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Mount Vernon Surgery Center boasts efficiency and state-of-the-art equipment

Construction and facility directors

The Skagit Regional Health – Mount Vernon Surgery Center opens to patients in December, providing a modern, state-of-the-art outpatient facility for surgery and endoscopy.

The 60,000-square-foot building, just northwest of Skagit Valley Hospital, also serves as a medical office building and home to clinics for Audiology; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT); Foot and AnkleGastroenterology; Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Interventional Pain Medicine and Spine Surgery.

The three-story building features four operating rooms, three endoscopy suites and on-site diagnostic imaging.

“We will have an abundance of technology in place that will protect our patients and allow the staff to focus on patient care,” said Matthew Ornelas, MBA, Ambulatory Surgery Center Administrator. “We are very excited about how the Mount Vernon Surgery Center will expand our organization’s surgical capability, allowing surgical services to continue growing and providing care to the patients of this region.”

With a growing number of surgical procedures now offered in the outpatient setting, the patient-focused facility features the latest in technology and offers a convenient location, easy access, patient pick-up area and ample parking.

The goals of the project are focused on the patient, said Plant Operations Program Manager Michelle Gjersee, who has played an integral role in the project planning.


“Calming and welcoming colors with cleanable materials, large lobbies, waiting spaces flanked with windows and a quick patient pick-up location are design elements that show how we have achieved a patient-centric facility and demonstrate that Skagit Regional Health puts our patients first in all that we do,” Gjersee said.

Providers who will work in the building have been very involved in the planning of the facility, which will benefit the patients and staff. Specialists in orthopedics, urology, general surgery, foot & ankle, plastic surgery, ENT, gynecology, orthopedic spine surgery, gastroenterology and other surgical specialties will provide services in the new surgery center operating rooms.

“Patients will have a seamless experience at the surgery center,” said Orthopedics and Sports Medicine specialist Christopher Sheu, MD, FAAOS.

Dr. Sheu said he looks forward to streamlined care, the “latest and greatest technology” and state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, including video towers in the operating rooms.

Dr. Sheu plans to perform minimally invasive shoulder, hip and knee arthroscopy at the Mount Vernon Surgery Center, as well as reconstruction/replacement of the shoulder, hip and knee at the outpatient center.

Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Christopher England, MD notes that the new facility will provide “access to a highly efficient operating suite which will make things convenient for our patients and provides access to care without sacrificing quality or safety.”

“We are dealing primarily with outpatient procedures and this will allow us to be more efficient in how we treat our patients,” Dr. England said. “The center has a modern design which I also feel will be comfortable for patients. Plus, the technology going into the clinics and operating rooms is state-of-the-art. The new facility will have the most up-to-date version of almost everything.”

Dr. England will perform a full range of procedures in the new facility, including thyroid, sinus and ear surgery, plus cosmetic reconstruction. ENT providers use an image guidance system to visualize during sinus surgery compared with a patient’s CT scan. “It makes surgery safer, faster and, in my experience, provides superior outcomes,” he said.

Gastroenterologist Suresh Alagugurusamy, MD looks forward to the new facility opening.

Exterior of Mount Vernon Surgery Center

“The patients will appreciate the attractiveness of the new spaces and modern equipment,” said Dr. Alagugurusamy. “This is purely an outpatient facility and will have the efficiencies and processes for each patient. I am very excited we will be moving into this new facility. I think for the patients and providers, having this state-of-the-art endoscopy unit will be awesome.”

Dr. Alagugurusamy will perform upper endoscopy and colonoscopy in the new facility, which also features the latest processing equipment for the scopes.

Skagit Regional Health’s planning process for the highly anticipated new facility has included input from a variety of providers.

“I have been a proponent of the surgery center since I started here seven years ago,” Dr. Sheu said. “It’s finally here. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in the entire process from its inception, design and served on the strategic planning team.”

“Skagit Regional Health has had physicians involved in the design and implementation of the surgery center since the beginning,” Dr. England said. “This includes everything from discussing floor plans to how the operating rooms are used and shared between services. There are a lot of moving pieces and it is a complex process, however, physician input has been used throughout the planning and construction.”

Photo captions:

Top: Kelly Bradford, MBA, RN, CNOR, Regional Director of Surgical Services; Matt Ornelas, MBA, Ambulatory Surgery Center Administrator and Michelle Gjersee, Plant Operations Program Manager in the new Outpatient Surgery Center reception area of the Mount Vernon Surgery Center.

Middle: Natural light and calm, neutral colors are part of the patient-centered approach to the design of the Mount Vernon Surgery Center.