15 Surgery Center Administrators Managing Hospital Joint Venture ASCs
Traci Albers (North Memorial Ambulatory Surgery Center at Maple Grove in Maple Grove, Minn. and High Pointe Surgery Center in Lake Elmo, Minn.). Ms. Albers has over 15 years of ASC and healthcare management experience, beginning her career as the administrator at a critical access hospital and rural health clinic. After several years at the critical access hospital, Ms. Albers joined Surgical Management Professionals in 2002, where she served as the executive director of High Pointe Surgery Center, a physician-hospital joint venture facility. She worked at the facility for five years and then transferred to a new role working for the ASC's partner hospital. During her tenure with the hospital, Ms. Albers was responsible for system marketing and hospital operations. In 2010, Ms. Albers transitioned back to the ambulatory surgery center market with SMP. She currently serves as executive director for High Pointe Surgery Center and North Memorial Ambulatory Surgery Center – Maple Grove. During her tenure with these facilities, she has added a new specialty, managed a major expansion project and achieved excellent patient and physician satisfaction scores. Reed Martin, SMP COO, says, "Traci is a very organized and experienced manager who excels in process management and communication. These strengths have driven superior results in terms of patient satisfaction and financial performance."
Dean Brown (The Orthopaedic Center at Springhill in Mobile, Ala.). Mr. Brown has served as the CEO of Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, a group of 20 orthopedic specialists in Mobile, for the past 11 years. For the past six years, has had a dual role as the administrator for The Orthopaedic Center at Springhill. In 2003, Mr. Brown assisted his group with negotiations for a joint venture with one of their local hospitals in the development of a 78,000-square-foot orthopedic center that included a 17,000-square-foot ASC — a 50/50 partnership between physicians and the hospital. Once the project was developed, Mr. Brown was asked by the ASC board to serve as the administrator of The Orthopaedic Center at Springhill, a four-OR, two-procedure room outpatient surgery center. The two entities employ over 300 people, and the facility is AAAHC-accredited and has been since its first year of operation in 2004. Over 6,000 cases are performed at The Orthopaedic Center annually, in specialties including orthopedics, pain management and plastic surgery. According to Mr. Brown, the center has been profitable since its first year of operation. Mr. Brown completed his CASC certification in 2006 and his CMPE certification in 2001.
Ron Bullen (Moreland Surgery Center in Waukesha, Wis.). Mr. Bullen is a 23-year Major retired from the U.S. Army; he owns his own consulting business and manages a medical services outsourcing company in addition to running his seven-OR multi-specialty ASC. Mr. Bullen was instrumental in forming and developing the current joint-venture ASC entity, which has been in operation for two years and has performed well above the industry mean financially. With his help, non-owner volumes have grown by five percent and overall facility volume has grown by 10 percent. Taking the preoperative process online with SourcePlus Passport helped the entity to achieve strong patient satisfaction scores, high quality outcomes and increased surgeon and employee satisfaction, which translates into financial success, according to Mr. Bullen. Describing his relationship with his staff, Mr. Bullen says, "My relationship with my staff is clearly communicated up front in my leadership philosophy. We work together to remove barriers that keep us from doing our jobs efficiently and effectively while always striving to increase our knowledge, skills and abilities. This usually translates into satisfied employees that perform at a higher level, which in turn leads to better outcomes and improved organizational performance.
Mary Ann Cooney, RN, CASC (Riverside Outpatient Surgery Center, Columbus, Ohio). Ms. Cooney is the administrator of Riverside Outpatient Surgery Center, a multi-specialty facility in central Ohio with six ORs and one minor procedure room. ROSC performs over 6,000 cases per year. The specialties at the facility, which is currently managed by Health Inventures, include general surgery, gynecology, hand orthopedics, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery and urology. "Our philosophy is a professional service commitment, in partnership with patients, families, and other members of the health care team," Ms. Cooney says. "We believe that the ambulatory surgery patient should expect to receive cost effective, convenient, efficient care, consistent with accepted standards of practice, recognizing the patients' rights to be active participants in their plan of care." The evolution of the center began with its building and opening in 1972 by a small group of innovative physicians and in 1977 was acquired by Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio as a freestanding outpatient surgery department. The surgery center became a joint venture with OhioHealth and physicians in 1997.
Brenda Cyrulik (Eastland Medical Plaza Surgicenter in Bloomington, Ill.). Ms. Cyrulik is the administrator at the Eastland Medical Plaza Surgicenter in Bloomington, Ill., a joint venture between St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington and 26 physician-investors. The center opened in 2001 and has four ORs dedicated to multi-specialty surgery and four procedure rooms dedicated to endoscopy and pain management. The center performs an average of 7,200 procedures annually. Ms. Cyrulik has been at Eastland since 1999, when the center was fully owned by St. Joseph. Prior to coming to Eastland, she served as a surgery manager at BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., and worked for two years as a circulating staff nurse at Gailey Eye Surgicenter in Bloomington, Ill.
Judi Green, RN (San Francisco Endoscopy Center in San Francisco, Calif.). Ms. Green is the administrator of San Francisco Endoscopy Center, a joint venture ASC with Surgical Care Affiliates and California Pacific Medical Center (a Sutter Health affiliate). This single-specialty GI center in San Francisco provides services to over 7,500 patients annually. Ms. Green joined the San Francisco Endoscopy Center in September 2004 as a staff nurse. Since then, she has served in numerous capacities, such as the clinical lead nurse. She was recently appointed by the governing body to the role of Administrator. Ms. Green is a dedicated coach and mentor to the members of her staff and is an excellent example of "walking the walk and talking the talk." Her "new grad" orientation program recently gained attention for the creative ways it introduces teammates to the center. Her ability to juggle this task with the other demands of the ASC is a skill Ms. Green attributes to her management company. "SCA encourages and expects administrators to know all functions of the center, and provides the tools and support to achieve this," she says. "I believe you cannot be a top administrator if you are unable to relate to the work that is required of your teammates."
Tom Holecek (Palos Surgicenter in Palos Heights, Ill.). After several years of managing GI labs and medical practices in the hospital setting, Mr. Holecek became the administrator at Palos Surgicenter, managed by Regent Surgical Health, in Sept. 2007. At the time Mr. Holecek joined the center, the ASC was just realizing the benefits of a hospital joint-venture agreement established in Jan. 2007. Despite the center's early success, the facility was still lacking in several areas: Among other issues, more space was needed for quicker turnaround of cases, the waiting room needed modernizing and monitors and patient carts were "well past their useful lives," says Mr. Holecek. In Sept. 2009, after months of meetings and discussions, Mr. Holecek was able to gain consensus between the hospital landlord and the board of managers to embark on a $2 million renovation project that would take 12 months and three phases to complete.
David Kelly, MBA, CASC (Samaritan North Surgery Center in Dayton, Ohio). Mr. Kelly was employed by Miami Valley Hospital, a member of Premier Health Partners, in Dayton, Ohio, prior to becoming administrator of Samaritan North Surgery Center in Dayton in late 2006. The ASC is a joint venture between Good Samaritan Hospital and local physicians and is managed by Health Inventures. "At the center, we continually strive for performance improvement by applying data-driven solutions to quality, customer satisfaction, operational and financial goals," he says. "While I am not a clinician by degree, I prefer to throw on scrubs, engage directly in the operations to get at the root cause of an issue, measure the center’s performance against both external and internal benchmarks, and identify opportunities for improvement." For example, in the past year, despite continued migration from commercial to the government payers, the center's bottom line increased 16 percent over the prior year due in part to various performance improvement initiatives to reduce bad debt by improving cash collections. Additionally, changes in the pre-admission screening process led to the reduction in hospital transfers by 18 percent without turning more patients away.
Theresa Mazzitti, MHA, MBA, CASC (Eastside Surgery Center in Columbus, Ohio). Ms. Mazzitti is the administrator of Eastside Surgery Center, a multi-specialty surgery center. The center is a joint venture between physicians and OhioHealth and is managed by Health Inventures. Ms. Mazzitti says the best aspect of her center is that surgeons and staff refuse to give up. "After 15 years, we have seen heavy competition with over 20 competing ASCs in the immediate area, and we have seen several ASCs fail because they don't think two to three years down the road," she says. "We must constantly change to be able to remain competitive and to serve the community." Part of this adaptability can be attributed to the center's culture. The staff and physicians take patient care and sound financial decision-making very seriously but still love to laugh and have fun. Ms. Mazzitti joined Eastside in Nov. 2005, but she has held positions in healthcare administration since starting her career. She served as administrative director for Consolidated Health Services in Milford, Ohio, and was practice administrator for University Orthopaedic Physicians in Columbus prior to coming to Eastside.
David Moody, RN (Knightsbridge Surgery Center in Columbus, Ohio). Mr. Moody arrived at Knightsbridge Surgery Center three months after Regent Surgical Health took over the facility in 2004. KSC is a multi-specialty center that performs urology, general surgery, gynecology, plastics, pain, colorectal and neurosurgery procedures. Four years ago, the center entered into a partnership with the Ohio Health hospital system, which currently holds a 49 percent ownership stake in KSC. During Mr. Moody's tenure with Knightsbridge, he says the center has seen two pivotal changes: the introduction of Regent Surgical Health and the partnership with Ohio Health. He says both partnerships have resulted in tremendous benefits for the center. Regent helped turn the center around into a state of profitability and top patient care, while Ohio Health assisted in achieving a predictable cash flow and cost-savings opportunities.
Anastasios Pantelidis, MD (Marietta Surgery Center in Marietta, Ohio). Dr. Pantelidis worked as an attending anesthesiologist at The Ohio State University for the latter half of 1999 before moving back to his hometown in Marietta, Ohio. In Marietta, he joined an 11-member group of anesthesiologists that covered two hospitals and the Marietta Surgery Center. In 2005, MSC partnered with Regent Surgical Health, and Dr. Pantelidis was asked to be the sole anesthesia provider for the center. After considerable thought, he accepted and became the medical director, anesthesiologist and a partner in the center. When the center's administrator left in March 2009, he was asked to take over administrative duties. "Having a desire to make the center the best it could be, I accepted the challenge," he says. "Since then, the center has partnered with the local hospital and taken on an additional surgical partner. We currently boast [lower] supply costs per case than any other Regent facility." The center has successfully completed negotiations with its top commercial payors, and its EBITDA has increased nearly five-fold since Dr. Pantelidis' arrival. "I personally believe that in order to run a successful center, you must practice what you preach, lead by example and, last but not least, treat people as you want to be treated."
Anne Roberts, RN (Surgery Center of Reno, Nev.). Ms. Roberts is the administrator at the Surgery Center at Reno, which consists of physician partners with a majority ownership, a hospital partner — Saint Mary's Hospital in Reno — and a managing partner — Regent Surgical Health. Ms. Roberts came to the Surgery Center at Reno in Feb. 2006 when it opened and became administrator in Oct. 2006. She began her career as a nurse in the emergency department, spending 16 years as a staff nurse and 10 years as the manager of a busy ED seeing 55,000 patients annually. "The experience in the ED setting has provided me with the ability to multitask, manage multiple, often competing priorities while fostering the provision of patient care, managing a complex budget, mentoring of employees and continuous assessment of the services being provided," she says. Vicki Webb, business manager at Surgery Center of Reno, calls Ms. Roberts "the best boss I have ever worked for." She says, "We [recently] had a surprise audit from the state of Nevada with only a couple of minor errors that were fixable at the time of review. I believe this shows how on top of things [Ms. Roberts] is, always striving to have our center run as if the state was coming in every day."
Tona Savoie (Bayou Region Surgery Center in Thibodaux, La.). Ms. Savoie is the administrative director of Bayou Region Surgical Center, a multi-specialty surgery center that opened in July 2007. In her time as an ASC administrator, Ms. Savoie says, "I've discovered this position to be an acquired art form. There is constant evolution and new challenges daily, which keeps my energy and interests in high gear. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful contribution to our community." Bayou Region Surgical Center is a free-standing facility with four ORs and one procedure room. Surgeons at Bayou Region specialize in orthopedics, ENT, neurology, general surgery, urology, GI, ophthalmology and pain management. The ASC operates as a 50-50 partnership between physician-investors and a subsidiary of the local community hospital, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. It is managed by ASD Management.
Lisa Schriver, RN, CNOR (Turk's Head Surgery Center, West Chester, Pa.). Ms. Schriver is the administrator of Turk's Head Surgery Center in West Chester, Pa, a multi-specialty, freestanding surgery center that offers general surgery, GI, orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT, urology, gynecology and podiatry. Turk's Head is a physician-hospital joint venture that opened in May 2005. Ms. Schriver started with Turk's Head in 2005 as the clinical director and moved up to become administrator. Prior to coming to the center, she had a varied career in nursing and served in various departments including OR, endoscopy and perioperative. From there, she moved to a hospital-based surgery center and became the nurse manager. She has also worked with an anesthesiologist at the hospital that joint ventures with Turk's Head. Ms. Schriver enjoys her role as an administrator because of the changing nature of her job. "Everyday is different, and I can use my sense of adventure to tackle each day. Some days this never-ending change is overwhelming, but at a basic level it really very much appeals to my personality and who I really am," she says.
Bryan Wright (Florida Hospital East – Surgery Center in Orlando, Fla.). Mr. Wright has worked for Florida Hospital East – Surgery Center for almost two years, having joined upon the center's inception as its administrator. Prior to his role with Florida Hospital East – Surgery Center, Mr. Wright worked for Richard L. Scott Investments, managing acquisitions, joint ventures and development of urgent care facilities. Mr. Wright says his center has broken several Florida Hospital records in the last year, achieving 100 percent on-time case starts in March 2012, 12.04 room turnover times (in minutes, excluding flip rooms) in February 2012 and 81 percent block time utilization. "We don't play around," he says. The center also achieved 76 percent upfront cash collections and saw a 33 percent increase in case volume over the first quarter of the prior year. The multi-specialty center currently has two operating rooms and two endoscopy procedure rooms and is expanding to include two more operating rooms.
Related Articles on ASC Joint Ventures:
Ohio Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center Partners With Camden Clark Medical Center
Developing an ASC Joint Venture Strategy
Building a Physician/Hospital Joint Venture Overseas: 6 Points on Regent Surgical Health's Irish Partnership
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