WellStar acquires Summit Surgical
by Rachel Miller
September 06, 2013 12:16 AM | 2379 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Rachel Miller


MARIETTA — A six-surgeon practice that has been operating in Marietta since 1988 was acquired by the WellStar Medical Group on Sunday for more than $200,000.

The Summit Surgical Specialists office at 590 Nancy St., two blocks southwest of WellStar Kennestone Hospital, will now be called Summit Surgical.

WellStar paid $200,145 to acquire certain assets from Summit, including furniture, equipment, inventory, medical records, seven surgeons and support staff, said Michelle Robinson, spokesperson for WellStar.

“Their commitment to patient care and the quality of services they provide are a natural fit with our system,” said Robert Jansen, executive vice president of WellStar and chief administrative medical officer.

Summit Surgical will add to the 17 general surgeons in WellStar Medical Group, Robinson said.

The Summit Surgical group will continue to provide a full range of services, including general surgeries on the colon, stomach, bladder and appendix, as well as minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.

Chris Andersen, who has been with the practice since it began and earned a medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said half of the surgeries are out-patient procedures.

But some patients of Summit Surgical will continue to have their operations and recovery at Kennestone Hospital.

Andersen said surgery can be a scary experience, but physicians at Summit Surgical meet with their patients before surgery, visit them during rounds after the procedure and have appointments at their office to follow-up.

“The patients get a good sense of who their doctor is,” Andersen said.

Specialists in oncology

The group already had two oncologists who are trained in general surgery and also have a specialty in treating complex cancer cases with carcinomas, sarcomas, melanomas, pancreatic and gastrointestinal tumors.

Andersen said because of the number of patients, the practice needed another oncologist.

“Joining WellStar was really an avenue to bring in a new quality surgeon,” Andersen said.

Sartaj Sanghera will be joining Summit Surgical to assist with the rapidly growing WellStar Cancer Network.

Other surgeons at WellStar treat cancers of the head and neck, breast, lungs, reproductive system and digestive system, Robinson said.

In 2010, the WellStar Cancer Network had 3,200 cancer cases, which grew to 3,700 cancer cases in 2012, said Robinson.

“I think we have a really strong cancer program now,” Andersen said.

Andersen said WellStar is committed to growing the WellStar Cancer Network “so patients won’t have to look elsewhere.”

In August 2012, Cancer Treatment Centers of America opened a new Southeastern Regional Medical Center just off of Interstate 85 in the Coweta County city of Newnan, about 35 miles south of Atlanta.

Andersen, who lives in west Cobb, said another reason Summit Surgical joined WellStar is the possibility of opening outpatient centers in north or east Cobb.

“I think WellStar is very progressive in positioning itself in the market,” Andersen said.

He said it is not about growing quickly, but adding the right people to increase the quality of patient care.

WellStar Health System is a not-for-profit health system that serves a population of almost 1.4 million residents in five counties.

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