James M. Conti Sr., President/CFO, visionary health care innovator, international entrepreneur and real estate developer, has had a career epitomized by imagination, determination and accomplishment. He pioneered a new concept in health care that revolutionized the industry and saved patients, companies and governments around the world billions of dollars.
Mr. Conti’s successful business career began at the age of twenty-two after studying Industrial Management and Business Administration at Youngstown State University. In 1969 he earned his real estate license, founded the J. M. Conti Development/Management Company, and began developing, owning, and leasing medical and professional office complexes.
In the early 70’s, while working with doctors to design their office spaces, he first identified the need for an organized and professionally managed surgical facility that could alleviate the problems many surgeons were experiencing scheduling operating room time for elective surgeries. Conti also foresaw the significant savings in health care costs that would result from providing outpatient surgical care services.
Conti formulated his ideas into a comprehensive business plan and elicited support from the local medical community. After years of determined effort, he gained Ohio State Health Department approval, and obtained the FIRST Certificate of Need ever granted in the State of Ohio for an outpatient surgery center. He then secured the FIRST Medicare reimbursement number in the nation for a free-standing outpatient surgery center.
The resulting Austintown Ambulatory Surgery Center, established in 1980, was the first independent, freestanding ambulatory surgery facility built in Ohio, with Ohio Department of Health approval, and one of the first in the nation. The 50,000 square foot facility housed an ambulatory surgery center with 5 operating rooms, 24-hour emergency room, fully licensed clinical laboratory, independent pharmacy, physical therapy clinic, and medical and professional office space. The facility was fully accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, a highly regarded health care facilities self-regulatory agency.
The Center became a showcase that was widely visited by physicians and hospital managers from all over the United States and other countries who wished to learn from its success. In the decade that followed the opening of Austintown Ambulatory Surgery Center and Austintown Emergency Room, there was a myriad of applications from health care providers who wanted to open their own freestanding facilities.
The development of this innovative new concept led Mr. Conti to assist many health care clients nationally and internationally to establish surgery centers, from creating organizational structures, conducting site analysis, budgeting, and recruiting qualified personnel. He also assisted with negotiating financing for major projects and negotiating with major vendors on behalf of his clients.
Conti formed Ambulatory Surgical Care Corp. in 1983, which became joint venture partners with St. Francis Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA and St. Vincent Hospital, Erie, PA and furthered the development of facilities in Cleveland, OH. Then in 1985, in response to his company’s broadening scope of services, Conti formed Ambulatory Health Care Corp. to provide consulting services to health care providers and hospitals throughout the United States and in many international locations.
As a result of his work navigating government regulations to secure a Certificate of Need and Medicare/Medicaid certification, Conti was recruited to serve as a consultant to the State Departments of Health for both Ohio and Pennsylvania. He helped promulgate and create their official rules and guidelines for ambulatory surgical centers. Conti also helped the Federal Government establish the reimbursement policies for Medicare payments for services performed in outpatient surgery centers. He served as co-chairman of the Ohio Governor’s Task Force to study and establish licensure criteria for ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers and rehabilitation hospitals. He has authored numerous articles for Same Day Surgery newsletter and has been featured in Ohio Magazine.
Highly recognized and widely respected in the health care field, Mr. Conti was selected as a preferred vendor by Hospital Shared Services of Western Pennsylvania for their over 275 hospital members. He has worked internationally with Hospital Shared Services, American Sterilizer Company, the International Division of Bank One, and the International Division of the famed Cleveland Clinic.
Conti was fully endorsed and welcomed by the international community for his forward thinking in developing ways to contain healthcare costs. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, Conti was highly sought after for his expertise and served as a featured speaker at the First and Second European Congress on Ambulatory Surgery in Brussels, Belgium; and Montpellier, France. He was also invited as a key speaker to conferences in Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Milan, Italy; and Oslo Norway.
Conti’s company completed a healthcare plan for the government of Stockholm, Sweden, saving that government more than $1 billion in its first year of implementation. His company went on to perform similar services at Baby Jesus Children’s Hospital, a Vatican-owned hospital in Rome, Italy; consulted for Montpellier University Hospital in Montpellier, France, which resulted in the formation of a “sister university” relationship between Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH and Montpellier University, one of Europe’s oldest medical schools; and further consulted with the Institute for Orthopedics and Traumatology in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In the Cayman Islands, Conti’s company designed and built the Cayman Government Dental Clinic and developed a healthcare plan that was adopted by the Cayman Islands government. Later while serving as a consultant for the Cleveland Clinic’s International Division, Conti’s efforts resulted in a provider agreement between Cleveland Clinic and the Cayman Islands.
In 2018 Mr. Conti founded Valor Recovery Center of Youngstown, LLC, a Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Center focused on providing treatment for those suffering from the disease of addiction.
From their Austintown facility, located on Route 46 at 45-47 N Canfield Niles Road in the former Austintown Ambulatory Health Care Center building, they serve residents of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties in Ohio.
Valor’s services include Residential Treatment, Partial Hospitalization Programming, Intensive Outpatient Programming, Outpatient Programming, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), Ambulatory Withdrawal Management (DeTox), Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Case Management, Family Programming, Holistic Wellness, and Fitness and Recovery.
Projects with which Mr. Conti has had direct association include:
• Hitchcock Center, Medical and Professional Office Complex
• Westview Center, Medical and Professional Office Complex
• Crestwood Center, Medical and Professional Office Complex
• Austintown Ambulatory HealthCare Center
• Valor Recovery Center of Youngstown, LLC
Certificate of Need Approvals for:
• Akron Surgical Center, Akron, OH
• Southwest Surgery Center, Berea, OH
• Saint Vincent Surgery Center, Erie, PA
• Barkeyville Surgery Center, Barkeyville, PA
• Parma Heights Surgery Center, Parma Heights, OH
Design and Development of:
• Ohltown Point Plaza, Austintown, OH
• Saint Vincent Surgery Center, Erie, PA
• Saint Francis-North Ambulatory Care Center, Pittsburgh, PA
• Austintown Ambulatory Surgical Center, Austintown, OH
• Austintown Emergency Room, Austintown, OH
• Austintown Clinical Laboratory, Austintown, OH
• Diagnostic Cardiology Associates Medical Office, Youngstown, OH
• Dental Clinic, George Town Hospital, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
Performed studies and consultations for:
• South Hills Health System, Pittsburgh, PA
• Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, NJ
• Timkin Mercy Hospital, Canton, OH
• Saint Vincent Charity Hospital, Cleveland, OH
• Horizon Health Care Group, Meadville, PA
• Deaconess Hospital, Cleveland, OH
• The Government of Stockholm, Sweden
• Cayman Islands Government, British West Indies
• Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, St. Petersburg, Russia
• Montpellier University Hospital, Montpellier, France
• The Turks and Caicos Government, Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies
Conti is also a past member of the Ohio Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Ohio Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, is a Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans, and a retired veteran of the United States Navy, having served during the Vietnam Conflict.
Gabriel B. Crafton, Secretary/Treasurer, is Chief Legal Officer at Stellar, a global leader in architecture, engineering and construction services. Crafton is board certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar and is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. Before joining Stellar in April 2020, he was an attorney in the Construction and Litigation departments at the Rogers Towers law firm for more than a decade.
Practice Areas: Business and Tort Litigation, Construction
Bar Association Memberships: The Florida Bar
Court Admissions: U.S. District Courts, Middle District of Florida
Legal Certifications: Board Certification in Construction Law from the Florida Bar, 2016
Education: University of North Florida, B.A., cum laude, 2004, Florida State University, J.D., summa cum laude, 2008