Distinguished expertise and dedication to superior patient care, the Surgical Affiliates Management Group leadership team represents a unique blend of incomparable expertise in acute care surgery, surgical critical care, and healthcare management. These distinguished, dedicated experts focus their collective knowledge and experience in developing the highest quality surgical hospitalist programs based on a powerful acute care surgery model that transforms patient care and raises hospital performance. The surgical experience of our leadership team fosters a highly valued surgeon culture that allows us to establish trusted, meaningful partnerships with surgicalists and hospitals in providing exceptional acute surgical care.
Chief Executive Officer
“Our goal is to deliver a standard of care that is unparalleled, to a very vulnerable population. We are doing for emergency surgery what the American College of Surgeons did for trauma care – elevating care across the board.”
Dr. Scherer is an internationally recognized, fellowship-trained trauma surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery and trauma/critical care. She joined Surgical Affiliates from her most recent position as professor of surgery and chief of trauma and emergency surgery at UC Davis Medical Center. After joining Surgical Affiliates, Dr. Scherer took on the role of trauma medical director at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a Level II Trauma Center that has continuously achieved verification from the American College of Surgeons since 2000.
Dr. Scherer received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston where she graduated with honors. She completed her general surgery residency and trauma/critical care fellowship at the University of California, Davis Medical Center. In addition to being board certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Scherer is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is an active member in the largest national trauma society, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
During her tenure at UC Davis, Dr. Scherer was recognized with several teaching and staff recognition awards. While at UC Davis, Dr. Scherer assisted the Air Force in training trauma surgeons to treat soldiers wounded on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and traveled to Afghanistan for on-site evaluation as part of this assignment.
Dr. Scherer’s primary interests center on the management of trauma and emergency surgery patients. Some of her most recent work published in the Annals of Surgery focuses on the choice of fluid resuscitation during the first 24-hours after injury. In addition, her work in evaluating the life-saving effects of administering transexamic acid (TXA) was recently presented at the Western Trauma Association and has been published in the Journal of Trauma and Treatment. She is committed to standardizing care for severely injured patients while advancing Surgical Affiliates’ clinical and administrative model to current and future client partners.
Chairman of the Board
“The value we are committed to bring to our hospitals, their surgeons and their patients is a collaborative, team approach. We all work together to improve patient care, to enhance the patient experience, and to achieve the halo effect that drives superior performance throughout the hospital.”
Leon J. Owens, MD, is the founder and visionary behind Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc., the first company to specialize in providing surgicalists, and the only company with published, proven results demonstrating improved clinical, financial and efficiency metrics. This innovative clinical model now has a seven-year track record in multiple hospitals for improving quality and access to care, enhancing hospital revenue, and permanently resolving the growing problem of developing a committed surgical team.
A respected surgeon in Northern California for more than 25 years, Dr. Owens co-led the development of the trauma center for Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California, and was the trauma medical director there for 15 years. He is currently appointed to five different Sacramento-area hospitals, as well as a member of several surgical associations including the Sacramento Surgical Society, The Earl F. Wolfman, Jr. Surgical Society, and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
In addition to his role as a pioneer in the surgical hospitalist field and his experience in trauma care, Dr. Owens has lectured across the U.S. on a variety of medical and clinical topics, and has co-authored a number of research articles in clinical journals. He is a contributing author to the publication, “The Surgical Hospitalist Program Management Guide: Tools and Strategies for Executives and Physicians.”
Dr. Owens is also a noted educator in the medical field and has served as clinical professor of surgery at the UC Davis School of Medicine. The UC Davis Department of Surgery has twice made Dr. Owens its Outstanding Teaching Resident Award winner. Additionally, he was awarded the University’s Outstanding Teaching Award in Resident Surgery Staff in 1981 and the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 1995.
Dr. Owens has also been honored with the Sacramento County Executives Rose Award. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious Lloyd Bowles, MD Distinguished Service Award at Mercy San Juan Medical Center.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Owens attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he received his doctorate in 1976. He served his internship and residency at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, where he also completed a surgical critical care fellowship. Dr. Owens maintains board certification in both surgery and critical care.
Chief Operating Officer
“Hospitals want predictability and performance, while providers want new alternatives that offer a better quality of life. Surgical Affiliates delivers both.”
Scott Flacks brings more than 20 years of experience in global operations, strategic planning, marketing, contact center management, and customer support experience to Surgical Affiliates. He is responsible for a broad variety of practice operations including recruitment and credentialing, and hospital and third-party payer relationships.
Prior to joining Surgical Affiliates, Scott was an influential force in healthcare technology helping drive double digit growth in users and revenues as Chief Operating Officer for IDEAL LIFE. He has extensive experience in building strategic partnerships with healthcare organizations and implementing processes that improve quality while simultaneously improving user experience.
Previously, Flacks was chief operating officer for Intermix Media/Alena, a leading online direct response marketing company. The network’s performance-based marketing engine had revenues in excess of $70 million annually, before being purchased by News Corp as part of the 2006 Myspace.com acquisition.
Flacks currently serves on the Board of Directors for Twentieth Century Fox FCU and is a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Chief Financial Officer
“Better quality and lower cost rarely go together, but SAMGI has been delivering it for over 10 years. Our Surgical Hospitalist program provides high quality care to patients and drives better performance for our hospital partners through reduced length of stay and lower costs.”
Bill Garden joined Surgical Affiliates Management Group in March 2019 as Chief Financial Officer. He brings 30 years of experience across a broad array of business environments, including over 17 years in healthcare. His finance, strategy and operations experience spans hospital administration, practice management, revenue cycle, consulting and technology services. Prior to joining SAMGI, Bill led high-growth, innovative healthcare companies focused on achieving the triple aim of better care, better health and lower cost. He is also an advisor to private equity firms and innovative startup companies in the healthcare space.
Earlier in his career, Bill was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and a rocket scientist specializing in solid-rocket design and development on the Star Wars program. He holds a BS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
A trained raptor handler, Bill volunteers his time teaching environmental education through close-up encounters with owls, eagles, hawks, and falcons.