6 ASC industry leaders on the highlights of their careers

The ASC industry turned 50 on Feb. 12, according to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.

To commemorate the milestone, Becker's ASC Review asked industry leaders to reflect on how ASCs have evolved in the past 50 years, predict what the future holds and share highlights from their careers. This is the fourth installment of the series.

Question: What are the highlights of your career and work in the ASC industry?

Note: Responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.

Yousif A-Rahim, MD, PhD. Chief medical officer of Covenant Physician Partners (Nashville, Tenn.): When it comes to career milestones as they relate to ASCs, I can point to three major moments. The first of which was co-founding Pacific Endoscopy Center in 2008 in Pearl City, Hawaii, where I still practice today. Secondly, taking on the role as chief medical officer with Covenant Surgical Partners, now Covenant Physician Partners, where my primary responsibility continues to be identifying and driving efforts to optimize clinical outcomes for all our physician partners. Lastly, and most recently, the launch of our rebrand as Covenant Physician Partners, which signifies a major shift in the market — specifically, a change in the needs of our partners for a more comprehensive suite of talents and expertise. These needs encompass recruitment, payer negotiations and back-end functions including compliance, IT and centralized billing. This shift is one way in which the ASC industry is reinventing itself, and we have the honor of being on the ground floor.

Vincent Laudone, MD. Chief of surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Josie Robertson Surgery Center (New York City): I was very fortunate to be part of the team which helped to conceive, plan and open the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This truly unique facility expanded the concept of ambulatory surgery to include patients that require a single overnight stay, allowing for much more complex surgical procedures to move to the ambulatory setting. The JRSC was also the first-of-its-kind ASC to focus exclusively on cancer surgery and the needs of cancer patients and their families. Importantly, it was designed as a clinical laboratory with the technology and metrics to allow for real-time evaluation and continuous improvement of every aspect of ambulatory surgical care as it relates to the cancer patient.

Cheryl Garmon, DNP, RN. Director of Heaton Laser & Surgery Center (Tyler, Texas): The highlights of my career and work in the ASC industry spawned from getting involved in the local, state and national ASC associations. The awareness of business strategies, quality matrixes and addressing the demands of a customer-driven access to healthcare obligation are but a few of the reasons I believe ASCs are effective.

Dallas Freyer, RN. Administrator of Corpus Christi (Texas) Outpatient Center: My highlight would be being able to create an environment with less red tape that allows the focus to be on customer safety and satisfaction.

Nicholas Grosso, MD. President and orthopedic surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics (Bethesda, Md.): I regularly perform surgery in the ASC setting, and I am most proud of being one of the first surgeons in my area to bring [anterior cruciate ligament] reconstruction to the outpatient setting. Twenty years ago, this was unheard of, and my peers in the medical field didn't believe doing an ACL reconstruction in the outpatient setting was possible. I helped the medical community find a way to improve safety for this procedure in the outpatient setting, and now ACL reconstruction surgeries are routinely done in ASCs.

Scott Jackson. Senior director of Henry Schein Medical's ASC business: Seeing the early headwinds that the industry faced, and then witnessing how the industry didn't just survive but has thrived. It has been fun to observe!

Want to share your thoughts with us? Email Angie Stewart: astewart@beckershealthcare.com.

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