Even though physician-owned hospitals offer outstanding care to patients and support the community’s economy, these facilities continue to be attacked by law makers. In an effort to spread the word on physician ownership and the many positive effects it has on the community, we invited a key legislator in Indiana to visit Surgical Hospital of Munster (SHM) and experience its commitment to excellence first hand. U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky (D) toured SHM to learn more about physician ownership and the quality of care and efficiencies generated by physician-owned facilities. The congressman, who represents the 1st District in northwest Indiana, met with hospital management, our physician owners, and me. In addition to learning how the hospital overcame the flood and reopened in 90 days, Visclosky listened to stories of how the surgery-center-turned-hospital delivers a high level of charity care and why it gets high marks for patient satisfaction. SHM chief operating officer Denise Cheek illustrated SHM’s commitment to its patients and physicians, telling a story about hospital staff coming in two hours early – at 4:30am – to do surgery at 5:30am. “That’s the way we operate,” she says. “The physician and the patient wanted to start early and our staff was happy to accommodate. It’s important to be flexible and accommodating.” At SHM and other physician-owned facilities, we strive to offer our patients the highest quality of care in a convenient and comfortable environment and refuse to abandon our commitment to our patients and communities. We hope that others in Washington will follow Congressman’s Viscloky’s lead, take the time to listen to our story of quality and efficiency, and come to a better understanding of who we are and what we do.

Tom Mallon, CEO; Denise Cheek, Administrator; Congressman Visclosky