Rising Stars: 31 ASC Industry Leaders Under 40


Here are 31 surgery center industry leaders who — despite their continued success, far-reaching influence and deep knowledge of the industry — have yet to reach age 40.
Note: If you would like to be included on this list in the future, please email Rachel Fields at rfields@beckershealthcare.com.

Joshua Billstein, The Polyclinic in Seattle (38). Mr. Billstein spent 10 years as a clinician and practice manager at a busy physician clinic before joining The Polyclinic in June 2010. He currently serves as practice manager for the three-OR, multi-specialty ASC, where he has helped integrate cardiology cases into the center's caseload. He has also helped put the ASC under its expense budget by eight percent for 2010 by utilizing a group purchasing organization and resource management. According to Mr. Billstein, Dec. 2010 was the busiest month in the 22-year history of the ASC. Mr. Billstein says his personal philosophy as an ASC leader is "to recruit and retain exceptional individuals who, when integrated into our center's team, utilize their unique talents to make our center exceptional."

Chris Bishop, Blue Chip Surgical Partners (39).
Mr. Bishop is a partner and senior vice president of acquisitions and business development for Blue Chip Surgical Center Partners. In his current role, he is responsible for optimizing performance at ASCs within the Blue Chip network and acquiring and "turning around" underperforming surgery centers. Prior to joining Blue Chip in 2010, Mr. Bishop served as vice president with ASCOA. In his five years with the company, he succeeded in developing or acquiring 11 surgery centers, leading to substantial revenue and profit increases. He was also instrumental in refocusing the firm's core strategy on acquisitions and turnarounds. In addition to his work with Blue Chip and ASCOA, Mr. Bishop has extensive leadership experience and a proven track record in developing surgeon partnerships within the medical device industry.

Jennifer Butterfield, RN, BSN, CNOR, Lakes Surgery Center (39). Ms. Butterfield is the administrator of Lakes Surgery Center, a multi-specialty, Joint Commission-accredited ASC that performs over 5,600 cases per year. She has worked in the ASC industry for over seven years, serving as OR manager and director of nursing prior to becoming an administrator. According to medical records coordinator Jen Hagerty, Ms. Butterfield has been instrumental in starting a spine program at the center and recruiting physicians for the program. While other ASCs in the area are struggling, WBSC is increasing patient volume. Ms. Hagerty credits the growth to excellent physician and staff dedication.

Michael Doyle, Surgery Partners (39).
Mr. Doyle is CEO of Surgery Partners, where he is responsible for overseeing the firm's day-to-day operation and continued growth. He has experience developing and managing hospitals, surgical centers, rehabilitation facilities and imaging centers. Throughout his career, Mr. Doyle has been a hands-on manager with a wealth of healthcare knowledge, and he applies his practical experience of managing and developing healthcare services to his current position. In 2012 he led the Surgery Partners team in the successful acquisition and integration of NovaMed. Mr. Doyle earned a bachelor's degree in physiotherapy from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and an MBA from Troy (Ala.) State University.

Jill Dowe, Blue Chip Surgical Partners (35). Ms. Dowe was appointed director of business office operations for Blue Chip Surgical Partners in 2011, joining the company from a position as business office manager of Surgery Center Cedar Rapids (Iowa). In her role at SCCR, 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.

Viva Elia, Surgical Care Affiliates (35).
Ms. Elia serves as a vice president of operations for Surgical Care Affiliates, where she is responsible for six ASCs in Southern California. Ms. Elia originally joined SCA in 2003 in a marketing role and later became an administrator before being given responsibility for the Southern California region. Ms. Elia has successfully partnered with several health systems, including the University of California San Diego, and has consistently increased earnings in her region every year. Ms. Elia has been invited to speak at California Ambulatory Surgery Association meetings on topics ranging from marketing to diversifying specialty mix.

Andrea Fann, Orthopaedic South Surgical Center in Morrow, Ga. (39). Ms. Fann serves as the administrator of Orthopaedic South Surgical Center, a United Surgical Partners International facility. She has served in the position since 2005, before which she worked as business office manager for Buckhead (Ga.) Ambulatory Surgery Center and as director of front office operations for Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Center in Sandy Springs, Ga. Ms. Fann believes that a manager does not automatically become a leader and that installing the right team is essential for ASC success. In 2011, Orthopaedic South Surgical Center was recognized as a Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Finalist.

John Gol, Borland-Groover Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. (39).
Mr. Gol is the CFO for Borland-Groover Clinic, which owns two endoscopy ASCs. He also serves as executive administrator for the Fleming Island Surgery Center in Orange Park, Fla., and is Borland-Groover Clinic's representative for ownership interest in St. Augustine (Fla.) Surgery Center. His background in applying financial knowledge to real-world situations has helped BGC's surgery centers run efficiently and turned around Fleming Island Surgery Center from near bankruptcy.

Bill Heath, Practice Partners in Healthcare (37). Mr. Heath is the chief development officer at Practice Partners in Healthcare in Birmingham, Ala., an ASC management and development company. He has had more than ten years of experience in the healthcare field, previously serving as the director of development for a large provider of ASC services where he assisted in acquisitions, de novo projects and syndications. His background includes treasury and finance experience, and he began his career in the financial arena with a Fortune 500 bank. He earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and a MBA from the University of Alabama.

Steve Henry, CASC, MBA, Surgery Center at Liberty (Mo.) Hospital (35). Mr. Henry joined the Surgery Center at Liberty Hospital as administrator in February 2012. During his first six months, he has had the opportunity to work with talented physicians and a caring and compassionate staff, which has led to a 96 percent patient satisfaction rating for 2012. He recently earned CASC certification at ASCs 2011 in Orlando. He began his career in market research for a well-known ASC management and development company before earning his MBA in healthcare administration. His background includes experience as a financial analyst, business office director and administrator of a start-up surgery center. A new experience of implementing an electronic health record is his next big task in 2013.

Jennifer Hunara, MHA, MBA, Surgery Center of Allentown in Allentown, Pa. (34). Ms. Hunara has managed the Surgery Center of Allentown, a large multi-specialty ASC, for the last five years. She began her healthcare career at the age of 24 as a business manager of perioperative services at Lehigh Valley Health Network, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., and then moved on to the role of executive director of surgical services for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (N.J.). Her background includes experience in financial and IT management of perioperative services, oversight of surgical processes and management of a profitable surgery center. She maintains her success has been due hard work and great mentors. "I firmly believe mentoring in our field is extremely important to developing the next set of leaders," she says.

Emilie Keene, Parkridge Surgery Center in Columbia, S.C. (32).
Ms. Keene is the administrator of Parkridge Surgery Center, and president-elect of the South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. She earned her MHA at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and was promoted to administrator just eight months after joining Parkridge as an assistant to the vice president and administrator. During her time with the surgery center, she successfully recruited eight surgeons, increased net revenues by $1 million, increased employee satisfaction scores by 30 percent and patient satisfaction scores by 4 percent. She also led the ASC through the accreditation process and identified cost savings of nearly $200,000 per year.

Tony Kilgore, Surgical Care Affiliates (36). Mr. Kilgore serves as a group vice president of operations for Surgical Care Affiliates, where he is responsible for 21 ASCs and six health system partnerships in a 17 state territory. Since joining SCA in 2011, Mr. Kilgore has been influential in creating, implementing and optimizing SCA's growth and operating strategies. He has successfully crafted surgery strategies to align physicians with health systems and hospitals, and grow market share all while positioning SCA for long-term success in the midst of healthcare reform.

Angela Laux, Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center in Green Bay, Wis. (38). Ms. Laux started as the administrator of Bellin Orthopedic Surgery Center in June 2010 and brings over 10 years of experience working in an ASC. The center opened in March 2010. Since then Ms. Laux has led her team to accomplish doubling the number of ORs, case volume, and net revenue annually while providing a quality, customer-friendly experience for patients. 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 worked with the joint team to design and implement the process for doing total joints in an ASC. Ms. Laux graduated from Marian University with a master's degree in organizational leadership and quality in 2009.

Jared Leger, Arise Healthcare (33).
Mr. Leger is a co-founder and managing partner of Arise Healthcare. The company currently owns and operates various healthcare-related businesses with a focus on ASCs. His background as a registered nurse coupled with his healthcare business background has allowed him to grow Arise Healthcare at an accelerated pace. His past experience includes healthcare finance, mergers and acquisitions, development and operations. He has also syndicated and operated several physician-owned surgery centers. In addition to leading Arise, Mr. Leger owns a real estate investment company based out of Austin, Texas.

Colin McDermott, CFA, CPA/ABV, VMG Health (33). Mr. McDermott is a senior manager with VMG Health and is based in the Dallas office. He specializes in providing financial, valuation and transaction advisory services to clients in the health care industry including ambulatory surgery centers. Additionally, Mr. McDermott leads VMG's financial reporting valuation services team. Mr. McDermott has presented and published articles on healthcare valuation issues, including those pertaining to the ASC industry. Mr. McDermott received a MS in finance from Texas A&M University. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Accredited in Business Valuation designations.

Kevin McDonough, VMG Health (32). Mr. McDonough is a senior manager with VMG Health, a leading provider of valuation services to the surgery center industry. Mr. McDonough began his career with VMG in 2003 and now leads the firm's ASC business valuation department. He has had the privilege of working with industry leaders in helping them navigate today's market challenges and the experience of providing valuation services to over 100 ASCs each year. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional surgery center conferences and has authored a number of articles for Becker's ASC Review and other publications over the years. Mr. McDonough holds a CFA designation and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Christina McDonald, Tampa Outpatient Surgical Facility (33). Ms. McDonald serves as the administrator of Tampa Outpatient Surgical Facility, where she is responsible for overseeing facility operations and strategically increasing volume. Since joining the center in August 2008, she has increased monthly case volume from an average of 200 to an average of 700. The multi-specialty ASC contains five ORs and seven procedure rooms and performs plastics, urology, GYN, ophthalmology, poediatry, orthopedics, general surgery, pain management and endoscopy. Prior to joining Tampa Outpatient, Ms. McDonald worked as the assistant administrator to the executive vice president of patient care services. She also completed an administrative fellowship at Tampa General Hospital working under the president and CEO.

Amy McKiernan, Louisville Surgery Center in Kentucky (36). Ms. McKiernan joined Louisville Surgery Center, an ASD Management facility, in Jan. 2005, three months after the center opened. She says the center has grown tremendously since her first day; in the first year, the ASC performed 814 cases, and in 2010, the number had jumped to 3,431 cases. The center currently performs plastics and ENT in two ORs and seven pre-op/recovery bays. She says the center has 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.

Aaron Murski, VMG Health (31). Mr. Murski is a senior manager at VMG Health, based in the Dallas area. He focuses on developing client relationships and providing valuation, transaction advisory and operational consulting services in the healthcare services industry. He specifically has significant experience with the acute-care and specialty hospital, physician practice, inpatient rehabilitation, cancer treatment, ASC and diagnostic imaging segments. In addition to the extensive valuation experience for transacting planning and financial reporting purposes, he has consulted on numerous development, feasibility and recapitalization analyses for joint venture, restructuring and de novo business development purposes.

Amber Patterson, Westside Surgery Center in Douglas, Ga. (27). "I'm young, but I'm working extremely hard to become an excellent administrator," says Ms. Patterson, practice administrator of Ear Nose & Throat Clinic and Westside Surgery Center. She came to Westside Surgery Center in Dec. 2008, when she inherited the administrator position of the freestanding, physician-owned ASC. In her first three years with the center, she has researched the best deals on ASC equipment, worked with a consultant to ensure the facility was built according to state guidelines, hired and trained new staff, completed the state survey and Joint Commission accreditation and maintained compliance with federal regulations. In constant pursuit of professional development, Ms. Patterson is currently pursuing a degree in business administration.

Rebecca Overton, Surgical Management Professionals (36). Ms. Overton brings more than 15 years of healthcare receivables and revenue cycle experience to her role as director of revenue cycle management for Surgical Management Professionals. Prior to joining the company, she served as director of A/R and materials management for SurgCenter Development, where she provided overall direction in her respective areas for more than 20 multi-specialty surgery centers. Before joining SurgCenter Development, she worked as the business director for two successful, freestanding, multi-specialty surgery centers in Florida and worked as an A/R coordinator for an ASC in Little Rock, Ark. With SMP, Ms. Overton has improved EOM processes internally and with clients; reviewed adjustment history to identify opportunities for appeals and increased collections; and implemented contract management.

Jason Reese, Health Inventures (34). Mr. Reese currently serves as Health Inventures' vice president of operations for Ohio, overseeing operations at three ASCs and 11 sleep diagnostic centers. He previously spent time as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co., concentrating on strategy and business turnaround management. Prior to his work with McKinsey, he served as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill, running the U.S. Congressional offices of a number of members of Congress. He earned his Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 2010.

Chris Revell, Surgical Notes (37).
Mr. Revell manages project and implementation services for Surgical Notes, a leading provider of EMR, transcription, coding and value-added healthcare IT services. As a certified project management professional, Mr. Revell has 14 years of experience managing projects in the healthcare and IT sectors, where key areas of focus have been healthcare IT management, EMR/EHR implementation, software as a service and managed-hosting solutions. His work experience encompasses the development and management of a hosted EMR solution at a leading healthcare IT vendor, the implementation of an IT strategy at a physician-owned surgical hospital and the implementation of EMR and practice management solutions throughout the U.S.

Jason Ruchaber, CFA, ASA, HealthCare Appraisers (37). Mr. Ruchaber, partner at HealthCare Appraisers, leads the company's business valuation team in valuing ASCs, transactions in the ASC industry and a variety of healthcare compensation, management and service arrangements, as well as intangible assets. He is the author of several articles regarding valuation in the healthcare industry and has made several presentations at national ASC and healthcare industry conferences.

Simon Schwartz, Pinnacle III (29). Mr. Schwartz joined Pinnacle III in April 2010. In his role at the company, he works on new client development for the operational development, management and billing of ambulatory surgery centers across the country. He is also responsible for all advertising materials, communications, articles, materials for trade journals and website management. Prior to joining Pinnacle III, Mr. Schwartz worked for a consulting firm that was absorbed by a national trade association. There, Mr. Schwartz focused his attention on events, taking responsibility for development, marketing, communication, sponsor/speaker recruitment, execution and wrap-up for eight state trade associations holding between two and four events every year. He also handled on-site logistics from the association's meetings throughout the country.

Brooke Smith, Maryland Surgery Center for Women in Rockville, Md. (36). In her two years with Maryland Surgery Center for Women, Ms. Smith has successfully taken a struggling ASC and turned it into a safe, profitable, professional facility. She has worked to increase collections from an average of $70K per month to an average of $240K per month, all while decreasing the center's days in A/R significantly to an average of 25 days. She also led a pilot program for online pre-surgical admission, trialing the program for presentation to the center's management company, Ambulatory Surgery Centers of America, for consideration among 30 other ASCs. Her cost savings in 2010 alone added up to $110,000.

Jason Strauss, Surgical Care Affiliates (32). Mr. Strauss serves as a Vice President of Operations for Surgical Care Affiliates, where he is responsible for ASCs in the greater Los Angeles area. He joined SCA's Birmingham, Alabama office in April 2008 as a consultant for special projects and was promoted a year later to an operations role. In this role as a top performer, Mr. Strauss assumed the responsibility of leading SCA's surgical hospital division at the start of 2012, and now focuses on broadening relationships with several prominent health systems and payors on the west coast. Mr. Strauss's combination of analytical and interpersonal skills helped him achieve the highest improvements in physician satisfaction scores across SCA's entire enterprise while delivering bottom line growth of 10-12 percent over three years.

Neil Walker, Surgical Care Affiliates (35). Mr. Walker serves as vice president of acquisition management for Surgical Care Affiliates. During his 11 years at SCA, he has gained experience through roles in accounting, finance, operations and development. Currently, Mr. Walker leads the company's M&A process by working with both internal teams and external clients to ensure that SCA's capital is being deployed efficiently and effectively as SCA and its 30 health system partners continue to grow each year.

Philipp Wall, MD, RPVI, Arizona Vein and Vascular Center (38). Dr. Wall is the founder of Arizona Vein and Vascular Center, a specialist practice devoted to the treatment and practice of vascular disease. He single-handedly turned a two-exam room office into a 6,500 square foot center in two years. In 2011, Arizona Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (dba Arizona Vein and Vascular Center) became an AAASF-accredited ambulatory surgery center. Dr. Wall is board-certified in vascular and endovascular surgery and is a registered physician in vascular interpretation. He earned his MD from the State University of New York Downstate Health Science Center in 1997 and completed his residency in general surgery at SUNY Buffalo, followed by a vascular and endovascular fellowship at SUNY Stony Brook. He serves as the ASC's medical director, performs procedures in the ASC and operates in several local hospitals.

Parth A. Zaveri, MHA, MBA, The Endoscopy Center of St. Louis (33). Mr. Zaveri is the administrator of The Endoscopy Center of St. Louis, located in St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo. The two Endoscopy Center locations are independently-owned, single-specialty and have six procedure rooms between them. He joined the Endoscopy Centers of St. Louis in 2007 as the practice administrator. During his time as administrator, Mr. Zaveri's team has been able to undertake several successful initiatives: the ASC has a capsule endoscopy program that was started last year, as well as a new in-house pathology department for patients. Prior to coming to the Endoscopy Center of St. Louis, he worked with a large multi-specialty physician practice in St. Louis as a business analyst. He has also worked for several large hospital systems in the St. Louis and Columbia, Mo., region.

Related Articles on ASC Leaders:
ASC Leader to Know: Dr. Jeffrey Visotsky of Illinois Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery Center
ASC Leader to Know: Jim Stilley of Northwest Michigan Surgery Center
ASC Leader to Know: Kathleen Whitlow of Blue Chip Surgical Center Partners

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