Giving Back to the Community: 5 ASCs Involved in Outreach Initiatives

Here are five surgery centers organizing and involved in programs that benefit local, national and even international communities. If you would like to recommend another surgery center for this list, contact Anuja Vaidya at

Garrett Eye Center's Ambulatory Surgical Center (Iron Mountain, Mich.).
Opened in 1987, the surgery center offers specialized and high-quality ophthalmology services. Over 1,000 surgeries are performed annually at the center. The center includes an on-site certified anesthesiologist. Center Director Teri Mulka, RN, John Michael Garrett, MD, and his staff have participated in Mission Cataract Surgery Day for the last 22 years by providing free surgery, pre- and postoperative care to patients who don't have health insurance or have financial difficulties.

"It is incredible to see the gratitude of the patients and to participate as staff," said Ms. Mulka. The center's other physician, Dean L. Hartwig, OD, also participates in VISION USA, which provides basic eye examinations to people in need and InfantSEE, a public health program designed to ensure that eye care becomes an essential part of infant wellness care. Both programs are endorsed by the American Optometric Association. Dr. Garrett has also participated in volunteer eye surgeries in Africa, Central America and other underserved countries annually through organizations such as the Christian Eye Ministry. This year in Honduras, Dr. Garrett performed 15 corneal transplants as well as multiple glaucoma surgeries in one week.

Missoula (Mont.) Bone & Joint Surgery Center. The practice offers a community outreach program that provides free educational seminars and workshops to the community. Topics covered by the seminars and workshops have included types of injuries, preventive measures and treatment options. The practice's physicians are also invited to present to employees at local businesses and companies on injures and injury prevention. Founded in 2001, the freestanding surgery center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and is a member of the Montana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. The center is a service of the nine-physician orthopedic practice, Missoula Bone & Joint. The physicians are board-certified and have subspecialty training in sports medicine, joint replacements, hand and microvascular surgery, foot and ankle reconstruction and spine care.

Peak One Surgical Center (Frisco, Colo.). This ASC organizes annual Community Surgery Day events, wherein the ASC's physicians provide surgical services to the community's needy population. In October 2013, the center organized its fourth annual surgery day event, where surgeons performed procedures on 16 patients. Peter Janes, MD, of Vail (Colo.) Summit Orthopedics proposed the idea after returning from a medical mission trip. The patients for the Community Surgery Day are selected in coordination with the Summit Community Care Clinic. The surgery center is a Pinnacle III facility and its medical staff comprises 22 physicians. It is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, and it offers services in a wide array of specialties, such as orthopedic surgery, urology, gynecology, pain management and gastroenterology.

Surgery Center at Tanasbourne (Hillsboro, Ore.). The center organized a Charity Care day, wherein the center offered free colonoscopies and hernia repairs to patients in need. According to ASC Administrator James Kamps, RN, MBA, CNOR, the idea came to him after he saw a video of a Charity Care day event at another center at the Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association conference in 2012. "The video really affected me," he said. "I began to look into how my center could give back to the community that surrounds us." Mr. Kamps contacted Project Access NOW, an organization that had patients who needed help and had already been through a screening process for eligibility. The center scheduled the cases on a Saturday and staff and physicians came in on a volunteer basis, said Mr. Kamps.

Providence Health and Services opened this freestanding surgery center in March 2009. It features four operating rooms and two procedure rooms. The center is managed through a joint venture with Blue Chip Surgical Partners, and it offers a number of services, including gastroenterology, general surgery, orthopedics, gynecology, plastic surgery and pain management.

Surgical Center of South Jersey (Mount Laurel, N.J.) Surgical Center of South Jersey is a multispecialty surgery center with two procedure rooms, four operating rooms and more than 40 team members. In December 2012, the center started the Advocacy in Action program. Each quarter, at least one charitable organization worthy of support is selected. Over the past year, the program has contributed time and financial support to causes such as Toys for Tots, Healing the Children, a homeless shelter hygiene drive, an animal shelter supply drive, a holiday food drive, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Lights of Hope initiative and the Kisses-for-Kyle organization. "Our biggest success this year was forming the center's first American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team. Not only did we participate in the walk itself in large numbers, but were able to donate over $3,000 from an event we hosted for the cause –100 people attended," says administrator Nicole Bodnar. "Advocacy in Action simply puts a name and a specific timeline to what our teammates have done for many years — give back to their community." Surgical Center of South Jersey is affiliated with Surgical Care Affiliates.

More Articles on ASCs:

Dr. Daniel Eglinton Opens Asheville Biologics and Orthopedics
Sanford Health Opens $9M Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center
Dr. Jeffrey Postma Joins Lakeland Healthcare's Community Bone and Joint

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