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Ambulatory Surgery Center Leadership Profile: Specialty Surgery Center Director Phillip Santillanes

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Phillip Santillanes, FACHE, is the Center Director for Specialty Surgery Center in San Antonio. He has more than 17 years of experience in healthcare delivery systems and led clinical teams and hospital departments in addition to his current role at the multispecialty ambulatory surgery center.

Recently, Mr. Santillanes became a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has taken his leadership experience over the years and applied it to ensuring Specialty Surgery Center runs smoothly and efficiently with motivated staff and satisfied physicians.

"I believe in promoting a healthy organizational culture through transformational leadership," says Mr. Santillanes. "Being consistently engaged with the team at the point of patient care enables me to recognize and harness the talents of the team."

Mr. Santillanes subscribes to a "shared leadership" philosophy that gives staff members training and autonomy to make effective decisions on behalf of the organization.

"Utilizing the collective ideas of the team and involving them in the vision fosters a collaborative culture of accountability and pride," he says. "I strive to influence my team toward the achievement of the vision we collectively create."

The five operating suites at the center are always busy and may seem chaotic, but those who look closer will see the staff are actually moving in an expertly choreographed routine because the staff members at the center are truly masters of their craft, says Mr. Santillanes.

"The people who make up the team at SSC are a group of the most talented individuals in the city," he says. However, professional talent isn't the only quality that sets SSC apart. Surgeons drive across town to perform cases during their block time; patients consistently call the center to thank them for a wonderful experience; the center takes pride in consistent efficiency.

Mr. Santillanes believes the family culture at the ASC makes it special.

"We are family," he says. "We fight with each other, by each other, but always for each other. We are loyal and proud of who we are. We represent excellence and are committed to our patients. We are a team. We are what makes Specialty Surgery Center so 'special.'"

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