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112 Surgery Center Administrators to Know

Here are profiles of 112 surgery center administrators who work tirelessly to recruit physicians, ensure patient satisfaction, build staff morale, negotiate profitable contracts and promote high-quality, cost-effective healthcare.

Editor's note: If you have questions about the list or would like to submit a profile for the print version in our June issue, please contact Rachel Fields at

Margaret Acker, RN, MSN, CASC (Southwest Surgical Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.). Ms. Acker is the administrator of Southwest Surgical Center, a multi-specialty freestanding ASC, and the chair of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Association Membership Committee. She was formerly CEO with Blake Woods Medical Park Surgical Center in Jackson, Mich., a multi-specialty, physician-owned center. She has worked in the ASC industry for over a decade as a consultant, administrator and presenter. Ms. Acker holds a master's degree in nursing from Eastern Michigan University and serves on the "approver committee" for the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses continuing education. She also serves on the board of directors for St. Luke's Clinic, providing healthcare for the poor and medically underserved.

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."

Kathleen Allman, CASC (Millennium Surgery Center in Bakersfield, Calif.). Ms. Allman is the administrator of Millennium Surgery Center. She came to Bakersfield after retiring from trauma and, within two years, was opening seven cost centers at Mercy Southwest Hospital, including pre-op, admitting, OR, PACU, sterile processing, GI and anesthesia services. She also completed her master's degree, MSA-HCM. "I am passionate about federal and state laws regarding ASCs," she says. "We have toured Congressman Kevin McCarthy at our facility and met with Senator Rubio regarding Board of Pharmacy Clinic Permits and Licensure in the state of California." Ms. Allman was on the board of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association for two years ending December 2011. "I was proud of the opportunity to work with them," she says. "This has to be one of the best state associations."

Kim Andry, CASC (Great Lakes Surgical Center in Southfield, Mich.). Ms. Andry, the administrator at Great Lakes Surgical Center, serves as business manager and administrator of her multispecialty physician-owned facility, which currently performs 6,000 to 7,000 cases year. According to Keith Metz, MD, the center's medical director, Ms. Andry has helped GLSC excel in quality and patient and surgeon satisfaction and helped the ASC become one of the most profitable ASCs in the Midwest. Ms. Andry has also been a member of the leadership team of the Michigan ASC Association for the past several years, and she recently achieved AAAHC surveyor certification. Dr. Metz says Ms. Andry is "responsive and professional with surgeons, assertive and understanding with staff, and exceptional in those rare instances of a difficult or angry patient." In addition to her outstanding work with ASC operations, Ms. Andry has made the ASC experience "as pleasant as possible" for the more than 3,000 children that receive care at the center each year by adding children's movies, in-house slushy desserts and take-home gifts, according to Dr. Metz.

Jennifer Arellano (Pueblo Surgery Center in Pueblo, Colo.) Ms. Arellano began her career with Pueblo Surgery Center in 1998 and has been its administrator for the past 13 years. During this time, she has successfully led the ASC through an evolution of ownership changes, as well as case mix diversification. In 2011, the center added ophthalmology as another service line, which will expand further in 2012. Also during her tenure, Pueblo Surgery Center began what is now an annual event of providing free surgery one day per year. This program was set up in conjunction with its community physicians, hospitals, and various local supporting businesses and agencies.  The event began in 2008 and continues to draw regional attention, including patients and volunteers from in and around the state. Ms. Arellano's leadership extends well beyond Pueblo, Colorado, through her board seat with the ASC state association as well her work in mentoring new ASC leaders within the Surgical Care Affiliates community.

Robyn Archer (Salt Lake Surgical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah). Ms. Archer joined Salt Lake Surgical Center as a nurse over 30 years ago and moved through various positions until rising to the administrator role in 2006. In 2011, Salt Lake Surgical Center celebrated its 35th anniversary, totaling 150,000 patients served during its history. The center opened in 1976 and was one of the first few ASCs in Utah and the country. It is known to have locally pioneered orthopedic arthroscopic surgery, among many other accomplishments. Managed in partnership with Surgical Care Affiliates, the center has consistently demonstrated outstanding clinical outcomes and teammate satisfaction survey results under Ms. Archer's leadership. Most recently, Ms. Archer was acknowledged for her contributions to the ASC state association with another term as its president.

Brent Ashby, CASC (Audubon Surgery Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.). Mr. Ashby is the administrator of two surgery centers — Audubon Surgery Center and Audubon ASC at St. Francis, both located in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two Audubon centers contain 15 ORs and four procedure rooms between them and perform an estimated 19,000 cases annually. Mr. Ashby has led the surgery centers through several successful initiatives, including the implementation of an IT system, the creation of a staff profit-sharing program and a boycott of payors who are unwilling to offer reasonable payment rates. Before opening Audubon, he was the administrator of the Provo (Utah) Surgical Center for seven years and practiced law at a large firm in Phoenix. Mr. Ashby has also served as treasurer for the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association for the past year, where he helped spearhead a pilot program in Colorado with Medicaid to move certain cases away from hospitals and ASCs in return for higher payments from Medicaid. Mr. Ashby says following a hepatitis C scare at his center, "Not only did our organization survive, but we have continued to grow and enjoy significant success."

Cathy Atwater (Banner Health-Union Hills Surgery Center and Banner Thunderbird Surgery Center in Peoria, Ariz.). Ms. Atwater serves as the administrator of Banner Health-Union Hills Surgery Center and Banner Thunderbird Surgery Center, positions she has held since Jan. 2010 and Feb. 2005, respectively. Prior to joining Banner, she worked as a gynecology practice manager at North Valley Obstetrics and a manager of operations at Argent Healthcare/Paralign Revenue Management. According to Angela Surratt, pre-op/PACU clinical manager at Banner Thunderbird, Ms. Atwater is often seen rounding through the pre-op and PACU areas of her surgery center and dedicates significant effort to marketing the center, despite the highly saturated nature of the local area. "She is consistently encouraging her staff, especially myself and the OR clinical manager, to further our management education and is often having us sign up for any classes that Banner offers," says Ms. Surratt. "Through these classes and her direction … she has helped me grow as a leader."

Beverly Baker (Timberlake Surgery Center in Chesterfield, Mo.). Ms. Baker has served as the administrator of the Timberlake Surgery Center since 2008 and has been an administrator in the ASC field for over seven years. Prior to joining Timberlake Surgery Center, she worked as a healthcare consultant specializing in practice operations and an administrator for private physician practices. She was instrumental with the new facility's start-up phase, achieving a three-year accreditation with AAAHC and receiving Symbion's President's Club Award in 2008. She currently serves on the board of Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.

Rob Bashore (Same Day SurgiCenter in Orlando, Fla.). Mr. Bashore went to graduate school at the Medical College of Virginia, where he received a partial scholarship from Columbia HCA — the catalyst that started his career with the health system. He worked on the hospital side of HCA for a while after graduation and then moved to the surgery center industry in 2003, leaving briefly to join another hospital company and then coming back to HCA several years later. "HCA is a fantastic company to work for," he says. He has been with his current surgery center for about a year and a half, during which time the center has achieved three-year re-accreditation from AAAHC and increased its EBITDA. The surgery center has five ORs and three pain treatment rooms and performs approximately 550 cases a month with 44 physician partners. The center, which is owned 51 percent by HCA, recently added a breast treatment center and now performs breast procedures in its pain treatment rooms on Fridays.

Tracey Baughey (Laser Spine Institute in Wayne, Pa.). With more than 27 years of administration and management experience, Ms. Baughey brings a great deal of knowledge and insight to the clinical operations of the ASC. She has held a variety of positions focusing on facility management, compliance and regulatory issues, streamlining and developing new systems, and customer service excellence. She was instrumental in the opening Laser Spine Institute's Pennsylvania and Oklahoma facilities, assisting the teams in achieving state licensure and AAAHC accreditation. Rhonda Dunn, executive director of Laser Spine Institute, commented, "Tracey identifies and executes the highest standards of care and service for the patients of Laser Spine institute within the clinical operations, on-call services and postoperative care enterprise-wide."

Linda Beaver, RN, MSN, MHA (Gateway Endoscopy Center in St. Louis, Mo.). Ms. Beaver serves as administrator of Gateway Endoscopy Center, a busy endoscopy facility in western St. Louis County managed by United Surgical Partners International. She started her career as a critical care nurse who specialized in cardiovascular recovery before moving into the management sector as a nursing supervisor, nurse manager and clinical director of multiple unit specialties in an acute-care hospital. Under Ms Beaver's leadership, Gateway Endoscopy Center obtained accreditation by AAAHC, recertification by CMS and the recertification by the state of Missouri. The center also successfully completed multiple quality improvement projects, including procedural documentation, applying abdominal pressure during a colonoscopy and scope withdrawal times. The facility consistently receives outstanding patient, physician, and employee satisfaction scores and decreased supply costs 16 percent during the last year by renegotiating with vendors.

Christine Behm, BSN, CASC (Surgery Center of San BuenaVentura in Ventura, Calif.). Ms. Behm has served as the administrator of San BuenaVentura Surgery Center since 1991. She has been with the center since 1991, when she joined as nurse manager upon the center's inception; she was promoted to administrator a few years later. Over the past year, she has put an emphasis on case costing and reimbursement, which resulted in the termination of a Blue Cross contract at the beginning of 2011, as well as an Aetna contract which will terminate in spring 2012.  Chris works closely with her business office, clinical manager and physicians to evaluate every case to ensure payment will cover the cost of the case. Net revenue per case more than doubled in 2011, and the center performed its first spine procedure in 2011.

Sandy Berreth, RN, MS, CASC (Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center in Baxter, Minn.). Ms. Berreth serves as the administrator of Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center, a multi-specialty ASC that performs approximately 5,000 cases a year. She has been in the ambulatory surgery management arena for 13 years and has worked at her current center since 2004. Ms. Berreth has been an AAAHC surveyor for two years and is currently juggling being an AAAHC surveyor with her accountability to her own organization. Speaking on her experience in the healthcare, Ms. Berreth says, "As an RN with 35 years of experience in multiple areas in the healthcare arena, I have developed a unique set of values that I believe is essential to succeed in the ambulatory surgery center business arena. I believe the primary goal of any ASC administrator is the commitment to delivering high-quality surgical services to ensure a superior patient experience and clinical outcomes, as well as developing a sound business plan and futuristic goals to achieve financial success for its partners." During Ms. Berreth's tenure, Brainerd Lakes has achieved the Edgesurvey's APEX Quality Award for overall patient satisfaction for the last two years. Ms. Berreth holds a master's degree in business organization and management.

Josh Billstein (The Polyclinic in Seattle). Mr. Billstein spent 10 years as a clinician and practice manager at a busy physician clinic before joining The Polyclinic in June 2010. He currently serves as administrator for the three-OR, multi-specialty ASC. As a board member of the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, he and his colleagues collaborated with the Department of Health to create a pilot program that improved ASC reimbursement for DSHS cases. This resulted in cost savings for the state, as the cases moved from the hospital to the ASC setting. Mr. Billstein says his personal philosophy as an ASC leader is "to recruit and retain exceptional individuals who, when integrated into our center's team, utilize their unique talents to make our center excel."

Stephen E. Blake, JD, MBA, CPA (Central Park Surgery Center in Arlington, Texas). Stephen Blake serves as the administrator of Central Park Surgery Center, a 100-percent physician-owned facility accredited by the AAAHC. According to Kathy Kennison, RN, the ASC's nurse manager, the center has achieved better than 99 percent patient satisfaction survey results since its inception in 2006 — due in no small part to Mr. Blake's efforts. "Steve Blake's commitment to ensuring the delivery of the highest quality, cost-effective healthcare possible is what makes him stand out," says Ms. Kennison. "[He] is a tireless leader whose knowledge, skills and work ethic are a shining example of what is right in American healthcare." Mr. Blake also serves as an active member of the Texas ASC Society Board of Directors and recently completed his term as the society's president.

Steven Blom, RN, MAHSM, CASC (Specialty Surgery Center in San Antonio, Texas). Mr. Blom has been the executive director of the Specialty Surgery Center in San Antonio for just over 11 years, a position he fills in addition to his work as regional director for national surgical care at National Surgical Care. He says his biggest accomplishment with SSC has been the center's consistent growth. When it opened its doors, the ASC had two ORs with nine physicians performing around 3,000 cases annually. Today, the ASC is up to 30 physicians performing over 9,000 cases annually. The center's leaders were able to design and build a new, five-OR facility in 2005. "The challenges are dealing with the increased complexity of the regulatory issues we have to comply with and struggles we face in reimbursement and cost controls," he says. "I really enjoy the people I work with and the people I meet and interact with throughout the industry." He says his personal administrative philosophy is to hire the right people and take care of them. "Never be afraid to get in there yourself and support the staff," he says. "And never forget our existence is based [on] excellent patient care and the quality of the relationships we have with our physicians."

Chris E. Bockelman, CPA (Foundation Surgery Center of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Okla.). Mr. Bockelman has served as administrator of Foundation Surgery Center since April 2010. During his time at the center, he has increased case volume by recruiting three new surgeons previously considered "unattainable," as well as two more busy surgeons who are currently preparing to join the center. He also increased patient census over the course of eight months and will continue to grow volume into 2011. A former area vice president with Option Care/Walgreens in home IV therapy, Mr. Bockelman says he believes ASC administrator success is "in the details."

Betty Bozzuto, RN, MBA, CASC (Naugatuck Valley Surgical Center in Waterbury, Conn.). Ms. Bozzuto is executive director of Naugatuck Valley Surgical Center and former president and a founding member of the Connecticut Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. She is a former board member of FASA. Ms. Bozzuto is also a surveyor for AAAHC and president of Connecticut's Ambulatory Surgery Center Patient Safety Organization. Ms. Bozzuto holds an MBA from the University of New Haven.

Rick Brochu (The Surgery Center of Genesee County in Flint, Mich.). Mr. Brochu joined The Surgery Center of Genesee County in 2007, after working for a marketing company that handled all of General Motors' events and sponsorships. His path to his current position is unusual considering his lack of clinical background, he says: "I was hired because I didn't have any hospital or clinical background — completely opposite of what is normal." In his five years with the center, The Surgery Center of Genesee County has celebrated its 10-year anniversary and moved away from a significant volume of pain management, as site-of-service differentials push pain business into physician offices. The surgery center has also added several new procedures, such as lithotripsy, which can be performed in the center in two hours compared to five hours in the local hospital. The surgery center performs over 5,000 cases a year in a variety of specialties, including ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, pain management, ENT, general surgery and interventional radiology. Mr. Brochu says the center stands out because it also performs vascular surgery, a rarity in the Michigan ASC industry.

John D. Brock, MSHA (NorthStar Surgical Center in Lubbock, Texas). Mr. Brock has served as the administrator of NorthStar Surgical Center for 6.5 years. During his time at NorthStar, Mr. Brock has grown case volume, syndicated multiple new physician partners, added a new service line in gastric lap banding and opened a sixth OR, among other accomplishments. When asked about his personal philosophy as an administrator, Mr. Brock says, "First and foremost, my profession is about people and relationships. Healthcare is a service industry, and at NorthStar Surgical Center, it's all about the experience … I recognize that as the administrator, I play but one small part in the overall work that goes on each day." Prior to his current role, he served as CEO of three different hospitals, COO of one hospital and executive at a large, faith-based health system.

Chuck Brown (Bidwell Surgery Center in Middletown, Ohio). Mr. Brown worked for Health Inventures in ASC development for the first 10 years of his career before he had the opportunity to open Bidwell Surgery Center. The center has struggled financially because of the economy of the local area — Medicaid represents 33 percent of the ASC's payor mix. Due to these challenges, Mr. Brown says his main goals are to keep staff morale high, maintain costs and provide excellent patient care. "One thing I'm proud of is that our patient satisfaction scores are in the top echelon," he says. "There are no egos [on our team]. We all pitch in and do everything. I think that helps morale, when you're got everyone at all levels doing all they can to help it run smoothly." Bidwell Surgery Center contains five ORs and one procedure room and spans around 18,500 square feet. The center performed just under 3,000 cases last year, mostly in the areas of pain and GI.

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, a medical lab, and a diagnostic imaging center in addition to running his seven-OR multi-specialty ASC. Mr. Bullen is also a member of the board of directors of the Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers. With his help, non-owner volumes have grown by 30 percent and overall facility volume has grown by 11 percent in the last year. The entity continues 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 staff, Mr. Bullen says, "They have truly transcended from a hospital employee mentality to a sense of ownership in the organization. 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. The success we have is truly because of a great management team and dedicated and high performing employees."

Jennifer Butterfield, RN, BSN, CNOR (West Bloomfield Surgery Center in West Bloomfield, Mich.). Ms. Butterfield is the Administrator of West Bloomfield Surgery Center, a multi-specialty, Joint Commission-accredited ASC that performs over 5,600 cases per year. She has worked in the ASC industry for over seven years, serving as OR manager and director of nursing prior to becoming an administrator. According to medical records coordinator Jen Hagerty, Ms. Butterfield has been instrumental in starting a spine program at the center and recruiting physicians for the program. While other ASCs in the area are struggling, WBSC is increasing patient volume. Ms. Hagerty credits the growth to excellent physician and staff dedication.

Karen Cannizzaro, CASC (Physicians Day Surgery Center in Naples, Fla.). Ms. Cannizzaro started her career in ambulatory surgery in 1992, working as a surgery scheduler. During her first six years in the ASC industry, she performed every non-nursing position, from ordering supplies to working with accounting. She says she "literally worked her way into administration" and received her CASC certification in 2006. Ms. Cannizzaro was recruited to the newly-opened Physicians Day Surgery Center in 1998, and other than a two-year break to pursue another interest, she has been there ever since. In the last year, case volume at Physicians Day Surgery Center rose 50 percent due to the recruitment of several new physicians. "A competing center in our town closed, and we were able to have some of their physicians begin working with us," Ms. Cannizzaro says. "We absorbed the extra volume with minimal staff increases." She says she anticipates case volume to reach 4,500 to 5,000 cases for 2012. "We have been able to accommodate the extra volume and still maintain over 99 percent patient satisfaction and retain all our original staff," she says.

Connie Casey (Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.). Ms. Casey is the administrator of Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center, the first physician-owned surgery center in the West Palm Beach area. When the center opened in 1996, the owners were told they would never make it. Local providers weren't used to the ASC model and believed competitors would force the facility out of business. Sixteen years later, Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center is one of the most profitable healthcare facilities in the area, staffing 80 employees and featuring five ORs, two endoscopy procedure rooms and a pain management center. "Our physicians work together solidly," Ms. Casey says. "All physicians are a team. They understand the concept of the business and what it takes to make it work." Ms. Casey credits her center's success to its dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the center for more than 10 years. "When we took on [National Surgical Care as] an equity partner in 2003, the stipulation was that the employees were treated the same," she says. The equity partner changed to AmSurg this year, and the center continues to thrive, inviting new physicians to join as they enter the area.

Chris Collins, RN, BSHCA (Metropolitan Surgery Center in Hackensack, N.J.). Mr. Collins has been with Metropolitan Surgery Center since January 2012, when the facility was acquired by UPSI. Prior to his current role, he worked in another New Jersey surgery center and did in-hospital ambulatory work for 20 years. His current center has two ORs and one procedure room and performs approximately 4,000 cases a year, in the arenas of orthopedics, orthopedic hand, pediatric ENT, urology and podiatry. Mr. Collins says the last few months have been an exciting and challenging time, as he has worked to transition the center to a new management company. The center is in the process of transitioning its inventory system and plans to move to an EHR in the near future. "It's been a fun ride," he says. "I came on immediately post-acquisition of the center, and it's been a real challenge managed the transitional aspects — finances, policies and procedures, staffing changes, doctor changes, etc."  

Cynthia Condron (South Shore Surgery Center in Bay Shore, N.Y.). Ms. Condron serves as the administrator of South Shore Surgery Center, a facility that opened in collaboration with ASCOA in Dec. 2010. The newly constructed facility is an 11,000-square-foot center with three operating rooms and two procedure rooms. The center achieved successful New York State licensure on Dec. 17 and performed its first case on Dec. 20. Prior to joining South Shore, Ms. Condron served as facility administrator in the construction and development of an orthopedic ASC on the north shore of Long Island, a position she held for six years. She also attained successful New York State licensure and Medicare/AAAHC certification with her prior center. Ms. Condron holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., and has over 15 years of experience in healthcare.   

Rebecca Craig, RN, CNOR, CASC, CPC-H (Harmon Surgery Center in Fort Collins, Colo.). Ms. Craig is CEO of Harmony Surgery Center, a multi-specialty, Joint Commission-accredited ASC. Ms. Craig helped to open the joint-venture center 12 years ago. She began her career as a registered nurse, working at a rural hospital in the OR, PACU, gastroenterology and pain management areas. She held several leadership roles in perioperative services before moving into outpatient and ambulatory surgery. In addition to her work with Harmony Surgery Center, Ms. Craig served as president for the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association from 2004 to 2007 and currently continues to participate as a board member.  Ms. Craig had the pleasure of helping with the development of two new surgery centers in the Northern Colorado area in 2008. In May 2011, Ms. Craig was elected to serve on the ASC Association and ASC Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Craig was recently appointed to the Joint Commission Ambulatory Care Professional and Technical Advisory Committee and continues to serve on the OR Manager Ambulatory Surgery Advisory Board.

Tracy Cregg CASC (Surgery Center of Silverdale in Silverdale, Wash.). Ms. Cregg was initially hired as the center's business manager before it opened in May 2007, and together with the medical director, completed the implementation of services at the center, including setting up the practice management system, hiring the staff, planning for the services and achieving accreditation and Medicare certification. The center received both AAAHC accreditation and CMS certification through an early option survey immediately upon opening its doors. Ms. Cregg was promoted to administrator in Feb. 2009 and has since added specialties and continued AAAHC accreditation, and received her CASC credential in 2011. Additionally, Ms. Cregg is very active in the Washington ASC Association and serves on the ASC Leadership Assembly for the Medical Group Management Association. The Surgery Center of Silverdale is currently adding another operating room to accommodate additional surgeons, and Ms. Cregg says her biggest challenge has been to continue to grow the business through the economic downturn. 

Deborah Lee Crook, RN, CASC (Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center & Valley Medical Inn in St. Charles, Ill.). Mrs. Crook's ASC, Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center & Valley Medical Inn, is a seven-OR, multispecialty surgical facility with an attached post-surgical recovery care center . The center sees over 5,300 cases annually and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Ms Crook has worked in professional nursing and administration for over 25 years, with 19 years of her career spent at the ASC.  Since assuming her role as administrator in 2006, she has implemented improvements and changes in communication, staffing patterns, teaching, use of technology, change in processes and expense management to increase the efficiency of the center. Ms. Crook says she has recently worked to increase and replace volume from retiring partners and medical staff, implement new procedures and seek opportunities for local growth in a changing healthcare environment.

Dean Daringer, MBA (Surgery Center of Chester County, Pa.). Mr. Daringer has over 20 years of experience in healthcare administration, specializing in joint venture ASC start-ups, as well as problematic centers. Mr. Daringer has worked in the past for Quarum and CHI as well as management groups such as ACCA and Relative Health.  Since coming to the center, he has been through re-accreditation surveys with AAAHC and has moved billing in-house. Mr. Daringer increased the bottom line over 10,000 percent the first year. He assumed his current position in 2009. 

Louise DeChesser, RN, CNOR, MS (Middlesex Surgery Center for Advanced Orthopedics in Middletown, Ct.). As administrator of Middlesex Surgery Center for Advanced Orthopedics and clinical director for Healthcare Venture Professionals, Ms. DeChesser has over 40 years of perioperative healthcare leadership experience. Ms DeChesser has served as director of surgical services for large New England Hospitals, as president of her own surgery center consulting company, Surgical Solutions, and in various regional, operational and administrator positions in surgery centers throughout the Northeast. In addition to her corporate responsibilities with HVP and her administrator position with MCAOS, she also sits on the board of directors for the Connecticut Patient Safety Organization, as well as the state committee to develop the state of Connecticut healthcare plan.

Greg DeConciliis, PA-C, CASC (Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites in Waltham, Mass.). Mr. DeConciliis serves as the administrator of Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites, which opened in July 2004 as a multi-specialty center specializing in orthopedics and pain management. Prior to joining the center, Mr. DeConciliis worked as a physician assistant at the New England Baptist Hospital for five years. He is still a licensed PA and assists on more complex orthopedic cases at the center. In March 2010, the center sold a majority interest to AmSurg. The center has maintained profit margins above 50 percent. Speaking about his personal philosophy as an ASC administrator, Mr. DeConciliis says, "I believe in fostering a family environment, which they in turn pass along to the patients. I am extremely active with all of the staff and their needs and try to cultivate a culture of excellence in all we do." He says the center has achieved over 98 percent "excellent" ratings on patient satisfaction surveys, an accomplishment he credits to the outstanding quality of care that surgeons and staff provide to patients.

Linda Deeming, RN, BSN, MBA/HCM, CNOR, CASC (Longmont Surgery Center in Longmont, Colo). Ms. Deeming has served as the administrator of Longmont Surgery Center since Jan. 2009. The multi-specialty surgery center, which opened in Oct. 1996, has grown to include five ORs, two endoscopy suites and one procedure room. During this past year, Ms. Deeming was a speaker at the CASCA spring convention in Denver, achieved her CASC credentials, added five new procedures and seven new surgeons and increased the surgical and procedure numbers as well as the center's net profit. She credits her center's success to her board of directors, clinical and office staff, surgeons and anesthesiologists, who provide a dynamic, high-quality, friendly alternative for patients in need of surgical services. Additionally, this year she will serve as the committee chair for the 2012 CASCA Annual Spring Education Conference and is a member of the CASCA Government Relations Committee. 

Roxanne Degnan, RN (Riverview Ambulatory Surgical Center in Kingston, Pa.). Ms Degnan has been administrator at Riverview since November 2009. She received her CASC credential in 2006, a Master of Science in Organizational Management in 2008 and has been a surveyor for AAAHC since 2000. She is on the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification and the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association. Since becoming administrator, Ms. Degnan has made recruiting of physicians, inventory consignment, utilization of staff, employee satisfaction and building a more robust performance improvement program a priority.  Over the past 2.5 years, she has recruited 12 new physicians and added a GYN specialty to Riverview.

Jody Delahunty, RN, CNOR (Heartland Surgery Center in Kearney, Neb.). Ms. Delahunty started at Heartland Surgery Center as clinical director when it opened in May 2001 and was asked to move into the administrator role one month later. The center's first few years were "slow and steady," she says, but when a large orthopedic group moved its cases to the center, case volume jumped from 2,000 cases annually to 5,600. Ms. Delahunty was instrumental in attracting the group to Heartland, as well as purchasing instruments, supplies and implants. Ms. Delahunty says the surgery center added a hand surgeon in 2011. Prior to her role at Heartland, Ms. Delahunty worked at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney for 21 years, serving as an RN in the surgery department. She has been an RN for 32 years and holds the CNOR credential. "I enjoy my challenging job and see it constantly evolving," she says.

Lynda Dowman Simon (St. John's Clinic: Head & Neck Surgery in Springfield, Mo.). Ms. Simon is the administrator at St. John's Clinic: Head & Neck Surgery. Ms. Simon has been at her center since 1994. Prior to coming to St. John's, she worked for 13 years at a local hospital in the open heart center and urology. According to Ms. Dowman Simon, St. John's is the only ASC in Missouri dedicated solely to ENT procedures, and the center's patient satisfaction rating currently sits at 98.17 percent. Ms. Dowman Simon listed a few issues plaguing surgery centers, including decreased reimbursements, high deductibles, increased use of Medicare/Medicaid as a payor sources and an aging nursing population. "The [nursing] workforce is aging out and the nursing schools are not offering surgery rotations," she says. "Patients are also waiting longer to have necessary surgery, which means sicker patients with more co-morbidities, slower healing, poorer outcomes, litigation and increased infections."

Vicki Edelman, RN, BSN, CASC (Blue Bell Surgery Center, Blue Bell, Pa.). Ms. Edelman is the Administrator of Blue Bell Surgery Center and currently is employed by ASCOA. The center is a four-room, multi-specialty ASC that operates with 22 surgical partners and an additional 5 affiliated physicians. Blue Bell Surgery Center specializes in orthopedics, ENT, pain management, plastic surgery, general surgery, ophthalmology, and gastroenterology and services over 300 patients per month. Ms. Edelman has been with Blue Bell since May 2008, during the center's construction phase. Ms. Edelman credits her center's success to the energy, resourcefulness and dedication of her team. "My job would not be possible without their tireless efforts to maintain our high standards, and their support in providing quality patient care to the community we serve," she says. She has been a nurse for 33 years and began her career in medical surgical nursing.

Teva Eiler (UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Hamot, Pa.). Ms. Eiler joined Hamot Surgery Center (now UPMC Hamot Surgery Center) in 2006 and worked as the surgery center's purchasing manager and human resources coordinator for three years. In 2009, she was named administrative director of the surgery center. Prior to joining Hamot Surgery Center, she worked at Vantage Healthcare Network as the director of materials management, a role in which she worked with Premier affiliates to maximize savings, establish regional contracts and solicit potential new affiliates. Ms. Eiler earned an MS in health services administration from Gannon University in 1993 and became a Registered Laundry and Linen Director in 2001.

Pamela J. Ertel, RN, BSN, RNFA, CNOR, FABC, CASC (The Reading Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge in Reading, Pa.). Ms. Ertel oversees daily operations at The Reading Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge, a multi-specialty ASC that includes eight operating rooms, 10 pre-operative bays, 19 post-operative bays and one special procedure room. She also serves as president of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association. Under Ms. Ertel's leadership in 2011, the center implemented a new business office software and is currently in the process of implementing an EMR system. In addition, the center participated in a safety culture survey conducted by an outside benchmarking business, with resulting scores placing the ASC in the 99th percentile for safety culture. As president of PASA, she provided testimony to the Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee and met with the Executive Deputy Secretary and Secretary of Health to discuss challenges to the ASC industry.

Allison Estes, RN, BSN (Lakeview Surgery Center in Warner Robins, Ga.). Ms. Estes is the administrator of Lakeview Surgery Center, a two-room, single-specialty interventional pain management facility that opened in Feb. 2011. The center performs an average of 300-350 cases a month and provides interventional pain management options to over 36 counties. Ms. Estes entered the pain management field in 2006 as a founding administrator for an interventional pain management facility with an in-house procedure suite that grew into Lakeview Surgery Center. Prior to that, she worked as a nurse administrator in a podiatric surgery center, which she helped lead through the AAAHC re-accreditation process. She also helped open another AAAHC-accredited gastroenterological ASC, supporting the center as a staff RN and quality improvement supervisor. Under her guidance, her current ASC has implemented a thorough check system for each step of the patient care continuum, and Lakeview Surgery Center has seen continued growth since its inception, growing from one to two physicians in the past year. "Our practice has been able to maintain growth at a time when other businesses are struggling. I believe that our high standards of care and the quality of the services we provide are key components to this success," she says.

Carolyn Evec, RN, CNOR (The Surgery Center at Beaufort in South Carolina). Ms. Evec has served as the administrator at The Surgery Center of Beaufort for over 10 years, after opening a surgery center in Missouri where she served as nurse manager. She has 40 years of nursing and administrative experience and has held various management positions including director of surgery, director of medical and surgical services, vice president of patient services and director of rural health clinics. Ms. Evec has served as president, president-elect and is currently secretary for the South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. Ms. Evec has helped improve efficiency at her center in many ways. "With the help of the staff, we developed an ordering system for supplies that now involves all of the staff and eliminated a part-time staff position," she says. "We now order supplies two days a week, and it takes only about an hour to complete the process."

Andrea Fann (Orthopaedic South Surgical Center in Morrow, Ga.). Ms. Fann serves as the administrator of Orthopaedic South Surgical Center, a United Surgical Partners International facility. She has served in the position — her first administrator role — since 2005, before which she worked as business office manager for Buckhead Ambulatory Surgery Center and as director of front office operations for Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Center (both HCA facilities). She prides herself on providing an honest, warm and caring atmosphere for everyone who enters her center: employees, physicians, visitors and patients. "When we take care of our employees and provide strong leadership, they are more productive, and their happiness is seen by our patients and physicians," she says. Ms. Fann doesn't take her role for granted. She firmly believes that a manager does not automatically become a leader and that installing the right team is essential for ASC success.

Jon Farrar (Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Fla.). As administrator of Laser Spine Institute, Jon Farrar oversees the daily operations of the Laser Spine Institute Tampa clinic and collaborates with other department leaders to align strategic goals and optimize patient outcomes and satisfaction. He identifies all medical practice standards for clinical operations, on-call services and postoperative care enterprise-wide and works closely with Laser Spine Institute's medical staff. Mr. Farrar joined Laser Spine Institute in 2008 with 15 years of physician assistant and executive level healthcare experience. According to Irene Rademeyer, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Diagnostic Services, "Mr. Farrar is highly respected by all of our physicians, senior management and clinical staff members for the high standard of care he brings to Laser Spine Institute. He is our leader in clinical operations and clinical accreditation processes enterprise-wide."

Judy Fladeboe (Willmar Surgery Center in Willmar, Minn.). Ms. Fladeboe serves as the administrator of Willmar Surgery Center. During her career, Ms. Fladeboe has accumulated 25 years of experience working in emergency departments and GI/endoscopy units, including 15 years as manager. She also has five years of administrative experience in a multi-specialty clinic setting and seven years of management experience in a multi-specialty ASC. In her current position, she has led the ASC through a successful EMR implementation — Willmar Surgery Center has been using ProVation Medical software for five years. She has also helped the center achieve AAAHC accreditation. On her personal philosophy as an administrator, Ms. Fladeboe says, "My greatest reward is seeing staff develop to their full potential."

Dana Folstrom, RN, CASC (Mirage Endoscopy Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.). Mr. Folstrom, administrator of Mirage Endoscopy Center (managed by Health Inventures), calls his biggest success in 2011 the ability to continue profitability in the face of physician employment. He says the center has focused on increasing its visibility by developing a website — "something we hadn't felt we needed in the past." He says in order to increase inefficiency and prepare for reporting of quality indicators, the surgery center is assessing different EHR products available to GI centers. "We are of course continuing to upgrade current equipment to stay with state-of-the-art practices in GI," he says. He says the center has managed to produce consistent distributions by reworking payor contracts, promoting aggressive collections and operating efficiently. "It takes the cooperation of everyone involved, from contracted housekeeping to the physicians and their offices," he says. Prior to joining his current center, Mr. Folstrom worked in the GI department of Eisenhower Medical Center and as director of nursing for the Hebrew Homes of San Diego.

Kerri Gantt (Barkley Surgicenter in Fort Myers, Fla.). Ms. Gantt has been employed by Gastroenterology Associates of S.W. Florida and Barkley Surgicenter for over 19 years. As administrator of the two organizations, she oversees business and clinical operations. According to Catherine Musselwhite, clinical supervisor of Gastroenterology Associates of S.W. Florida, Ms. Gantt's contributions are critical to the success of the organizations. "Kerri tirelessly researchers ways to improve day-to-day functions and to make this a sensible and enjoyable work place," she says. "There are many employees who have been here for over 10 years due to her commitment to the staff. The physicians count on her and she never lets them down." Ms. Gantt oversees the facility's compliance and is well versed with the JACHO standards and CMS regulations. She has served as past president of Health Management Association and is an active member of the Professional Association of Health Care Office Managers and the Medical Group Management Association. Ms. Gantt is also a licensed healthcare risk manager in the state of Florida, a certified medical manager and a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Nancy Goldbranson (The Virginia Spine Institute in Reston, Va.). Ms. Goldbranson, practice administrator of The Virginia Spine Institute, is the practice's most seasoned member after CEO and President Thomas C. Schuler, MD. She has committed herself to the institute for nearly 13 years, prior to which she studied business administrator at East Carolina University. According to her colleagues, Ms. Goldbranson ensures the six-physician practice runs seamlessly day in and day out, and her experience in all facets of the organization has proven to be a vital factor in its success. "I have known Nancy for 19 years," says Dr. Schuler. "She is bright, honest, ethical, compassionate and possesses great integrity. She is unparalleled in her understanding of customer service." Ms. Goldbranson's senior administrative assistant, Linda Brock, says Ms. Goldbranson's vision inspired her to want her current job in the first place. Under her direction, the practice won a "Best Places to Work" award from Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Business Journal. According to Erin Orr, marketing director with Virginia Spine Institute, Ms. Goldbranson is "dedicated to ensuring employees are well-rounded and dedicated to constant self-improvement — basic skills training and beyond."

Judy Graham (Cypress Surgery Center in Wichita, Kan.). Ms. Graham is administrator of Cypress Surgery Center, a freestanding, multi-specialty ASC that opened in Dec. 2000. In 2006, the physicians that founded Cypress entered into a joint venture with Symbion Healthcare. Ms. Graham has been with Cypress for 9.5 years, since construction on the facility began. She has a strong clinical background in the OR and ambulatory surgery and previously served as an OR manager and a clinical director in ASCs before moving into the role of administrator. Ms. Graham has faced many challenges, including developing a partnership between a privately owned center and a corporate partner. When it comes to Cypress' success, Ms. Graham says, "Our employees have always been the source of our success, and it has been such an honor and privilege to lead them the past 11 years. Cypress is very fortunate to have a great group of physicians who work well together and treat the staff with dignity and respect." She says her greatest challenges during 2011 have been keeping the center successful during the changing economic and healthcare environments.

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."

Julie Greene (Muskegon Surgery Center in Muskegon, Mich.). Ms. Greene is the CEO of Muskegon Surgery Center in Muskegon, Michigan and Regional Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC, a consulting organization. A longtime member of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Association Board, Ms. Greene has been involved in several projects including working with BCBS of Michigan to increase reimbursement to a level that allows spine surgeries to be performed in the ASC setting. Currently, Ms. Greene is encouraging the development of a Midwest, multi-state Purchasing Alliance that enables independent ASCs to enjoy the benefits of negotiated purchasing together.

Debra Hagendorn (South Shore Ambulatory Surgical Center in Lynbrook, N.Y.) Ms. Hagendorn, administrator of South Shore Ambulatory Surgical Center, started her career at South Shore as the OR nurse manager and was promoted to the administrator position. When Ms. Hagendorn stepped into the position, the surgery center was having problems: missing policy and procedures, inadequately defined governance structure and lack of credentialing. According to Stephen Dayan, MD, "All these issues were successfully overcome." Under Ms. Hagendorn's leadership, the AAAHC was passé don the first attempt and the center was given a three-year certificate. Dr. Dayan says that in addition to the routine responsibilities of forecasting budgets, recruiting surgeons and managing personnel, Ms. Hagendorn had to handle a surprise New York state inspection that found structural defects and deficiencies in the physical plant of the center. "Debbie singlehandedly kept the ASC open by working with New York State," he says.

Kimble Hatridge (Texarkana Surgery Center in Texarkana, Texas). Ms. Hatridge serves as administrator of Texarkana Surgery Center, one of Symbion Healthcare's 62 surgical facilities. Texarkana Surgery Center is a multi-specialty surgery facility that opened in 1995. Ms. Hatridge has 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, and her track record includes successful recruitment and retention of physician partners, strong financial growth, and the development of a strong team of healthcare professionals. Ms. Hatridge's experience includes facility startup, strategic planning, budgeting, performance improvement, risk management, development of business office practices. Ms. Hatridge is actively involved in the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society and currently serves on their Legislative Committee.

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.

Carolyn Hollowood, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, CASC (City Place Surgery Center in Creve Coeur, Mo.). Ms. Hollowood is the administrator of a four-OR, orthopedic-driven surgery center in West St. Louis County. She has been with the center for almost 12 years, starting when it operated out of a two-OR surgery center. Six years ago, she helped design the new center — a medical office building which is now open. In Sept. 2009, the center partnered with Meridian Surgical Partners. During her tenure at City Place, Ms. Hollowood has managed to standardize much of the equipment the surgeons use at the center, as well as introduce new procedures and processes into daily operations. With 20 years of nursing experience under her belt, Ms. Hollowood knows how to pitch in and help out around her center. In addition to her full time administrator position, she has spent some time consulting for a newly constructed center. She also finds time to do AAAHC surveys. Prior to joining City Place, she worked as an RN first assistant at an acute care center.

Dale Holmes (Warner Park Surgery Center in Chandler, Ariz.). Mr. Holmes was hired by USPI in 2009 to turn around the center. He successfully upgraded the facility, passed CMS and AAAHC surveys and brought the ASC ahead of budget. He enjoys recruiting new physicians, helping the current medical staff grow their practices, consolidating the schedule and starting new service lines. Currently his interest is maintained by planning a re-location of the center in six months across from a partner hospital. This is generating physician interest to the extent that cases exceeded budget by 140 cases last month. Prior to joining Warner Park Surgery Center, he served as administrator and CEO of Banner Health's Surgicenter in Phoenix — the first freestanding ASC in the country. At Surgicenter, he was responsible for overseeing 850 cases per month and managed to break the center's record number of cases per month in its 35-year history. He also led the Banner Health system in profits, employee engagement and surgeon and patient satisfaction — in addition to doubling the center's share value in three years and negotiating deals to benefit all the centers in the system.

Karen Howey, CASC (Matrix Surgery Center in Saginaw, Mich.). In the 11 years she spent as a financial manager for Citigroup in Michigan, Ms. Howey always dreamed of going back to the medical community, the path she had imagined for herself when she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in health communications in 1994. In 2005, her opportunity arrived: A new, single-specialty ASC was planned for Saginaw, Mich., and Ms. Howey was invited to oversee construction and licensing with the help of the center's management group, Titan Health Corp. With a strong financial background but limited medical background, she pursued her CASC certification almost immediately and received her certification 18 months after becoming the center's administrator. During her time at the center, MSC has received Joint Commission accreditation, added five more specialties and grown to over 32 full-time employees. Ms. Howey says the center's biggest challenge occurred when its founding physician, Richard Lingenfelter, MD, passed away unexpectedly in 2009. Ultimately the center was able to become closer as a team from the experience, as well as recover the substantial loss in case volume resulting from Dr. Lingenfelter's death.

Stuart Katz (Tucson Orthopaedic Surgery Center in Arizona). Mr. Katz will celebrate his 40th anniversary in healthcare on March 21 as executive director of the Tucson Orthopaedic Surgery Center. In his current role, Mr. Katz has helped reduce cost on a per case basis for an ACL from more than $3,000 to under $1,800 by asking surgeons to use more autografts and reduce the ASC's dependence on allografts. The ASC has worked with Tucson Medical Center for more than 44 months under a co-management agreement, a deal projected to save the hospital more than $23 million by the end of 2012 on orthopedic costs. Because of this work, the hospital is building a new four story addition which will house the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, 24 new operating Rooms (10 of which are for inpatient and outpatient orthopedic surgery) and 40 orthopedic in-patient beds. The center has been under 40 days in A/R since 2007. In addition to his work with Tucson Orthopaedic, Mr. Katz was the founding president of the Arizona Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, for which he served as president for three years. "The new facility will make all of our lives a little easier and staff will have more options to work," he says. Prior to his current role, Mr. Katz worked as director of the Health Inventures managed Physicians Surgery Center in Daily City, Calif.

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. 

Mary Ann Kelly (Madison Surgery Center in Madison, Ala.). Ms. Kelly began at Madison Surgery Center in Alabama as the clinical director prior to completion of construction. In his role, she was involved in staffing the facility, purchasing supplies and completing capital purchases as the staff prepared the physical facility for opening. Shortly after the center opened, the previous administrator resigned and Ms. Kelly became the onsite de facto administrator. She transitioned into the administrator position in 2006. The surgery center is a multi-specialty, physician-owned center with five ORs and five procedure rooms. "As a result of successful physician recruitment, we have grown from 4,000 patients a year to over 11,000 patients a year," she says. "We have had three successful AAAHC Medicare Deemed surveys in our weight years, receiving three-year accreditations each time." Two years ago, the center transitioned completely to electronic medical records, a move that Ms. Kelly says has been "extremely successful and could not have been accomplished without the support of the staff and physicians during the development and 'go live' phases."

Faith Kycia (Surgical Center of Fairfield County in Bridgeport, Conn.).
Ms. Kycia has served as administrator of the Surgical Center of Fairfield County, an affiliate of Surgical Care Affiliates, since 2006. Since her promotion from business manager to head administrator, the surgical center has continued to maintain outstanding volume and attract new partners. The center now has blueprints and plans for a new state-of-the-art surgical center building. According to her colleagues, Ms. Kycia has managed to lower cost per case and maintain a dedicated, experienced staff, despite the economic challenges facing the region. On a national level, Ms. Kycia is the chairperson of the Teammate Support Network, a group that makes funds available for any teammate in the SCA group of surgical centers that has come upon hard times. She also helps to coordinate regional strategy for surgical center volume growth in the New England region for SCA. "Faith has a great sense of humor, a keen business sense and a great level of compassion," says Michael R. Redler, MD, of The OSM Center. "She is hands on and can often be seen wheeling patients out to their cars after the completion of their surgical center stay. This level of dedication has led to the soon-to-be-announced groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art integrated surgical center … definitive proof that hard work as an outstanding administrator can lead to fabulous things."

Angela Laux (Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center in Green Bay, Wis.). Ms. Laux started as the administrator of Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center in June 2010. In 2011, the center surpassed all its budget goals for case volume and revenue. "I believe that this was accomplished due to listening carefully to the requests of the surgeons and making this a place that they and their patients enjoy coming to for surgery," she says. "Because of the increased volume, we were able to open our fourth OR last month." In 2011, the center also launched a website that includes many patient education information forms and videos. Prior to joining Bellin Orthopedic, Ms. Laux served as director of quality and outpatient joint program coordinator at The Orthopedics and Sports Institute in Appleton, Wis. In this role, she assured the institute followed all AAAHC/CMS requirements and served as staff educator for the facility. Ms. Laux graduated from Marian University with a master's degree in organizational leadership and quality in 2009.

Beverly LeMaster (Physicians' Surgical Center in Belleville, Ill.). Ms. LeMaster serves as clinical director and administrator of Physicians' Surgical Center in Belleville, Ill., a position she has held since 2010, when the two positions were combined. Ms. LeMaster is a registered nurse with an ER/OR background who previously worked in a multi-specialty center. With her current center, a Meridian Surgical Partners facility, she has been instrumental in the expansion of the facility's GI program, recruiting two new physician partners. She is currently facilitating the expansion of pain management services within the center. Ms. LeMaster describes herself as having a passion for inventory control, cost-saving opportunities and staff development through cross training.

Brad D. Lerner, MD, FACS (Summit Ambulatory Surgical Centers in Baltimore, Md.).
Dr. Brad Lerner has practiced urology for over 20 years and has served as the clinical director of ASCs for 15 years. In this position for Summit Ambulatory Surgical Centers, he serves as the center's administrative leadership along with Stacy Zemencik, RN, director of nursing. According to Chesapeake Urology Associates, "Dr. Lerner is in a unique position to keep the centers on the leading edge of medical expertise and clinical care" through his dual role as practicing physician and administrator. One of the mid-Atlantic's leading urologists, Dr. Lerner was one of the first fertility specialists in Maryland and is regarded as one of the best known and most experienced urologic microsurgeons in the state. Prior to joining Summit Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Dr. Lerner served as clinical director of Urologic Surgery Associates ASCs in Baltimore for 11 years. Mr. Lerner is also chief of urology at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore and urologic consultant to the Baltimore Ravens football team.

Dr. Nicholas Lygizos (Golf Surgical Center in Des Plaines, Ill.).
Nicholas Lygizos, MD, administrator of Golf Surgical Center, is board-certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and maintains a teaching position at the University of Illinois as clinical assistant professor, in addition to his clinical and administrative duties. He enjoys treating children and adults within the full scope of ENT problems, including diseases of the tonsils and adenoids, chronic ear infections, hearing loss and balance disorders, sinus infections requiring surgery, airway obstruction of the nose and throat and other ailments. According to Rachel Shulkin, RN, of Golf Surgical Center, Dr. Lygizos is well-recognized around Golf Surgical Center for his caring nature and commitment to employee recognition. "He plays a big role in keeping us working together as a team and considers himself both the leader and a member of our team," she says.

Neal Maerki, RN, CASC (Bend Surgery Center in Bend, Ore.). Mr. Maerki is the administrator of Bend Surgery Center, a four-OR, three-procedure room, multi-specialty surgery center. The ASC opened in 1997 and moved to its new location in Oct. 2005. BSC is 100 percent physician-owned, with 38 owners and 60 users who perform over 10,000 cases annually. Specialties include orthopedics, general surgery, spine, ENT, ophthalmology, GI, pain management, plastics, pediatric dentistry, podiatry and oral maxillofacial surgery. The success of BSC can be attributed to a dedication to communications and rigorous tracking of financial benchmarks at the center, Mr. Maerki says. "We hold weekly administrative meetings with our board chairman, medical director and the administrative team. We utilize multiple dashboards to track financial variations. We utilize a weekly financial review to track cash, receivables and deposits." In 2012, the center will bring on urology as a service line and hope to include gynecology by year's end. "This next year will bring the challenge of being a crucial part of Coordinated Care Organizations in our state," Mr. Maerki says.

Becky Mann (Houston Orthopedic Surgery Center in Warner Robbins, Ga.). Ms. Mann is the director of Houston Orthopedic Surgery Center. Ms. Mann came to Houston Orthopedic in May 2007 and was involved in the development of the center. Ms. Mann has been working in the medical industry for 38 years in surgery or in post-surgical care. The surgery center added an additional orthopedic surgeon in 2011 and had an AAAHC survey the Monday after Thanksgiving, receiving a three-year accreditation. She says the staff has also updated the center's 4010 and 5010 claims forms, and they are in the process of attending courses regarding ICD-10. "I continue to say that being director of Houston Orthopedic Surgery Center is the best job I have ever had," she says. "I look forward to being here for many years."

Lori Martin (SUMMIT Surgery Center at Saint Mary's Galena in Reno, Nev.). Ms. Martin, administrator and director of nursing at SUMMIT Surgery Center since 2009, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of one of the newest surgery centers in Reno. She was an integral part of opening the center and is now focused on recruiting physicians, hiring quality staff and achieving financial success. In 2011, Ms. Martin was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer and received chemotherapy for six months. "During this time, I continued to work full-time, and the center has flourished," Ms. Martin says. "Our patient satisfaction scores are the highest that they have ever been, and our monthly volumes are consistent and growing." Ms. Martin continues to serve as secretary for the Nevada Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, and the center recently underwent a state survey with zero deficiencies.

Amy McKiernan, RN (Louisville Surgery Center in Kentucky). Ms. McKiernan joined Louisville Surgery Center in Jan. 2005, three months after the center opened. She says the center has grown tremendously since her first day; in the first year, the ASC performed 814 cases and in 2010, the number had jumped to 3,431 cases. The center currently performs plastics, orthopedics, ENT and pain management in two ORs and seven pre-op/recovery bays. She says the center has also benefitted from ASD Management's bonus program. Since the implementation of the program, the staff has looked to every area of the center for cost savings. She says the center received AAAHC re-accreditation in June with zero Medicare deficiencies — "a huge relief," according to Ms. McKiernan. She says the center lost two physicians to another surgery center, but staff were moved around without having to let anyone go. "By showing our ENT physicians case-costing on their tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies, we are now saving anywhere from $115 to $160 per case," she says.

Dave Milton (Surgicenter in Phoenix). Mr. Milton is the administrator at Surgicenter in Phoenix, the first ASC in the United States. He says that since being hired by Banner Heatlh, he has been asked many times about his leadership style. "It is very simple," he says. "The first thing I learned during my 20 years in the military is, 'Take care of the troops, and they will take care of the mission.'" He says the second lesson he learned is that, 'What we do today is our reputation tomorrow' — advice he has followed in and out of the military. Brenda Mastopietro, chief nursing officer for Banner Surgery Centers, says, "He is extremely well-liked by his physician partners, his healthcare system entity, Banner Health, and his staff. He brings to life teamwork by asking for help when needed and hence has been successful in bringing down cost and staff hours per case." Mr. Milton runs seven ORs and three endoscopy suites at his surgery center.

Dee Moncrief (Big Creek Surgery Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio). Ms. Moncrief has been with her center since October 2005 and was involved with the development, initial staff hiring and start up of the center. She brings 15 years of experience in the ASC industry to her current role, having previously served as a nurse's aid and ICU nurse at a hospital. She also served as the administrator of another center for 3.5 years before coming to Big Creek Surgery Center. Ms. Moncrief earned her BSN from the University of Akron in Ohio.

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.

Jennifer Morris (Stateline Surgery Center in Galena, Kan.). Ms. Morris serves as administrator of Stateline Surgery Center, which opened March 28, 2010. The center has two ORs and performs primarily orthopedic cases. According to Carrie Ellefsen, RN, assistant director of nursing at the center, she and Ms. Morris worked together at Four States Surgery Center in Joplin, Mo., for 10 years before arriving at Stateline together. "We had less than three months to get the surgery center ready," she says. "It was an empty shell when we came, so we had to help design it, order supplies and equipment, develop policies and procedures and do everything else there is to do to meet regulations in less than three months." In 2011, the center experienced significant growth; after the Joplin, Mo., tornado, volume doubled overnight, requiring the addition of a third operating room. She says while not all the specialties added during the tornado were retained, the center did retain a GI physician and is planning to recruit a second GI physician in the fall.

Thomas Mulhern, MBA, CASC (Limestone Surgery Center in Wilmington, Del.). Mr. Mulhern is the executive director of the Limestone Surgery Center, which opened in 1987 as the first ASC in Delaware. He has been with the surgery center since it opened 25 years ago. He is a former member Delaware's certificate of need board. Limestone is a multi-specialty center consisting of four operating rooms and one procedure room and performs over 9,000 cases annually. "I was fortunate to have been here since the beginning and have the opportunity to transition from one generation of surgeons to another," Mr. Mulhern says. "Over the past 10 years, we recognized that we had an aging partner population and have worked hard to recruit new surgeons to become partners. This effort was a team approach and has been a real success. It has infused fresh ideas and has decreased the average age of a partner to 50 years old." Mr. Mulhern says being an administrator provides him with daily challenges that keep the job interesting. "It's never boring managing the various pieces of the organizational puzzle," he says. "On any given day, I'm challenged with a variety of different issues that are all interrelated."

Susan Nance, RN, CASC (Gateway Surgery Center in Phoenix, Ariz.). Gateway Surgery Center is a primarily orthopedic-driven, free-standing surgery center owned partly by physicians and partly by AmSurg. According to Peg Jahn, BS, RN, nurse manager at the center, Ms. Nance leads the center by example and has implemented many positive changes to enhance patient care. "She leads by example and has implemented many positive changes to enhance the care we provide for our patients and their families," she says. "She fosters teamwork between all areas of the center and is always creative in coming up with new ideas to keep the staff motivated and enthusiastic."

Joseph G. Ollayos, MHA, CASC (Tri-Cities Surgery Center in Geneva, Ill.).
Mr. Ollayos has been employed in the ambulatory surgery industry since 1999 and currently serves as the administrator at Tri-Cities Surgery Center. The surgery center, which opened in May 2007, is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. Mr. Ollayos also serves as the 2012 President of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association of Illinois. He has held the CASC credential since 2005.

Amber Patterson (Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga.). "I'm young, but I'm working extremely hard to become an excellent administrator," says Ms. Patterson, practice administrator of Ear Nose & Throat Clinic and Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga. She came to Westside Surgery Center in Dec. 2008, when she inherited the administrator position of the freestanding, physician-owned ASC. In her first three years with the center, she has researched the best deals on ASC equipment, worked with a consultant to ensure the facility was built according to state guidelines, hired and trained new staff, completed the state survey and Joint Commission accreditation and maintained compliance with federal regulations. In constant pursuit of professional development, Ms. Patterson is currently pursuing a degree in business administration. "The business side of the medical field is my passion," Ms. Patterson says. "I absolutely love learning more about the industry." Her main role at the surgery center currently is to oversee the quality improvement program, staffing and business operations.

Larry Parrish, MBA (Illinois Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery Center in Morton Grove, Ill.). Mr. Parrish is the administrator of ISMOSC, a physician-owned, multi-specialty ASC specializing in orthopedic and spine surgery, podiatry and pain management. ISMOSC has four ORs and one procedure room and performs a wide variety of orthopedic ambulatory surgical procedures, including arthroscopies, ACL reconstructions, arthroplasties, carpal tunnel releases and rotator cuff repairs. Mr. Parrish credits some of his success with the center to his ability to schedule cases efficiently and keep physicians happy. He advises ASC administrators to help surgeons schedule outside their block times when necessary in order to keep physician satisfaction high. He also advises ASC leaders to keep patients informed about delays or scheduling snafus. "On rare occasions, usually due to child care issues, a patient who is still in the waiting room may opt to reschedule the case and go home," Mr. Parrish says. Prepped patients, on the other hand, are usually willing to stick it out. "It's a tough situation and there's not a whole lot the surgery center's staff can do about it except to keep the patient informed and give them and their family members as much comfort as possible," he says.

Mike Pankey (Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, S.C.). Mr. Pankey helped open his current center, the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg, in 2002. In 2003, he and his team added two endoscopy suites, and over the next few years, they built volume from 5,000 cases in year one to over 10,000 cases in years six through eight. As the president of the South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, he led a workers' compensation lawsuit against South Carolina. On his personal philosophy as an administrator, Mr. Pankey says he follows the mantra: "Do the right thing every time." If you follow that advice in every choice you make, "it will never come back to bite you," he says. As administrator of the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg, Mr. Pankey oversees seven operating rooms and two endoscopy suites and takes responsibility for clinical and business operations. He previously worked as the administrator at Lee Island Coast Surgery Center in Fort Myers, Fla.

Linda Phillips, RN (Southgate Surgery Center in Southgate, Mich.). Ms. Phillips has served as administrator of Southgate Surgery Center in Michigan since 1999, when she was promoted to the position from OR supervisor. During her tenure as administrator, she expanded the ASC from a one-room, single-specialty center to a four-room, multispecialty ASC and increased the number of surgeons on staff from one to 20.  She's proud to say that she recently added a GI doctor and an ocuplastic surgeon to the surgical staff. She is also very proud of the addition of the surgery center's humanitarian programs, Neighbors in Need and Colon Cancer Awareness, which offer GI and ophthalmic procedures to patients that are uninsured and experience financial hardship.  "It's very rewarding to offer these programs as a way to give back to our community," Ms. Phillips says.

Toni Rambeau (SurgCenter of Glen Burnie, Ind.) Ms. Rambeau started at SurgCenter of Glen Burnie in Aug. 2008 as materials manager and was promoted to administrator in May 2009. During her time at the center, she has helped increase patient revenue, case volume and the amount of the providers credentialed at the center. The center achieved a three-year AAAAHC accreditation in 2010 and has since helped sister centers with questions and issues surrounding accreditation. According to Ms. Rambeau, the center consistently achieves low infection control rates, high revenue and great patient care surveys, three goals the ASC team doggedly pursues. "The center is running very smoothly and efficiently," she says. "The staff here has made my job an easy one. The center continues to achieve excellent patient satisfaction scores, below average infection rates and is a very profitable business." She says even when the center's schedule is packed, her "never say no policy" means all patients are accommodated.

Anne Remm (Miracle Hills Surgery Center in Omaha, Neb.). Ms. Remm, administrator of Miracle Hills Surgery Center, has over 28 years nursing experience with 20 years of surgical management experience in the acute-care hospital and ASC settings. Ms. Remm has worked for Meridian Surgical Partners for the past three years and is a member of the Nebraska Association of Independent Ambulatory Centers.  Ms. Remm has been a speaker at Becker's Healthcare meeting sand has been named a "great administrator to know" for two years. While at Miracle Hills Surgery Center, she has strived for high quality surgical services to ensure a great patient experience with exceptional clinical outcomes, while following a profitable business plan.

Gary A. Richberg, RN, BSN, CASC (Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center in Bellingham, Wash.). Mr. Richberg has been the administrator of Pacific Rim Outpatient Surgery Center since 2006, prior to which he served as administrator of the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery in Las Vegas for four years. His responsibilities include oversight of the fiscal and clinical management of the 23,000-square-foot multi-specialty surgery center, which performs approximately 450 cases per month. The cases include a very successful outpatient joint replacement program, as well as an advanced neurosurgery and orthopedic spine program. Mr. Richberg also works as a legal nurse consultant and an RN coder and auditor. He received his CASC credential in 2003.

Anne Roberts, RN (Surgery Center of Reno, Nev.). Ms. Roberts is the administrator at the Surgery Center at Reno, a multi-specialty ASC that is owned by physician partners, a hospital partner — Saint Mary's Hospital, 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. She says this experience lends itself well to the challenges faced daily in the outpatient surgery arena. "We have an outstanding staff and physician group that makes such a difference and provides excellent care to our patients," Ms. Roberts says. "It is such a pleasure to work in this facility with such great people." Vicki Webb, business manager at Surgery Center of Reno, says that Ms. Roberts "is the best boss I have ever worked for."

Kate Rock (Doylestown Surgery Center in Warrington, Pa.). Ms. Rock has over 15 years of healthcare leadership. She currently serves as executive director of Doylestown Surgery Center in Warrington, Pennsylvania, a community 30 minutes north of Philadelphia. The multi-specialty center, which opened in May 2001, sees an annual case volume of 4,500 cases and received its three-year AAAHC accreditation in Nov. 2010. Ms. Rock was hired in Feb. 2010, and within 10 months, the center presented a positive bottom line and reduced expenses by over $400,000 from the previous year.  In 2011, the center saw a continued decrease in expenses. Ms. Rock and her team realized these significant changes by reviewing and re-evaluating staffing; reviewing and re-negotiating every vendor contract; hiring a full-time materials manager; adding several new surgeons; and starting the reprocessing of single-use instruments. "The relationship between the physicians and the staff is extraordinary, because everyone is treated with respect and dignity," Ms Rock says. "Attention to quality and safety, coupled with compassion, are hallmarks of our culture. Our goal is to create and maintain a 'culture of excellence.'"

Lauri Rose (Stonegate Surgery Center in Austin, Texas). Ms. Rose has been involved in the development and management of ambulatory surgery centers since 1997. In that time, she has been successful in providing both physician owners and general partners a surgical center of excellence to perform safe, efficient and cost-effective outpatient surgical procedures. Ms. Rose is highly regarded by staff, physicians and patients to provide administrative leadership to the facility. In her career, she has successfully developed, managed, and improved the financial stability in over 15 ambulatory surgery centers throughout the country. Ms. Rose has also taught healthcare administration in the School of Nursing at the University of Phoenix for over six years.  She has been in her current role of administrator at Stonegate Surgery Center for over a year.

Mary Ryan, RN, CASC (Tri State Surgery Center in Dubuque, Iowa). Ms. Ryan is the administrator of Tri State Surgery Center, a multi-specialty facility in eastern Iowa with three ORs and two procedure rooms. Tri State performs over 5,000 cases annually. The specialties at the facility include ENT, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry and urology. The evolution of the center began with its building and opening in 1998 by Medical Associates Clinics and Health Plans and Mercy Hospital. The center is managed by Health Inventures. Ms. Ryan is known by her staff for advocating continuous improvement, whereby she relentlessly strives to improve the centers performance in every area: clinical, financial and operationally. In addition, she often volunteers to help her management company, Health Inventures, with projects outside of her center. Ms. Ryan is a past AORN chapter president, a founding member of the Iowa ASC Association and is currently serving her third term on the board as president elect.  .

Kris Sabo, RN (Pend Oreille Surgery Center in Ponderay, Idaho). Ms. Sabo has been involved with Pend Oreille Surgery Center since 2007, when the center was still an unrealized dream. After meeting Mike DiBendetto, MD, Ms. Sabo helped research the possibilities of building an ASC and recruited other like-minded providers. Her early involvement with Pend Oreille involved research and feasibility, physician recruiting, architect selection, contractor and consultant work, construction project coordination, supply purchasing and staff recruiting. She currently holds the position of executive director of the center, in which she oversees 17 employees and 11 providers or various specialties. She recently completed the AORN Ambulatory Surgery Administrator Certificate Program. "These are trying times in healthcare, and I want to encourage all stakeholders in our industry to 'dig in and hang on'!" she says. "We know the value of our services and I am confident that, in time, our government and insurance payors will realize it too. In the meantime, do not get caught up in the negatives, but focus on the great talent you have surrounded yourselves with and the quality services you provide."

Glenda Satterly, RN (Kentucky Surgery Center in Lexington, Ky.). Ms. Satterly — formerly Ms. Beasley, prior to her marriage in 2011 — is the administrative director of the Kentucky Surgery Center, a multi-specialty surgery center opened in 1986. Ms. Satterly joined the center in 1990 and celebrated her 20-year anniversary with KSC in July 2010. She started at the center as an OR circulator and was promoted to OR/PACU/pre-operative supervisor and then clinical director before becoming the administrative director. In 2011, Kentucky Surgery Center performed over 10,000 cases. "Being an administrator in a busy surgery center is demanding and hectic," Ms. Satterly says. "However, we deliver the best patient care possible, and the entire staff strives to be the best they can be on a daily basis." She says she can speak for her staff when she says they love their jobs and are lucky to be part of a great surgery center.

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.

David Schlactus (Willamette Surgery Center in Salem, Ore.). As CEO of Willamette Surgery Center, Mr. Schlactus has been successful in renegotiating payor contracts to maintain profitability even through the economic downturn. He has also educated numerous legislators on the benefit of ASCs by providing tours of his facility and has spearheaded the efforts of the Oregon ASC Association in Salem. He says WSC had a particularly successful year in 2011, passing two Joint Commission surveys and performing two total knee replacements at the surgery center. "Our hope is to develop and expand this line of business for the future," he says. "The outcomes were so good that the patients decided to go home just a mere four hours after surgery, forgoing an overnight stay that was available to them." He says the center has started piloting the use of FDA-approved generic implants, which has the potential to save up to $80,000 in 2012.

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.

Reed Simmons (Treasure Coast Center for Surgery in Stuart, Fla.).
Mr. Simmons holds 16 years of experience in the ASC industry, managing the business office functions for several surgical facilities in the Florida area. He currently serves as the acting administrator at Treasure Coast Center for Surgery, a multi-specialty ASC located in Stuart, Fla. His background includes handling revenue cycle management, managing a staff of business office personnel, accounts receivable and credentialing, and performing human resources functions. Prior to Treasure Coast, Reed served as business office manager at Palms West Surgicenter in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., and as a reimbursement specialist at Physicians Practice Solutions in Jacksonville, Fla.

Laurie Simon (Western Reserve Surgery Center in Kent, Ohio). Ms. Simon, administrator of Western Reserve Surgery Center, started her career on the physician side of practice management and ancillary services management. In 1994, she took a position with a physician group that planned to open an ASC — the model for which she says has gone through many changes, from physician ownership to management company/physician ownership with two different national companies. In Feb. 2005, Ms. Simon completed the AORN ASC Administrator Certificate Program to prepare for a return to physician ownership. "These changes have provided me with countless opportunities for personal growth," she says. "Membership and committee activity in our Ohio Association has kept me current managing this multi-specialty center."

Carol S. Slagle, CASC (Specialty Surgery Center of CNY in Liverpool, N.Y.). Ms. Slagle has been the administrator of Specialty Surgery Center of CNY, which is managed by ASCOA, since its inception in 1999. She says the experience of setting up Specialty Surgery Center was incredible. "It was an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be hired and oversee the build-out and initial set-up of all operations of our surgery center," she says. While the surgery center started out with five physicians and 11 employees with a specialization in ophthalmology, the ASC has since become a multi-specialty center and currently has 31 credentialed surgeons and 54 employees. "We underwent a major expansion and total renovation of the ASC in 2009 and successfully orchestrated this project while open for business," Ms. Slagle says. Ms. Slagle was in the first group to take the CASC credential test and was awarded the CASC credential shortly thereafter. The surgery center performed 8,965 cases in 2011.

Laura Smith (Tampa Bay Specialty Surgery Center in Pinellas Park, Fla.). Ms. Smith has been employed with Tampa Bay Specialty Surgery Center since 2004, when she joined the center as a pre-op registered nurse. In 2005, she was promoted to nurse manager, and in 2006, to clinical director — a position that prompted her to receive her State of Florida Risk Management License. In 2008, she was promoted to administrator and helped the center earn a three-year accreditation. Although she is fully involved in the financial and management aspects of running the ASC, she is still involved in daily operations of the center, including patient care. In 2011, the center achieved AAAHC re-accreditation, which was followed by an unannounced CMS visit that resulted in "Great success." She says the center also achieved certification in the ASGE Quality Endoscopy Unit Recognition Plan and recruited a urology physician to add to the center's multi-specialty mix.

Steve Smith, RN, CASC (Surgery Center of Wisconsin Rapids in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.). Mr. Smith, director of the Surgery Center of Wisconsin Rapids, was hired as the circulating nurse when the ASC opened its doors in 2006. When he joined Surgery Center of Wisconsin Rapids (managed by ASD Management), he was tasked with organizing and preparing the center for orthopedic and pain procedures, a responsibility that involved preparing chart forms, meeting with vendors and preparing equipment for use. In April 2007, the center's physicians approached Mr. Smith with the offer to be the administrative director of the ASC. In 2011, the center added an ophthalmology service line, along with three ophthalmology physicians. He says the center also received three-year AAAHC accreditation in July 2010 and underwent a CMS survey in December 2010.

Jim Stilley, MHA, CASC, FACHE (Northwest Michigan Surgery Center in Traverse City, Mich.). Mr. Stilley is the current CEO and administrator of Northwest Michigan Surgery Center, a position he has held for the last seven years. In 2011, the Northwest Michigan Surgery Center performed 18,000 cases, had 72 surgeons utilizing the facility and was partnered with the Munson Healthcare health system, 21 anesthesiologists and 21 CRNAs. NMSC continues to perform in the top 1-2 percent nationally in all statistics, including size, volume, and quality of care indicators, infection rates and patient satisfaction. In addition to his work with NMSC, Mr. Stilley has actively lobbied for Medicaid and worker's compensation reimbursement reform at the state level. He served for four years as a past president of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgical Association. Jim has more than 27 years' experience in hospital, group practice, health plan and surgery center management.  

Maggie Summerfelt (Advanced SurgeryCenter in Omaha, Neb.). Ms. Summerfelt serves as administrator of AdvancedSurgeryCenter, a physician-owned facility with two ORs, two procedure rooms and specialties that include orthopedics, podiatry and pain management. Ms. Summerfelt was hired in Oct. 2005 to manage construction of the ASC, hire staff and obtain initial state licensure and Medicare certification. The center opened in 2006, and bought out its original management company, SurgCenter Development, in Oct. 2008. In 2011, the surgery center added a new partner and now features 12 physician owners. "We have also added a new and very busy hand surgeon who is a non-owner at this time," she says. "Volume is looking great for 2012." She says one of the challenges over the next year is receiving reimbursement for implants in a timely fashion. "Vendors want to be paid in 30 days, and it is taking over 90 days for insurance companies to pay us," she says. "Fortunately our vendors are willing to work with us, and we have negotiated excellent pricing for our larger ticket items."

Sue Sumpter (Creekside Surgery Center in Anchorage, Alaska). Ms. Sumpter has been with Creekside Surgery Center (also Providence Surgery Centers LLC) for a little over a year. She was recruited in March 2011 to turnaround the finances and case volume of the failing center and has since increased volume significantly and improved profitability. Ms. Sumpter has also implemented a total joint program at the center and is currently working on developing a spine program. The ASC, which has four ORs and 17 physician owners, specializes in orthopedics but also performs ENT, podiatry and pain management. Prior to joining Creekside, Ms. Sumpter worked at Loveland Surgery Center from 2003 to 2011, where she was initially recruited to establish all systems, policies and procedures for the startup surgery center.

Elaine Thomas, RN (St. Francis Mooresville Surgery Center in Mooresville, Ind.). Ms. Thomas began her position as administrator manager in the St. Francis Mooresville Surgery Center in June 2006, and was promoted to director in 2007. The primary scope of her practice has focused on the pre- and post-operative arenas, circulating in the surgical suite and quality management in another major hospital in the Indianapolis area. She is a member of AORN and the Indiana Federation of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Additionally, she has taught online courses at a local college for Healthcare Administration for Associate level students. She has been a nurse since 1982, and, since that time, has acquired her associate degree in 1996, her BSN in 2003 and most recently completed her MBA in healthcare in July 2006.

Meg Tomlinson (Baylor Surgicare at Carrollton in Carrollton, Texas). Ms. Tomlinson has served as administrator of Metrocrest Surgery Center (currently doing business as Baylor Surgicare at Carrollton) since Sept. 2002. The center merged with USPI effective July 1, 2010, and has seen various changes to the business office staff since that time. "If it had not been for the USPI CSO doing our coding, billing and AP, I'm not sure we could have made it," she says. "We have so many more resources and assistance from USPI." She says her patients are still happy, patient satisfaction is still high and physician owners are satisfied. "They say they can do more cases here in less time than at the hospitals," she says.

Kimberly L. Tude Thuot (Yakima Ambulatory Surgical Center in Yakima, Wash.). Ms. Tude Thuot has been in healthcare administration since 1997 and joined the physician-owned Yakima Ambulatory Surgical Center in Aug. 2009. She holds a master's degree in organizational management. She is also currently board-certified in the ACMPE and is actively pursuing fellowship, as well as her CASC and CPC. Since she joined Yakima ASC, the center has been through a re-accreditation survey with AAAHC, moved billing back in-house and is in the process of adding neurosurgery and spine to the multi-specialty facility.

Susan Vitort, BSN, CNOR (Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe in Tempe, Ariz.). Ms. Vitort is the Administrator of Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe, a two-OR, one-procedure room, multi-specialty surgery center that opened in Sept. 1999. Physicians Surgery Center performed 4,550 cases in 2011, which was 26 percent more case volume than in 2010. The center particularly grew its pain management service line over the past year. "Some of our pain physicians moved out to start office-based practices, while other pain physicians moved in to use the center," Ms. Vitort says. "Our orthopedic mix also more than doubled in 2011, which was the specialty we wanted to grow." Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe is 90 percent physician owned and 10 percent owned by USPI, an affiliation Ms. Vitort says allows for collaboration and benchmarking opportunities. Prior to her position with Physicians Surgery Center, Ms. Vitort served as director of perioperative services, endoscopy at the Cardiovascular Center at Banner Desert Samaritan Medical Center from 1990 to 2002.

Kara Vittetoe, CASC (Thomas Johnson Surgery Center in Frederick, Md.). Ms. Vittetoe is the administrator of a one-OR, two-procedure room, multi-specialty surgery in a growing rural area. Thomas Johnson Surgery Center in Frederick, Md., which is managed by ASCOA, features surgeons specializing in general surgery, gynecology, neuro-spine, podiatry and urology. Ms. Vittetoe has been with the center since it opened in 2008. Prior to joining Thomas Johnson, she spent the majority of her career in the private sector of healthcare management. Concerning the transition from management to ambulatory surgery, she says, "The learning curve was huge, but the basis of the care and business was the same. What made the transition so palatable was the support from our corporate partner (ASCOA) and the brilliant vice president I was working directly under." Life isn't always easy for the rural ASC: The small Frederick community is competitive, and the center is limited to recruiting in the one-hospital town. To meet this challenge, she says, "Our partners are active in their commitment to quality and safety and are great proponents for our patients and the community. It is what makes and keeps us harmonious."

Andrew Weiss (The Endo Center at Vorhees in Vorhees, N.J.). Mr. Weiss has been administrator of The Endo Center at Vorhees since 2003, prior to which he served as an on-site consultant at the center. The surgery center is a six-room GI center that performs over 20,000 procedures a year. "As administrator, I have responsibility for daily operations," Mr. Weiss says. "Last year, we relocated the ASC to a larger facility. I had a leadership role in the expansion from pro forma through licensure." Mr. Weiss also serves as treasurer of the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers and is on the board of directors of the ASCA PAC.

Lexa L. Woodyard (Cabell Huntington Surgery Center at Huntington, W.V.) During her five years as administrator of Cabell Huntington Surgery Center, Ms. Woodyard has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. Along with her staff, managed care team and surgeons, she has decreased supply expenses per case over previous calendar year, increased net revenue per case from previous calendar year by introducing cases with better payor mixes, streamlined processes to make posting cases and gathering anesthesia required testing easier for surgeon's offices, and negotiated better paying contracts with selected insurance carriers. "Volume is key to success.  If you don’t have a high volume of cases with a good payor mix you’ll struggle to keep your head above water," she says. "Anything a surgery center can do to make their center more accessible and more reliable than the competition to surgeons and patients is necessary for survival." She says her center is blessed with staff and surgeons who are willing to make an effort to cut costs, increase revenue and improve patient satisfaction. "The staff are my skilled experts and I trust their input and knowledge," she says. "You don't have to be a nurse to run a surgery center, but you do have to have excellent, highly professional and proactive nurses on staff to help push the center forward."

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.

Cindy Young, RN, CASC (Surgery Center of Farmington in Michigan). Ms. Young has been with the Surgery Center of Farmington for the past 13 years, during which time the center has shown consistent quarter-over-quarter profit increases, high patient, staff and physician satisfaction scores and quick turnover times. Ms. Young helped the ASC achieve a three-year accreditation from AAAHC in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and currently manages 28 employees, 16 credentialed physicians, two ORs and two procedure rooms. Prior to joining the Surgery Center of Farmington, Ms. Young served as a staff nurse at Arcadia Valley Hospital in Pilot Knob, Mo., where she was responsible for emergency transfers, supervising the night shift and maintaining central supply and central sterilization.

Monica M. Ziegler, MSN, CASC (Physicians Surgical Center in Lebanon, Pa. & Center for Specialized Surgery in Bethlehem, Pa.). Ms. Ziegler has been the administrator for Physicians Surgical Center since its inception seven years ago, growing case volume to a current 5,300 cases a year. Ms. Ziegler was given the responsibility of a second center, the Center for Specialized Surgery, one year ago. Both centers are multi-specialty facilities serving a combined total of eight procedure/OR rooms. Although very similar centers, the surrounding hospital networks for each facility are very different, each presenting unique economic and political challenges for an administrator and supporting management team. Ms. Ziegler believes strategic vision is a key to the success of any organization. "[It's about] knowing your environment, your strengths and weaknesses and how you can create benefits for your centers — seeking 'win win' opportunities for all should be a daily practice," she says. Ms. Ziegler also serves as president-elect of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association and the chairperson of the legislative committee.

Becky Ziegler-Otis (Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wis.). Ms. Ziegler-Otis has served in her current role as administrator of the Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point since Jan. 2008. In this position, Ms. Ziegler-Otis has worked diligently to keep days in A/R at benchmark levels. When she took over as administrator, the center was at almost 100 days in A/R. Through her continued efforts and her work with an outsourced vendor, the center has stayed at 39-40 days in A/R for the past year. She also takes pride in the center's minimal employee turnover — since opening in 2006. In July 2011, she facilitated the implementation of an online registration product called Simple Admit, which resulted in a reduction of pre-operative nursing staff labor costs and significantly reduced patient check-in time. In October 2011, Ms. Ziegler-Otis achieved the CASC credential.

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