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Anthony Festa, Christo Klele, Dennis Simmons, Dhar Shreepada

Featured Article

It’s Not Just Medical Care, It’s Human Care

Wayne Surgical and Elite Surgical Center are Redefining What Healthcare Can Be

Article by Don Seaman

Photography by John Agnello

Originally published in Wayne Lifestyle

A medical procedure can be a life-altering event. No matter how prepared you are, you’re still facing a void of the unknown, not to mention a sea of red tape, probable insurance nightmares, overworked staff, recovery, and a mountain of questions that might never be answered to ease your mind. That’s not even taking into account the hospital experience, which can be intimidating, bureaucratic, and generally overwhelming.

It’s not even out of the question that a hospital stay can be harmful for your health, between the strain of recovery, understaffing, emergencies, and the risk of post-surgical infection.

Let’s face it: despite their best efforts, hospitals might not be the best places to try to get well.

There is a better way, and it’s local.

You get the same care from top-level doctors that you’d get at the hospital. But it comes from a place that’s far more human-based.

Actually, it’s two locations, both on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne. Wayne Surgical and Elite Surgical are two outpatient surgical facilities that radically change the experience of going through a surgical procedure. Not from a medical perspective — that remains the same — but in a holistically human way.

The starting point is the CEO of the organization, Dennis Simmons. Although he’s not a doctor himself, Dennis has led the team that’s performed about 178,000 procedures since their opening in 1999 (“Anything but eyes,” Dennis explains). To get a better perspective about Wayne Surgical and Elite Surgical, Dennis suggested I we talk to a few of the doctors affiliated with them for their thoughts. We spoke with Dr. Dhar Shreepada, Dr. Christo Klele, and Dr. Anthony Festa, all of whom make up the board, the executive committee that runs the operation.

The three doctors were quick to deflect credit for their success there. “There are 50 doctors here. Yeah, they’re all excellent doctors. They’re all in the community. That’s the biggest thing. All of the doctors, the nurses, the staff, they’re all from around here. You know these people; you see them in the supermarket. We need to make sure that they get through everything OK.” says Dr. Shreepada.

Dr. Klele is eager to give the credit for the human side of things to the staff there. “They’re really the ones that create that friendly, far less stressful experience. People are far less anxious and stressed coming into this facility — with this level of care — without the intimidation factor of the hospital.”

Dr. Shreepada concurs. “It’s the nurses, the staff, the way they talk to the patients, calm them down, they’re all kind to them, it’s experience and empathy. To all of us here, all that matters is the person sitting in front of them. The staff here have all worked at hospitals, most for years, so they know how they’d like to make it a different experience for people who come here. We try to hang on to every little bit of humanity we can.”

Of course, there’s one additional factor that really needs to be considered beyond the human care of this outpatient system — cost. There’s no overnight stay, no additional fees associated with hospitalization. There’s no corporate bureaucracy. When you factor in the exceptional level of care that you get at these facilities, it’s hard to imagine opting to pay more simply to get a more stressful experience as a result.

There’s one factor that can’t be overlooked, according to Dr. Shreepada. “If we look to one person that gives us the humanity of Wayne Surgical Center, it’s Dennis. He’s the heart.”

Wayne Surgical Center is at 1176 Hamburg Turnpike and Elite Surgical is at 307 Hamburg Turnpike, both in Wayne.

  • Anthony Festa, Christo Klele, Dennis Simmons, Dhar Shreepada