44 Great Presidents, CEOs & Company Founders in the Surgery Center Industry

Here are profiles of 44 great presidents, CEOs and company founders in the surgery center industry. Each of these presidents and CEOs is a speaker at the 18th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference (Oct. 27-29; Chicago). Note: Presidents and CEOs are listed in alphabetical order by last name.


David F. Bacon. Mr. Bacon is the founder and CEO of Meridian Surgical Partners. He has more than 22 years of experience in healthcare, previously serving as the CEO and CFO of Medifax-EDI. He also has experience in public accounting with Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain.


Scott Benglen. Mr. Benglen is CEO of Via Novus Medical, a healthcare consulting group based in Dillon, Colo. He brings 20 years of financial and operational performance to the healthcare arena, having started his career in aviation as a commercial airline pilot for United Airlines. He has also served as a financial negotiator for United Pilots' Contract 2000 and as a managing partner for Sovereign Capital Partners.


Jeff Blankinship. Mr. Blankinship serves as the CEO of Surgical Notes, a company founded in 1998 to address the needs of digital medical records for the ASC and surgical hospital markets. Mr. Blankinship has since created several internet-based companies and is currently a part owner of an international medical software and service company. Prior to founding Surgical Notes, he worked with pain management centers and the home healthcare industry.


John Cherf, MD. Dr. Cherf is an orthopedic surgeon, president of the Chicago Institute of Orthopedics, president of OrthoIndex and clinical advisor to Sg2, a healthcare intelligence and information services company. He has more than 20 years of clinical experience in orthopedics and sports medicine. He co-founded the orthopedic department at the Neurological & Orthopedic Institute of Chicago.


Daniel C. "Skip" Daube, MD. Dr. Daube is the director and CEO of Surgical Center of Excellence in Panama City, Fla. He practices with the Gulf Coast Facial Plastics and ENT Center in Panama City and is on the clinical faculty at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. Dr. Daube is board-certified in otolaryngology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and is a member of numerous professional societies.

D. Paul Davis, CPA, CMA. Mr. Davis serves as the president and CEO of Broomfield, Colo.-based Amblitel, a full-service back office, business intelligence and ASC consulting company that he founded in 2009. Mr. Davis has more than 25 years of healthcare industry experience and has held diverse senior leadership roles with ASC management companies since 1983.


Michael Doyle. Mr. Doyle is CEO of Surgery Partners, based in Tampa and Chicago. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the firm's day-to-day operation and expansion through partnerships. He has experience developing and managing hospitals, surgical centers and imaging centers. Throughout his career, Mr. Doyle has been a hands-on manager and draws from his practical experience of managing and developing healthcare services.

Stephanie Ellis, RN, CPC. Ms. Ellis is the owner and president of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Ellis Medical Consulting and has provided healthcare consulting services to ASCs in that capacity since 1992. She has written many articles and spoken at numerous seminars on a wide variety of healthcare topics, including coding, billing and reimbursement issues.


Mark Farrow. Mr. Farrow is founder, president and CEO of Tulsa, Okla.-based Orthopedic Resources, a licensed, accredited and Medicare-approved durable medical equipment provider. He has more than 20 years of experience in the surgical device and post-operative equipment business. He is also the founder of Compression Solutions, a company of Orthopedic Resources also based in Tulsa.


Richard Francis, Jr. Mr. Francis has served the chairman of Nashville, Tenn.-based Symbion Healthcare since March 2002 and as CEO of the company since its inception in 1999. Prior to his work with Symbion, Mr. Francis worked as the president and CEO of UniPhy, which operates multi-specialty clinics, independent practice associations and other outpatient services.


Kenny Hancock. Mr. Hancock is the president and chief development officer at Meridian Surgical Partners. During his more than 24 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Mr. Hancock served as the executive vice president, chief development officer and co-founder of Surgical Alliance Corp., a specialty surgical hospital company founded in 2001.


Andrew Hayek. Mr. Hayek is the president and CEO of Surgical Care Affiliates, where he also serves on the board of directors. Prior to SCA, Mr. Hayek served as a division president at DaVita, a renal dialysis company. During his career, he was also the president and COO of Alliance Healthcare Services, a diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy company.

Stephen Hochschuler, MD. Dr. Hochschuler, founder of Texas Back Institute in Plano, has served as president of the Spine Arthroplasty Society and founding member of the American Board of Spinal Surgery. During his career, Dr. Hochschuler has served in leadership positions of several spine technology companies, including SpineMark and Innovative Spinal Technologies. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and served as a captain and major in the United States Air Force.


Marion Jenkins, PhD. Dr. Jenkins is founder and CEO of QSE Technologies, an IT systems integrator in Denver. He has authored more than 50 articles and presentations on the role of technology in business, and serves on the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization Technology Advisory Committee. He previously served in leadership positions with a variety of high-growth technology companies.


Sandra J. Jones, MBA, MS, CASC, FHMA. Ms. Jones is the executive vice president and COO of ASD Management and president of Ambulatory Strategies. She previously served  as regional managed care coordinator, risk manager and facility administrator for Premier Ambulatory Systems. She was also CEO and COO at for-profit hospitals and case management director for several hospitals and clinics.


I. Naya Kehayes, MPH. Ms. Kehayes is managing principle and CEO of Eveia Health Consulting & Management, based in Issaquah, Wash. She previously served as regional director of operations and managed care of National Surgery Centers. She also coordinated orthopedic development in the Northwest and was a surgical hospital administrator for Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation.

Greg Koonsman, CFA. Mr. Koonsman is the founder and senior partner at VMG Health, where he specializes in valuation, transaction advisory, feasibility and operational consulting services. He has acted as an advisor in transactions for more than 250 hospitals, 1,000 surgery centers, 30 HMOs and 1,500 physician organizations along with a variety of other U.S. healthcare entities. He foundered and Practice Performance, a physician management organization providing outsourced business management services, and was with the financial advisory group of Ernst & Young.

Brent W. Lambert, MD, FACS. Dr. Lambert is the principal and founder of Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist and previously developed and owned three ambulatory surgical centers, including the first eye ASC in New England. Dr. Lambert is currently responsible for business development at ASCOA.

Luke M. Lambert, MBA, CFA, CASC.
Mr. Lambert is the CEO of Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, a position he has held since 2002 after having served as CFO for five years. He previously worked for Smith Barney in international sell-side equity research and at Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Ernst & Young in venture exploration and reengineering business processes.


Jeff Leland. Mr. Leland is the CEO of Blue Chip Surgical Partners, a surgery center management and development company focused on bringing outpatient spine surgery to the ASC. Mr. Leland previously served as executive director of Lutheran General Medical Group, a 260-physician, multi-specialty medical group in Chicago. In the past he served as a senior-level executive with Advocate Health Care in Chicago, where he was responsible for business development and Advocate's 225,000-member health plan.


Michael J. Lipomi. Mr. Lipomi is president and CEO of Surgical Management Professionals. Mr. Lipomi has more than 30 years of experience in hospital and ambulatory surgery facility management. Prior to his current role, he was president of Dallas-based RMC MedStone, where he owned and managed several surgery centers and a surgical hospital.


Tom Mallon. Mr. Mallon is the CEO of Regent Surgical Health, which he co-founded in 2001. He was previously a partner with Gryffindor Capital Partners, a Chicago-based venture-capital fund, and at Same Day Surgery, which acquired five distressed and underutilized ASCs and a physician management company. Prior to joining Same Day Surgery, he was vice president of leasing and marketing for JMB Realty and later for Miglin-Beitler Developments, both in Chicago.

Laximaiah Manchikanti, MD.
Dr. Manchikanti is the CEO of Pain Management Center of Paducah (Ky.) and is also chairman of the board and CEO of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and Society of Interventional Pain Management Surgery Centers. He has been in private practice in Paducah since 1980, and has been instrumental in the preservation of interventional pain management. He earned his medical degree from Gandhi Medical College in India and completed his fellowship in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

John Martin. Mr. Martin is the CEO of OrthoIndy, an Indianapolis-based orthopedic practice with 14 locations around the city. The practice includes 70 orthopedic specialists who focus on joint replacement, spine care, trauma, orthopedic oncology and extremities care. The physicians of OrthoIndy also own an orthopedic hospital, Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital.

Todd Mello. Mr. Mello is partner and co-founder of HealthCare Appraisers in Castle Rock, Colo. He has more than 20 years in healthcare finance and valuation experience. He previously served as vice president of business development for a neuro-musculoskeletal physician management company.

Rob Murphy.
Mr. Murphy is founder, president and CEO of Murphy Healthcare Group in Montvale, N.J., and New York City. He has played a key role in the turnaround of more than 30 ambulatory surgery centers. His ASC Turnaround Group specializes in revitalizing, restructuring and acquiring underperforming ASCs in the United States.


Scott Palmer. Mr. Palmer is the president and COO of the ambulatory surgery center division of SourceMedical Solutions, based in Wallingford, Conn. He has more than 25 years of experience working with outpatient healthcare facilities, having been the founder and president of Temple Information Systems. He founded Prescient Healthcare Systems and helped launch CTQ Solutions.

Charles Peck, MD, FACP. Dr. Peck is the president and CEO of Health Inventures, based in Broomfield, Colo. He has more than 30 years of healthcare experience as a clinician, internist, rheumatologist, scientist and other roles within the healthcare environment. As CEO of Health Inventures, he actively oversees the company's growth in outpatient surgery partnerships as well as physician practice management and inpatient perioperative management with hospitals and physicians.


Linda Peterson. Ms. Peterson is the CEO of Executive Solutions for Healthcare, based in Chandler, Ariz. She has more than 30 years of experience in development and operational management of healthcare organizations. Her main areas of expertise include design and development of new business and product lines as well as merger and acquisition experience in the ambulatory service sector.

Thomas J. Pliura, MD, JD, PC. Dr. Pliura is a physician and attorney at law with the company he founded, zChart, an electronic medical records-related company based on LeRoy, Ill. He has also served as founder and manager of four ASCs. In 1998, he sought and received the first favorable Medicare Advisory Opinion in the country, certifying that a proposed ASC was exempt from Stark Laws under a rural provider exemption.


Blayne Rush. Mr. Rush is president of Ambulatory Alliances, a boutique investment banking, business brokerage and strategic advisory firm for surgery and radiation oncology centers. He is a FINRA-licensed investment banker, specializing in acquisitions, alliances and access to capital markets. With more than 15 years experience in healthcare, he has completed acquisition searches for more than 200 healthcare clients, ranging from physician-owned cancer centers to large corporations focusing on the oncology market.

Michael E. Russell II, MD. Dr. Russell is a spine surgeon at Azalea Orthopaedics in Tyler, Texas. He currently serves on the board of directors and as president of Physician Hospitals of America and Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler. He earned his medical degree at the University of Southwestern Medical School in Dallas a completed a spine surgery fellowship at The Carolinas Medical Center at Charlotte (N.C.).


Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC. Ms. Segal is the president of Infection Control Consulting Services. She has more than 28 years of infection prevention and control experience, and has led the State of Pennsylvania's mandatory Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory panel. She also provides consulting services to ASCs, an acute care hospital and nursing home facilities.

John Seitz. Mr. Seitz is the CEO and Chairman of Ambulatory Surgical Group and ManageMyASC.com. He has more than 25 years of experience in surgical center and physician practice management, having previously been a founder and president of Surgem (Oradell, N.J.) and Cornerstone Physicians (Irvine, Calif.).


Barry Tanner. Mr. Tanner has been president and CEO of Physicians Endoscopy, based in Doylestown, Pa., since 1999. The company currently manages 17 endoscopy centers. Before joining Physicians Endoscopy, he co-founded Navix Radiology Systems, helping the company grow to more than $75 million in revenues. He was also COO of HealthInfusion, a provider of home intravenous therapy services. Before entering healthcare, Mr. Tanner managed financial and operational turnarounds of publicly traded companies.


Larry Taylor. Mr. Taylor is president and CEO of Practice Partners in Healthcare, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., and provides management and operational services to ASCs. He has more than 30 years experience in healthcare delivery, management and physician relations. He previously served as president and COO for a large provider of ASCs and has worked with physicians on projects ranging from acute care to diagnostics, physical rehabilitation and outpatient surgery centers. Mr. Taylor entered healthcare as a certified athletic trainer and focused on delivery of sports medicine and orthopedic care.

LoAnn Vande Leest, RN.
Ms. Vande Leest is clinical director and acting CEO of The Surgery Center in Franklin, Wis., a joint venture between Associated Surgical & Medical Specialists and Aurora Health Care Ventures. The Surgery Center has five operating suites, four procedure rooms, two endoscopy GI suites, areas for pre- and post- surgery observation, and a recovery area. It is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Pedro Vergne-Marini, MD. Dr. Vergne-Marini is founder and managing member of Physicians' Capital Investments, which is based in Plano, Texas. It has developed and constructed 14 medical office and clinical facilities in just its first three years. More than 500 physicians have invested in PCI projects. The company currently has 11 projects in development or construction.

Jonathan Vick.
Mr. Vick is founder and president of ASCs Inc., which is based in Valley Center, Calif., and has assisted in development, merger and acquisition transactions for more than 200 physician-owned ASCs, endoscopy centers and surgical hospitals since 1984. He founded and was a principle shareholder of Surgery Center Development Corp. He was also a corporate partner for a national network of surgery and endoscopy centers acquired by a national ASC management company in 1995.


Terry Woodbeck. Mr. Woodbeck is the CEO of Tulsa (Okla.) Spine & Specialty Hospital. He has more than 30 years of healthcare experience, including physician practice management, clinic administration and research in the field of capitation rates and managed care contracting. He previously served as CEO of Oklahoma Spine and Brain Institute in Tulsa.


Tom Yerden. Mr. Yerden is CEO and founder of TRY HealthCare Solutions in Salmon, Idaho, and has more than 28 years of experience in the ASC industry. He has experience developing more than 70 surgery centers and founding Aspen Healthcare. He has also served in executive positions in several healthcare systems and large physician group practices.

Joseph Zasa, JD.
Mr. Zasa is a managing and founding partner ASD Management, based in Dallas, where he works with existing ASCs that require turnaround expertise as well as developing new outpatient surgery centers. He previously served as the president of the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and continues to serve on the board. He also has experience with acquisitions and physician development and directing surgery center operations.

Robert Zasa, MAHHA, FACMPE.
Mr. Zasa is a managing and founding partner of ASD Management, which has bases in Dallas and Los Angeles. His career spans more than four decades of managing and developing ASCs and is a fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

Bryan Zowin.
Mr. Zowin is president of Physicians Advantage, based in Jacksonville, Fla., provides the Comprehensive Asset Protection Solutions program to help physicians with planning and implementing advanced wealth preservation and accumulation strategies.

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