Here are 145 women leaders in the surgery center industry who work tirelessly to oversee surgery center operations, orchestrate ASC purchases and partnerships, improve clinical quality, advocate for surgery centers on the political stage or otherwise benefit the industry.
Margaret Acker, RN, MSN, CASC. Ms. Acker is the administrator of Southwest Surgical Center, a multi-specialty freestanding ASC, and the chair of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Association Membership Committee. She was formerly CEO with Blake Woods Medical Park Surgical Center in Jackson, Mich., a multi-specialty, physician-owned center. She has worked in the ASC industry for over a decade as a consultant, administrator and presenter. Ms. Acker holds a master’s degree in nursing from Eastern Michigan University and serves on the “approver committee” for the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses continuing education. She also serves on the board of directors for St. Luke’s Clinic, providing healthcare for the poor and medically underserved.
Traci Albers. Ms. Albers, administrator of North Ambulatory Surgery Center and High Pointe Surgery Center in Minnesota, has over 15 years of ASC and healthcare management experience, beginning her career as the administrator at a critical access hospital and rural health clinic. After several years at the critical access hospital, Ms. Albers joined Surgical Management Professionals in 2002, where she served as the executive director of High Pointe Surgery Center, a physician-hospital joint venture facility. She worked at the facility for five years and then transferred to a new role working for the ASC’s partner hospital. During her tenure with the hospital, Ms. Albers was responsible for system marketing and hospital operations. In 2010, Ms. Albers transitioned back to the ambulatory surgery center market with SMP. During her tenure with her current facilities, she has added a new specialty, managed a major expansion project and achieved excellent patient and physician satisfaction scores. Reed Martin, SMP COO, says, “Traci is a very organized and experienced manager who excels in process management and communication. These strengths have driven superior results in terms of patient satisfaction and financial performance.”
Kathleen Allman, CASC. Ms. Allman is the administrator of Millennium Surgery Center. She came to Bakersfield after retiring from trauma and, within two years, was opening seven cost centers at Mercy Southwest Hospital, including pre-op, admitting, OR, PACU, sterile processing, GI and anesthesia services. She also completed her master’s degree, MSA-HCM. “I am passionate about federal and state laws regarding ASCs,” she says. “We have toured Congressman Kevin McCarthy at our facility and met with Senator Rubio regarding Board of Pharmacy Clinic Permits and Licensure in the state of California.” Ms. Allman was on the board of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association for two years ending December 2011. “I was proud of the opportunity to work with them,” she says. “This has to be one of the best state associations.”
Cathy Atwater. Ms. Atwater serves as the administrator of Banner Health-Union Hills Surgery Center and Banner Thunderbird Surgery Center, positions she has held since Jan. 2010 and Feb. 2005, respectively. Prior to joining Banner, she worked as a gynecology practice manager at North Valley Obstetrics and a manager of operations at Argent Healthcare/Paralign Revenue Management. According to Angela Surratt, pre-op/PACU clinical manager at Banner Thunderbird, Ms. Atwater is often seen rounding through the pre-op and PACU areas of her surgery center and dedicates significant effort to marketing the center, despite the highly saturated nature of the local area. “She is consistently encouraging her staff, especially myself and the OR clinical manager, to further our management education and is often having us sign up for any classes that Banner offers,” says Ms. Surratt. “Through these classes and her direction … she has helped me grow as a leader.”
Lisa A. Austin, RN, CASC. Ms. Austin serves as vice president of ASC operations for Pinnacle III. She has acted as a board member of the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and currently serves as president of the organization. Ms. Austin also serves on the surgery center advisory board of MedAssets. Ms. Austin has been a registered nurse for over 29 years and has served in the ambulatory care arena for the majority of those years. Her extensive experience with operational development, management and consulting provides clients with expertise in facility administration, budget development, regulatory compliance, staff recruitment and retention and other ASC processes.
Sandi Baber, RN, MHA. Ms. Baber serves as regional vice president of operations for Meridian Surgical Partners, where she brings 25 years of healthcare experience in clinical and leadership roles to her position. Prior to joining Meridian, she worked as president and CEO of Baber Healthcare Consulting, a business she founded to assist physicians with development and management of outpatient surgery centers and ambulatory care facilities. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as vice president of operations for Blue Chip Surgical Partners. She also served as vice president of service line operations at Audrain Medical Center, where she was instrumental in starting a comprehensive cancer center and comprehensive heart center.
Beverly Baker. Ms. Baker has served as the administrator of the Timberlake Surgery Center since 2008 and has been an administrator in the ASC field for over seven years. Prior to joining Timberlake Surgery Center, she worked as a healthcare consultant specializing in practice operations and an administrator for private physician practices. She was instrumental with the new facility’s start-up phase, achieving a three-year accreditation with AAAHC and receiving Symbion’s President’s Club Award in 2008. She currently serves on the board of Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.
Tracey Baughey. With more than 27 years of administration and management experience, Ms. Baughey, administrator of Laser Spine Institute in Wayne, Pa., brings a great deal of knowledge and insight to the clinical operations of the ASC. She has held a variety of positions focusing on facility management, compliance and regulatory issues, streamlining and developing new systems, and customer service excellence. She was instrumental in the opening Laser Spine Institute’s Pennsylvania and Oklahoma facilities, assisting the teams in achieving state licensure and AAAHC accreditation. Rhonda Dunn, executive director of Laser Spine Institute, commented, “Tracey identifies and executes the highest standards of care and service for the patients of Laser Spine institute within the clinical operations, on-call services and postoperative care enterprise-wide.”
Linda Beaver, RN, MSN, MHA. Ms. Beaver serves as administrator of Gateway Endoscopy Center, a busy endoscopy facility in western St. Louis County managed by United Surgical Partners International. She started her career as a critical care nurse who specialized in cardiovascular recovery before moving into the management sector as a nursing supervisor, nurse manager and clinical director of multiple unit specialties in an acute-care hospital. Under Ms Beaver’s leadership, Gateway Endoscopy Center obtained accreditation by AAAHC, recertification by CMS and the recertification by the state of Missouri. The center also successfully completed multiple quality improvement projects, including procedural documentation, applying abdominal pressure during a colonoscopy and scope withdrawal times. The facility consistently receives outstanding patient, physician, and employee satisfaction scores and decreased supply costs 16 percent during the last year by renegotiating with vendors.
Christine Behm, BSN, CASC. Ms. Behm has served as the administrator of San BuenaVentura Surgery Center since 1991. She has been with the center since 1991, when she joined as nurse manager upon the center’s inception; she was promoted to administrator a few years later. Over the past year, she has put an emphasis on case costing and reimbursement, which resulted in the termination of a Blue Cross contract at the beginning of 2011, as well as an Aetna contract which will terminate in spring 2012. Chris works closely with her business office, clinical manager and physicians to evaluate every case to ensure payment will cover the cost of the case. Net revenue per case more than doubled in 2011, and the center performed its first spine procedure in 2011.
Kelly Bemis, RN, BSN. Ms. Bemis is a director of clinical services for Surgical Care Affiliates, based in Birmingham, Ala., where she oversees 35 outpatient facilities. She has more than 22 years of healthcare experience in the surgical environment, both in hospitals and ASCs. Over the course of her career, she has held every nursing position at the average surgery center, which enables her to a broad skill set to the clinical and regulatory support needs of her facilities. She is also responsible for developing company-wide clinical quality strategies for SCA, including best practice programs, patient safety initiatives, education programs and the development of cutting-edge tools. These services promote positive physician, staff and patient relations while upholding the highest quality standards of patient care.
Sharon Benson, RN, MSN, MBA, CASC. Ms. Benson is a vice eresident of operations with over 25 years of management and healthcare experience. Prior to joining ASCOA, Ms. Benson worked for 8 years with AmSurg Corp in all aspects of ASC operations. Most recently she worked as Associate vice president of operations for the Multi-Specialty Division of AmSurg Corp. Ms. Benson is a registered nurse who received her CASC in September 2006. She has been an active member of healthcare organizations and is currently a member of the American College Healthcare Executives. She completed her MSN at Wesley College in Delaware and MBA at the University of Arizona.
Cristina Bentin, CCS-P, CPC-H, CMA. Ms. Bentin is the president and founder of Coding Compliance Management, a healthcare consulting company specializing in business office/revenue cycle assessments, reimbursement audits, coding support and education. She is nationally recognized as a leading freestanding ASC coding educator, speaker and writer, with more than 21 years of experience in the ASC industry. Ms. Bentin currently serves on the Education & Programs Committee for ASCA.
Sandy Berreth, RN, MS, CASC. Ms. Berreth serves as the administrator of Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center, a multi-specialty ASC that performs approximately 5,000 cases a year. She has been in the ambulatory surgery management arena for 13 years and has worked at her current center since 2004. Ms. Berreth has been an AAAHC surveyor for two years and is currently juggling being an AAAHC surveyor with her accountability to her own organization. Speaking on her experience in the healthcare, Ms. Berreth says, “As an RN with 35 years of experience in multiple areas in the healthcare arena, I have developed a unique set of values that I believe is essential to succeed in the ambulatory surgery center business arena. I believe the primary goal of any ASC administrator is the commitment to delivering high-quality surgical services to ensure a superior patient experience and clinical outcomes, as well as developing a sound business plan and futuristic goals to achieve financial success for its partners.” During Ms. Berreth’s tenure, Brainerd Lakes has achieved the Edgesurvey’s APEX Quality Award for overall patient satisfaction for the last two years. Ms. Berreth holds a master’s degree in business organization and management.
Julie Berzins, RN, BSN, CASC, CNOR. Ms. Berzins is the director and CEO of North Meridian Surgery Center in Carmel, Ind. She has more than 20 years of clinical, administrative, teaching and consulting experience in ambulatory surgery and acute care surgical settings. Prior to coming to North Meridian Surgery Center, Ms. Berzins worked as a perioperative nurse, circulating nurse, scrub nurse, supervisor and ASC director at two multispecialty facilities. Ms. Berzins has also worked as a AAAHC surveyor, and is a member of APIC, AANN, AORN, and the patient safety coalition. North Meridian Surgery Center is an independent, physician-owned, outpatient pain and spine surgery center that has been open since 1993. In November 2011, the physicians moved into a new facility which Ms. Berzins helped design.
Dotty Bollinger, RN, JD, LHCRM, CASC. In just three years with Laser Spine Institute, Ms. Bollinger, senior vice president of medical operations, has established processes and procedures that improved efficiency of care at the facilities. Ms. Bollinger was instrumental in implementing electronic medical records at all Laser Spine Institute surgical centers, and she has been tasked with leading the company’s accreditation readiness efforts as well. Under her leadership, Laser Spine Institute has successfully acquired AAAHC accreditation status for three of its clinic and ambulatory surgery facilities. Ms. Bollinger is a frequently sought-after speaker on topics such as infection control, accreditation and patient safety.
Regina Boore, RN, BSN, MS, CASC. Ms. Boore is the principal and CEO of Progressive Surgical Solutions. She has more than 30 years of clinical, administrative, teaching and consulting experience in ambulatory surgery and currently serves as the administrator of Newport Bay Surgery Center. As the CEO of Progressive Surgical Solutions, Ms. Boore’s goal is to equip clients with functional tools and strategies to increase efficiency, improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life in the work environment. She is a frequent presenter on ambulatory surgery topics at national meetings and has published numerous articles in industry publications. Prior to coming to Progressive Surgical Solutions, Ms. Boore worked as a perioperative nurse, OR supervisor and ASC director.
Betty Bozzuto, RN, MBA, CASC. Ms. Bozzuto is executive director of Naugatuck Valley Surgical Center and former president and a founding member of the Connecticut Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. She is a former board member of FASA. Ms. Bozzuto is also a surveyor for AAAHC and president of Connecticut’s Ambulatory Surgery Center Patient Safety Organization. Ms. Bozzuto holds an MBA from the University of New Haven.
Jennifer Butterfield, RN, BSN, CNOR. Ms. Butterfield is the administrator of West Bloomfield Surgery Center, a multi-specialty, Joint Commission-accredited ASC that performs over 5,600 cases per year. She has worked in the ASC industry for over seven years, serving as OR manager and director of nursing prior to becoming an administrator. According to medical records coordinator Jen Hagerty, Ms. Butterfield has been instrumental in starting a spine program at the center and recruiting physicians for the program. While other ASCs in the area are struggling, WBSC is increasing patient volume. Ms. Hagerty credits the growth to excellent physician and staff dedication.
Karen Cannizzaro, CASC. Ms. Cannizzaro started her career in ambulatory surgery in 1992, working as a surgery scheduler. During her first six years in the ASC industry, she performed every non-nursing position, from ordering supplies to working with accounting. She says she “literally worked her way into administration” and received her CASC certification in 2006. Ms. Cannizzaro was recruited to the newly-opened Physicians Day Surgery Center in 1998, and other than a two-year break to pursue another interest, she has been there ever since. In the last year, case volume at Physicians Day Surgery Center rose 50 percent due to the recruitment of several new physicians. “A competing center in our town closed, and we were able to have some of their physicians begin working with us,” Ms. Cannizzaro says. “We absorbed the extra volume with minimal staff increases.” She says she anticipates case volume to reach 4,500 to 5,000 cases for 2012. “We have been able to accommodate the extra volume and still maintain over 99 percent patient satisfaction and retain all our original staff,” she says.
Connie Casey. Ms. Casey is the administrator of Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center, the first physician-owned surgery center in the West Palm Beach area. When the center opened in 1996, the owners were told they would never make it. Local providers weren’t used to the ASC model and believed competitors would force the facility out of business. Sixteen years later, Northpoint Surgery and Laser Center is one of the most profitable healthcare facilities in the area, staffing 80 employees and featuring five ORs, two endoscopy procedure rooms and a pain management center. “Our physicians work together solidly,” Ms. Casey says. “All physicians are a team. They understand the concept of the business and what it takes to make it work.” Ms. Casey credits her center’s success to its dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the center for more than 10 years. “When we took on [National Surgical Care as] an equity partner in 2003, the stipulation was that the employees were treated the same,” she says. The equity partner changed to AmSurg this year, and the center continues to thrive, inviting new physicians to join as they enter the area.
Carol Ciluffo. Ms. Ciluffo joined Pinnacle III in Sept. 2008 to launch a physician billing division within Specialty Billing Solutions and to oversee the operations of the ambulatory surgery billing division. She leads a staff of 19 employees in four departments and serves as a critical member of Pinnacle III’s executive management team. Specialty Billing Solutions works in tandem with Pinnacle III’s ASC development team in choosing, configuring and implementing the HIS system for the facility, as well as establishing business office policy and procedures and workflow for billing and collections. Ms. Ciluffo possess 25 years of service in the healthcare arena.
Monica Cintado. Ms. Cintado is the senior vice president of development for United Surgical Partners International, and she has been with USPI since 1998. Prior to joining USPI, Ms. Cintado provided development and operations support with the international group at HCA.
Rena Courtay, RN, BSN, MBA, CASC. Ms. Courtay is a regional vice president of Operations for Birmingham, Alabama based Surgical Care Affiliates, where she oversees the operations of five SCA partner ASCs. She has worked in the ASC industry for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, including operating room nurse, DON, administrator and regional vice president. Ms. Courtay has served on committees for both the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and the Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Cynthia Condron. Ms. Condron serves as the administrator of South Shore Surgery Center, a facility that opened in collaboration with ASCOA in Dec. 2010. The newly constructed facility is an 11,000-square-foot center with three operating rooms and two procedure rooms. The center achieved successful New York State licensure on Dec. 17 and performed its first case on Dec. 20. Prior to joining South Shore, Ms. Condron served as facility administrator in the construction and development of an orthopedic ASC on the north shore of Long Island, a position she held for six years. She also attained successful New York State licensure and Medicare/AAAHC certification with her prior center. Ms. Condron holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., and has over 15 years of experience in healthcare.
Mary Ann Cooney, RN, CASC. Ms. Cooney is the administrator of Riverside Outpatient Surgery Center in Columbus, Ohio, a multi-specialty facility in central Ohio with six ORs and one minor procedure room. ROSC performs over 6,000 cases per year. The specialties at the facility, which is currently managed by Health Inventures, include general surgery, gynecology, hand orthopedics, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery and urology. “Our philosophy is a professional service commitment, in partnership with patients, families, and other members of the health care team,” Ms. Cooney says. “We believe that the ambulatory surgery patient should expect to receive cost effective, convenient, efficient care, consistent with accepted standards of practice, recognizing the patients’ rights to be active participants in their plan of care.” The evolution of the center began with its building and opening in 1972 by a small group of innovative physicians and in 1977 was acquired by Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio as a freestanding outpatient surgery department. The surgery center became a joint venture with OhioHealth and physicians in 1997.
Rebecca Craig, RN, CNOR, CASC, CPC-H. Ms. Craig is CEO of Harmony Surgery Center, a multi-specialty, Joint Commission-accredited ASC. Ms. Craig helped to open the joint-venture center 12 years ago. She began her career as a registered nurse, working at a rural hospital in the OR, PACU, gastroenterology and pain management areas. She held several leadership roles in perioperative services before moving into outpatient and ambulatory surgery. In addition to her work with Harmony Surgery Center, Ms. Craig served as president for the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association from 2004 to 2007 and currently continues to participate as a board member. Ms. Craig had the pleasure of helping with the development of two new surgery centers in the Northern Colorado area in 2008. In May 2011, Ms. Craig was elected to serve on the ASC Association and ASC Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Craig was recently appointed to the Joint Commission Ambulatory Care Professional and Technical Advisory Committee and continues to serve on the OR Manager Ambulatory Surgery Advisory Board.
Tracy Cregg, CASC. Ms. Cregg was initially hired as the Surgery Center of Silverdale (Wash.)’s business manager before it opened in May 2007, and together with the medical director, completed the implementation of services at the center, including setting up the practice management system, hiring the staff, planning for the services and achieving accreditation and Medicare certification. The center received both AAAHC accreditation and CMS certification through an early option survey immediately upon opening its doors. Ms. Cregg was promoted to administrator in Feb. 2009 and has since added specialties and continued AAAHC accreditation, and received her CASC credential in 2011. Additionally, Ms. Cregg is very active in the Washington ASC Association and serves on the ASC Leadership Assembly for the Medical Group Management Association. The Surgery Center of Silverdale is currently adding another operating room to accommodate additional surgeons, and Ms. Cregg says her biggest challenge has been to continue to grow the business through the economic downturn.
Deborah Lee Crook, RN, CASC. Mrs. Crook’s ASC, Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center & Valley Medical Inn, is a seven-OR, multispecialty surgical facility with an attached post-surgical recovery care center . The center sees over 5,300 cases annually and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Ms Crook has worked in professional nursing and administration for over 25 years, with 19 years of her career spent at the ASC. Since assuming her role as administrator in 2006, she has implemented improvements and changes in communication, staffing patterns, teaching, use of technology, change in processes and expense management to increase the efficiency of the center. Ms. Crook says she has recently worked to increase and replace volume from retiring partners and medical staff, implement new procedures and seek opportunities for local growth in a changing healthcare environment.
Mary Cunningham, RN. Ms. Cunningham serves as the administrator of Surgical Institute of Monroe (Mich.), an organization she has served since January 2011. According to medical director Andrew Karpenko, MD, Ms. Cunningham “has a strong understanding of accreditation, staffing and running an ASC in general” and has been “instrumental in achieving accreditation.” Prior to joining Surgical Institute of Monroe, Ms. Cunningham served as administrative and nursing director for Mercy Memorial Outpatient Surgery Center, where she was responsible for directing and coordinating all aspects of operations at the surgery center.
Carla (Daley) Shehata, RN, BSN. Ms. Sheahta is director of clinical operations for Regent Surgical Health. In her current role, Ms. Shehata, supplies each center with her in-depth clinical knowledge daily as clinical director of operations. She has 18 years of nursing experience including supervisory roles at Kettering Medical Center-Sycamore, Miamisburg, Ohio. Among her many accomplishments, Carla has maintained high customer satisfaction scores and passed JCAHO Stroke Certification. She received an associate degree in nursing from Kettering College of Medical Arts and a BSN from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Louise DeChesser, RN, CNOR, MS. As administrator of Middlesex Surgery Center for Advanced Orthopedics and clinical director for Healthcare Venture Professionals, Ms. DeChesser has over 40 years of perioperative healthcare leadership experience. Ms DeChesser has served as director of surgical services for large New England Hospitals, as president of her own surgery center consulting company, Surgical Solutions, and in various regional, operational and administrator positions in surgery centers throughout the Northeast. In addition to her corporate responsibilities with HVP and her administrator position with MCAOS, she also sits on the board of directors for the Connecticut Patient Safety Organization, as well as the state committee to develop the state of Connecticut healthcare plan.
Anne Frey Dean, RN, BSN, LRM. Ms. Dean has been actively involved in the ambulatory surgery world since 1976, when she established two “outpatient” recovery rooms as a PACU charge nurse at Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio, Texas The need for such a room became apparent when trying to counsel outpatients about their postoperative care in the busy acute recovery environment. Upon becoming the operating room supervisor at this same hospital, she developed an outpatient operating room after observing the outpatients being bumped from the various operating rooms for longer cases and
emergencies. Shortly after that, Ms. Dean joined the SW Texas Methodist Hospital staff and developed a 13,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center. The ASC was so successful that within three years, 7,000 cases per year were being performed there. Ms. Dean has spoken internationally on the ASC industry and has published over 45 articles regarding various aspects of ambulatory surgery.
Linda Deeming, RN, BSN, MBA/HCM, CNOR, CASC. Ms. Deeming has served as the administrator of Longmont Surgery Center since Jan. 2009. The multi-specialty surgery center, which opened in Oct. 1996, has grown to include five ORs, two endoscopy suites and one procedure room. During this past year, Ms. Deeming was a speaker at the CASCA spring convention in Denver, achieved her CASC credentials, added five new procedures and seven new surgeons and increased the surgical and procedure numbers as well as the center’s net profit. She credits her center’s success to her board of directors, clinical and office staff, surgeons and anesthesiologists, who provide a dynamic, high-quality, friendly alternative for patients in need of surgical services. Additionally, this year she will serve as the committee chair for the 2012 CASCA Annual Spring Education Conference and is a member of the CASCA Government Relations Committee.
Roxanne Degnan, RN. Ms Degnan has been administrator at Riverview Ambulatory Surgical Center in Kingston, Pa., since November 2009. She received her CASC credential in 2006, a Master of Science in Organizational Management in 2008 and has been a surveyor for AAAHC since 2000. She is on the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification and the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association. Since becoming administrator, Ms. Degnan has made recruiting of physicians, inventory consignment, utilization of staff, employee satisfaction and building a more robust performance improvement program a priority. Over the past 2.5 years, she has recruited 12 new physicians and added a GYN specialty to Riverview.
Vicki Dekker. Ms Dekker is the director of business development at Blue Chip Surgical Center Partners. Prior to joining Blue Chip, she was responsible for the business office supporting the ENT, neurosurgery and neurology departments at the University of Minnesota. Ms. Dekker also managed an ENT group in Atlanta, where she developed and managed a single-specialty ENT surgery center that included facial plastic surgeries.
Jody Delahunty, RN, CNOR. Ms. Delahunty started at Heartland Surgery Center in Kearney, Neb., as clinical director when it opened in May 2001 and was asked to move into the administrator role one month later. The center’s first few years were “slow and steady,” she says, but when a large orthopedic group moved its cases to the center, case volume jumped from 2,000 cases annually to 5,600. Ms. Delahunty was instrumental in attracting the group to Heartland, as well as purchasing instruments, supplies and implants. Ms. Delahunty says the surgery center added a hand surgeon in 2011. Prior to her role at Heartland, Ms. Delahunty worked at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney for 21 years, serving as an RN in the surgery department. She has been an RN for 32 years and holds the CNOR credential. “I enjoy my challenging job and see it constantly evolving,” she says.
Pamela Dembski Hart, BS, MT (ACSP), CHSP. Ms. Dembski Hart serves as principal for Healthcare Accreditation Resources LLC, based in Boston. In this role, she brings extensive knowledge and 20 years of experience in assisting ambulatory surgery centers, dental and medical practices and laboratories to successfully meet federal, state and accreditation requirements. She previously served as the senior health and safety compliance specialist for MedSafe/TCS, where she provided regulatory audits and infection prevention oversight and instruction to a variety of healthcare practices and organizations. She also served as the clinical laboratory coordinator at Northeastern University, instructing physician assistants and medical laboratory science students in clinical laboratory science, theory, technique and practice.
LeeAnne Denney. Ms. Denney is the executive vice president of iVantage Health Analytics, where she helps the company strengthen its core products while introducing new products to meet market demands. She previously served as CEO of Health InfoTechnics, where she had primary responsibility for directing the strategic growth of the company. Ms. Denney has more than 25 years of experience with major healthcare corporations, developing a specialty in strategic planning and business development. Her leadership and industry knowledge catapulted Health InfoTechnics into one of the premier providers of planning information in the healthcare industry.
Joan Dentler, MBA. Ms. Dentler is president and founder of both ASC Strategies and Outpatient Strategies, providing hospitals and health systems consulting services related to strategy, project design and due diligence focusing on acquiring, partnering or developing outpatient facilities. Ms. Dentler serves on the advisory board for Community Hospital 100 and SurgiStrategies, Texas ASC Society Benchmarking Committee and the healthcare council of Gerson Lehrman Group. Prior to founding ASC Strategies and Outpatient Strategies, she worked in healthcare administration, serving as hospital liaison for hospital/physician joint ventures and administrator of women’s health and pediatric primary care facilities. She holds a MBA from the University of Texas.
Meena Desai, MD. Dr. Desai serves as the founder, president and CEO of Nova Anesthesia Professionals. Established in 2001, Nova Anesthesia provides physician and CRNA anesthesia services to endoscopy centers, ambulatory surgery centers, and specialty hospitals and the company’s more than 40 physicians and CRNAs provide anesthesia services for over 40,000 cases per year in three states. A board-certified anesthesiologist who has practiced since 1991, Dr. Desai also serves in numerous leadership positions for the Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia and the AAAHC. “Dr. Desai is truly one of the outstanding leaders in the field of ambulatory surgery and anesthesiology,” said Michael Rose, practice administrator with Nova Anesthesia.
Ann S. Deters. Ms. Deters is CEO of Vantage Outsourcing, a cataract outsourcing service serving hospital and surgery center clients throughout the country. Vantage provides clients with ophthalmic equipment, trained ophthalmic surgical coordinator technicians, intraocular lens and other cataract surgery supplies. In running Vantage Outsourcing, Ms. Deters draws on her experience operating an ASC in Missouri and consulting with hospitals and ASCs. Under her leadership, Vantage has saved healthcare organizations more than $93 million in capital and supply costs to date.
Gina Dolsen, RN, BSN, MA. Ms. Dolsen serves as vice president of operations for Blue Chip Surgery Center Partners. With more than 30 years in healthcare, Ms. Dolsen has broad expertise and deep experience in ASC development and operation, especially in regulatory compliance, clinical quality management and accreditation support. She came to Blue Chip after holding a regional management position with Health Inventures, where she worked closely with consulting and development teams in the operations preparation process. Previously, she served as a regional quality coordinator for a network of 11 ASCs in Illinois and Ohio, and has worked as a PACU nurse and director of nursing for both ASCs and hospitals.
Jill Dowe. Ms. Dowe serves as director of business office operations for Blue Chip Surgical Partners. In her previous role as business office manager of Surgery Center Cedar Rapids (Iowa), 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. She has also worked as a consultant for Health Inventures, where she trained new business office managers in daily and monthly tasks. Ms. Dowe obtained her MHA from the University of Iowa.
Lynda Dowman Simon. Ms. Simon is the administrator at St. John’s Clinic: Head & Neck Surgery in Springfield, Mo. Ms. Simon has been at her center since 1994. Prior to coming to St. John’s, she worked for 13 years at a local hospital in the open heart center and urology. According to Ms. Dowman Simon, St. John’s is the only ASC in Missouri dedicated solely to ENT procedures, and the center’s patient satisfaction rating currently sits at 98.17 percent. Ms. Dowman Simon listed a few issues plaguing surgery centers, including decreased reimbursements, high deductibles, increased use of Medicare/Medicaid as a payor sources and an aging nursing population. “The [nursing] workforce is aging out and the nursing schools are not offering surgery rotations,” she says. “Patients are also waiting longer to have necessary surgery, which means sicker patients with more co-morbidities, slower healing, poorer outcomes, litigation and increased infections.”
Vicki Edelman, RN, BSN, CASC. Ms. Edelman is the administrator of Blue Bell (Pa.) Surgery Center and currently is employed by ASCOA. The center is a four-room, multi-specialty ASC that operates with 22 surgical partners and an additional 5 affiliated physicians. Blue Bell Surgery Center specializes in orthopedics, ENT, pain management, plastic surgery, general surgery, ophthalmology, and gastroenterology and services over 300 patients per month. Ms. Edelman has been with Blue Bell since May 2008, during the center’s construction phase. Ms. Edelman credits her center’s success to the energy, resourcefulness and dedication of her team. “My job would not be possible without their tireless efforts to maintain our high standards, and their support in providing quality patient care to the community we serve,” she says. She has been a nurse for 33 years and began her career in medical surgical nursing.
Marie Edler, MPH. Ms. Edler is a senior director of reimbursement for Surgical Care Affiliates, based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is responsible for all reimbursement and contract negotiations for 30+ SCA partner ASCs as well as strategic planning with regard to rate growth for the region she serves. Prior to her position at SCA, she spent six years as director of reimbursement policy for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. Ms. Edler has been a frequent author and speaker on the topic of ASC reimbursement and has co-authored three editions of Finance and Accounting for ASCs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Teva Eiler. Ms. Eiler joined Hamot (Pa.) Surgery Center (now UPMC Hamot Surgery Center) in 2006 and worked as the surgery center’s purchasing manager and human resources coordinator for three years. In 2009, she was named administrative director of the surgery center. Prior to joining Hamot Surgery Center, she worked at Vantage Healthcare Network as the director of materials management, a role in which she worked with Premier affiliates to maximize savings, establish regional contracts and solicit potential new affiliates. Ms. Eiler earned an MS in health services administration from Gannon University in 1993 and became a Registered Laundry and Linen Director in 2001.
Stephanie Ellis, RN, CPC. Ms. Ellis is the president of Ellis Medical Consulting, and has worked with most surgical specialties, assisting ASCs, physician practices, hospitals and outpatient clinics around the country in her consulting work. Prior to starting the company, she worked as a fraud investigator for the Medicaid program in Tennessee and served as a case manager and utilization review nurse. Ellis Medical Consulting has been in business for 20 years, and Ms. Ellis is a regular contributor of articles on ASC topics for many national publications. She speaks regularly on ASC coding, billing and documentation topics and compliance issues for national meetings and has served as past officer and has been on the board of the Tennessee ASC Association for nine years.
Alice L. Epstein, MHAA, DFASHRM, FNAHQ, CPHQ, CPHRM. Ms. Epstein, with CAN HealthPro, has over 30 years of consulting, operational and clinical experience serving a broad array of healthcare clients with risk management and quality consulting. She concentrates on professional liability and general liability and takes on projects involving patient safety and risk management assessments of physician practices, medical clinics, ASCs and hospitals. An experienced educator, she provides on-site and web-based programs on a variety of topics, including office practice risk management, informed consent, disruptive healthcare providers and medical record documentation. Prior to joining CNA HealthPro, she developed and directed healthcare risk management consulting practices for an international insurance brokerage firm.
Pamela J. Ertel, RN, BSN, RNFA, CNOR, FABC, CASC. Ms. Ertel oversees daily operations at The Reading (Pa.) Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge, a multi-specialty ASC that includes eight operating rooms, 10 pre-operative bays, 19 post-operative bays and one special procedure room. She also serves as president of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association. Under Ms. Ertel’s leadership in 2011, the center implemented a new business office software and is currently in the process of implementing an EMR system. In addition, the center participated in a safety culture survey conducted by an outside benchmarking business, with resulting scores placing the ASC in the 99th percentile for safety culture. As president of PASA, she provided testimony to the Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee and met with the Executive Deputy Secretary and Secretary of Health to discuss challenges to the ASC industry.
Allison Estes, RN, BSN. Ms. Estes is the administrator of Lakeview Surgery Center in Warner Robbins, Ga., a two-room, single-specialty interventional pain management facility that opened in Feb. 2011. The center performs an average of 300-350 cases a month and provides interventional pain management options to over 36 counties. Ms. Estes entered the pain management field in 2006 as a founding administrator for an interventional pain management facility with an in-house procedure suite that grew into Lakeview Surgery Center. Prior to that, she worked as a nurse administrator in a podiatric surgery center, which she helped lead through the AAAHC re-accreditation process. She also helped open another AAAHC-accredited gastroenterological ASC, supporting the center as a staff RN and quality improvement supervisor. Under her guidance, her current ASC has implemented a thorough check system for each step of the patient care continuum, and Lakeview Surgery Center has seen continued growth since its inception, growing from one to two physicians in the past year. “Our practice has been able to maintain growth at a time when other businesses are struggling. I believe that our high standards of care and the quality of the services we provide are key components to this success,” she says.
Carolyn Evec, RN, CNOR. Ms. Evec has served as the administrator at The Surgery Center of Beaufort (S.C.) for over 10 years, after opening a surgery center in Missouri where she served as nurse manager. She has 40 years of nursing and administrative experience and has held various management positions including director of surgery, director of medical and surgical services, vice president of patient services and director of rural health clinics. Ms. Evec has served as president, president-elect and is currently secretary for the South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. Ms. Evec has helped improve efficiency at her center in many ways. “With the help of the staff, we developed an ordering system for supplies that now involves all of the staff and eliminated a part-time staff position,” she says. “We now order supplies two days a week, and it takes only about an hour to complete the process.”
Andrea Fann. Ms. Fann serves as the administrator of Orthopaedic South Surgical Center, a United Surgical Partners International facility in Morrow, Ga. She has served in the position — her first administrator role — since 2005, before which she worked as business office manager for Buckhead Ambulatory Surgery Center and as director of front office operations for Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Center (both HCA facilities). She prides herself on providing an honest, warm and caring atmosphere for everyone who enters her center: employees, physicians, visitors and patients. “When we take care of our employees and provide strong leadership, they are more productive, and their happiness is seen by our patients and physicians,” she says. Ms. Fann doesn’t take her role for granted. She firmly believes that a manager does not automatically become a leader and that installing the right team is essential for ASC success.
Judy Fladeboe. Ms. Fladeboe serves as the administrator of Willmar (Minn.) Surgery Center. During her career, Ms. Fladeboe has accumulated 25 years of experience working in emergency departments and GI/endoscopy units, including 15 years as manager. She also has five years of administrative experience in a multi-specialty clinic setting and seven years of management experience in a multi-specialty ASC. In her current position, she has led the ASC through a successful EMR implementation — Willmar Surgery Center has been using ProVation Medical software for five years. She has also helped the center achieve AAAHC accreditation. On her personal philosophy as an administrator, Ms. Fladeboe says, “My greatest reward is seeing staff develop to their full potential.”
Kerri Gantt. Ms. Gantt has been employed by Gastroenterology Associates of S.W. Florida and Barkley Surgicenter in Fort Myers for over 19 years. As administrator of the two organizations, she oversees business and clinical operations. According to Catherine Musselwhite, clinical supervisor of Gastroenterology Associates of S.W. Florida, Ms. Gantt’s contributions are critical to the success of the organizations. “Kerri tirelessly researchers ways to improve day-to-day functions and to make this a sensible and enjoyable work place,” she says. “There are many employees who have been here for over 10 years due to her commitment to the staff. The physicians count on her and she never lets them down.” Ms. Gantt oversees the facility’s compliance and is well versed with the JACHO standards and CMS regulations. She has served as past president of Health Management Association and is an active member of the Professional Association of Health Care Office Managers and the Medical Group Management Association. Ms. Gantt is also a licensed healthcare risk manager in the state of Florida, a certified medical manager and a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Ann Geier, MS, RN, CNOR, CASC. Ms. Geier, senior vice president of operations for ASCOA, has been involved in the ambulatory surgery industry in management roles since 1985. She has worked in all areas of freestanding ASCs and HOPDs, including pre-assessment, pre-op, OR, and PACU. Ms. Geier speaks frequently at national meetings on topics relating to case costing, financial topics for ASCs, human resources, staffing, clinical issues, such as infection control and regulatory requirements affecting ambulatory surgery centers. For many years, she taught the Credentialing portion for the AORN Ambulatory Surgery Administrator Certificate Program, which included Peer Review. She is a member of the expert group of the ASC Quality Collaboration and also serves as an AAAHC surveyor.
Michelle George, RN, MSN, CASC. Ms. George is a group director of clinical Services, quality and safety, for Birmingham, Ala.-based Surgical Care Affiliates. Her group includes all of the company’s West Coast partner ASCs and surgical hospitals. She is the author of numerous professional journal articles, and a contributing author for a nursing textbook. Ms. George is a member in good standing of multiple professional and academic program advisory boards dedicated to facilitating quality patient care and effective curricula for community college and state nursing programs. She has been a frequent guest lecturer for several nursing courses and professional conferences, an instructor of nursing curriculum and a member of the American Heart Association Board of Directors.
Nancy Goldbranson. Ms. Goldbranson, practice administrator of The Virginia Spine Institute in Reston, Va., is the practice’s most seasoned member after CEO and President Thomas C. Schuler, MD. She has committed herself to the institute for nearly 13 years, prior to which she studied business administrator at East Carolina University. According to her colleagues, Ms. Goldbranson ensures the six-physician practice runs seamlessly day in and day out, and her experience in all facets of the organization has proven to be a vital factor in its success. “I have known Nancy for 19 years,” says Dr. Schuler. “She is bright, honest, ethical, compassionate and possesses great integrity. She is unparalleled in her understanding of customer service.” Ms. Goldbranson’s senior administrative assistant, Linda Brock, says Ms. Goldbranson’s vision inspired her to want her current job in the first place. Under her direction, the practice won a “Best Places to Work” award from Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Business Journal. According to Erin Orr, marketing director with Virginia Spine Institute, Ms. Goldbranson is “dedicated to ensuring employees are well-rounded and dedicated to constant self-improvement — basic skills training and beyond.”
Judy Graham. Ms. Graham is administrator of Cypress Surgery Center in Wichita, Kan., a freestanding, multi-specialty ASC that opened in Dec. 2000. In 2006, the physicians that founded Cypress entered into a joint venture with Symbion Healthcare. Ms. Graham has been with Cypress for 9.5 years, since construction on the facility began. She has a strong clinical background in the OR and ambulatory surgery and previously served as an OR manager and a clinical director in ASCs before moving into the role of administrator. Ms. Graham has faced many challenges, including developing a partnership between a privately owned center and a corporate partner. When it comes to Cypress’ success, Ms. Graham says, “Our employees have always been the source of our success, and it has been such an honor and privilege to lead them the past 11 years. Cypress is very fortunate to have a great group of physicians who work well together and treat the staff with dignity and respect.” She says her greatest challenges during 2011 have been keeping the center successful during the changing economic and healthcare environments.
Julie Greene. Ms. Greene is the CEO of Muskegon Surgery Center in Muskegon, Mich., and Regional Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC, a consulting organization. A longtime member of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Association Board, Ms. Greene has been involved in several projects including working with BCBS of Michigan to increase reimbursement to a level that allows spine surgeries to be performed in the ASC setting. Currently, Ms. Greene is encouraging the development of a Midwest, multi-state Purchasing Alliance that enables independent ASCs to enjoy the benefits of negotiated purchasing together.
Kelly Grier. Ms. Grier, senior vice president of business operations for ASD Management, focuses on maximizing the profitability of surgery centers by managing, developing and training their business staff. She developed a business office procedures manual, regularly updated with billing and coding rules of the AMA and CMS. Ms. Grier has helped to successfully manage over 30 surgery centers across the United States — start-ups as well as re-developed centers. She recruits, hires and trains new staff, as well as plans and organizes the firm’s annual business office conference. Prior to joining ASD, Ms. Grier worked as director of reimbursement for Amedisys and business office manager and coding specialist for HealthSouth Surgery Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Jovanna R. Grissom, BSN, CASC. Ms. Grissom is regional vice president of operations for Meridian Surgical Partners. She has over 22 years of nursing experience and several years of additional experience developing and implementing new programs in bariatrics, joints and spine. She is founder and current president of the Nevada ASC Association and past chairperson of the Ambulatory Surgery Foundation. Ms. Grissom earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from St. Catherine’s in Minnesota.
Debra Hagendorn. Ms. Hagendorn, administrator of South Shore Ambulatory Surgical Center in Lynbrook, N.Y., started her career at South Shore as the OR nurse manager and was promoted to the administrator position. When Ms. Hagendorn stepped into the position, the surgery center was having problems: missing policy and procedures, inadequately defined governance structure and lack of credentialing. According to Stephen Dayan, MD, “All these issues were successfully overcome.” Under Ms. Hagendorn’s leadership, the AAAHC was passé don the first attempt and the center was given a three-year certificate. Dr. Dayan says that in addition to the routine responsibilities of forecasting budgets, recruiting surgeons and managing personnel, Ms. Hagendorn had to handle a surprise New York state inspection that found structural defects and deficiencies in the physical plant of the center. “Debbie singlehandedly kept the ASC open by working with New York State,” he says.
Marilyn Hanchett, RN. Ms. Hanchett is the senior director of clinical innovation at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. She is dual-certified in infection control and healthcare quality and has spoken and written on the topic of infection control on numerous occasions. Before joining APIC in 2010, Ms. Hanchett served at CMS as infection control technical lead for the ambulatory surgery center program.
Deedra Hartung. Ms. Hartung is the senior executive vice president and managing director of Cejka Executive Search, the fifth largest healthcare executive search firm in the United States. Ms. Hartung brings over two decades of healthcare executive experience and 11 years of healthcare and academic executive search experience to her clients. She recruits national leaders on behalf of preeminent hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers and schools of medicine and physician group practices. She is a frequent invited speaker at the ACHE Congress, and her articles on CEO leadership and physician executive leadership are published in numerous professional journals.
Kimble Hatridge. Ms. Hatridge serves as administrator of Texarkana Surgery Center, one of Symbion Healthcare’s 62 surgical facilities. Texarkana Surgery Center is a multi-specialty surgery facility that opened in 1995. Ms. Hatridge has 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, and her track record includes successful recruitment and retention of physician partners, strong financial growth, and the development of a strong team of healthcare professionals. Ms. Hatridge’s experience includes facility startup, strategic planning, budgeting, performance improvement, risk management, development of business office practices. Ms. Hatridge is actively involved in the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society and currently serves on their Legislative Committee.
Colleen Heeter. As senior vice president of operations design for Nueterra Healthcare, Ms. Heeter provides leadership for a broad range of clinical and operational services, including project development, business office services, policies and procedures, clinical services, risk management, compliance, imaging services and supply chain management. Before assuming her current role, Ms. Heeter served as a group vice president for Nueterra. She brings more than 20 years of diverse healthcare experience to the company, including service as an ASC administrator, where she was responsible for financial administration, operations, human resources and planning and development. Ms. Heeter is a published author as well as a nationally requested speaker.
Carol Hiatt, RN, LHRM, CASC. Ms. Hiatt is a licensed risk manager in Florida and AAAHC surveyor who joined the consulting team of Healthcare Consultants International, a subsidiary of AAAHC, in 2011. Ms. Hiatt specializes in building effective risk management programs for surgical facilities and emphasizes the importance of risk management for surgery centers.
Carolyn Hollowood, RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, CASC. Ms. Hollowood is the administrator of City Place Surgery Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., a four-OR, orthopedic-driven surgery center. She has been with the center for almost 12 years, starting when it operated out of a two-OR surgery center. Six years ago, she helped design the new center — a medical office building which is now open. In Sept. 2009, the center partnered with Meridian Surgical Partners. During her tenure at City Place, Ms. Hollowood has managed to standardize much of the equipment the surgeons use at the center, as well as introduce new procedures and processes into daily operations. With 20 years of nursing experience under her belt, Ms. Hollowood knows how to pitch in and help out around her center. In addition to her full time administrator position, she has spent some time consulting for a newly constructed center. She also finds time to do AAAHC surveys. Prior to joining City Place, she worked as an RN first assistant at an acute care center.
Beth Ann Johnson, RN. In 2005, Ms. Johnson joined Blue Chip Surgical from LCA Vision, where she served as vice president of operations, responsible for the growth of the ophthalmic surgery center business. Previously, Ms. Johnson was with Aetna as director of provider relations, recruitment and contracting for the tri-state region. She has extensive experience in the development and ongoing management of hospital-owned, minimally invasive surgery centers. She began her career as an RN in the operating room, rapidly advancing to director of surgical services, supervising 13 ORs and the PACU of a major tertiary care medical center in Cincinnati.
Ellen M. Johnson. Ms. Johnson is the chief operating officer of Facility Development and Management and has more than 25 years experience within the healthcare arena. Prior to joining FDM in 2001, Ms. Johnson held management positions with a physician/hospital organization as well as various departments in a suburban regional medical center. During her tenure there, Ms. Johnson worked in the human resources department as the employee relations manager. She subsequently moved to the planning and marketing department, where she had pivotal roles in the hospital’s strategic and operational initiatives to include ambulatory surgery, emergency department, trauma program, maternal child and renal dialysis. While at the physician/hospital organization, Ms. Johnson served as the executive director of physician relations.
Jen Johnson, CFA. Ms. Johnson is a partner with VMG Health. Her expertise is related to the in-depth knowledge required to understand fair market value challenges, market data and regulatory guidelines associated with valuing professional service arrangements for healthcare systems and life sciences companies. She has been published and presented over a dozen times on determining fair market value for physician compensation arrangements. She previously worked with a national consulting practice in their forensic and litigation services department and at University of North Texas as a finance professor. She earned her MBA in finance and her CFA designation while working for several companies as a consultant.
Milla Jones. Ms. Jones serves as vice president of government relations for United Surgical Partners International. She has 40 years of healthcare experience and has been politically active at the state and federal level for over 20 years. Prior to USPI she worked for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. Her current responsibilities include coordinating and managing state and federal advocacy efforts for USPI and its partners. She is also active on the board of the Texas ASC Society and with many other state ASC associations.
Sandra Jones, MBA, MS, CASC, FHFMA. Ms. Jones, executive vice president and chief operating officer for management and development company ASD Management, has vast expertise in surgery centers, physician practices and hospitals. Prior to assuming her role at ASD Management, Ms. Jones was president of Ambulatory Strategies, and a regional managed care coordinator, risk manager and facility administrator for Premier Ambulatory Systems. She was a CEO and COO at for-profit hospitals and case management director for several hospitals and clinics. She is credentialed in quality improvement, a licensed risk manager and nationally recognized expert in regulatory compliance. Ms. Jones has served on numerous national and state health care boards, editorial boards, and is an author, lecturer and educator.
Amanda Kane. Ms. Kane is manager of business development for Blue Chip Surgery Center Partners. Bringing 10 years of experience in serving physicians to her current role, Ms. Kane joined Blue Chip from Safe Sedation, an anesthesia services provider. There, she helped attain more than $5 million in annual revenue while managing key relationships with surgeons and office staff. Prior to working with Safe Sedation, she spent eight years in various roles at Quest Diagnostics, most recently serving as an account executive.
I. Naya Kehayes, MPH. Ms. Kehayes is the founder, managing member and CEO of Eveia Health Consulting & Management. She is a nationally recognized for her expertise in reimbursement systems, managed care and insurance contract negotiations for ASCs and surgical practices. Ms. Kehayes is a former president of the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.
Mary Ann Kelly. Ms. Kelly began at Madison (Ala.) Surgery Center in Alabama as the clinical director prior to completion of construction. In his role, she was involved in staffing the facility, purchasing supplies and completing capital purchases as the staff prepared the physical facility for opening. Shortly after the center opened, the previous administrator resigned and Ms. Kelly became the onsite de facto administrator. She transitioned into the administrator position in 2006. The surgery center is a multi-specialty, physician-owned center with five ORs and five procedure rooms. “As a result of successful physician recruitment, we have grown from 4,000 patients a year to over 11,000 patients a year,” she says. “We have had three successful AAAHC Medicare Deemed surveys in our weight years, receiving three-year accreditations each time.”
Cindy King. As Health Inventures’ assistant vice president of clinical quality and compliance, Ms. King works closely with and provides consultation and education to corporate and client members for services pertaining to licensure, regulatory and accreditation compliance, oversight of risk management issues and the managerial direction of facility operations within the clinical practice setting. These services promote positive physician, staff and patient relations while upholding the highest quality standards of patient care by utilizing the most efficient and cost-effective methodology available. Ms. King’s professional nursing/management career spans 29 years of involvement with ambulatory surgery centers and has included the development, launch and governance of several ASCs throughout various states across the country.
Susan Kizirian, BSN, RN, MBA. Ms. Kizirian is the COO of ASCOA and has more than 27 years of experience in all aspects of ASC operations. Ms. Kizirian has served as an administrative executive and a consultant for ASC management and development, physician practice management and clinical site research. She is one of the founders and lifetime president emeritus of the Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgical Centers and past president of the Ambulatory Surgery Management Society of the Medical Group Management Association.
Catherine W. Kowalski, RN. Ms. Kowalski brings more than 20 years of healthcare experience to her position as executive vice president and COO for Meridian Surgical Partners. Prior to joining Meridian, Ms. Kowalski served as the executive vice president of operations and co-founder of Surgical Alliance Corp., a specialty surgical hospital company founded in 2001. Prior to Surgical Alliance, Ms. Kowalski served as co-founder and vice president, operations and hospital/ancillary services of OrthoExcel, a hospital management company focused on contractual management of orthopedic hospital business lines. She is an excellent source on topics related to ASC and surgical hospital development and operations, orthopedic-driven ASCs, managed care contracting and optimizing reimbursements.
Heidi Kruger. Ms. Kruger is the executive director for Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz., a surgery center that recently celebrated its three-year anniversary. In its first three years, the surgery center has experienced tremendous growth and success, achieving accreditation from the AAAHC in March 2010. Ms. Kruger shares leadership of the center with chairman of surgery Michael C. Weiss, MD. She joined Laser Spine Institute in 2008 as a seminar patient coordinator and transitioned into the role of consult specialist, where she worked side-by-side with the Laser Spine Institute Arizona clinical team to facilitate the patient process and has since served as executive director since 2010. Under Ms. Kruger’s leadership, the center maintains a patient satisfaction rate of more than 95 percent and cares for more than 125 surgical patients each month.
Beth LaBouyer, RN, BSN, CNOR. Ms. LaBouyer has served as the executive director of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association since 2004. Prior to her role as executive director, she served on the CASA Board of Directors. CASA has over 340 members and is an extremely active association, advocating on behalf of ASCs with the California Legislature, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the major health plans. “Education is a major part of the association, including the annual conference and a separate seminar devoted entirely to infection control training,” Ms. LaBouyer says. Through a partnership with the Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, CASA offers a California specific benchmarking program that allows CASA members to compare their operations to other ASCs in their particular regions from a management and clinical perspective. Ms. LaBouyer is a registered nurse and as worked in the surgery environment for over 25 years. She served for many years as the director for Feather River Surgery Center in Yuba City, Calif., and as a surgical nurse and manager at Rideout Hospital in Marysville, Calif.
Angela Laux. Ms. Laux started as the administrator of Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center in Green Bay, Wis., in June 2010. In 2011, the center surpassed all its budget goals for case volume and revenue. “I believe that this was accomplished due to listening carefully to the requests of the surgeons and making this a place that they and their patients enjoy coming to for surgery,” she says. “Because of the increased volume, we were able to open our fourth OR last month.” In 2011, the center also launched a website that includes many patient education information forms and videos. Prior to joining Bellin Orthopedic, Ms. Laux served as director of quality and outpatient joint program coordinator at The Orthopedics and Sports Institute in Appleton, Wis. In this role, she assured the institute followed all AAAHC/CMS requirements and served as staff educator for the facility. Ms. Laux graduated from Marian University with a master’s degree in organizational leadership and quality in 2009.
Beverly LeMaster. Ms. LeMaster serves as clinical director and administrator of Physicians’ Surgical Center in Belleville, Ill., a position she has held since 2010, when the two positions were combined. Ms. LeMaster is a registered nurse with an ER/OR background who previously worked in a multi-specialty center. With her current center, a Meridian Surgical Partners facility, she has been instrumental in the expansion of the facility’s GI program, recruiting two new physician partners. She is currently facilitating the expansion of pain management services within the center. Ms. LeMaster describes herself as having a passion for inventory control, cost-saving opportunities and staff development through cross training.
Kathy Lindstrom, RHIT. Ms. Lindstrom works as a coding specialist for ProVation Medical, which she joined in January 2007. Her expertise lies in ICD-9, ICD-10, CPT and terminology coding, which involves analyzing data from SNOMED, RxNorm, LOINC and MEDCIN. Additionally, she specializes in clinical documentation with the surgical specialties of general surgery, gynecology, plastics, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. Ms. Lindstrom’s physician and hospital coding experience in the HIM field covers successful ICD-10 implementation internationally, physician coding training, physician office coding and training, surgical coding, pediatrics, hospital outpatient coding and denials management.
Becky Mann. Ms. Mann is the director of Houston Orthopedic Surgery Center. Ms. Mann came to Houston Orthopedic in May 2007 and was involved in the development of the center. Ms. Mann has been working in the medical industry for 38 years in surgery or in post-surgical care. The surgery center added an additional orthopedic surgeon in 2011 and had an AAAHC survey the Monday after Thanksgiving, receiving a three-year accreditation. She says the staff has also updated the center’s 4010 and 5010 claims forms, and they are in the process of attending courses regarding ICD-10. “I continue to say that being director of Houston Orthopedic Surgery Center is the best job I have ever had,” she says. “I look forward to being here for many years.”
Lori Martin. Ms. Martin, administrator and director of nursing at SUMMIT Surgery Center in Reno, Nev., since 2009, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of one of the newest surgery centers in Reno. She was an integral part of opening the center and is now focused on recruiting physicians, hiring quality staff and achieving financial success. In 2011, Ms. Martin was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer and received chemotherapy for six months. “During this time, I continued to work full-time, and the center has flourished,” Ms. Martin says. “Our patient satisfaction scores are the highest that they have ever been, and our monthly volumes are consistent and growing.” Ms. Martin continues to serve as secretary for the Nevada Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, and the center recently underwent a state survey with zero deficiencies.
Sarah Martin, MBA, RN, CASC. Ms. Martin is with Symbion and previously served as vice president of operations for Meridian Surgical Partners. She has over 30 years of healthcare experience, having focused in the ambulatory surgery center arena for the past decade. Prior to joining Meridian, Ms. Martin was the regional director of ASCs for Universal Health Services, where she managed ASCs as well as specialty hospitals. She also worked as regional vice president for Symbion Healthcare, covering the Midwest region, which included ASCs, surgical hospitals and an imaging center. She has developed both single- and multi-specialty surgery centers. As a current board member of the Ambulatory Surgery Foundation, Ms. Martin was previously a board member for AAASC and is an avid supporter of state associations. She restarted the Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and served as president and executive director.
Christy A. May, MS, RHIA. Ms. May is a coding and medical content specialist for ProVation Medical, a Wolters Kluwer company, where she primarily focuses on physician clinical coding, ICD-9, ICD-10 and CPT coding. She also focuses on terminology coding, which involves analyzing data from SNOMED CT, RxNorm, LOINC and MEDCIN. She previously worked as a revenue cycle optimization specialist at Fairview Health Services.
Amy McKiernan, RN. Ms. McKiernan joined Louisville (Ky.) Surgery Center in Jan. 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. The center currently performs plastics, orthopedics, ENT and pain management in two ORs and seven pre-op/recovery bays. She says the center has also benefitted from ASD Management’s bonus program. Since the implementation of the program, the staff has looked to every area of the center for cost savings. She says the center received AAAHC re-accreditation in June with zero Medicare deficiencies — “a huge relief,” according to Ms. McKiernan. She says the center lost two physicians to another surgery center, but staff were moved around without having to let anyone go. “By showing our ENT physicians case-costing on their tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies, we are now saving anywhere from $115 to $160 per case,” she says.
Dawn McLane, RN, MSA, CASC, CNOR. Ms.McLane has worked in the ASC industry since 1995 and currently serves as regional vice president of operations. She joined Health Inventures in 2010 and is responsible for pre-operations and operational accountability for joint venture ambulatory surgery centers at multiple surgery center sites. Ms. McLane previously worked as CDO for NRG and as vice president of operations for Aspen Healthcare and National Surgical Care, where she was a consultant in the development and management of ASC and HOPDs. Dawn developed and served as executive director for Allied Physicians Surgery Center in South Bend, Ind., and as clinical director for RiverPointe Surgery Center in Elkhart, Ind. Prior to development and management of ASCs, Dawn was a manager and staff nurse in hospitals, where she worked in OR, PACU, ER and OB.
Cathy Meredith, RN, BS, CASC. Ms. Meredith is a vice president of finance for ASCOA. She has been managing surgery departments since 1979 and has extensive experience in all phases and aspects of inpatient and outpatient surgery management and development. Her ambulatory systems expertise extends to physician offices, where she has set up office-based operation rooms, endoscopy suites and pulmonary function and cardiac testing labs. Prior to joining ASCOA, Ms. Meredith worked primarily in the development of ambulatory surgery centers with Woodrum/ASD.
Evelyn S. Miller, CPA. As vice president at United Surgical Partners International, Ms. Miller is responsible for the operations of two Pennsyvlania markets – Pittsburgh and Hershey. Previously, she worked as vice president of development and was responsible for the strategic direction of USPI’s mergers and acquisitions efforts. A certified public accountant, Ms. Miller began her career in healthcare as the System Controller at All Saints Health System in Fort Worth, Texas (now a part of the Baylor Health Care System). Prior to joining USPI, she was executive vice president of Medway Health Systems, overseeing the financial operations of its medical clinics. Ms. Miller received her BS in accounting and management at York College of Pennsylvania.
Krystal Mims. Ms. Mims is president of Texas Health Partners. She is responsible for the overall management of five managed facilities. These facilities are Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery Plano, Texas Health Surgery Center Denton, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall. Ms. Mims was instrumental in the successful development and management of each of these facilities and has been with Texas Health Partners since its inception. Her background in healthcare began in physician practice management. She was CFO of Texas Back Institute in Plano and also administrator of Steadman Hawkins Denver Clinic.
Dee Moncrief. Ms. Moncrief has been with her center, Big Creek Surgery Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, since October 2005 and was involved with the development, initial staff hiring and start up of the center. She brings 15 years of experience in the ASC industry to her current role, having previously served as a nurse’s aid and ICU nurse at a hospital. She also served as the administrator of another center for 3.5 years before coming to Big Creek Surgery Center. Ms. Moncrief earned her BSN from the University of Akron in Ohio.
Jennifer Morris. Ms. Morris serves as administrator of Stateline Surgery Center in Galena, Kan., which opened March 28, 2010. The center has two ORs and performs primarily orthopedic cases. According to Carrie Ellefsen, RN, assistant director of nursing at the center, she and Ms. Morris worked together at Four States Surgery Center in Joplin, Mo., for 10 years before arriving at Stateline together. “We had less than three months to get the surgery center ready,” she says. “It was an empty shell when we came, so we had to help design it, order supplies and equipment, develop policies and procedures and do everything else there is to do to meet regulations in less than three months.” In 2011, the center experienced significant growth; after the Joplin, Mo., tornado, volume doubled overnight, requiring the addition of a third operating room. She says while not all the specialties added during the tornado were retained, the center did retain a GI physician and is planning to recruit a second GI physician in the fall.
Amy Mowles. Ms. Mowles is president and CEO of Mowles Medical Management, a consulting and management company in business for 15 years. As a fee-based regulatory consultant, she not only provides rare and valuable expertise, but also educates, prepares and assists her clients with implementing policies and procedures, provisions and standards. Her consulting aims to produce a facility that meets the highest standards for regulatory conformance and third party accreditation, without need to surrender exclusive ownership in an effort to secure outsourced management. Ms. Mowles has successfully guided hundreds of single and multi-specialty centers in 22 states across the United States and fully developed 35 ASCs, most concentrating solely on interventional pain management.
Susan Nance, RN, CASC. Gateway Surgery Center in a Phoenix, Ariz., is a primarily orthopedic-driven, free-standing surgery center owned partly by physicians and partly by AmSurg. According to Peg Jahn, BS, RN, nurse manager at the center, Ms. Nance leads the center by example and has implemented many positive changes to enhance patient care. “She leads by example and has implemented many positive changes to enhance the care we provide for our patients and their families,” she says. “She fosters teamwork between all areas of the center and is always creative in coming up with new ideas to keep the staff motivated and enthusiastic.”
Jessica Nantz. Ms. Nantz is the president and founder of Outpatient Healthcare Strategies. She has worked in the healthcare field for 25 years, with the past 15 years focused in the outpatient healthcare setting. She held a senior level executive position operating and managing more than 80 facilities, including ASCs, imaging centers, physical therapy centers and rehabilitation hospitals for HealthSouth Corporation. In 2003, she founded mdStrategies, a successful ASC coding company, which she later sold and went on to be founder and principal of ASC Strategies, which focused primarily on hospital outpatient departments and ASCs. Her experience and expertise are focused on increasing operational efficiencies and understanding that synergistic physician relationships are essential to successful operations.
Amber Patterson. “I’m young, but I’m working extremely hard to become an excellent administrator,” says Ms. Patterson, practice administrator of Ear Nose & Throat Clinic and Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga. She came to Westside Surgery Center in Dec. 2008, when she inherited the administrator position of the freestanding, physician-owned ASC. In her first three years with the center, she has 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. In constant pursuit of professional development, Ms. Patterson is currently pursuing a degree in business administration. “The business side of the medical field is my passion,” Ms. Patterson says. “I absolutely love learning more about the industry.” Her main role at the surgery center currently is to oversee the quality improvement program, staffing and business operations.
Linda Kelley Peterson, MBA. Ms. Peterson is founder and CEO of Executive Solutions for Healthcare, providing consulting in mergers and acquisitions, development, management, compliance and operational reviews of surgery and imaging centers, as well as new product line consulting for physicians and hospital systems. Ms. Peterson has more than 35 years of experience in development and operational management of ambulatory healthcare organizations. Her previous experience includes corporate director of development/registered representative for HealthSouth, development consultant for national ASC management and consulting companies and executive director for ambulatory care at The Joint Commission.
Linda Phillips, RN. Ms. Phillips has served as administrator of Southgate Surgery Center in Michigan since 1999, when she was promoted to the position from OR supervisor. During her tenure as administrator, she expanded the ASC from a one-room, single-specialty center to a four-room, multispecialty ASC and increased the number of surgeons on staff from one to 20. She’s proud to say that she recently added a GI doctor and an ocuplastic surgeon to the surgical staff. She is also very proud of the addition of the surgery center’s humanitarian programs, Neighbors in Need and Colon Cancer Awareness, which offer GI and ophthalmic procedures to patients that are uninsured and experience financial hardship. “It’s very rewarding to offer these programs as a way to give back to our community,” Ms. Phillips says.
Terry Rajendran, MHA. Ms. Rajendran is cofounder and CEO of Johnstown, Colo.-based LaClaro, a revenue cycle software company that specializes in the Surgery Market. The company’s flagship product, Lighthouse, is a web-based tool to improve workflow management, analytics and reporting for ASCs. In addition to her work with LaClaro, Ms. Rajendran serves as revenue cycle director at Surgical Center at Premier in Colorado Springs. The five-OR center treats approximately 450 patients per month, about half of which receive orthopedic surgery services. In her role at Surgical Center at Premier, Ms. Rajendran is responsible for managing workflow, collector oversight, management reporting and negotiating payor contacts.
Toni Rambeau. Ms. Rambeau started at SurgCenter of Glen Burnie (Ind.) in Aug. 2008 as materials manager and was promoted to administrator in May 2009. During her time at the center, she has helped increase patient revenue, case volume and the amount of the providers credentialed at the center. The center achieved a three-year AAAAHC accreditation in 2010 and has since helped sister centers with questions and issues surrounding accreditation. According to Ms. Rambeau, the center consistently achieves low infection control rates, high revenue and great patient care surveys, three goals the ASC team doggedly pursues. “The center is running very smoothly and efficiently,” she says. “The staff here has made my job an easy one. The center continues to achieve excellent patient satisfaction scores, below average infection rates and is a very profitable business.” She says even when the center’s schedule is packed, her “never say no policy” means all patients are accommodated.
Lori Ramirez. Ms. Ramirez founded Elite Surgical Affiliates in 2008 and now leads the company as its president and CEO. Ms. Ramirez launched her business in the middle of the recession and, despite countless obstacles, forged ahead to build a company that provides management and development services for surgical facilities with a special emphasis on orthopedics, spine and pain. Ms. Ramirez drew inspiration for the firm from her 12 years of prior experience in surgical development, operations and management. Before founding Elite Surgical Affiliates, Ms. Ramirez served as senior vice president at United Surgical Partners International. In this role, she was directly responsible for developing the second-largest network of surgical facilities for USPI in Houston and supervising more than 600 employees.
Anne Remm. Ms. Remm, administrator of Miracle Hills Surgery Center in Omaha, Neb., has over 28 years nursing experience with 20 years of surgical management experience in the acute-care hospital and ASC settings. Ms. Remm has worked for Meridian Surgical Partners for the past three years and is a member of the Nebraska Association of Independent Ambulatory Centers. Ms. Remm has been a speaker at Becker’s Healthcare meeting sand has been named a “great administrator to know” for two years. While at Miracle Hills Surgery Center, she has strived for high quality surgical services to ensure a great patient experience with exceptional clinical outcomes, while following a profitable business plan.
Anne Roberts, RN. Ms. Roberts is the administrator at the Surgery Center at Reno (Nev.), a multi-specialty ASC that is owned by physician partners, a hospital partner — Saint Mary’s Hospital, and a managing partner — Regent Surgical Health. Ms. Roberts came to the Surgery Center at Reno in Feb. 2006 when it opened and became administrator in Oct. 2006. She began her career as a nurse in the emergency department, spending 16 years as a staff nurse and 10 years as the manager of a busy ED. She says this experience lends itself well to the challenges faced daily in the outpatient surgery arena. “We have an outstanding staff and physician group that makes such a difference and provides excellent care to our patients,” Ms. Roberts says. “It is such a pleasure to work in this facility with such great people.” Vicki Webb, business manager at Surgery Center of Reno, says that Ms. Roberts “is the best boss I have ever worked for.”
Beverly Robins. Ms. Robins serves as director of accreditation services for Chicago-based Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, the nation’s oldest hospital accreditation organization, established by CMS in 1965. At HFAP, Ms. Robins is responsible for establishing and implementing HFAP policy, as well as overseeing surveyor placement. She previously served for eight years as the Joint Commission’s field director of ambulatory care.
Kate Rock. Ms. Rock has over 15 years of healthcare leadership. She currently serves as executive director of Doylestown Surgery Center in Warrington, Pa., a community 30 minutes north of Philadelphia. The multi-specialty center, which opened in May 2001, sees an annual case volume of 4,500 cases and received its three-year AAAHC accreditation in Nov. 2010. Ms. Rock was hired in Feb. 2010, and within 10 months, the center presented a positive bottom line and reduced expenses by over $400,000 from the previous year. In 2011, the center saw a continued decrease in expenses. Ms. Rock and her team realized these significant changes by reviewing and re-evaluating staffing; reviewing and re-negotiating every vendor contract; hiring a full-time materials manager; adding several new surgeons; and starting the reprocessing of single-use instruments. “The relationship between the physicians and the staff is extraordinary, because everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” Ms Rock says. “Attention to quality and safety, coupled with compassion, are hallmarks of our culture. Our goal is to create and maintain a ‘culture of excellence.'”
Lisa Rock. Ms. Rock is the founder and president of national medical billing services, a national revenue cycle management company that focuses solely on servicing ambulatory surgery centers and their affiliated surgeons. Ms. Rock is a trusted business advisor to ASC clients in more than 35 states and a respected healthcare management leader with over 30 years of experience. Her breadth and depth of industry knowledge — from managed care contracting to individual state regulations to federal mandates — helps ASCs maximize revenue and overcome the industry challenges that can limit their profitability and success. Her wide-ranging background consists of vice president of business office operations for an ASC development and management company and director of training and education for a large regional payor. She has also managed private practices in the specialties of orthopedics, retina surgery, cardiology and anesthesia.
Lauri Rose. Ms. Rose, administrator of Stonegate Surgery Center in Austin, Texas, has been involved in the development and management of ambulatory surgery centers since 1997. In that time, she has been successful in providing both physician owners and general partners a surgical center of excellence to perform safe, efficient and cost-effective outpatient surgical procedures. Ms. Rose is highly regarded by staff, physicians and patients to provide administrative leadership to the facility. In her career, she has successfully developed, managed, and improved the financial stability in over 15 ambulatory surgery centers throughout the country. Ms. Rose has also taught healthcare administration in the School of Nursing at the University of Phoenix for over six years. She has been in her current role of administrator at Stonegate Surgery Center for over a year.
Mary Ryan, RN, CASC. Ms. Ryan is the administrator of Tri State Surgery Center in Dubuque, Iowa, a multi-specialty facility in eastern Iowa with three ORs and two procedure rooms. Tri State performs over 5,000 cases annually. The specialties at the facility include ENT, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry and urology. The evolution of the center began with its building and opening in 1998 by Medical Associates Clinics and Health Plans and Mercy Hospital. The center is managed by Health Inventures. Ms. Ryan is known by her staff for advocating continuous improvement, whereby she relentlessly strives to improve the centers performance in every area: clinical, financial and operationally. In addition, she often volunteers to help her management company, Health Inventures, with projects outside of her center. Ms. Ryan is a past AORN chapter president, a founding member of the Iowa ASC Association and is currently serving her third term on the board as president elect. .
Kris Sabo, RN. Ms. Sabo has been involved with Pend Oreille Surgery Center in Ponderay, Idaho, since 2007, when the center was still an unrealized dream. After meeting Mike DiBendetto, MD, Ms. Sabo helped research the possibilities of building an ASC and recruited other like-minded providers. Her early involvement with Pend Oreille involved research and feasibility, physician recruiting, architect selection, contractor and consultant work, construction project coordination, supply purchasing and staff recruiting. She currently holds the position of executive director of the center, in which she oversees 17 employees and 11 providers or various specialties. She recently completed the AORN Ambulatory Surgery Administrator Certificate Program. “These are trying times in healthcare, and I want to encourage all stakeholders in our industry to ‘dig in and hang on’!” she says. “We know the value of our services and I am confident that, in time, our government and insurance payors will realize it too. In the meantime, do not get caught up in the negatives, but focus on the great talent you have surrounded yourselves with and the quality services you provide.”
Glenda Satterly, RN. Ms. Satterly — formerly Ms. Beasley, prior to her marriage in 2011 — is the administrative director of the Kentucky Surgery Center, a multi-specialty surgery center opened in 1986. Ms. Satterly joined the center in 1990 and celebrated her 20-year anniversary with KSC in July 2010. She started at the center as an OR circulator and was promoted to OR/PACU/pre-operative supervisor and then clinical director before becoming the administrative director. In 2011, Kentucky Surgery Center performed over 10,000 cases. “Being an administrator in a busy surgery center is demanding and hectic,” Ms. Satterly says. “However, we deliver the best patient care possible, and the entire staff strives to be the best they can be on a daily basis.” She says she can speak for her staff when she says they love their jobs and are lucky to be part of a great surgery center.
Tona Savoie. Ms. Savoie is the administrative director of Bayou Region Surgical Center in Thibodaux, La., a multi-specialty surgery center that opened in July 2007. In her time as an ASC administrator, Ms. Savoie says, “I’ve discovered this position to be an acquired art form. There is constant evolution and new challenges daily, which keeps my energy and interests in high gear. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful contribution to our community.” Bayou Region Surgical Center is a free-standing facility with four ORs and one procedure room. Surgeons at Bayou Region specialize in orthopedics, ENT, neurology, general surgery, urology, GI, ophthalmology and pain management. The ASC operates as a 50-50 partnership between physician-investors and a subsidiary of the local community hospital, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. It is managed by ASD Management.
Lisa Schriver, RN, CNOR. Ms. Schriver is the administrator of Turk’s Head Surgery Center in West Chester, Pa, a multi-specialty, freestanding surgery center that offers general surgery, GI, orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT, urology, gynecology and podiatry. Turk’s Head is a physician-hospital joint venture that opened in May 2005. Ms. Schriver started with Turk’s Head in 2005 as the clinical director and moved up to become administrator. Prior to coming to the center, she had a varied career in nursing and served in various departments including OR, endoscopy and perioperative. From there, she moved to a hospital-based surgery center and became the nurse manager. She has also worked with an anesthesiologist at the hospital that joint ventures with Turk’s Head. Ms. Schriver enjoys her role as an administrator because of the changing nature of her job. “Everyday is different, and I can use my sense of adventure to tackle each day. Some days this never-ending change is overwhelming, but at a basic level it really very much appeals to my personality and who I really am,” she says.
Donna Scroggins, RN. Ms. Scroggins serves as the chief operating officer for Surgical Development Systems, a role she has held since Sept. 1998. Her responsibilities in the role include development and management of physician-owned outpatient surgery centers, including licensure, Medicare certification, managed care contracting, marketing, business office management and fiscal management. Prior to her role at SDS, Ms. Scroggins served as regional director for National Surgery Centers, where she oversaw annual revenues in excess of $13 million.
Caryl Serbin, RN, BSN, LHRM. Ms. Serbin is executive vice president and chief strategy officer for SourceMedical, which provides clinical and business software solutions for ambulatory surgery centers. She was founder and CEO of Serbin Surgery Center Billing, which was recently acquired by SourceMedical as the core of their new billing division, Revenue Cycle Solutions. Ms. Serbin has more than 25 years experience in healthcare industry, with the last 18 years spent in ambulatory surgery administration and consulting.
Laurie Simon. Ms. Simon, administrator of Western Reserve Surgery Center, started her career on the physician side of practice management and ancillary services management. In 1994, she took a position with a physician group that planned to open an ASC — the model for which she says has gone through many changes, from physician ownership to management company/physician ownership with two different national companies. In Feb. 2005, Ms. Simon completed the AORN ASC Administrator Certificate Program to prepare for a return to physician ownership. “These changes have provided me with countless opportunities for personal growth,” she says. “Membership and committee activity in our Ohio Association has kept me current managing this multi-specialty center.”
Carol S. Slagle, CASC. Ms. Slagle has been the administrator of Specialty Surgery Center of CNY, which is managed by ASCOA, since its inception in 1999. She says the experience of setting up Specialty Surgery Center was incredible. “It was an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be hired and oversee the build-out and initial set-up of all operations of our surgery center,” she says. While the surgery center started out with five physicians and 11 employees with a specialization in ophthalmology, the ASC has since become a multi-specialty center and currently has 31 credentialed surgeons and 54 employees. “We underwent a major expansion and total renovation of the ASC in 2009 and successfully orchestrated this project while open for business,” Ms. Slagle says. Ms. Slagle was in the first group to take the CASC credential test and was awarded the CASC credential shortly thereafter. The surgery center performed 8,965 cases in 2011.
Donna Slosburg, RN, BSN, LHRM, CASC. As executive director of the ASC Quality Collaboration, Ms. Slosburg helps ASCs improve healthcare quality and safety by developing standardized quality measures, publically reporting quality data and assembling tools for infection prevention. Ms. Slosburg has worked in the healthcare industry for over 30 years and joined the ASC industry in 1987. As a leader in the ASC industry, her positions have included nurse manager, administrator and regional operations manager. She was a senior vice president of surgery operations and national surgery specialist for HealthSouth, one of the nation’s largest healthcare services providers. Ms. Slosburg recently served on the editorial board for AORN and on the Board of Directors for the Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Ms. Slosburg is a licensed healthcare risk manager and was one of the first to receive her CASC certification.
Laura Smith. Ms. Smith has been employed with Tampa Bay Specialty Surgery Center since 2004, when she joined the center as a pre-op registered nurse. In 2005, she was promoted to nurse manager, and in 2006, to clinical director — a position that prompted her to receive her State of Florida Risk Management License. In 2008, she was promoted to administrator and helped the center earn a three-year accreditation. Although she is fully involved in the financial and management aspects of running the ASC, she is still involved in daily operations of the center, including patient care. In 2011, the center achieved AAAHC re-accreditation, which was followed by an unannounced CMS visit that resulted in “Great success.” She says the center also achieved certification in the ASGE Quality Endoscopy Unit Recognition Plan and recruited a urology physician to add to the center’s multi-specialty mix.
Debra Saxton Stinchcomb, RN, BSN, CASC. Ms. Stinchcomb is a consultant at Progressive Surgical Solutions and has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including positions in administration, operations, sales and clinical areas. She has held positions as an ASC administrator, assistant regional vice president and regional vice president prior to ASC Consulting. She is a presenter on ambulatory surgery topics at national meetings and has published articles in industry publications. Ms. Stinchcomb has served on the FASA Board, ASCA Board, and AASA Association and currently serves on the ASCA Quality and Benchmarking Committee. She has experience as an AAAHC Surveyor and currently serves on The Joint Commission Ambulatory PTAC for the Ambulatory Surgery Foundation.
Lynne Stoldt. Ms. Stoldt is the administrator of Melbourne (Fla.) Same Day Surgery Center, a Joint Commission-accredited surgery center that performs general surgeon, gynecology, ophthalmology, oral surgery, orthopedics, ENT, pain management, podiatry and urology, among other specialties. Ms. Stoldt presented at the 2012 Becker’s ASC Review June conference about her experience with implantable device benefit management in surgery centers. By using a company that provides implantable devices for ASCs and assumes risk for the device, the facility does not have to put out money for implants covered by the company, Ms. Stoldt said.
Mary Sturm. Ms. Sturm is senior vice president of clinical operations for Surgical Management Professionals. She has over 25 years of experience in management of clinical operations and is responsible for start-up, operational and clinical activities for SMP ASC/GI centers and specialty hospitals. Ms. Sturm served as director of nursing for the Sioux Falls Surgical Center for 21 years. She was instrumental in the start0up and clinical management of the Sioux Falls Surgical Center and has since been engaged in the development or management of 13 other centers in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Iowa and Vancouver, B.C.
Maggie Summerfelt. Ms. Summerfelt serves as administrator of Advanced Surgery Center in Omaha, Neb., a physician-owned facility with two ORs, two procedure rooms and specialties that include orthopedics, podiatry and pain management. Ms. Summerfelt was hired in Oct. 2005 to manage construction of the ASC, hire staff and obtain initial state licensure and Medicare certification. The center opened in 2006, and bought out its original management company, SurgCenter Development, in Oct. 2008. In 2011, the surgery center added a new partner and now features 12 physician owners. “We have also added a new and very busy hand surgeon who is a non-owner at this time,” she says. “Volume is looking great for 2012.” She says one of the challenges over the next year is receiving reimbursement for implants in a timely fashion. “Vendors want to be paid in 30 days, and it is taking over 90 days for insurance companies to pay us,” she says. “Fortunately our vendors are willing to work with us, and we have negotiated excellent pricing for our larger ticket items.”
Sue Sumpter. Ms. Sumpter has been with Creekside Surgery Center (also Providence Surgery Centers LLC) in Anchorage, Alaska, for a little over a year. She was recruited in March 2011 to turnaround the finances and case volume of the failing center and has since increased volume significantly and improved profitability. Ms. Sumpter has also implemented a total joint program at the center and is currently working on developing a spine program. The ASC, which has four ORs and 17 physician owners, specializes in orthopedics but also performs ENT, podiatry and pain management. Prior to joining Creekside, Ms. Sumpter worked at Loveland Surgery Center from 2003 to 2011, where she was initially recruited to establish all systems, policies and procedures for the startup surgery center.
Keri Talcott. Ms. Talcott serves as director of corporate communications for Surgical Management Professionals, where she brings over 10 years of healthcare management experience to her role. Ms. Talcott is in charge of corporate marketing, communications and advancing the strategic marketing initiatives of the organization and its clients. Most recently, she held the position of interim executive director for Physician Hospitals of America, the national trade association that represents physician-owned hospitals. Ms. Talcott was in charge of communicating and coordinating with nearly 300 hospitals, board members and key stakeholders of the association.
Elaine Thomas, RN. Ms. Thomas began her position as administrator manager in the St. Francis Mooresville (Ind.) Surgery Center in June 2006, and was promoted to director in 2007. The primary scope of her practice has focused on the pre- and post-operative arenas, circulating in the surgical suite and quality management in another major hospital in the Indianapolis area. She is a member of AORN and the Indiana Federation of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Additionally, she has taught online courses at a local college for Healthcare Administration for Associate level students. She has been a nurse since 1982, and, since that time, has acquired her associate degree in 1996, her BSN in 2003 and most recently completed her MBA in healthcare in July 2006.
Meg Tomlinson. Ms. Tomlinson has served as administrator of Metrocrest Surgery Center (currently doing business as Baylor Surgicare at Carrollton) in Carrollton, Texas, since Sept. 2002. The center merged with USPI effective July 1, 2010, and has seen various changes to the business office staff since that time. “If it had not been for the USPI CSO doing our coding, billing and AP, I’m not sure we could have made it,” she says. “We have so many more resources and assistance from USPI.” She says her patients are still happy, patient satisfaction is still high and physician owners are satisfied. “They say they can do more cases here in less time than at the hospitals,” she says.
Kimberly L. Tude Thuot. Ms. Tude Thuot has been in healthcare administration since 1997 and joined the physician-owned Yakima (Wash.) Ambulatory Surgical Center in Aug. 2009. She holds a master’s degree in organizational management. She is also currently board-certified in the ACMPE and is actively pursuing fellowship, as well as her CASC and CPC. Since she joined Yakima ASC, the center has been through a re-accreditation survey with AAAHC, moved billing back in-house and is in the process of adding neurosurgery and spine to the multi-specialty facility.
Rebecca S. Twersky, MD, MPH. Dr. Twersky is the vice-chair for research and professor of anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center at Brooklyn, where she also serves as the medical director of the ambulatory surgery unit. She received her MD degree from Downstate Medical School in 1983, her MPH in 2005, and has established her position as a prominent physician on both a national and international level. Dr. Twersky is the recipient of the 2005 Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia Distinguished Service Award, as well as the past president of SAMBA. She was recently appointed ASA section chair of professional standards under the division of professional affairs.
Lori Vernon. Lori Vernon, regional vice president for operations, joined Health Inventures in late 2003 and currently has oversight of six ambulatory surgery centers within the company’s network in Kansas, Ohio and Hawaii. She also participates in clinical operations support and oversees the planning of administrator education. In the past, she has supported the operational efforts of the company;s international facilities in the United Kingdom. Ms. Vernon comes from a clinical background and has been in the ASC industry for almost 30 years in a variety of roles, including quality improvement and credentialing coordinator, clinical director of two ASCs, and ASC administrator of a large multi-specialty facility.
Susan Vitort, BSN, CNOR. Ms. Vitort is the Administrator of Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe (Ariz.), a two-OR, one-procedure room, multi-specialty surgery center that opened in Sept. 1999. Physicians Surgery Center performed 4,550 cases in 2011, which was 26 percent more case volume than in 2010. The center particularly grew its pain management service line over the past year. “Some of our pain physicians moved out to start office-based practices, while other pain physicians moved in to use the center,” Ms. Vitort says. “Our orthopedic mix also more than doubled in 2011, which was the specialty we wanted to grow.” Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe is 90 percent physician owned and 10 percent owned by USPI, an affiliation Ms. Vitort says allows for collaboration and benchmarking opportunities. Prior to her position with Physicians Surgery Center, Ms. Vitort served as director of perioperative services, endoscopy at the Cardiovascular Center at Banner Desert Samaritan Medical Center from 1990 to 2002.
Kara Vittetoe, CASC. Ms. Vittetoe is the administrator of a one-OR, two-procedure room, multi-specialty surgery in a growing rural area. Thomas Johnson Surgery Center in Frederick, Md., which is managed by ASCOA, features surgeons specializing in general surgery, gynecology, neuro-spine, podiatry and urology. Ms. Vittetoe has been with the center since it opened in 2008. Prior to joining Thomas Johnson, she spent the majority of her career in the private sector of healthcare management. Concerning the transition from management to ambulatory surgery, she says, “The learning curve was huge, but the basis of the care and business was the same. What made the transition so palatable was the support from our corporate partner (ASCOA) and the brilliant vice president I was working directly under.” Life isn’t always easy for the rural ASC: The small Frederick community is competitive, and the center is limited to recruiting in the one-hospital town. To meet this challenge, she says, “Our partners are active in their commitment to quality and safety and are great proponents for our patients and the community. It is what makes and keeps us harmonious.”
Suzanne Webb. Ms. Webb is the CEO of ASC Billing specialist, a billing company that serves surgery centers and physician practices. With 26 years of experience, Ms. Webb currently takes responsibility for operating a medical billing company that specializes in out-of-network services, consulting and training new clients, teaching clients about profitable practice management, coaching and implementing controls. Ms. Webb has served as the chief financial officer of several hospitals, as well as the administrator of surgery centers, before opening the medical billing management company.
Suzanne Wienbarg, RN, CASC. Ms. Wienbarg is a senior vice president of operations at ASCOA, with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare management and operations. Prior to joining ASCOA, Ms. Wienbarg was a vice president of operations for the ambulatory surgery division of HealthSouth. During her time with HealthSouth, she worked extensively in development, operations and physician recruitment. She has been active as a member and officer in healthcare professional organizations.
Kathleen Whitlow, CASC. Ms. Whitlow is the COO for Blue Chip Surgical Center Partners. She has more than 28 years of experience in the medical/healthcare industry and has worked as an ASC administrator, a vice president of operations and consultant with expertise in development, design and construction, finance, marketing, operations and strategic planning in support of facilities across the country. As director of surgical services for a large national hospital system, she developed and directed the outpatient and ambulatory surgery programs, clinics, case management and endoscopy department. She currently leads an experienced Operations Team at Blue Chip and works closely with the finance and development teams.
Carolyn Whitsel. Mr. Whitsel has more than 35 years in healthcare, including 23 years of ASC experience. She oversees the business office operations team, which manages revenue cycle for over 100 facilities nationwide. Prior to rejoining USPI in 2011, she worked for a surgery center development and management company as the vice president of business office operations. Besides her current role at USPI, she was a director of business office operations and a senior internal control auditor. Ms. Whitsel is based out of Dallas, Texas.
Kim Woodruff. During Ms. Woodruff’s tenure with Pinnacle III, her role has evolved from vice president of business office operations to her current role as vice president of corporate finance and compliance. In 2003, Ms. Woodruff provided oversight of in-house business office functions for Pinnacle III’s clients in a multi-state region. One year later, Kim launched Pinnacle’s centralized billing office providing coding, billing and collection services to single and multi-specialty ASCs who desired increased efficiencies via qualified personnel in a constantly changing reimbursement environment. She assumed her current position in 2008.
Lexa L. Woodyard. During her five years as administrator of Cabell Huntington (W.V.) Surgery Center, Ms. Woodyard has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. Along with her staff, managed care team and surgeons, she has decreased supply expenses per case over previous calendar year, increased net revenue per case from previous calendar year by introducing cases with better payor mixes, streamlined processes to make posting cases and gathering anesthesia required testing easier for surgeon’s offices, and negotiated better paying contracts with selected insurance carriers. “Volume is key to success. If you don’t have a high volume of cases with a good payor mix you’ll struggle to keep your head above water,” she says. “Anything a surgery center can do to make their center more accessible and more reliable than the competition to surgeons and patients is necessary for survival.”
Cindy Young, RN, CASC. Ms. Young has been with the Surgery Center of Farmington for the past 13 years, during which time the center has shown consistent quarter-over-quarter profit increases, high patient, staff and physician satisfaction scores and quick turnover times. Ms. Young helped the ASC achieve a three-year accreditation from AAAHC in 2002, 2005 and 2008 and currently manages 28 employees, 16 credentialed physicians, two ORs and two procedure rooms. Prior to joining the Surgery Center of Farmington, Ms. Young served as a staff nurse at Arcadia Valley Hospital in Pilot Knob, Mo., where she was responsible for emergency transfers, supervising the night shift and maintaining central supply and central sterilization.
Monica M. Ziegler, MSN, CASC. Ms. Ziegler has been the administrator for Physicians Surgical Center in Bethlehem, Pa., since its inception seven years ago, growing case volume to a current 5,300 cases a year. Ms. Ziegler was given the responsibility of a second center, the Center for Specialized Surgery, one year ago. Both centers are multi-specialty facilities serving a combined total of eight procedure/OR rooms. Although very similar centers, the surrounding hospital networks for each facility are very different, each presenting unique economic and political challenges for an administrator and supporting management team. Ms. Ziegler believes strategic vision is a key to the success of any organization. “[It’s about] knowing your environment, your strengths and weaknesses and how you can create benefits for your centers — seeking ‘win win’ opportunities for all should be a daily practice,” she says. Ms. Ziegler also serves as president-elect of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association and the chairperson of the legislative committee.
Becky Ziegler-Otis. Ms. Ziegler-Otis has served in her current role as administrator of the Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point (Wis.) since Jan. 2008. In this position, Ms. Ziegler-Otis has worked diligently to keep days in A/R at benchmark levels. When she took over as administrator, the center was at almost 100 days in A/R. Through her continued efforts and her work with an outsourced vendor, the center has stayed at 39-40 days in A/R for the past year. She also takes pride in the center’s minimal employee turnover — since opening in 2006. In July 2011, she facilitated the implementation of an online registration product called Simple Admit, which resulted in a reduction of pre-operative nursing staff labor costs and significantly reduced patient check-in time. In October 2011, Ms. Ziegler-Otis achieved the CASC credential.
Ref. Becker’s Healthcare
This post was first published August 10, 2012 and was updated July 29, 2020.