Backbone of the operation
Perry helps steer rapid expansion of Florida-based spine clinic
Dr. Michael William Perry, an internist, first became a staunch advocate for outpatient endoscopic spine procedures to relieve lower back and neck pain while working at an orthopedic clinic in Hudson, Fla.
“Seeing patients that come in and have pain and seeing them leave without pain—whether I am seeing them in a clinical setting or from an administrative point of view—that is what it is all about,” says Perry, 53.
It also was while working at the clinic, the Gulf Coast Orthopedic Center, that Perry met Dr. James St. Louis, a surgeon, and Dr. Glenn Hamburg, an anesthesiologist. The threesome decided to team up, launching the Laser Spine Institute in 2005 in Tampa, Fla.
EFO Holdings, Dallas, and founders of the Outback Steakhouse chain provided venturecapital financing.
The Laser Spine Institute specializes in endoscopic spine surgery to relieve pain from degenerative discs, bone spurs, pinched nerves and other issues that cause lower back or neck pain. The procedures are an alternative to open back surgery performed in a hospital setting.
The institute has grown rapidly. It performed more than 250 surgeries between March and October 2005 and now performs more than 400 procedures a month. The number of employees has grown from nine when it opened its doors to 450 in January 2012.
In addition to Tampa, the institute now has surgical centers in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Philadelphia; and Oklahoma City. It also operates medical consultation facilities in San Diego; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and at The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida.
Perry deserves a lot of credit for the company’s success, says William Horne, CEO of the Laser Spine Institute. “What makes Dr. Perry special is his work ethic. He is willing to do anything that he asks any employee to do,” Horne says.
For Perry’s accomplishments, he has been chosen as the 2012 Trustee of the Year