In 2002, John Sikes, Jeff LeBlanc and Scott Sutton left West Jefferson Hospital in New Orleans and began offering contract anesthesia services throughout southern Louisiana. At that time, the staffing market for nurse anesthetists was volatile, providing the three professionals opportunities to perform at numerous facilities. As the anesthesia staffing shortage continued, demand for the provision of quality anesthesia care grew and the team incorporated other contract workers on their team. As this became a successful endeavor, and one that was highly desired by the facilities they were servicing, Diversified Professionals, Inc., (DPI) was formed and incorporated in 2003
For the better part of five years, DPI provided contract anesthesia staffing upon request to facilities needing reliable, high quality anesthesia services. Sutton left as a partner in 2004, but the team maintained strong relationships with the locations where they provided unparalleled anesthesia services. In 2007, DPI was approached by Gerry Pedersen with a proposal to provide anesthesia services for HealthSouth Surgery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which would become the company’s first fee-for-service contract. Unfortunately, the arrangement was short-lived, as HealthSouth dissolved shortly thereafter. Subsequently in 2008, Pedersen was contacted about an opportunity to provide anesthesia services at the Orthopedic Surgery Center at the Bone and Joint Clinic. Pedersen, along with DPI team, was able to secure a partnership that remains strong at that facility today. The Bone and Joint partnership provided new relationships and opportunities for the company. Until this time, DPI remained staffed by independent CRNAs who worked to the fullest scopes of their licensures. Scott Gardiner, MD, was recruited to serve as an anesthesiologist and coordinate anesthesiologist coverage. He became Medical Director for DPI and would become a partner a few more years down the road.
In 2007, Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary, Louisiana, was the next large assignment for DPI. Pedersen worked as a CRNA at this facility and knew it would be more economical for the hospital to transition to DPI. The success at Lane continued over the next three years, and in 2010, DPI was able to show a considerable cost savings to the hospital. As a result, this became DPI’s first fee-for-service hospital.
DPI was providing top-of-the-line anesthesia services and developing relationships throughout the Baton Rouge area during this time. Their reputation for being a trusted anesthesia partner was spreading. As the company continued to gain traction, they purchased their corporate office in 2008 and brought in a team to manage their billing department.