Meet the administrator behind one of Newsweek's top ASCs: Q&A with Andrew Lovewell

The Surgical Center at Columbia (Mo.) Orthopaedic Group was ranked in Newsweek's top 10 ASCs of 2021. Andrew Lovewell, the center's administrator, was a key player in the ASC's success despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mr. Lovewell has worked for the Columbia Orthopaedic Group for more than two years. He previously worked as an administrator for Southern Illinois University Medicine in Springfield before deciding to move into the ASC industry. 

"There's this innate ability of ASCs to be out on the forefront and progressive, as opposed to big behemoth groups," he said. With ASCs, it's easier to "shift on a dime" and be more adaptable to the changing industry. 

Mr. Lovewell spoke with Becker's ASC Review on how his team drew from ASCs nationally to develop its COVID-19 strategy. 

Note: This interview was edited lightly for cohesion and clarity.

Question: What has made your center so successful in the past year?

Andrew Lovewell: The biggest thing that's made us successful is the ability for all of us to cohesively pivot together in a direction that was best for our patients. We have a really good group of surgeons and providers that work collaboratively. This has created an environment where we've been able to be able to be nimble and make decisions as needed based on what was happening in our local area.

Missouri was behind the national curve as far as exposure and viral spread, so we got a good idea of what other places were doing. We looked at places that were considered hot spots from the beginning — New York, New Orleans, California — and then we saw what was working, and what wasn't. We adapted our policies to do something similar, but further adapted to minimize COVID-19 spread. We were able to observe those facilities and figure out best practices, and then make decisions here as the pandemic continued to evolve.

It takes a village to do all of this. You've got to have a good team in place and work with them. We have a great board president, a great vice chairman, and great managers and leaders at my facility that have been able to help rationalize decisions with employees.

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