Back­bone of the op­er­a­tion

Perry helps steer rapid ex­pan­sion of Florida-based spine clinic

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

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

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