Here are profiles of 201 women leaders in the ambulatory surgery center industry.
Margaret Acker, RN, MSN, CASC. Ms. Acker is the administrator of Southwest Surgical Center, a multispecialty freestanding ASC. She has also been the chair of the Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Association Membership Committee. She was formerly CEO of Blake Woods Medical Park Surgical Center in Jackson, Mich., a multispecialty, physician-owned center. She has worked in the ASC industry for more than 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.
Charlie Agnone, MD. Dr. Agnone, a board-certified ophthalmologist, is a founding member of Marysville Surgical Center in Ohio. She also serves on the board of directors of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. She earned her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and interned at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. Dr. Agnone completed her residency at The Ohio State University Hospitals.
Traci Albers. Ms. Albers, administrator of North Ambulatory Surgery Center in Maple Grove, Minn., and High Pointe Surgery Center in Lake Elmo, Minn., has more than 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.
Jan Allison, RN, CHSP. Ms. Allison is Director of Accreditation and Survey Readiness for Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA). With more than 25 years of experience in the ASC industry, she provides support for accreditation, state licensure and Medicare certification, and policy and procedure development as well as teammate education in safety, infection control and quality improvement. She is a published author with a book and several articles to her credit. She has also served as a featured speaker on quality, regulatory and accreditation issues at several nationwide conferences. Ms. Allison serves on the ASC Quality Collaboration Technical Expert Committee, the Joint Commission’s ASC Advisory Council and AORN’s Ambulatory Specialty Assembly for whom she serves as Communications Chair.
Kathleen Allman, CASC. Ms. Allman is the administrator of Millennium Surgery Center in Bakersfield, Calif. The freestanding multispecialty ASC became incorporated in 1999 and is accredited by AAAHC. She previously worked in trauma and has experience at Mercy Southwest Hospital. While at Mercy, she opened seven cost centers, including pre-op, admitting, OR, PACU, sterile processing, GI and anesthesia services. She also completed her master’s degree, MSA-HCM. Ms. Allman was on the board of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association for two years ending December 2011.
Krista K. Anderson, CPC-H. Ms. Anderson is a director of revenue cycle management at the Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America. She has more than 22 years of experience working in the healthcare industry, 12 of which she spent as a business office manger at a Meridian Surgical Partners facility.
Dianne B. Appleby, MBA, RN, BSM. Ms. Appleby is the administrator and executive director of Menomonee (Wis.) Falls Surgical Center. The surgery center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and focused on gastroenterology procedures. She also serves as a member of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association board of directors.
Jesseye Arrambide, BSN. Ms. Arrambide is the executive director of the Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center in Tigard. She also serves as the president of the Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. Prior to her position at the Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center, served as the director of surgical and obstetric services at Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, Ore. Ms. Arrambide earned her degree from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
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 January 2010 and February 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.
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. She has been a registered nurse for more than 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 more than 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 more than 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 as secretary on the board of Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.
Tracey Baughey. Ms. Baughey is currently a credentialing specialist for Laser Spine Institute. 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.
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.
Christine Behm, BSN, CASC. Ms. Behm has served as the administrator of San BuenaVentura Surgery Center since 1991. She joined as nurse manager upon the center’s inception; she was promoted to administrator a few years later. 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. She 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 the same year.
Sharon Benson, MBA, RN, MSN, CASC. Ms. Benson is a vice president of operations with more than 25 years of management and healthcare experience. Prior to joining ASCOA, Ms. Benson worked for eight 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 multispecialty 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. During Ms. Berreth’s tenure, Brainerd Lakes has achieved the Edgesurvey’s APEX Quality Award for overall patient satisfaction multiple times. 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.
Allison Bolger. Ms. Bolger is the chief financial officer of Surgical Management Professionals, an ambulatory surgery center management, development and revenue cycle services company. She has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare financial management. In her time with Surgical Management Professionals, she has helped to grow the company’s equity investment fund, procure financing sources for the company and its clients and provides financial and accounting expertise. Prior to joining Surgical Management Professionals, she served as the division controller for leased, owned and managed hospitals of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, chief financial officer of Dells Area Health Center, a reimbursement analyst for Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center and a senior accountant of EideBailly’s healthcare division. Ms. Bolger earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and her master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
Dotty Bollinger, RN, JD, LHCRM, CASC. Ms. Bollinger is president and chief operating officer of Laser Spine Institute. Ms. Bollinger began at Laser Spine Institute in 2008 as the vice president of quality and compliance. In her role as COO, she has developed protocols for the improvement of efficient care at Laser Spine Institute facilities, including surgery centers in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tampa, Fla., Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. She earned her nursing degree from Maria College in Albany, N.Y., and a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from the University of Maryland in College Park. She also holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and a master’s level certificate in healthcare compliance from George Washington University in College Park, Md.
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, MBA, RN, 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.
Tammy Brinkman, CPC. Ms. Brinkman is the director of contracting and reimbursement with Blue Chip Surgery Center Partners, an ambulatory surgery center management and development company. She earned her degree from the Kentucky College of Business in Lexington. She has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Blue Chip, Ms. Brinkman worked with Aetna Healthcare. At Blue Chip, she oversees the recruitment, contracting and re-contracting of ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices and small hospitals.
Jennifer Butterfield, MBA, RN, CNOR. Ms. Butterfield is the administrator of Lakes Surgery Center in West Bloomfield, Mich. She has served in the ambulatory surgery center industry for more than seven years. Prior to becoming an administrator, she was an OR manager and a director of nursing. At Lakes Surgery Center, Ms. Butterfield has played a key role in adding a spine program.
Nancy Calhoun. Ms. Calhoun is the administrator of Roanoke (Va.) Ambulatory Surgery Center, a physician-owned and multispecialty center. Ms. Calhoun has been with the center since it opened in 2003. Prior to entering the ASC industry, she spent 21 years in various roles as a hospital nurse.
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 worked towards becoming an administrator 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.
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. Now, 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. Ms. Casey credits her center’s success to its dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the center for more than 10 years. The equity partner has since changed to AmSurg, and the center continues to thrive, inviting new physicians to join as they enter the area.
Susan E. Charkin, MPH. Ms. Charkin is the founder and president of Healthcents, a contracting company that focuses on helping ambulatory surgery centers and other clinical providers to negotiate favorable reimbursement rates and contracts with payers. She has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry and currently concentrates on healthcare contracting, reimbursement analytics, practice management consulting and ACO consulting. Prior to founding Healthcents, Ms. Charkin held several senior roles focused on contract negotiation. She served as the regional network manager for Maxicare, director of ancillary consulting for Health Net and regional contracting specialist for Blue Cross of California. She earned her medical degree bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in Burlington. Ms. Charkin also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of San Francisco.
Carol Ciluffo. Ms. Ciluffo is the vice president of revenue cycle management operations for Pinnacle III, an ambulatory surgery center management, development and billing services company. She joined Pinnacle III in 2008 to launch a physician billing division within the company’s specialty billing solutions and to supervise the ambulatory surgery billing division. She currently head four departments including 20 employees. Prior to joining Pinnacle III, she has served as the regional business office operations coordinator for a rehabilitation corporation, COO of a spine and rehabilitation practice and practice manager in two multi-physician, multi-location interventional pain management practices. Ms. Ciluffo earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
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.
P. Evalyn Cole, MSHA, CASC. Ms. Cole is the administrator of Spine Surgery Center of Eugene (Ore.) and the chief executive officer of KeiperSpine, PC. Ms. Cole earned her bachelor’s degree from Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. She also holds a masters degree in health services administration and completed her thesis work on creating and launching ambulatory surgery centers.
Cynthia Condron. Ms. Condron serves as the administrator of South Shore Surgery Center, a facility that opened in collaboration with ASCOA in December 2010. The facility is an 11,000-square-foot center with three operating rooms and two procedure rooms. 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 more than 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 multispecialty 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. 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.
Leslie Cottrell. Ms. Cottrell is an associate administrator at Baptist Physicians Surgery Center in Lexington, Ky. She has served at the Nueterra surgery center for more than a decade. The eight-operating room, multispecialty ambulatory surgery center performs over 13,000 annual cases. Ms. Cottrell earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Rebecca Craig, RN, CNOR, CASC, CPC-H. Ms. Craig is CEO of Harmony Surgery Center, a multispecialty, 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 appointed to the Joint Commission Ambulatory Care Professional and Technical Advisory Committee and continues to serve on the OR Manager Ambulatory Surgery Advisory Board.
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 more than 5,300 cases annually. Ms Crook has worked in professional nursing and administration for more than 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 currently serves as the administrator of Advanced Surgery Center in Dearborn, Mich. Advanced Surgery Center is a new, multispecialty surgery center that has three operating rooms and three procedure rooms. Ms. Cunningham says that surgery center is finishing the process of hiring staff and applying for occupancy, licensure and accreditation. Previously, she has served as the administrator of of Surgical Institute of Monroe (Mich.). Ms. Cunningham also 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.
Brenda Cyrulik. Ms. Cyrulik currently serves as the administrator of Eastland Medical Plaza Surgicenter in Bloomington, Ill. Prior to joining Eastland, Ms. Cyrulik served as a surgery manager at BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., and worked as a circulating staff nurse at Gailey Eye Surgicenter in Bloomington, Ill., for two years. Eastland Medical Plaza Surgicenter is a joint venture between St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington and 26 physician investors. Ms. Cyrulik has been with Eastland since 1999, when the center was entirely owned by St. Joseph.
Brooke A. Day. Ms. Day has been the administrator of Hastings (Neb.) Surgical Center for more than a year. Prior to joining Hastings Surgical Center, she was the chief executive officer of Blake Woods Medical Park Surgery Center. Ms. Day also served as the director of administration at West Michigan Surgery Center for nearly 10 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. She expects to complete a master’s degree in health administration from Ohio University in 2014.
Louise DeChesser, RN, CNOR, MS. As administrator of Middlesex Surgery Center for Advanced Orthopedics and clinical director for Healthcare Venture Professionals, Ms. DeChesser has more than 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. 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 more than 45 articles regarding various aspects of ambulatory surgery.
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 has previous experience managing and developing 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.
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 nearly 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. The company’s more than 40 physicians and CRNAs provide anesthesia services for 40,000-plus 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 AAAHC.
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.
Michelle R. Dickison, RN, CASC. Ms. Dickison is a regional vice president of operations at Meridian Surgical Partners. She has more than 17 years of healthcare experience in both clinical and leadership roles. Most recently, she served as vice president of operations with ASCOA. In this role, Ms. Dickison was responsible for the financial and clinical operations of three outpatient surgical centers. Prior to ASCOA, she worked for over nine years with United Surgical Partners International serving in a variety of leadership roles in both outpatient and hospital settings. During her time with USPI, Ms. Dickison was also involved in the development of multiple outpatient surgical centers and a multispecialty hospital. Ms. Dickison received her associate degree in nursing from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.
Jan Diedrich, MPA. Ms. Diedrich is a vice president of operations at Blue Chip Surgery Center Partners, an ambulatory surgery center development and management company. Prior to assuming her current role in 2012, she served as regional vice president of Surgical Health Corporation and of the ambulatory surgery division of HealthSouth. Ms. Diedrich has also served as the vice president of operations at Navix Radiology and held a number of roles with Columbia Hospital Corporation. She has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.
Jolynn Dobson Cook, RN, COE. Ms. Cook is the administrator of Laurel Eye Clinic and Laurel Laser & Surgery Centers in Brookville, Pa. She has served in this role for more than 13 years. Ms. Cook is a certified ophthalmic executive, a registered nurse and holds a degree in healthcare administration. In 2010, she completed her second term as president of the National Board of Certified Ophthalmic Executives. Ms. Cook is an annual presenter at the national ASOA Congress and Hawaiian Eye meetings. She also serves as a member of the BSM Advisory Board.
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.
Adena Dorsey, MBA, CPC. Ms. Dorsey’s combined experience in healthcare and sales provides her with the perfect mix of knowledge to lead the marketing arm of National Medical Billing Services. As the Senior Vice President of Marketing, she is responsible for guiding the overall brand direction of National Medical, deepening the company’s relationships within the ASC industry, and identifying new marketing opportunities. On a day-to-day basis, she is the face of National Medical. Ms. Dorsey implements tactical plans and marketing strategies while leading and managing all Direct Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Internal Creative Services. She also analyzes and evaluates both existing and potential marketing activities and strategies. Ms. Dorsey has a B.A. in Corporate Communications and an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri and is a Certified Professional Coder.
Jill Dowe. Ms. Dowe serves as director of business office operations for Blue Chip Surgery 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. Ms. Dowman Simon listed a few issues plaguing surgery centers, including decreased reimbursements, high deductibles, increased use of Medicare/Medicaid as a payer sources and an aging nursing population.
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, multispecialty ASC that operates with 22 surgical partners and an additional five affiliated physicians. Blue Bell Surgery Center specializes in orthopedics, ENT, pain management, plastic surgery, general surgery, ophthalmology and gastroenterology, and services more than 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.
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 several years.
Alice L. Epstein, MHAA, DFASHRM, FNAHQ, CPHQ, CPHRM. Ms. Epstein, with CAN HealthPro, has more than 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 multispecialty ASC that includes eight operating rooms, 10 preoperative bays, 19 postoperative bays and one special procedure room. She is a former 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. During her time 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 February 2011. The center performs an average of 300 to 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.
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.
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. 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 multispecialty clinic setting and seven years of management experience in a multispecialty 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.
Amy Gagliardi. Ms. Gagliardi is the vice president of supply chain at Regent Surgical Health, an ambulatory surgery center development and management company. As vice president of supply chain, she supervises the purchasing and supply chain management for each of Regent’s ASCs and hospitals. Ms. Gagliardi has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to assuming her current position, she served as the operations manager for a group purchasing organization. Ms. Gagliardi earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse (N.Y.) University.
Kerri Gantt. Ms. Gantt has been employed by Gastroenterology Associates of S.W. Florida and Barkley Surgicenter in Fort Myers for more than 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. 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.
Melodie R. Garrobo, CASC. Ms. Garrobo is the administrator of Golden Ridge Surgery center. She has held this role since 2007. When she took over the administrative duties of the center, case volume was high, but the center had high case costs and poor collections. Through GPO utilization, better contracting and standardization, Ms. Garrobo has been able keep expenses just under 3 percent for the last several years and the center’s cash collections have increased each year since her arrival.
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.
Tamar Glaser, RN. Ms. Glaser is the founder, chief executive officer and principal consultant of Accreditation Services, based in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. She also serves as the president of MMX Healthcare and CEO of AccredAbility. Ms. Glaser has more than 12 years of experience in the ambulatory surgery center industry. She is a registered nurse, surveyor and accreditation specialist. She currently serves as a Medicare surveyor for the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. Ms. Glaser is also on the membership committee of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association. She received training from El Camino College, Los Angeles Harbor College and the State University of New York at New Paltz.
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 more than 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.
Nicole Gritton, MSN, MBA. Ms. Gritton is the vice president of nursing and ambulatory surgery center operations at Laser Spine Institute. She is based at the organization’s headquarters in Tampa, Fla. She manages the nursing program and ASC operations in all four of Laser Spine Institute’s nationwide facilities. Prior to joining Laser Spine Institute, Ms. Gritton served as the CCU RN at Mayo Clinic and the CVICU RN at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Ms. Gritton earned her nursing degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., and received her MSN and MBA in nursing and business at the University of Phoenix.
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. Under Ms. Hagendorn’s leadership, the AAAHC was passed on the first attempt and the center was given a three-year certificate.
Shawna Hall, CASC. Ms. Hall is the administrative director of New River Valley Surgery Center in Christiansburg, Va. She has been the administrative director since 2004, when the surgery center opened. The surgery center is AAAHC accredited and Medicare certified. Ms. Hall earned her CASC certification in 2009.
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.
Tracey Harbour, RN, BSN. Ms. Harbour is the administrator of the Surgery Center of Pinehurst (N.C.), a multispecialty surgery center. She has served as a Nueterra administrator for nearly six years. The surgery center is AAAHC accredited and has six operating rooms and two pain procedure rooms.
Judy Harless, MBA, CASC. Ms. Harless is the administrator of SMI Surgery Center in San Diego, a position she has held for nearly three years. She also serves on the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association board of directors. Ms. Harless is involved with the California Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, most recently acting as the chair of the 2013 annual conference and a member of the legislative committee. Ms. Harless earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix.
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 surgical facilities. Texarkana Surgery Center is a multispecialty surgery facility that opened in 1995. Ms. Hatridge has more than 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.
Christy Heald. Ms. Heald is the senior vice president of business development at Surgery Partners, Chicago-based ambulatory surgery center management, development and acquisition company. At Surgery Partners, Ms. Heald has been in charge of physician recruitment, acquisition, de novo projects and anesthesia development. In her current role as senior vice president of business development, she oversees all of the company’s development activities.
Colleen Heeter. Ms. Heeter is currently a vice president of operations at Surgical Care Affiliates. Before assuming her current role, Ms. Heeter served as a senior vice president of operations design 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. She is owner of Surgery Center Consulting Services in Ocala, Fla. Surgery Center Consulting Services focuses on helping surgery centers to expand, gain accreditation and rewrite policies and procedures. She earned her nursing degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Holle Ho. Ms. Ho is a Senior Director of Managed Care for Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) in Los Angeles. Holle Ho brings nearly 20 years of experience to handling managed care contracting for more than 40 of the company’s facilities. Prior to joining SCA, she served as Regional Director of Managed Care for United Surgical Partners International (USPI), Western Regional Contractor for AmeriPath Southern California and Director of Managed Care for Brea Community Hospital among other management positions for Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Private Healthcare Systems, Inc. Ms. Ho’s article, “How to Negotiate a Managed Care Contract,” was published in Outpatient Surgery Magazine in April 2012, and she was a featured speaker on payer contracting and reimbursement at the ASCA’s national conference.
Tracy Hoeft-Hoffman, RN, MSN, MBA, CASC. Ms. Hoeft-Hoffman is the administrator of Fremont (Neb.) Surgical Center, a position that she has held for 18 months. Ms. Hoeft-Hoffman has helped to reduce expenses at the center, improved interdepartmental teamwork and helped the center’s supervisors to grow in their roles. Prior to joining Fremont Surgical Center, she served as the administrator of Hastings (Neb.) Surgical Center. Ms. Hoeft-Hoffman is also a member of ASCA.
Jennifer Holmes, RN, DON. Ambulatory surgery center operator Arise Healthcare chose Ms. Holmes to open and run its Hays Surgery Center in Kyle, Texas. She has served as a registered nurse for 15 years. During her career, Ms. Holmes has helped to open two new surgery centers, assisting in the phases of construction, operating room outfitting, hiring staff, all federal and state licensing, AAAHC/CMS survey preparation and sitting on the governing board. Hays Surgery Center has been open since 2012 and currently has a zero percent infection rate and 98 percent patient satisfaction rate.
Karen C. Howey. Ms. Howey is the chief executive officer and administrator of Macomb (Mich.) Township ASC, a role which she has held for more than a year. Prior to her current position, she served as the CEO and administrator for Matrix Surgery Center for more than six years. The Beaumont Macomb Township ASC is affiliated with the Beaumont Health System and Nueterra. Ms. Howey earned her bachelor’s degree in health communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Jennifer Hunara, MHA/MBA. Ms. Hunara is the administrator of Surgery Center of Allentown (Pa.), a role which she has held for nearly seven years. Prior to joining Surgery Center of Allentown, she served as the executive director of surgical services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (N.J.) and as the business manager of perioperative services at Lehigh Valley Health Network, based in Allentown, Pa. Ms. Hunara earned her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration/management, her MBA in finance/accounting and her MHA in healthcare administration/management from the University of Scranton (Pa.).
Beth Ann Johnson, RN. In 2005, Ms. Johnson joined Blue Chip Surgery Partners 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.
Nikki Johnson, SPHR. Ms. Johnson is the vice president of human resources for Nueterra Healthcare, a healthcare services management and development company. Prior to joining Nueterra, Ms. Johnson held positions with local healthcare providers and large acute-care hospitals. Ms. Johnson has a master’s degree in human resource management.
Milla Jones. Ms. Jones serves as vice president of government relations for United Surgical Partners International. She has nearly 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 healthcare boards, editorial boards, and is an author, lecturer and educator.
Lara Jordan, RN, CNOR, CASC. Ms. Jordan is a vice president of operations at Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America. Prior to her role at ASCOA, she served as the administrator of the Center for Specialized Surgery in Bethlehem, Pa., for five years. She has 18 years of experience in the hospital setting. She began as an OR nurse at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and finished her hospital career as a perioperative director at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Bethlehem. Ms. Jordan earned her nursing degree and bachelor’s degree in business administration from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.
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.
Emilie Keene. Ms. Keene is the administrator of Parkridge Surgery Center in Columbia, S.C. She also currently serves as the president of the South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. During her time at Parkridge Surgery Center, Ms Keene has successfully recruited several surgeons, identified annual cost savings of over $150,000 and increased net revenues by $1 million. She was also responsible for favorable contract negotiation and implementing a successful customer service initiative. Ms. Keene earned her bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University in Greenville and completed her master’s degree in health administration from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.
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.
Kathy Kelly, RN, MSN, CNOR. Ms. Kelly is the administrator of Viewmont Surgery Center, a 7,500-square-foot multispecialty Nueterra surgery center in Hickory, N.C. In her role as administrator, she organizes and oversees the surgery center’s daily activities. Prior to joining Viewmont Surgery Center, Ms. Kelly served as the scheduling coordinator of Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., for 13 years. She earned her master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University in Minneapolis.
Mary Ann Kelly. Ms. Kelly began at Madison (Ala.) Surgery Center 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 multispecialty, physician-owned center with five ORs and five procedure rooms. The center is AAAHC accredited.
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 25 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. Ms. Kowalski earned her nursing degree from the Ohio State University in Columbus and completed her master’s degree in organizational development and analysis at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Heidi Kruger. Ms. Kruger is the provider consultant for Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. 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. She then served as the executive director of Laser Spine Institute.
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 more than 340 members and is an extremely active association, advocating on behalf of ASCs with the California Legislature, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the major health plans. 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. 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.
Liliana Lehmann, MBA. Ms. Lehmann is the administrator of Hallandale Outpatient Surgical Center in Hallandale Beach, Fla. She has been with the surgery center since 2003. Prior to joining Hallandale Outpatient Surgical Center, she held positions with Axis Management & Billing Services, Pain Consultants of Florida, Mallinckrodt, Nellcor Puritan Bennett and SpaceLabs Medical.
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 multispecialty center. She has helped facilitate 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.
Lori Martin, RN. Ms. Martin is the administrator at Summit Surgery Center in Reno, Nev., a joint venture between physician owners and Prime Healthcare. Ms. Martin has been the administrator since 2009 and was an integral part of the opening of the center. She served as secretary of the Nevada Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, has experience as a Director of Nursing and she is currently completing her MBA. The ASC is a multi-specialty center including 23-hour stay capabilities and is accredited by AAAHC.
Sarah Martin, MBA, RN, CASC. Ms. Martin is with Symbion and previously served as vice president of operations for Meridian Surgical Partners. She has more than 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 multispecialty 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.
Angela McComb. Ms. McComb is the co-owner for Innovative Health Care, an Austin, Texas-based managed care contracting company. Innovative Health Care is a subsidiary of ASC management and development company ASD Management. She helped found the company in 1999. Prior to her work with Innovative Health Care, she worked for three insurance companies in Arkansas and Texas. Ms. McComb also has experience serving as the director of managed care for an outpatient radiological facility in Austin.
Amy McKiernan, RN. Ms. McKiernan joined Louisville (Ky.) Surgery Center in January 2005, three months after the center opened. She says the center has grown tremendously since her first day; in the first year, the ASC performed 814 cases and in 2010, the number 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. The center has received AAAHC re-accreditation in June with zero Medicare deficiencies. The center lost two physicians to another surgery center, but staff were moved around without having to let anyone go.
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 at Health Inventures. 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 ASCs 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.
Kelli McMahan, RN, CASC. Ms. McMahan is the vice president of operations for Pinnacle III, an ambulatory surgery center management, development and billing services company. She has served in the healthcare industry as a registered nurse for more than 30 years. During her career, she has helped with operational management and development of a large, busy physician-owned ASC in Fort Wayne, Ind. She has successfully completed AAAHC and Medicare surveys and has expertise in budgeting, supply costing, physician relations, managed care contracting and equipment procurement. Ms. McMahan joined Pinnacle III in 2006 and has helped to manage and develop several surgery centers.
Lindsay Miller. Ms. Miller is the Executive Vice President of Operations for National Medical Billing Services. She provides detailed financial analysis and reporting for the company’s clients while simultaneously ensuring that her outstanding team performs the NMBS mission in optimum fashion to maximize output while achieving quality results. She has made it possible for surgery centers across the nation to increase their profitability since 2003 by identifying various revenue-cycle inefficiencies and then developing and implementing tailor-made solutions specific to each client’s individual needs. Her broad and in-depth knowledge and experience has entailed successful collaboration with large independent centers (handling in excess of 1,900 cases monthly) as well as management companies and joint venture operations, some with more than 65 locations respectively. Ms. Miller is an acknowledged expert with most ASC software management applications and practice management systems. She is one of the most highly sought-after revenue cycle auditors in the industry. She is a frequent contributor to industry publications, including Becker’s ASC Review and ASC Focus, and writes on select topics related to ASC billing best practices and operations.
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 Clinic Denver.
Cathy Montgomery. Ms. Montgomery is the president of Excellentia Advisory Group, which focuses on guiding ambulatory surgery centers through the demands of accreditation and regulatory compliance. She has expertise in AAAHC accreditation and CMS regulations. Prior to joining Excellentia Advisory Group, Ms. Montgomery served as a regional manager for Novamed in the St. Louis and Illinois areas.
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. 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.
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 multispecialty centers in 22 states across the United States and fully developed 35 ASCs, most concentrating solely on interventional pain management.
Christine Henry Musa. Ms. Musa is the vice president of business development at Regent Surgical Health, an ambulatory surgery center development and management company. Ms. Musa performs due diligence on the company’s new business opportunities and focuses on providing strategic planning for the company’s existing centers. Prior to joining Regent Surgical Health, she served as a senior consultant for Navigant and worked for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton (N.J.) University and completed her MBA at Harvard Business School in Allston, Mass.
Susan Nance, RN, CASC. Gateway Surgery Center in a Phoenix, Ariz., is a primarily orthopedic-driven, freestanding 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.
Jessica Nantz. Ms. Nantz is the president and founder of Outpatient Healthcare Strategies. She has worked in the healthcare field for more than 25 years, with more than a decade focused on 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.
Kecia Norling, RN, CNOR, CASC. Ms. Norling is the administrator of Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center in Portland, Ore. She also serves as a member of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association board of directors. She is a former president of Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association She earned her nursing degree from the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and completed her degree in healthcare administration from Concordia University – Portland. Ms. Norling has also served as the clinical director of the Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center. Prior to her position at Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center, she served as the administrator and director of nursing of Ambulatory Surgery Center of Burley in Idaho.
Rebecca Overton. Ms. Overton is the director of revenue cycle management for Surgical Management Professionals, an ambulatory surgery center management, development and revenue cycle services company. Prior to joining Surgical Management Professionals, she served as the director of revenue and materials for SurgCenter Development and business director of Weston Outpatient Surgical Center. She has also served as the A/R coordinator for a Little Rock, Ark., ASC and billing manager for a multi-physician practice.
Amber Patterson. Ms. Patterson is practice administrator of Ear Nose & Throat Clinic and Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga. She came to Westside Surgery Center in December 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.
Karen Payne, RN, BSN, MSM, LHRM. Ms. Payne is a Group Director of Clinical Services for Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), where she serves more than 30 facilities throughout the Southeast. She is responsible for developing company-wide clinical quality strategies, best practice programs, patient safety initiatives, and educational programs. These services promote positive physician, staff and patient relations while upholding the highest quality standards of patient care. She began her nearly 30-year career in the surgical environment while serving for the United States Air Force, where she was stationed in various stateside locations and overseas in support of the Gulf War. While deployed, she worked in an Air Transportable Hospital, providing care to NATO casualties as well as POWs. Since retirement from the USAF, Ms. Payne has been active in the ASC industry, holding ascending leadership roles including that of Administrator.
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 oculoplastic 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.
Lori Pilla. Ms. Pilla is the vice president of clinical advantage and supply chain optimization at Amerinet, a national healthcare solutions organization. She has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Ms. Pilla earned her nursing degree from St. Louis Community College and her bachelor’s degree from Maryville University of St. Louis. She holds an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. During her career, she has served as the clinical development director of Surgcenter Development, director of clinical supply chain and operations at MedAssets, consultant director of business services at St. Anthony’s Medical Center and director of capital, surgical and critical resources in the Ascension Health System.
Marti Potter. Ms. Potter is the administrator of Jersey Shore Ambulatory Surgery Center in Somers Point, N.J., a position she has held since 2008. During her career, she has held roles as a risk manager, compliance and privacy officer and been responsible for overseeing all activities in an ambulatory surgery center setting.
Michelle Punshon, MBA, RN. Ms. Punshon is the administrative director of Coastal Orthopedic Surgery Centers in Bradenton, Fla. She assumed this role in 2012. Previously, Ms. Punshon has served as the administrator of Southeastern Surgery Center in Tallahassee, Fla., and nursing supervisor of Tallahassee (Fla.) Endoscopy Center. She has worked in the healthcare industry as a registered nurse for more than 30 years. At the Coastal Orthopedic Surgery Centers, Ms. Punshon first focused on maximizing reimbursement and net revenues. Later this year, she will help the facilities to add spine procedures.
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 payer contacts.
Toni Rambeau. Ms. Rambeau started at SurgCenter of Glen Burnie (Ind.) in August 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.
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 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.
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.
Mary Ellen Rider. Ms. Rider is the administrator of Maryville (Tenn.) Surgery Center, a multispecialty, four-operating room Nueterra surgery center. Ms. Rider says, “Our surgery center excels in patient satisfaction. We create an atmosphere that makes patients feel at home and cared for on a one-on-one basis. Patient satisfaction surveys always return to us with rates in the high 90s; 99 to 100 percent of our patients report that they would return to our facility or recommend us to someone else.”
Anne Roberts, RN. Ms. Roberts is the administrator at the Surgery Center at Reno (Nev.), a multispecialty 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 February 2006 when it opened and became administrator in October 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.
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.
Lisa Rock. For the last nine years, Ms. Rock served as President of National Medical Billing Services, one of the largest ASC billing companies in the country. Ms. Rock is a seasoned healthcare management veteran with over 25 years experience in the industry. Her wide ranging background consists of Director of Training and Education for the largest regional payor in the Mid-Atlantic area for seven years, and Vice President of Business Office Operations for an ASC development and management company (2 years). She has also managed private practices in the specialties of orthopaedics, retina surgery, cardiology and anesthesia. Early in her career, she worked in the OR and PACU in Northern Virginia. Ms. Rock’s unique knowledge of healthcare management has provided NMBS’s clients with the tools and information they need to most effectively run their facilities in the highly fluctuating business of medical billing and compliance.
Lauri Rose, MBA, CASC, ABD. 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 more than 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 more than six years. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Texas ASC Society.
Kelli Ruiz, BS. Ms. Ruiz is a Vice President of Operations for Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) in California. She has spent nearly her entire career of more than 22 years in healthcare, with the bulk of that time in the ASC arena. She currently oversees six ASCs in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. She began her career serving as a business office manager for two ASCs where she remained for five years before moving into dialysis, managing a large revenue cycle team. She then spent a number of years working in strategy and operations. Ms. Ruiz returned to the ASC industry in 2009 where she served as an Administrator for three years before being promoted to Group Administrator. In January of 2013, she was promoted once again to Vice President of Operations.
Mary Ryan, RN, CASC. Ms. Ryan is the administrator of Tri State Surgery Center in Dubuque, Iowa, a multispecialty 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, where she has been 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 holds the position of executive director of the center, in which she oversees 17 employees and 11 providers or various specialties. She completed the AORN Ambulatory Surgery Administrator Certificate Program
Marcy Sasso, CASC. Ms. Sasso is the co-chair and founder of Surgery Center Coalition, a New Jersey ambulatory surgery center group. Surgery Center Coalition currently has about 85 center members and a 205-person membership. She also serves as the director of compliance and development for Facility Development & Management. In this role, she handles accreditation survey preparation, compliance issues, benchmarking and management issues. Previously, Ms. Sasso has served as the administrator of Raritan Valley Surgery Center in Somerset, N.J., and the director of operations of Ambulatory Surgery Center of Union County in Union, N.J. Ms. Sasso earned her degree in marketing and advertising from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.).
Glenda Satterly, RN. Ms. Satterly — formerly Ms. Beasley, prior to her marriage in 2011 — is the administrative director of the Kentucky Surgery Center, a multispecialty 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 more than 10,000 cases. 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 multispecialty surgery center that opened in July 2007. There is constant evolution and new challenges daily, which keeps my energy and interests in high gear. 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.
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.
Lisa Schriver, RN, CNOR. Ms. Schriver is the administrator of Turk’s Head Surgery Center in West Chester, Pa, a multispecialty, freestanding surgery center that offers general surgery, GI, orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT, urology, gynecology and podiatry. The ASC is affiliated with Blue Chip Surgery Center Partners. 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.
Donna Scroggins, RN. Ms. Scroggins serves as the chief operating officer for Surgical Development Systems, a role she has held since September 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.
Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC. Ms. Segal is the founder, owner and president of Infection Control Consulting Services, based in Blue Bell, Pa. She earned her nursing degree from the B.G. Alexander School of Nursing and has nearly 30 years of experience in the infection prevention and control industry. Prior to starting Infection Control Consulting Services, she served as an infection control manager at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, Pa., and as the director of infection control at Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center Los Angeles for 14 years. Infection Control Consulting Services offers healthcare organizations help in creating and implementing personalized infection prevention and control programs.
Caryl Serbin, RN, BSN, LHRM. Ms. Serbin is the founder and president of Serbin Medical Consulting, which focuses on maximizing the revenue of ambulatory surgery centers, health systems and physician practices. She was founder and president of Serbin Surgery Center Billing, which was acquired by SourceMedical as the core of their new billing division, Revenue Cycle Solutions. She was also the president and founder of Surgery Consultants of America. Ms. Serbin has more than 25 years experience in healthcare industry, with the last 18 years spent in ambulatory surgery administration and consulting.
Carla Shehata, RN, BSN. Ms. Shehata is vice president of operations for Regent Surgical Health. She is responsible for daily operations in addition to clinical survey readiness. She has 19 years of experience in the healthcare market both clinically and administratively. Ms. Shehata joined Regent Surgical Health in 2007, as the director of clinical operations. During her tenure, she has shared her clinical, regulatory and accreditation knowledge with Regent centers to raise the bar for patient care and has also managed leadership transitions at numerous facilities. She has been a key figure in grooming Directors of Nursing to higher levels of leadership and keeping the Regent facilities in survey-ready mode.
Ann Shimek, RN, BSN, MSN, CASC. Ms. Shimek is the senior vice president of clinical operations for United Surgical Partners International. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and completed her master of science in nursing degree at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. Ms. Shimek also served on the faculty of the ASCA 2013 annual conference in Boston.
Jennie Simmons, RN. Ms. Simmons is the owner and founder of Surgery Center Consultants, based in Gainesville, Ga. Prior to founding Surgery Center Consultants, Ms. Simmons worked as a registered nurse. She was hired to help open a surgery center. “I met Jennie in April of 2007 and we did our first procedure on June 7. I was absolutely amazed by the ease with which she handled situations,” says Angie Reynolds, RN, administrator of Premier Orthopedic SurgiCenter in Albany, Ga. Ms. Simmons decided to use her expertise to help surgery centers and founded Surgery Center Consultants.
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 February 2005, Ms. Simon completed the AORN ASC Administrator Certificate Program to prepare for a return to physician ownership.
Amy Sinder. Ms. Sinder is the administrator of CBC Surgery Center, a physician-owned, Joint Commission-accredited multispecialty surgery center that is completely out-of-network. Her advice has been featured in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. Ms. Sinder has worked over 10 years in various healthcare settings in administrative and provider roles. She holds a Master of Science degree in Audiology from the University of Central Missouri and is a graduate of the prestigious Leadershape Institute.
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.
Jill Sluder, RN, CASC. Ms. Sluder is a managing partner and the administrator of Summit Ambulatory Surgery center in Houston. She is also a former president of the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society. Ms. Sluder has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She is the founding partner and owner of MCA & Associates, a consulting company for ambulatory surgery centers. She has been an AAAHC surveyor since 2006.
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 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 multispecialty mix.
Natalie Soule, RN, MBA, CNOR, CASC. Ms. Soule is the administrator for Premier Orthopaedic Surgery Center in Nashville, Tenn. The practice has 28 physicians in eight locations. The practice also includes MRI services and physical therapy. Specialists at Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine have a special interest in treating osteoporosis, fractures, physical medicine, spine and extremities care.
Margaret Spear, MD. Dr. Spear was recently elected chair of the board for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. She also currently serves as the senior director of university health services at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. She has served as an AAAHC surveyor since 1994 and held several positions with the organization, including 15 years on the accreditation committee. Dr. Spear has served on the AAAHC executive committee for four years.
Sami Spencer, CMPE, CMM. Ms. Spencer is currently the chief executive officer of Missoula (Mont.) Bone and Joint Surgery Center and Missoula Bone and Joint. Ms. Spencer has also served on the board of directors for the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives for more than 13 years. Prior to her current role, Ms. Spencer has been the division director for private physician practices at SS&G Healthcare Services and practice manager of North Coast Spine Center, both in Akron. She is affiliated with the Medical Group Management Association and American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Kim Stevens. Ms. Stevens is a managing partner and a founding member of Innovative Health Care, an Austin, Texas-based managed care contracting company. Innovative Health Care is a subsidiary of ASC management and development company ASD Management. She has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare field. Prior to her work with Innovative Health Care, Ms. Stevens served as a certified insurance specialist, a supervisor for an international insurance company and as director of managed care and marketing for a large cardiovascular group. Ms. Stevens focuses on human resources, HIPAA, OSHA, managed care contracting and negotiations, credentialing and re-credentialing.
Stephanie Stinson, RN, BSN, CASC. Ms. Stinson is currently the vice president of clinical operations for ASD Management, an ambulatory surgery center management and development company. In this role, Ms. Stinson supervises clinical and administrative operations, ensuring that surgery centers are compliant with the most up-to-date regulations and standards. She conducts training, mock surveys and clinical audits to help new and continuing staff achieve efficient daily operation. Prior to joining ASD Management, Ms. Stinson served as the administrative director of Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center in Austin, Texas. She remains active on the Strictly Pediatrics Land Company board of directors. Ms. Stinson has more than 20 years of experience as a nurse. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Miss.
Lynne Stoldt. Ms. Stoldt is the administrator of Melbourne (Fla.) Same Day Surgery Center, a Joint Commission-accredited surgery center that performs general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, oral surgery, orthopedics, ENT, pain management, podiatry and urology, among other specialties. Ms. Stoldt presented at the 2012 Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management-Driven ASC 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 the senior vice president of clinical operations at Surgical Management Professionals, an ambulatory surgery center management, development and revenue cycle services company. She has more than 25 years of experience in clinical operations management. In her role at Surgical Management Professionals, Ms. Sturm supervises the operational and clinical activity of the company’s GI centers and ambulatory surgery centers. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her MBA from the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).
Patricia Sulaver, RN. Ms. Sulaver is the administrator of Midland Surgical Center in Sycamore, Ill. Ms. Sulaver has more than 25 years of clinical experience in the healthcare industry. Midland Surgical Center is an AAAHC accredited multispecialty facility.
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 October 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 October 2008. In 2011, the surgery center added a new partner and now features 12 physician owners.
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 has been 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.
Angela Talton, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CPC, CPC-H. Ms. Talton joined National Medical in 2012. As Senior Vice President of Coding, she leads the company’s coding and compliance departments, providing the long-term planning and operational oversight. She is also responsible for planning and managing the strategic integration of regulatory changes such as ICD-10 at the corporate level and ensuring all of National Medical’s coders are properly trained. Prior to joining National Medical, Ms. Talton was the Regional Epic Product Specialist-Health Information Management for a healthcare IT organization. There she was responsible for building, testing and implementing Epic EHR Systems and providing on-site client support during the go-live phase. Throughout her career, she has held numerous leadership positions in which she directed departments for coding, billing and operations for healthcare organizations. Currently, she is the President of Eastern Missouri Health Information Management Association. During her tenure, this chapter was recognized by the state organization, Mo-HIMA, as the “model association to seek for innovation in providing coding education to members.” She is also an AHIMA approved ICD-10 certified trainer. Ms. Talton earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Administration from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Management Organizational Behavior from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also earned an MBA from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Elaine Thomas, RN, MBA/HCM. 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.
Joyce Deno Thomas, RN. Ms. Thomas is the senior vice president of operations for Regent Surgical Health, a Westchester, Ill.-based ambulatory surgery center management and development company. In her role at Regent Surgical Health, she supervises quality improvement efforts and partners with surgery centers to manage everyday operations. Prior to joining Regent Surgical Health, she was the executive director of Loveland (Colo.) Surgery Center and served as regional director of quality improvement and administrator for HealthSouth.
Shirley Thomas. Ms. Thomas is the administrator of Surgery Center of Mount Dora, Fla., a joint venture between physician owners, Regent Surgical Health and Leesburg Regional Medical Center. Prior to her current position, she served as the administrator of Mariette Surgery Center in Ohio. Surgery Center of Mount Dora opened in 2009.
Jill Thrasher, CASC. Ms. Thrasher is the administrator of Precisions Surgery Center of Dallas. Precisions Surgery Center of Dallas is affiliated with Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America. She has served as an ASCOA administrator for more than five years. Ms. Thrasher earned her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas State University-San Marcos.
Meg Tomlinson. Ms. Tomlinson has served as administrator of Metrocrest Surgery Center (currently doing business as Baylor Surgicare at Carrollton) in Carrollton, Texas, since September 2002. The center merged with USPI effective July 1, 2010, and has seen various changes to the business office staff since that time. She says her patients are still happy, patient satisfaction is still high and physician owners are satisfied.
Kay Tucker. Ms. Tucker is the director of communications for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, a position she has held for more than six years. Earlier this year she was an integral part of making sure the ASCA annual meeting in Boston ran smoothly despite the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent investigation. ASCA’s mission is to represent ambulatory surgery centers and provide resources that assist ASCs in delivering high quality, cost effective care. ASCA and the ASCA Foundation will launch a new clinical and operational benchmarking program online next month.
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 August 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 worked to add neurosurgery and spine to the multispecialty 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 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 appointed ASA section chair of professional standards under the division of professional affairs.
LoAnn Vande Leest. Ms. Vande Leest is currently the chief executive officer of Northwest Michigan Surgery Center. She has previously served as the president of the Association of Wisconsin Surgery Center. The Northwest Michigan Surgery Center includes 80 physicians and a staff of more than 120 members.
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 multispecialty facility.
Susan Vitort, BSN, CNOR. Ms. Vitort is the administrator of Physicians Surgery Center of Tempe (Ariz.), a two-OR, one-procedure room, multispecialty surgery center that opened in September 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. 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 currently the chief operating officer of Parkway Neuroscience and Spine Institute in Hagerstown, Md. Parkway Neuroscience and Spine Institute includes an outpatient surgery center. Prior to her current role, Ms. Vittetoe served as the administrator of Thomas Johnson Surgery Center in Frederick, Md. Prior to Thomas Johnson, she spent the majority of her career in the private sector of healthcare management.
Tamara Wagner, CPC. Ms. Wagner is considered to be the one of the strongest coders in the ASC industry. She joined National Medical Billing Services in 2004, and today serves as Vice President of Coding. In this position, Tamara is responsible for overseeing the largest coding staff in the country as well as a client with 65 locations. She also developed a training program for new coders and also ensures that she and her team focus on getting extensive continuing education in ASC coding to ensure that all NMBS coders stay current with all of the trends and changes in the industry. She began her career at SmithKline Clinical Laboratories as a medical technologist. She then moved into various healthcare roles before joining National Medical. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including ASCA and Becker’s ASC. Tamara has contributed to numerous industry publications. Ms. Wagner earned a BS in Biology from St. Louis University.
Dorcie Wawrzynski. Ms. Wawrzynski and Mary Sasso, CASC, co-founded Surgery Center Coalition in 2006. She and Ms. Sasso currently serve as the organization’s co-chairs. Surgery Center Coalition is an organization for ASCs in New Jersey. The group currently has roughly 85 centers and 205 people as members. Ms. Wawrzynski is also the administrator and the director of nursing at May Street Surgi Center in Edison, N.J.
Suzanne Webb. Ms. Webb is the co-founder of ASC Billing Specialist, a billing company that serves surgery centers and physician practices, which was recently acquired by MediGain. ASC Billing Specialist 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 Surgery 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, she launched Pinnacle’s centralized billing office providing coding, billing and collection services to single and multispecialty ASCs who desired increased efficiencies via qualified personnel in a constantly changing reimbursement environment. She assumed her current position in 2008.
Lexa L. Woodyard (Cabell Huntington Surgery Center at Huntington, W.Va.). Since accepting the role of administrator of Cabell Huntington Surgery Center in 2006, 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. Prior to serving as administrator of Cabell Huntington Surgery Center, she was the center’s business office manager. Ms. Woodyard earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in healthcare administration and management from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. “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.” She says her center is blessed with staff and surgeons who are willing to make an effort to cut costs, increase revenue and improve patient satisfaction. “The staff are my skilled experts and I trust their input and knowledge,” she says. “You don’t have to be a nurse to run a surgery center, but you do have to have excellent, highly professional and proactive nurses on staff to help push the center forward.”
Cindy Young, RN, BSN, CASC. Ms. Young has been with the Surgery Center of Farmington for more than 14 years. During that 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. She is also a member of the ASCA board of directors. 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.
Joan Zarth. Ms. Zarth is the business director of Kentucky Surgery Center in Lexington. The surgery center is a multispecialty facility that performs more than 10,000 cases each year. Kentucky Surgery Center has focused on building and maintaining volume, as well as attracting physicians. “Surgeons have chosen our center due to the expertise of our staff, positive attitudes and overall atmosphere; we maintain their satisfaction by making the best use of our OR time and making sure we are staffed appropriately to guarantee excellent turn over time and flow,” says Ms. Zarth. “This leads to efficient use of the surgeons’ time and directly contributes to case volume. We are often told by our surgeons that twice as many cases can be done at our center in the same amount of time it would take at most HOPDs.”
Monica M. Ziegler, MSN, CASC. Ms. Ziegler has been the administrator of the Physicians Surgical Center in Lebanon, Pa., since it’s inception in 2005. She gained the responsibility of an additional center, The Center for Specialized Surgery in Bethlehem, Pa., in 2011. Both centers are multispecialty facilities serving a combined total of eight procedure rooms/ORs, with over 10,000 cases per year. Although the centers are very similar, 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. The “big picture view and creative thinking” are must have skills for every administrator and the belief that “there is an opportunity at every corner.” Ms. Ziegler also serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association.
Becky Ziegler-Otis. Ms. Ziegler-Otis has served in her current role as administrator of the Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point (Wis.) since January 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 to 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 7, 2013 and was updated July 29, 2020.