The Art of Advocacy ASCA’s Government Affairs Committee chair shares her secrets to successful campaigning INTERVIEWED BY SAHELY MUKERJI

Annie Sariego, RN, CASC, market president of Phy- sicians Endoscopy (PE) GI Solutions, in Jamison, Pennsylvania, serves as

the chair of ASCA’s Government Affairs Committee.

Q Tell me about your background.

Annie Sariego (AS): I am currently the market president at PE GI Solu- tions, overseeing business opera- tions and strategic growth for PE’s New York and New Jersey markets. I joined PE GI Solutions in 2011 and have more than 30 years of health- care industry experience focused on the hospital and outpatient surgery center settings.

I have an extensive background in business and clinical operations in the ASC landscape, including ASC and hospital joint ventures, with a vast knowledge of state, federal and accrediting agency regulatory and compliance standards.

I serve as the chair of the Govern-

ment Affairs Committee at ASCA, a board member of the Government Affairs Committee for the New York State Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers and a board member of the New York Citywide Colorectal Cancer Control Coalition (C5).

Q How did you get involved with ASCA?

AS: I have always been an advo- cate for providing safe high-quality care and patient access in a cost-effec- tive environment. Seeking Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)

with the goal of keeping physicians and center leadership abreast of ASCA’s efforts to host in-person and virtual ASC tours for state and federal elected officials at our PE GI Solutions part- nered ASCs. I also place a large focus on promoting ASCA membership, CASC certification and participation in the ASC fly-in for the PE GI Solutions team and our partnered centers.

Q When developing new facilities, are there regulatory

certification provided me with the opportunity to work with ASCA to understand the breadth and depth of the organization and the myriad of resources the organization provides to the industry and members.

From there, I began my journey

in ASC advocacy by participating in the ASCA fly-ins, promoting national ASC month and hosting center tours for elected officials. These efforts reinforced the importance of being an advocate at the state and govern- ment levels and the positive impact these efforts have on our industry, patients and physicians.

Q You currently serve as chair of the Government Affairs

Committee; what other advocacy efforts have you undertaken with ASCA? AS: Additionally, my advocacy efforts include working with the ASCA team


hurdles you have faced that need to be addressed? AS: Yes, there are always regulatory hurdles to consider and overcome when developing new facilities. Our PE GI Solutions partnering centers closely evaluate safety and compli- ance factors when opening a new center, including working closely with Medicare and accrediting orga- nizations to ensure all regulatory hurdles are addressed in advance of seeing patients. Life Safety chal- lenges are much more prevalent in ASCs in urban areas with multistory multiple tenant buildings.

Q Can you name any recent wins ASCA and the ASC

community have had that will help grow ASCs? AS: The 2020 ASCA Government Affairs Committee started the year focused on working with Congress, the White House and other federal officials to support ASCs and ASC physicians as is typically the case, but two months in, our efforts piv- oted toward supporting our commu- nity in light of a global pandemic.

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