6 ASC nurse leaders to know

Here are six ambulatory surgery center nurse leaders who stand out for managing both the operational and clinical aspects of an ASC.

If you would like to recommend another ASC nurse leader for this list, contact Anuja Vaidya at avaidya@beckershealthcare.com.

Ann M. Ahee, RN, BSN, is the administrator of Zion Eye Institute in St. George, Utah. In addition to the achieving excellent surgical results, the patient's interaction with the nursing staff is perhaps the most important part of the patient's experience while in the ASC, according to Jason Ahee, MD, an ophthalmologist at the institute.

"Mrs. Ahee, not only exemplifies the nurses role in the ASC but she also brings outstanding professional administrative skills and leadership to the ASC," he says. "Mrs. Ahee is tremendous asset to our ASC."

Mrs. Ahee has expertise in a various aspects of ASC leadership, including credentialing, compliance, billing and collections as well as human resource management and scheduling, notes Dr. Ahee.

Established in 1979, the surgery center provides a wide-array of ophthalmic procedures, including vision correction and laser eye surgery, cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery and retina surgery.

Teresa Chaisson, RN, BSN, CNOR, is the director of operations for one of the largest ASCs in New York State, Manhattan Endoscopy Center. Ms. Chaisson successfully transitioned into the world of ambulatory surgery three years ago and has continued to excel in her role. Her previous successes include working and managing a complex variety of operating room specialties at one of the top Harvard institutions for over 15years. She prides herself on leading teams to their highest potential, and shares her philosophy of healthcare today; "If you have a professional dilemma and you use the patient's best interest as the deciding factor, you will never regret that decision."

Debra Hagendorn, RN, CASC is the administrator for South Shore Ambulatory Surgery Center in Lynbrook, N.Y. She has helped the ASC achieve accreditation from the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care four times and consistently prepares the center to meet the CMS conditions for coverage, according to Arnold Hertz, DPM, who performs procedures at the center.

"She works with her dedicated staff who she always credits for their success. Over the past year she has dealt with significant changes in management at [the] facility putting an increased burden on her, however she still maintained the highest standards at the center. Her tireless efforts many times go unnoticed and for that reason I believe it is important for her to be recognized," he says.

The surgery center was established in 2002 and includes four operating rooms and a procedure room. It offers surgical services in a number of specialties, including orthopedics, podiatry, pain management, endoscopy and ophthalmology.

Cindy Holden, RN, CGRN, LHRM, CASC, is the administrator of Fleming Island Surgery Center in Orange Park, Fla. She has previously worked at Wellmont Health Systems in Kingsport, Tenn., and Leesburg (Fla.) Regional Medical Center. She is a licensed healthcare risk manager in Florida and a certified ASC administrator.

"ASCs rely on nursing leadership in that we are patient advocates. We have insight into how patients feel as they go through the process of loss of control, anxiety and then the actual procedures, surgery and recovery processes. Quality care must incorporate the patient as the priority in the system. All other concerns are secondary," says Ms. Holden.
Additionally, she is a member of Florida First Coast Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates — Region 13.

The surgery center was opened in 2006, and it has earned accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The center's physicians focus on gastroenterology, general surgery and orthopedics.

Shannon Hylton, RN, BSN, is the clinical director of Surgery Center at Liberty (Mo.) Hospital. She has been with the surgery center since 2009 and was named clinical director in 2010. She has been in key player in helping the center successfully pass three Medicare surveys and two AAAHC surveys, according to Steve Henry, CASC, MBA, administrator of the center.

"Shannon leads by example as she is cross-trained in multiple roles to include circulator, pre-op/PACU RN, instrument tech as well as acts as the backup administrator. The surgery center is coming up on its one year anniversary of adding GI to their specialty mix. Shannon and her clinical staff have made the surgery center the facility of choice for two gastroenterologists by keeping physician and patient satisfaction high," he says.

Ms. Hylton also assists the administrator in responding to physician needs and in the physician recruitment process.

The surgery center opened in February 2008 as a partnership between local physicians and Liberty Hospital. It provides surgical services in numerous specialties, such as podiatry, general surgery, orthopedics and urology.

Gail Sebet, RN, MS, CNOR, is the senior director of surgical services at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Mass. Ms. Sebet is responsible for overseeing the clinical and administrative operations of all perioperative services delivered at New England Baptist Hospital. This scope spans inpatient and ambulatory surgical care at three surgical sites. She plays a key role in the development of new as well as the advancement of existing surgical programs and services across the entire organization.

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