while minimizing the risk of Covid-19 transmission to our patients and staff.

To ensure the safest possible environment for our patients and staff and to free up resources to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic, VHS is deferring all elective care that can be deferred for the near future, estimated 4-8 weeks. Please know that we did not make this decision lightly and each patient’s situation has been reviewed by our staff and by Dr. Josh Vella. We will be reaching out to patients if changes to existing appointments are needed.


Josh C. Vella, MD
Double Board Certified: Orthopedics and Hand Surgery