East Tennessee Medical News
There have been a lot of sleepless nights in the past year for Steve Ross, RN, Director of Surgical Services for Premier Surgical Associates. Ross has been heavily involved in the planning and construction details of Premier Surgical’s new office-based procedure center on Papermill Drive in west Knoxville. It’s a new, expanded facility that houses Premier Vascular Access & Imaging Center, Premier Vein Clinics, Premier Prosthetic Center, and Premier Hemorrhoid Treatment Center.
“I wake up at night thinking about patient flow,” admits Ross. “I wonder: how will the patients perceive the staff, the equipment, and the care they receive here? Their perception and experience are so important.”
For Ross, his involvement in the planning of new facility is the culmination of nearly 30 years in healthcare. He was first trained in safety and first aid while serving as a military policeman and S.W.A.T. Team member in the U.S. Army. When Ross left the military, he worked as a Highway Patrolman in northern California for 14 years, investigating traffic accidents for many of those years.
“We were trained as EMTs and were usually the first ones on a crash scene. So, we often treated patients in the field,” explains Ross.
In 2001 Ross and his family relocated to Knoxville to be near his wife’s family. It was only natural that he earned his Registered Nurse certification while working in the Heart Cath Lab at what was then St. Mary’s Hospital and Parkwest Medical Center.
“It was rewarding to see the difference you were making for patients,” says Ross. “Someone would come in with an active heart attack and you are part of the team that immediately treats that person and saves their life.”
That appreciation for a team approach continued to come into play as Ross joined Premier Surgical Associates in 2007 to manage the group’s new freestanding Vascular Access and Imaging Center.
“When I started at Premier I wrote a letter to the staff explaining that our goal is to concentrate on each and every patient. I don’t care what they look like, what their social economic status is – I want that patient to be treated better than I treat my own family,” says Ross.
As the Premier Vascular Access & Imaging Center grew to include additional specialties and 65 clinical and clerical staff and 15 physicians, Ross continues focus on the individual patient experience.
“I may sound cliché, but I tell every person who applies for a job here that our care and relationship with the patient comes first. From the front desk, to the nurse, to the physician – we are all part of a team working to make each patient feel comfortable, welcome, and valued as an individual.”
Now, as Ross heads up the recent relocation and expansion of Premier Surgical’s new Papermill Drive facility, he’s excited about what the future brings.
“Our new facility is a great opportunity to offer improved access and care to patients in East Tennessee. Our team is ready to give every patient the best care and experience possible.”
About Premier Surgical
Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Premier Surgical Associates has 28 surgeons who perform general, vascular, endovascular, vein, bariatric, breast, laparoscopic and oncologic procedures. Premier has offices in Knoxville, Alcoa, Dandridge, Crossville, Lenoir City, and Sevierville.