Administrator to Know: Melodee Moncrief of Big Creek Surgery Center

Melodee Moncrief, RN, BSN, CASC (Big Creek Surgery Center, Middleburg Heights, Ohio). Ms. Moncrief is the administrator for the Big Creek Surgery Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. The multi-specialty center has four operating rooms, two procedure rooms and performs around 2,500-3,000 cases annually. Specialties at the center include orthopedics, spine, ENT, pain management and pediatric dentistry. The center opened in March 2006 and is a member of Foundation Surgery Affiliates.

Ms. Moncrief has been with the center since Oct. 2005 and helped with the development, initial staff hiring and start-up of the center. She has more than 15 years of experience in the ASC industry after previously serving as a nurse's aid and an ICU nurse at a hospital. Ms. Moncrief served as an administrator of another center for 3.5 years before coming to Big Creek.

The center received a three-year accreditation from the AAAHC six months after opening, which Ms. Moncrief attributes to how well the staff works together as a team. "We're like puzzle pieces," she says. "Individually, we don't work as well, but put us together and we are best as a team."

Ms. Moncrief tries to stress to the staff at the center the importance of devoting full attention to anyone — other staff, physicians or patients — who are speaking with them. "I tell the staff to really listen and to make eye contact with the person because what they have to say is important to them. It is one way to really make their day," she says.

For each of the 20 physicians working at the center, Ms. Moncrief and her staff try to make each one feel as though they are the only surgeon at the center. "We try to make it our whole team approach. Not one person's idea is any better or more important than another's," she says.

Ms. Moncrief and her staff also take this approach with patients. "We make each patient feel as though he or she is the only patient here," she says. This has led to a positive patient response, especially when it comes to the pediatric cases at the center. "We have children who come into the center and are screaming, but by the time they leave they are smiling," she says. "Many people ask how we do that, and it is due to our knowledgeable and friendly staff." Ms. Moncrief also notes that satisfied patients are more likely to return to the center if they need surgery or refer others to the center.

Ms. Moncrief says she truly enjoys being a part of the team at her center. She prefers the term "facilitator" to "administrator," when describing her duties. "I'm no different than the receptionist, except for the title," she says. "I want to be someone who works with you and makes sure that what needs to get done gets done."

Ms. Moncrief wants her center to be focused on showing why ASCs are important in the community from a safety, cost and economic standpoint. "I'd like to spread the message in the community and see our center grow," she says.

To see the list of all 50 Administrators to Know, click here.

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