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Honoring Memorial Day

Veteran Spotlight -  Chris Wilson, MD, LTC(Ret), US Army

Military service inspires a deep sense of leadership in individuals through adversity, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence. Veterans gain so much experience from their service and are equipped with invaluable skills like strategic thinking, decision-making under pressure, and the ability to lead diverse teams toward a common goal. These leadership attributes seamlessly translate to the environment of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Patient care is of utmost importance in ASCs, and veterans' experience in collaboration, ensuring safety protocols, and navigating complex situations make them uniquely suited to thrive in leadership roles within ASCs and drive operational excellence ensuring optimal patient outcomes.

This Memorial Day, let us honor veterans and active duty military by sharing resources focused on leadership development, which can be beneficial for veterans transitioning to roles in Ambulatory Surgery Centers:

The CASA Veterans Committee will be highlighting Veterans involved with CASA throughout the year. We are reaching out to all our veterans.  Would you like to share your stories and/or be highlighted in future newsletter issues? If so, please reach out to CASA Executive Director Beth LaBouyer at


Member Spotlight

Chris Wilson, MD, LTC(Ret), US Army


What was your role in the Military?

I had several roles in the military over 24 years:

  • 1985-1986:  Platoon Leader in a Medical Company just south of the DMZ in South Korea
  • 1987-1991:  Aeromedical Evacuation Officer (MEDEVAC Helicopter Pilot) at Fort Ord, Monterey, CA
  • 1996-1998:  Flight Surgeon in an Aviation Brigade at Fort Drum, Upstate New York
  • 2002-2005: Orthopedic Surgeon at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with a deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in 2003
  • 2006-2009: Orthopedic Hand & Microvascular Surgeon at a Level 1 Trauma Center, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas 

Why did you choose the ASC industry?

I essentially 'fell' into the Sutter Alhambra ASC when I joined Hand Surgery Associates in 2009, when I retired from the Army, and have been associated with the Surgery Center full-time for the past 15 years. 

What military experience is useful for ASCs?

The leadership training and hospital committee work that I did in the Army was directly applicable to working in an ASC.

What was the coolest thing you ever did?

Here in California, I did a lot of 'cool' things while I was a MEDEVAC Pilot:

  • Landed a helicopter on Highway 1 near Big Sur during an emergency call, working with the CHP.
  • Flew a helicopter under the Bixby Bridge on California's Central Coast to rescue someone who had fallen from the bridge.
  • Met Dr. Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize Award Winner) when we landed our helicopter next to his house near Salmon Creek, Big Sur, for a precautionary landing.
  • As a hand surgeon, I have been involved in a lot of state-of-the-art procedures, including Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), a way to re-innervate an amputated arm in order to power a myo-electric prosthesis.

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