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October 17, 2006 > Outpatient Surgery Center Celebrates 20 Years of Successful Outcomes

Outpatient Surgery Center Celebrates 20 Years of Successful Outcomes

Consistent Patient Satisfaction Marks Two Decades of Caring

by Washington Hospital

Thanks to medical advancements during the last several years, many times a long hospital stay is no longer necessary after surgery. At the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center, across the street from Washington Hospital, patients can have many different kinds of surgery and go home the same day or the next morning.

The surgery center, a partnership between Washington Hospital and local physicians, opened in 1986 with two operating rooms and one special procedure room. Today, the surgery center has 80 staff members more than 150 physicians representing all surgical specialties credentialed to perform procedures, and the center’s census has averaged nearly 6,000 patients per year for the last several years.

According to the center’s Administrator Gary Charland, a complete range of outpatient surgery procedures is available, including general, gynecological, urological, endoscopic, laparoscopic – and even cataract surgery.

The center’s services include a 23-hour recovery unit, which according to Charland, has a “bed and breakfast” environment, with large, tastefully decorated rooms equipped with televisions and DVD and VCR players, allowing patients to bring their own movies to enjoy during their stay.

Additionally, patients are served breakfast in the morning before being discharged. Family members are even allowed to stay overnight with patients, and meals are brought in for them.

Twenty years of outstanding care

On Oct. 20, the center celebrates its 20th anniversary with a luncheon in honor of both those responsible for the center’s founding and its continued success – including the founding physicians, Washington Hospital Chief Executive Officer Nancy Farber, staff members and alumni staff members. “Nancy Farber was instrumental in putting the center together with a key group of physicians 20 years ago,” according to Charland.

To mark the occasion, a special ceremony and presentation will honor the founding physicians and founding members of the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center.

Growing with the community

“There have been a lot of changes since 1986,” Charland says noting developments designed to meet the needs of a growing population. Since the center’s first Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) survey in 1991, a renovation program took place in 1993, increasing the square footage on the first floor to 14,500 square feet. The center was expanded to include four operating rooms and one special procedure room and increased from five to seven pre-op beds, and from six to 12 post-op beds.

A four-room Overnight Recovery Care Unit was developed on the second floor of this building, which has since expanded to six beds. Additional expansion in 2001 to the second floor resulted in the addition of two new procedure rooms, as well as renovation of the first floor special procedure room for Pain Management. A more recent expansion led to the addition of a fifth operating room and two additional overnight recovery rooms for a total of eight beds.

Putting patients and the community first

“The most critical element to the center’s success during the last 20 years, is its staff,” Charland says. “This is a very caring group of physicians and staff members.”

In addition to their dedication to high quality health care, the center’s staff members have also been involved in several community projects. Staff members raised approximately $14,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and also raised several hundred dollars for the Tri-City Animal Shelter through sale of pet-of-the-month calendars that featured employees’ pets.

The center also took first place in the Fremont Chili Cook-off, winning the People’s Choice award for 2006, Charland says.

Quality, first and foremost

Perhaps owing to the staff’s dedication, the center has had virtually flawless patient satisfaction ratings for its entire 20-year history.

The center is one of the only centers of its kind in the Tri-City area to have AAAHC accreditation, ensuring that patients receive the care they know and respect from Washington Hospital.

“AAAHC accreditation is comparable to Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,” Charland says. “As with any accreditation program, it’s important to know that an independent organization has reviewed it. These organizations make sure facilities reach certain standards of care.”

The center is managed in cooperation by Medical Director Jeffrey Stuart, M.D. and Charland, the center’s administrator, who has been with the center since 2000. Dr. Stuart, an anesthesiologist who joined the surgery center in January of 2005, was previously an anesthesiologist practicing at Washington Hospital for several years.

To learn more about the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center, visit and click on “Our Facilities,” and select “Outpatient Surgery Center” from the drop-down menu.

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