17 Great ASCs to Work For

Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)

Annual volume:

Specialties: Urology, podiatry, pain management, orthopedics, ophthalmology, general surgery and plastic surgery

What makes it great: Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point opened in 2006, and, to date, not a single member of the ASC's original staff has left the facility, according to Becky Ziegler-Otis, administrator. One reason for the remarkably low turnover is the staff's relationship with the physician-owners. "It truly is about the relationship between the owners and the staff. There is a level of camaraderie, and we truly operate as a team," says Ms. Ziegler-Otis.
The physicians recognize the value of the staff, frequently discussing patient care and operations with them. Employees also receive a recognition lunch each month and the center celebrates notable accomplishments, including rewarding employees when the center meets goals, such as a reaching a certain case volume.

Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center (Bedford, N.H.)

Annual volume: 7,900

Specialties: Orthopedics, general surgery, ENT, plastics, urology, oral surgery, podiatry, cosmetic surgery, pain management and gastroenterology

What makes it great:
Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center is supportive and encouraging of staff members who are dedicated to outstanding patient care. "I truly think this is the best place that I have ever worked," says Alice Glennon, a member of the office staff at BASC. "The friendliness, caring and encouragement all start at the top from our President Nick Vailas to our COO Sue Majewski and goes all through the center."

According to Judi LaDuke, vice president of operations, the center's staff members are much like a family. "I feel part of a large family when I'm here. The staff, (many of whom I consider close friends) is very supportive of each other and that makes coming to work a pleasurable experience. The physicians are also very supportive and appreciative of the patient care that is provided by all the staff here," she says.

BASC boasts high patient satisfaction scores, a low turnover rate and management allows for flexibility with time off, according to Lisa Christou, billing account representative.

Centennial Surgery Center (Voorhees, N.J.)

Annual volume: 10,000

Specialties: Gastroenterology, colon and rectal surgery, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, podiatry, urology and pain management

What makes it great: Centennial Surgery Center has ranked in the 99th percentile of healthcare facilities for patient satisfaction by HealthStream Research for six years running and recently earned the highest level of accreditation by the AAAHC.

Centennial provides competitive salaries and bonuses as well as an overall terrific work environment, according to Margaret Atkinson, BS, CPC, RMC, business manager. The ASC hosts an annual employee appreciation week where ASC owners provide breakfast or lunch to the employees every day of the week in addition to other displays of appreciation. Employees with five- and 10-year anniversaries with the company attend an employee appreciation dinner where they are recognized for their service and dedication. The management team also often asks for employee input and ideas, which allows all employees to play a critical role in implementation of new policies, procedures and improvement, according to Ms. Atkinson. "Centennial truly cares not only about their patients, but for their employees as well," she says.

Charlotte Surgery Center (Port Charlotte, Fla.)

Annual volume: 4,200

Specialties: GI and ophthalmology

What makes it great: The owners and leaders of Charlotte Surgery Center are committed to their employees, which was made evident when the physicians continued to pay their entire staff despite the ASC being closed down following damage from Hurricane Charlie in Aug. 2005. "[The] physicians paid all their employees without missing a week for the entire time their surgery center was closed down due to devastating Hurricane Charlie," says Jane Diezi, RNC, clinical nursing director.

"[The physicians] continue to be the best and I am so grateful to have such wonderful employees still working with me since the first day I hired them on over seven years ago," says Ms. Diezi.

Day Surgery at RiverBend (Springfield, Ore.)

Annual volume: 3,600

Specialties: Orthopedics, neurology, pain management, ENT, gynecology and general surgery

What makes it great: Day Surgery at RiverBend is a multispecialty ASC located at the RiverBend Medical Campus in Springfield, Ore. Day Surgery is a great place to work because of its leaders open communication with employees, which helps to improve patient care, according to employees at the center. The employees appreciate the stable work schedule that allow for work-life balance. The new center also solicited employee opinions when customizing its EMR system to help ensure seamless transition to the EMR and reduced employee workload.

The physicians at the center also contribute the ASC's positive work environment. "The doctors who own and work at the surgery center treat us with mutual respect and recognizes each one of us as a valuable part of the team," says Geoneva Bigham, an employee in business office services at the ASC.

Grand Valley Surgical Center (Grand Junction, Colo.)

Annual volume: 5,000

Specialties: Ophthalmology, ENT, orthopedics, general surgery, pediatric surgery, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, urology, neurology, gynecology and vascular

What makes it great: Grand Valley Surgical Center has engaged professional clinical and business staff, surgeons and anesthesia services, according to Nancy Petty, the center's administrator. The ASC is located in an area that is one of the top places to live for active outdoor activities, she says. It is AAAHC-accredited and all nursing staff in the OR and PACU is PALS- and ACLS-certified

"Physicians and hospital board members work collaboratively with management and staff for the benefit of the community, and greater than 99 percent of patients surveyed indicate they would choose to return to GVSC should they require outpatient surgery," says Ms. Petty.

Missoula Bone and Joint Surgery Center (Missoula, Mont.)

Annual volume: 2,000

Specialties: Orthopedics and plastic surgery

What makes it great: Missoula Bone and Joint Surgery Center, the ASC of the Missoula Bone & Joint Clinic, is located in the heart of the Missoula Valley. The center has been serving patients with a wide variety of orthopedic needs since 2001. Team effort and team spirit are the driving forces behind Missoula Bone and Joint Surgery Center, and its physicians and staff members commonly participate in community activities, such as Missoula Medical Aid, which organizes annual trips to Honduras to provide care to those whose needs are not otherwise served by orthopedists.

According to Mary Porter, receptionist, MBJSC provides a enjoyable work environment. "We are proud to be a part of a community that has so much to offer. Having an opportunity to work with this group of physicians and staff is a distinct pleasure," she says.

Northern Ohio Surgical Center (Sandusky, Ohio)

Annual volume: 3,500

Specialties: Endoscopy, ENT, dental, general surgery, pain management, podiatry, orthopedics and urology

What makes it great: Northern Ohio Surgical Center is a multispecialty ASC founded in 2000 by a group of local physicians in Sandusky, Ohio. The mission of the ASC is to provide the highest quality patient care using state-of-the-art technology in an environment that focuses on warmth and compassion while remaining cost effective, says Carol Guerra, RN, CNOR, administrator of the center.

The center has retained 13 of its original 19 staff members since its 2000 opening and this staff help contribute to the center's outstanding patient satisfaction rate of 98 percent. The ASC offers flexible staffing, and all of the staff are cross-trained in multiple areas of work.
The relationships between the staff and the center's physician-owners also make the ASC a great place to work. "The physicians and staff treat each other with respect and professionalism in an atmosphere of caring," says Ms. Guerra.

Northwest Michigan Surgery Center (Traverse City, Mich.)

Annual volume: 18,000

Specialties: Orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT, plastic surgery, GI, urology, genecology and general surgery

What makes it great: This ASC has seen tremendous growth since its opening in April 2004. In its first month, surgeons performed 24 cases. Today, surgeons at the center regularly perform around 1,500 cases monthly. This tremendous growth is possible because of the center's outstanding staff members who are committed to providing high-quality healthcare at reduced rates, says Mary L. Herweyer, business office manager at the ASC.

Employees at the center are valued for their hard work. "Our administration recognizes that the employees are our largest and best investment and are treated as such with good pay and excellent benefits. Our facility runs on team effort, everyone contributes to the day-to-day operation of the center," says Ms. Herweyer.

According to Lisa Warren, an executive assistant at the center, the great employee benefits are a key reason why the center is a great place to work. "I am fortunate to work for an organization that values my contribution and rewards it with great pay and benefits. Competitive pay scales, a variety of affordable health related benefits, an employer-matched 401K and a newly-implemented profit-sharing plan all contribute to an employment offering that's second to none," she says.

Patients First Surgery Center (Washington, Mo.)

Annual volume:
N/A; ASC opened in Sept. 2009

Specialties: General surgery, gynecology, plastic surgery, orthopedics, ENT, urology, gastroenterology, podiatry and pain management

What makes it great: Patients First Surgery Center is the ASC of Patients First Health Care, a multispecialty physician group of more than 65 physicians, based in Washington, Mo. The newly-opened, multispecialty ASC stands out due to its excellent clinical and office staff who exhibit "exceptional character and knowledge," according to Lisa Gentry, CPC, office coordinator.

Patients First Health Care offers employment opportunities that aim to challenge abilities, enrich employees' professional experiences and reward contributions in an atmosphere that encourages both personal and professional growth. Additionally, PFHC offers competitive compensation, excellent benefits and a positive work environment. "As in our name, our Patients come first. I consider our team the 'A team' in meeting all aspects of patient care," says Ms. Gentry.

Reading Hospital Surgery Center at Spring Ridge (Wyomissing, Pa.)

Annual volume: 8,000

Specialties: Dental, ophthalmology, orthopedic, vascular, neurology, gynecology, ENT, plastic surgery, general surgery, pain management and podiatry

What makes it great:
Reading Hospital Surgery Center has grown its patient volume approximately 4 percent annually due to its excellent staff, physicians and patient care, and has done so in saturated market of 15 ASCs in a 10-mile radius. The staff members at the ASC are dedicated to lifelong learning, and four of the center's RNs are currently enrolled in MSN programs, according to Judy Bowman RN, BSN, CAPA. Seventy-six percent of the nursing staff is certified in their area of expertise.

The staff members' involvement in governance and the organization's focus on their professional development and education are two core reasons that the ASC is a great place to work, says Ms. Bowan. "Our staff feels valued, which allows for a close work environment where we are treated professionally. We are encouraged to succeed and encourage each other to grow professionally and academically. Our feeling of being valued is reflected in our patient care and our work environment," she says.
The ASC sponsors an education council that provides guest speakers and educational information and offers support to staff members to attend educational conferences and events. Members of the ASC staff also participate in a shared governance council so their opinions can be shared with the ASC management. Every staff member within the ASC is a member of a council — which include education, practice, quality and operations — within the shared governance model.

"In these tough financial times, our management team still fully supports the efforts and accomplishments made by our shared governance councils, and for their efforts our department has one of the strongest shared governance teams within our hospital organization," says Ms. Bowman.

Specialty Surgical Center (Sparta, N.J.)

Annual volume:

Orthopedics, podiatry, urology, pain management, ENT, hand surgery, lithotripsy, brachytherapy and gynecology

What makes it great: Specialty Surgical Center's outstanding facility and staff set the ASC apart from other healthcare facilities in the area, according to Bonnie Brady, RN, administrator. "[Our center] is located in an absolutely gorgeous region of New Jersey, complete with rolling hills, wildlife that you can see through our large windows and a beautiful layout. Next, add a staff that is highly competent and energetic and anxious to make the center grow," she says.

The ASC provides its employees with benefits that include medical, dental and vision insurance as well as life insurance and 401ks. Ms. Brady says that engaged physician owners also make the ASC a great place to work. "Our physician-owners are receptive to our needs and are a progressive, aggressive group of young doctors willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen," she says.

St. Augustine Surgery Center (St. Augustine, Fla.)

Annual volume: 3,800

Specialties: Gastroenterology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, ENT, podiatry and urology

What makes it great: St. Augustine Surgery Center provides outpatient surgical services to St. Johns County, Fla., and surrounding areas. The ASC encourages its employees to grow as professionals, and its outstanding staff fosters a positive environment that benefits both employees and patients. All full-time employees at the center are eligible for benefits and paid time-off. Additionally, the center provides ALS and PALS classes, continuing education courses and a monthly catered lunch.

"The center has encouraged and provided me with a great opportunity to grow as a professional," says Peggy McGriskin, RN, CNOR, LHRM, clinical coordinator. "I work daily with a highly dedicated and supportive team from upper management to staff. I consider it a privilege to be a member of this team."

Surgery Center of Reno (Reno, Nev.)

Annual volume: 4,200

Specialties: Ophthalmology, pain management, spine surgery, ENT, general surgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedics and urology

What makes it great:
Surgery Center of Reno is an enjoyable work environment because of its outstanding management. The ASC's leaders treat all employees with respect and are always willing to listen to employee input before making decisions, according to Brian Dugan, an employee in the ASC's insurance verification and authorization department. The center provides some of the most competitive salaries on the West Coast, and the governing board guarantees 75 percent of hours to retain the best employees. Employees also often receive quarterly bonuses and participate in off-site staff appreciation parties.

SCOR's administrator, Anne Roberts, RN, is attributed with helping create this environment. "[Ms. Roberts] is very supportive and always looking out for the best interests of staff members as well as patients and doctors," says April Woodward, RN, OR Manager. "We are provided with a lot of the latest equipment which helps make both staff and surgeons happy, and our managing partner, Regent Surgical Health, is very supportive and their staff is always available to help answer questions."

The center's excellent staff and physicians all play a role in creating the positive workplace, according to Kelly Arterburn, an employee in the billing and collections department. "In addition to having the best managers, supervisors and co-workers, the best surgeons practice here too. You would think that being in the collections department that I would get complaints, but actually, patients rave about how great of care they received in our center," she says. "Not only do I enjoy my job, I recommend the facility to family and friends, and I, too, would come here if I needed surgery."

Surgicare of Lake Charles (Lake Charles, La.)

Annual volume:

Ophthalmology, pain, ENT, gynecology, orthopedics, plastics, podiatry and oral and maxillofacial surgery

What makes it great: Surgicare of Lake Charles has been in business since 1975 and its physicians regularly comment on the loyalty, integrity and dedication of the staff at the ASC, according to Kathy LeJeune, business office director. The center's administrator, Debbie Boudreaux, RN, is one of the truly dedicated, having managed the facility for more than 20 years.

Surgicare of Lake Charles holds a number of events each year to acknowledge and appreciate its employees, including a crawfish boil, a hot dog cookout, an ice cream social and a red beans and rice luncheon as well as a more formal staff appreciation dinner. The benefits provided to employees include 401ks and health, vision and dental insurance.

"I have worked in the medical field/management for over 20 years and this is by far the best place to work," says Ms. LeJeune.

The Surgery Center (Franklin, Wis.)

Annual volume: 7,000

Specialties: Gastroenterology, orthopedics, general surgery, ENT, pain management, radiology and urology

What makes it great: The Surgery Center in Franklin, Wis., is a joint venture between Associated Surgical & Medical Specialists and Aurora Health Care Ventures. Its staff and physicians truly care about patients and each other, says LoAnn Vande Leest, chief nursing officer and acting CEO at the center. "The staff members of TSC are engaged and invested in making this the best place to work. Throughout the facility, employees provide exceptional care for the patients who trust us with their care — and when they're done providing patient care, they care for one another," says Ms. Vande Leest.

The ASC features a shared physician/staff lounge and hosts events where staff and physicians bring their families throughout the year to encourage physician/staff relationships and collaboration. STC supports staff educational opportunities and provides flexible staffing so that employees can continue their education while working at the center.

Finally, the center is a great place to work because of its culture of trust and teamwork. No employee works in a silo, according to Ms. Vande Leest. "The word 'team' embodies TSC. Every person is cross-trained to cover other positions so we keep our personnel hours per patient low. We are proud to say that we run a yearly average of 6.7 clinical hours per patient versus the ASC Association reported 8.7 hours on average."

The Surgery Center of The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)

Annual volume: 5,100

Specialties: Orthopedics and sports medicine, ENT, plastics, podiatry, pain management and oral and maxillofacial surgery

What makes it great: Physician-owners of The Surgery Center of The Woodlands have always been committed to being a preferred employer in the area, according to Susan Olis, administrator. "[The physicians] strive to be extremely competitive with regard to wages and benefits to retain and recruit good staff. Our turnover is extremely low due to our partners' commitment as well as staff recognition and morale building activities that occur on a regular basis," she says.

The ASC publicly posts all compliments its staff receives, recognizes birthdays and other special events in employees' lives and provides free lunch when its caseload exceeds
a certain number. The center also holds a number of events during the year to celebrate holidays and honor both clinical and office staff. Additionally, staff members "pay it forward" by participating in health-related community events such as the Susan B.
Komen Race for the Cure, says Ms. Olis.

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