Rising stars: 49 ASC leaders under 40

Leaders are accomplishing more at a younger age, and the ambulatory surgery center business is no exception. Here are 49 leaders under the age of 40 who have already made impact on the ASC industry and continue to shine as rising stars.

If you have any questions regarding this list, please contact Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com.  

Scott Allen, National Medical Billing Services (33). Mr. Allen joined National Medical Billing Services, one of the largest ASC revenue cycle management companies in the country in 2008 and is the Vice President of Managed Care Contracting. He manages all aspects of ASC managed care contracts, which include analysis of language and rates, contract audits and developing best practices for implementing standard operating procedures for the managed care contracts throughout the revenue cycle.  

Curtis H. Bernstein, CPA/ABV, ASA, CVA, MBA (38). Mr. Bernstein is the managing director of valuation services for Altegra Health. Mr. Bernstein has expertise in providing valuation, transaction advisory and strategic consulting for clients. He has experience with ASCs, physician groups, hospital systems and other healthcare providers. Prior to joining Altegra Health, he was assistant controller for a large general acute care hospital.

Dan Beuerlein, MBA, Vivere Health (39). Mr. Beuerlein is the chief development officer and executive vice president of reproductive health ASC and laboratory management and development company Vivere Health. Mr. Beuerlein joined Vivere in 2013. His past experience includes CDO of Springstone and regional vice president of operations with Symbion. He earned his BS in engineering from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and completed his MBA at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Clint Borm, Laser Spine Institute (30). Mr. Borm serves as the Vice President of Business Development at Laser Spine Institute managing the Employer Relations, Physician Relations, Workers’ Compensation and Sports Development departments. In his role, Mr. Borm works to develop relationships within the local and medical communities where Laser Spine Institute has locations. Mr. Borm joined Laser Spine Institute in 2007 as a patient care coordinator and was quickly recognized for his leadership abilities and became the organization’s first consultation specialist.

Tracie Dalton, MBA, CASC, Northeast Missouri ASC in Hannibal (38). Ms. Dalton began her role as administrator at Northeast Missouri ASC when she was 34 years old. Before assuming her current role at Northeast Missouri ASC, Ms. Dalton served as the controller and then CFO of a small, rural hospital for seven years. Northeast Missouri ASC opened in 2000 and is a joint venture between Hannibal (Mo.) Clinic and B & B Enterprises. "The greatest accomplishment at our center during the past three years is simple — continued teamwork. Our physicians and staff work together every step of the way," says Ms. Dalton.

Brooke Day, Hastings (Neb.) Surgical Center (33). Ms. Day is the president of the Nebraska Association of Independent Ambulatory Centers and administrator of Hastings (Neb.) Surgical Center. Her previous experience includes CEO at Blake Woods Medical Park Surgery Center and director of administration at West Michigan Surgery Center. She earned her bachelor's degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.

Adena Dorsey, National Medical Billing Services (37). Ms. Dorsey's combined experience in healthcare and sales provides her with the perfect mix of knowledge to lead the marketing arm of National Medical Billing Services. As the vice president of marketing, she is responsible for guiding the overall brand direction of National Medical, deepening the company's relationships within the ASC industry, and identifying new marketing opportunities. She implements tactical plans and marketing strategies while leading and managing all direct marketing, public relations, advertising and internal creative services.

Jill Dowe, Blue Chip Surgical Partners (37). Ms. Dowe was appointed director of business office operations for Blue Chip Surgical Partners in 2011, joining the company from a position as business office manager of Surgery Center Cedar Rapids (Iowa). In her role at SCCR, Ms. Dowe supervised office teams and worked with other members of the management team to ensure interdepartmental continuity and efficient operations in key areas, including scheduling, registration, admissions, coding and billing, accounts receivable and medical records.

Jessica Edmiston, National Medical Billing Services (38). Ms. Edmiston leads an outstanding audit team at National Medical Billing Services, one of the largest ASC revenue cycle management companies in the country. 
She has been a Certified Professional Coder for more than a decade and possesses a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Missouri in St. Louis as well as the highly acclaimed Certified ASC Coder (CASCC™) Credential. Ms. Edmiston is also an approved ICD-10-CM trainer through AHIMA.  

Ezra Erb, RN, Surgical Care Affiliates (39). Mr. Erb is a group administrator with Surgical Care Affiliates. In this role, he oversees operations of Aloha Surgical Center in Kahului, Hawaii, and Surgicare of Hawaii in Honolulu. Prior to taking over leadership of both ASCs, Mr. Erb was the administrator of Aloha Surgical Center. He has been with SCA for two years, leading his teams to continual new heights in both volume and profitability year-after-year.

Ryan Fulcher, Laser Spine Institute. As Vice President of Medical Operations, Mr. Fulcher oversees the day-to-day operations of all of Laser Spine Institute’s four facilities and future facilities in the Midwest. Mr. Fulcher has a unique lens into the patient process at Laser Spine Institute as he started as a patient care coordinator in 2009.  He eventually transitioned into the role of director of medical operations and then to vice president.

Nicole Gritton, Laser Spine Institute (34). Ms. Gritton serves as Laser Spine Institute's vice president of nursing and ASC operations, where she manages the nursing department and the ASC operations across the organization's four facilities nationwide. Ms. Gritton oversees nearly 80 nurses and has taken an active role in streamlining the nursing infrastructure for infection prevention, quality assurance, performance improvement and risk management.

Steve Henry, CASC, MBA, Surgery Center at Liberty (Mo.) Hospital (37). Mr. Henry joined the Surgery Center at Liberty Hospital as administrator in February 2012. During his first six months, he had the opportunity to work with talented physicians and a caring and compassionate staff, which led to a 96 percent patient satisfaction rating for 2012. He began his career in market research for a well-known ASC management and development company before earning his MBA in healthcare administration. This year, Mr. Henry played a key role in recruiting two new well-know gastroenterologists. As a result, the center's case volume has doubled. "We are hiring, as opposed to other healthcare systems that are seeing layoffs," says Mr. Henry. "Being able to add jobs is a big accomplishment."

Christine Henry Musa, Regent Surgical Health. Ms. Henry Musa performs due diligence on Regent’s new business opportunities and leads strategic initiatives for Regent centers. Prior to joining Regent, she developed strategic marketing plans and commercialization strategies for products in clinical development as a Senior Consultant at Navigant. She also managed a $15 million marketing budget, while concurrently launching products with U.S. sales of $270 million as a Brand Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Heather Hilgendorf-Cooley, MBA, Spring Park Surgery Center in Davenport, Iowa (38). Ms. Hilgendorf-Cooley has served as administrator of the surgery center since May 2013. The surgery center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and CMS. Established in 1986, the center includes urologists, ophthalmologists, general surgeons, anesthesiologists and advanced nurse practitioners. "Success breeds success, and we are continually looking at opportunities that will take our ASC to a new level, while encouraging growth, increasing satisfaction and providing quality patient care," says Ms. Hilgendorf-Cooley.

Jennifer Hunara, MHA, MBA, Surgery Center of Allentown (Pa.). Ms. Hunara has managed the Surgery Center of Allentown, a large multispecialty ASC and AmSurg facility, for more than five years. She began her healthcare career at the age of 24 as a business manager of perioperative services at Lehigh Valley Health Network, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., and then moved on to the role of executive director of surgical services for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (N.J.).

Jason Jones, Laser Spine Institute (35). As the vice president of patient experience Mr. Jones oversees all training, education and organization development across Laser Spine Institute’s nationwide footprint. A few examples of the programs Mr. Jones' leads include Laser Spine Institute University, employee orientation and the quality assurance programs. Mr. Jones is responsible for the delivery of all patient satisfaction and engagement initiatives and plays a crucial role in executing the patient experience mission by identifying opportunities for process improvement.

Emilie Keene, Parkridge Surgery Center (Columbia, S.C.). Ms. Keene is the administrator of Parkridge Surgery Center. She earned her MHA at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and was promoted to administrator just eight months after joining Parkridge as an assistant to the vice president and administrator. During her time with the surgery center, she successfully recruited eight surgeons, increased net revenues by $1 million, increased employee satisfaction scores by 30 percent and patient satisfaction scores by 4 percent. She also led the ASC through the accreditation process and identified cost savings of nearly $200,000 per year.

Kathy Kelly, Viemont Surgery Center in Hickory, N.C. (38). Ms. Kelly is the administrator of Nueterra-affiliated Viewmont Surgery. She is responsible for managing and organizing all aspects of the facility's operations. Before joining VSC, Kelly spent more than 13 years at Catawba Valley Medical Center as a scheduling coordinator, operating room RN and surgical tech, and has prior administrative experience at the Surgical Institute of Michigan.

Richard Kube, MD, Prairie SurgiCare in Peoria, Ill. (39). Dr. Kube is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon and founder of Prairie SurgiCare, which opened in April 2012. He led the project from blue prints to construction and full accreditation in three months as an addition to the practice he founded, Prairie Spine and Pain Institute. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Kube serves as a faculty member at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Peoria and sits on the board of directors for the American Board of Spine Surgery.

Lauren Lazar, Surgical Care Affiliates (39). Ms. Lazar is a senior director of new business development for Surgical Care Affiliates, where she works to drive growth initiatives and lead market transformation efforts. She is based in Boca Raton, Fla. Ms. Lazar received her degree from New York University.

Jared Leger, Arise Healthcare (35). Mr. Leger is a co-founder and managing partner of Arise Healthcare. The company currently owns and operates various healthcare-related businesses with a focus on ASCs. His background as a registered nurse coupled with his healthcare business background has allowed him to grow Arise Healthcare at an accelerated pace. In addition to leading Arise, Mr. Leger owns a real estate investment company based out of Austin, Texas.

Sarah Malaniak, CASC, Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy in North Bergen, N.J. (37). Ms. Malaniak is the administrator of the Ambulatory Center for Endoscopy, a joint venture between physicians from seven GI practices and Physicians Endoscopy. She began her career in healthcare in 1998 as the administrator of Teaneck (N.J.) Surgical Center. Ms. Malaniak earned her BS in business from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kara Marshall Newbury, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (34). Ms. Newbury serves as assistant director, government affairs for health policy for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Associatoin. In this role, Ms. Newbury spearheads ASCA's regulatory efforts and serves as the association’s primary contact with federal regulators. Previously, she coordinated state legislative, regulatory and public affairs for the association. Ms. Newbury received her undergraduate and law degrees from The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Jebby Mathew, MBA, MHA, Pinnacle III (30). Mr. Mathew recently joined Pinnacle III as a director of operations. He serves as the administrator of The Orthopaedic and Spine Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Prior to joining Pinnacle III, he was the administrator of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston. Mr. Mathew earned his MBA/MHA from the University of Houston Clear Lake and his BA in psychology from Emory University in Atlanta.

Colin McDermott, CFA, CPA/ABV, VMG Health (35). Mr. McDermott is a senior manager with VMG Health and is based in the Dallas office. He specializes in providing financial, valuation and transaction advisory services to clients in the healthcare industry including ambulatory surgery centers. Mr. McDermott received a MS in finance from Texas A&M University. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Accredited in Business Valuation designations.   

Christina McDonald, Tampa Outpatient Surgical Facility (35). Ms. McDonald serves as the administrator of Tampa Outpatient Surgical Facility, where she is responsible for overseeing facility operations and strategically increasing volume. Since joining the center in August 2008, she increased monthly case volume from an average of 200 to an average of 700. Prior to joining Tampa Outpatient, Ms. McDonald worked as the assistant administrator to the executive vice president of patient care services. She also completed an administrative fellowship at Tampa General Hospital working under the president and CEO.

Kevin McDonough, VMG Health (34). Mr. McDonough is a partner with VMG Health, a leading provider of valuation services to the surgery center industry. Mr. McDonough began his career with VMG in 2003 and now leads the firm's ASC business valuation department. He has had the privilege of working with industry leaders to help them navigate today's market challenges and of providing valuation services to a large number of ASCs. Mr. McDonough holds a CFA designation and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Amy McKiernan, Louisville (Ky.) Surgery Center (38). Ms. McKiernan joined Louisville Surgery Center, an ASD Management facility, in January 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.

Lindsay Miller, National Medical Billing Services (31). Ms. Miller is the executive vice president of operations for National Medical Billing Services, one of the largest ASC revenue cycle management companies in the country. She provides detailed financial analysis and reporting for clients while simultaneously ensuring that their outstanding teams perform National Medical's mission in optimum fashion to maximize output while achieving quality results.

Katharine Mongoven, MBA, Pinnacle III (32). Ms. Mongoven is the director of marketing, sales and business development with Pinnacle III. Since joining the company in 2013, she has assisted clients with same-store growth initiatives, charity care days and brand imaging. Ms. Mongoven earned her MBA from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Arvind Movva, MD, Gastroenterology Consultants in Moline, Ill. (37). Dr. Movva is CEO of Gastroenterology Consultants and Regional SurgiCenter, an eight-OR multispecialty ASC in Moline. He also practices as a gastroenterologist and serves as co-founder and consultant with Movva Medical Consulting. Dr. Movva joined Gastroenterology Consultants upon completion of his fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia in 2010. He offers a full range of gastroenterology care, including ERCP/EUS, hemorrhoidal banding and a cure for Barrett's Esophagus.

Aaron Murski, VMG Health (33). Mr. Murski is a senior manager at VMG Health, based in the Dallas area. He focuses on developing client relationships and providing valuation, transaction advisory and operational consulting services in the healthcare services industry. He specifically has significant experience with the acute-care and specialty hospital, physician practice, inpatient rehabilitation, cancer treatment, ASC and diagnostic imaging segments.

Amber Patterson, BBA, Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga. (29). Ms. Patterson is practice administrator of Ear Nose & Throat Clinic and Westside Surgery Center. She came to Westside Surgery Center in 2006, when she inherited the administrator position of the freestanding, physician-owned ASC. In her first three years with the center, she 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.

Jessica Quick, MBA, The Colonoscopy Center in Omaha (31). Ms. Quick has served as the administrator for The Colonoscopy Center, a physician-owned facility located in Omaha, since 2011. Prior to joining The Colonoscopy Center, Ms. Quick was the manager for the Health Inventure's Central Business Office located in Omaha. She received her master's degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Ms. Quick is a member of the Nebraska Association of Independent Ambulatory Centers.

Amy M. Reighard, RN, MSN, CGRN, Allegheny Regional Endoscopy in Altoona, Pa. (38). Ms. Reighard was named administrator of the surgery center in 2013, before which she served as clinical director of the center. She is certified in gastroenterology nursing. "I enjoy working in the ASC. I like working with regulatory aspects as well as QI/Benchmarking. I have learned so much over the years and hope to continue learning more," she says.  

Lindsay Rinnan, Regent Surgical Health (34). Ms. Rinnan is responsible for attracting new physician talent to Regent, educating current utilizers and their schedulers about center capabilities and recruiting new utilizers and investors to the centers. With more than a decade of healthcare experience, Ms. Rinnan joined Regent from Blue Chip Surgical Partners. A Michigan State graduate, she also previously worked in pharmaceutical and medical device sales.

Jason Ruchaber, CFA, ASA, Root Valuation (39). Mr. Ruchaber is the founder and managing partner of Root Valuation, a business valuation and financial advisory practice headquartered in Denver. Prior to founding Root Valuation in 2014, he was a partner at HealthCare Appraisers and led the company's business valuation team in valuing ASCs, transactions in the ASC industry and a variety of healthcare compensation, management and service arrangements, as well as intangible assets.

Phillip Santillanes, FACHE, Specialty Surgery Center in San Antonio (37). Mr. Santillanes is a healthcare executive with more than 17 years of experience in healthcare delivery systems and currently serves as the executive director of Specialty Surgery Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is board-certified in healthcare management. His experience in clinical and administrative leadership spans a broad range from leading clinical teams, hospital departments and a multispecialty surgery center.

Simon Schwartz, Strategic Resources Group (31). Mr. Schwartz has worked in the ASC industry for the past 10 years. As a partner in Strategic Resources Group, a healthcare trade association management consulting company, he co-manages the day-to-day operations for the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Mr. Schwartz and Strategic Resources Group additionally have clients outside the state trade association management business, in which they provide legislative and political strategy consulting, fundraising consulting and event/marketing consulting.

Rich Searles, Merritt Healthcare (33). Mr. Searles, a partner with Merritt Healthcare, has overseen the business operations of the company's northeastern ASCs since 2008. He is also a registered investment banking agent with Series 79 and 63 licenses. Mr. Searles completed his BA in economics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Michael Sengmanivong, Beverly Hills (Calif.) Spine Surgery ASC (36). Mr. Sengmanivong has served as administrator of the spine and pain management surgery center for nearly three years. The surgery center includes four spine specialists who treat a wide-array of spine conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative disc disease, disc herniations, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and tumors. "We have had many [accomplishments] throughout the years but our greatest accomplishment was getting AAAHC certified for three years," says Mr. Sengmanivong.

Erica Sheldon, Laser Spine Institute (30). Ms. Sheldon oversees Laser Spine Institute's Cleveland facility as the executive director. Ms. Sheldon plays a vital role in managing the operations of the facility by ensuring smooth processes are in place and that patients receive quality care. Ms. Sheldon joined Laser Spine Institute in 2012 as a patient experience coordinator, but quickly rose to associate executive director of Laser Spine Institute Philadelphia. Once Laser Spine Institute decided to open a Cleveland facility, she was promoted to executive director of Laser Spine Institute Cleveland.

Chandler Shirer, Franciscan Surgery Center in Indianapolis. Mr. Shirer is administrator of Franciscan Surgery Center, a joint venture with Franciscan Alliance, where there are more than 9,000 procedures performed each year. The center includes five operating rooms and one procedure room. "Over the course of the last two years our volume has increased 33 percent. We have added orthopedics, spine/neuro and drastically increased our ophthalmology service line," says Mr. Shirer. "Our success and efficiencies are a direct result of our employees' dedication and hard work day in and day out, as well as our surgeons' and anesthesiologists' commitment to excellence."

Chris D. Skagen, JD, Strategic Resources Group (30). Mr. Skagen is a Colorado-licensed attorney, who has worked in the ASC industry since 2010. As partner in Strategic Resources Group, a healthcare trade association management consulting company, he co-manages the day-to-day operations for the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Mr. Skagen and Strategic Resources Group additionally have clients outside the state trade association management business, in which they provide legislative and political strategy consulting, fundraising consulting as well as event/marketing consulting.

Brooke Smith, Maryland Surgery Center for Women in Rockville, Md. (38). In her time with Maryland Surgery Center for Women, Ms. Smith has successfully taken a struggling ASC and turned it into a safe, profitable, professional facility. She has worked to increase collections from an average of $70,000 per month to an average of $240,000 per month, all while decreasing the center's days in A/R significantly to an average of 25 days. She also led a pilot program for online pre-surgical admission, trialing the program for presentation to the center's management company, Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, for consideration among 30 other ASCs. Her cost savings in 2010 alone added up to $110,000.

Vivek Taparia, Regent Surgical Health (33). Mr. Taparia oversees operational initiatives and profit enhancement opportunities for Regent surgery centers. Most recently, he built a 20-person team and launched The Center for Ambulatory Surgery at Swedish Covenant, a seven-specialty outpatient surgery center on the north side of Chicago. Previously, he served as director of business development for Regent and oversaw strategic projects such as a corporate-wide case costing program.

Tabitha Vaughn, RN, St. Charles (Mo.) Surgery Center (33). Ms. Vaughn named administrator of St. Charles Surgery Center in 2011, when it was a new facility and currently also serves as the center's clinical director. The surgery center completed its first case in 2012, and in 2013 completed 3,000 cases.

Chip Zahn, Surgical Care Affiliates (36). Mr. Zahn is a vice president of operations with Surgical Care Affiliates, a position he has held for nearly two years. Previously, he was the COO of Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving, Texas. He also has experience in administration and COO development at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, La.

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