ASC administrators and staff have faced substantial obstacles in the past year as they've navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here 11 administrators share what they're most proud of in the past year:
Editor's note: Responses were edited lightly for clarity and brevity.
Ashlie Cramer, RN. Clinical Administrator of Lakewood Ranch Surgical Suites (Sarasota, Fla.): I am most proud of the influence and impact that I have on staff and patients. By being an effective leader, I feel as if I have inspired my staff to work hard, work safely and provide an above average clinical experience for the same-day surgery patient.
Celia Smith, RN, BSN, CASC. Administrator of Houston Premier Surgery Center in The Villages: My proudest moment as an administrator is achieving top scores in teammate engagement. Maintaining employee satisfaction leads to a vibrant and productive work culture which improves customer service and quality of care.
Christina Holloway. Administrator of the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Bala Cynwyd (Penn.): I have been incredibly fortunate to recruit some of the most skilled and compassionate team of professionals. We function collectively, which allows for learning and growth while combining skill sets through the many facets of the organization. Our staff have an "answer is always yes" mentality which facilitates smooth cross training and support from every direction.
Jed LaPlante. Administrator of Center for Special Surgery (Fargo, N.D.): Being an administrator of an ASC is incredibly rewarding. Putting together a team of highly skilled individuals to create the best possible patient experience and best possible facility to work in is no small task. We work towards this every day and do it with so few people. It's amazing to see the team step up and take on tasks they never thought they'd do in previous jobs, and it's really fun to step back and think about how much we've all grown together.
Melinda Cain, RN, BSN, CASC, Administrator of Good Samaritan Surgery Center (Mt. Vernon, Ill.): My administrator career has been very educational. I, along with a great staff and management team, developed and successfully run a de novo multispecialty surgery center since 2012. We maintain the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care accreditation, fiscal viability and profitability through the COVID-19 pandemic and were selected as one of America's Best Ambulatory Surgery Centers 2021 by Newsweek.
Raghu Reddy. Administrator of SurgCenter of Western Maryland (Cumberland): As an administrator, I'm thankful to have an opportunity to work with so many talented, skilled physicians and staff daily. We all know that is a balancing act, and we get better over the years with experience. A complex problem is a culmination of many minor problems that need to be separated and most likely need a simple solution. I have adopted this belief to solve all the challenges and issues that arise as part of leading and directing the center's operations. One accomplishment that I pride myself in is navigating through the complex set of politics with our local hospital since our inception and eventually negotiating a mutually beneficial investment partnership.
Ramona Robinson. Administrator of Tresanti Surgical Center (San Ramon, Calif.): I have had many achievements and a lifetime of memories; however, I am most proud to have worked with so many professionals throughout my career. The physicians, nurses, technicians, office managers and administrative staff who I've had the pleasure to work with have been dedicated, passionate, friendly and at all times advocates for patient safety. It has not gone unnoticed that we work hard to provide an awesome experience and great outcomes for each of our patients and their family members. Everyday I feel that I am winning as I witness the smiles and the laughter of our patients as they leave the facility. Who knew that a surgery center could spread so much joy and make so many lives better. So the short answer is, I am most proud to be a part of this team!
Robert Lerma. Administrator at Blue Springs Surgery Center (Orange City, Fla.): I am most proud of de novo projects that included development from a vacant field to licensing and accreditation resulting in patient admissions with positive outcomes in quality patient care and meeting financial benchmarks.
Suzanne Corwin, RN, BSN. Administrator of Novant Health Brunswick Endoscopy Center (Supply, N.C.): I am most proud of serving our patients and team members and creating a culture of safety and patient centeredness, while managing the high patient and provider satisfaction score. Developing a changer ready team — through cross training and managing expectations — has been a real highlight for me.
Taylor Cera. COO of Orthopaedic Surgery Center (Youngstown, Ohio): I'm most proud of the inspiration of others. We've grown in all facets over the past eight years — our service lines, revenue, [Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization], staff size and provider size. Everyone is brought into what we are trying to do. We've inspired people to become better every day and do what they love. I'm extremely proud of our new ASC and the compassionate care we provide, but I'm also proud that I go to bed at night and smile because we've inspired people.
Tracy Helmer, BSN, RN. Administrator of Seven Hills ASC (Las Vegas): I have seen nurses and technologists step up in their commitment to help with staffing-related issues during and after the pandemic. Staff have filled in for each other and helped out in areas that they may not have normally worked. This has increased teamwork, morale and a staff bond that is very welcomed in a time when stress is at a higher level than in previous years.