SANTA ROSA -- Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Advanced Surgery Institute, LLC,  have entered a joint venture on operations of a central Santa Rosa ambulatory surgery center, where 19 local surgeons from a wide range of medical specialties have performed outpatient procedures since its opening in 2010.

[caption id="attachment_69082" align="alignright" width="298"] Todd Salnas, Kevin Klockenga[/caption]

The hospital, part of St. Joseph Health, has finalized a purchase agreement announced Feb. 8 with the center’s 19 physician-investors and Regent Surgical Health, an Illinois-based surgery center management and development company with a 10 percent interest in the venture, according to parties involved.

Under terms of the joint venture, physician-investors will retain 39 percent interest and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital will own a 51 percent majority share. Other terms were not disclosed.

The new venture will enable greater collaboration between the trauma center and a well-known group of Sonoma County surgeons with multiple care specialties in an accredited, non-acute setting, according to the hospital.

Hospital officials said the new joint venture reinforces the partners’ ability to deliver additional access to more services on an outpatient basis, a trend that health reform is helping to drive as medical professionals place greater emphasis on prevention to reduce hospital admissions and on treatment of patients’ needs at the most efficient and appropriate level of care.

“We’re proud to establish this partnership with the outstanding physicians of ASI, with whom we have worked closely in patient care throughout their careers,” said Kevin Klockenga, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Health’s Northern California region, in a statement. “It is consistent with our founders’ vision to partner with others in maintaining and expanding access to much-needed medical care and to promote residents’ quality of life in our community.”

Located at 1739 Fourth St. just east of downtown Santa Rosa, Advanced Surgery Institute is a Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory surgery center. Specialties include general surgery, orthopedics, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), gastric banding, pain management, plastic surgery and podiatry. The center was established to provide patients a high-quality alternative to inpatient hospitalization.

"At Advanced Surgery Institute, we have excellent patient turnaround times, high patient satisfaction as evidenced by surveys, and a highly skilled clinical team working together,” said Stefan Zechowy, M.D., an ear, nose and throat surgeon and president of the center’s board of directors. “By aligning with Santa Rosa Memorial, it further strengthens our relationships in the community with the region’s major healthcare provider, who shares our commitment to quality and service.”

Ann Hurd, R.N., institute administrator, said the venture “ensures that ASI’s mission of providing excellent care, combined with a more personal experience, is taken to the next level.”

Physician partners who practice at ASI include:Anesthesiology: Gian Nhan, M.D.Ear, nose and throat surgery: Stephanie Huang, M.D., Mark Homicz, M.D., Dave Quenelle, M.D. and Stefan Zechowy, M.D.General and vascular surgery: Allen Cortez, M.D., Abdul Harris, M.D., Brian Schmidt, M.D., and Robert Woodbury, M.D.Pain management: Mark Hurd, M.D., and Michael Tran, M.D.Cardiology: Masis Babajanian; M.D., Tom Dunlap, M.D., and Scott Lee, M.D.Podiatry: Paul Shonka, D.P.M., and Thomas Fitzgerald, D.P.M.Orthopedic and spine surgery: Robert Harf, M.D.

Regent Surgical Health will continue to provide day-to-day management and administrative services for the Santa Rosa institute, which employs 30.

“Our specialty is bringing highly successful surgeons together with highly successful hospitals in a way that ensures long-term mutual success,” said Tom Mallon, chief executive officer of Westchester, Ill.-based Regent. “Eighteen of our 24 ambulatory surgery center partners in the U.S. and in Europe have entered joint ventures with leading hospitals.”