Luigi Estrera with his poster presentation

Santino Luigi Estrera, MBA, MHA, BSN, RN, CNOR, received funding from the Doctor of Nursing program's travel award program to attend the 2024 OR Business Management Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

The OR Business Management Conference is a pivotal event tailored for Perioperative Leaders and Perioperative Business Leaders involved in leading and managing surgical operations across various healthcare facilities, including academic hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, children’s hospitals, community hospitals, and tertiary hospitals. Attendees, comprising Business Managers, Surgical Directors, C-suite Executives, Finance Directors, Administrators, OR Managers/Supervisors, and Purchasing/Procurement professionals, gather to gain actionable insights and tools aimed at optimizing operational efficiency, identifying revenue opportunities, and enhancing profitability while ensuring superior patient satisfaction. The conference offered diverse educational content covering key areas such as financial management, data analytics, technology integration, regulatory compliance, staffing, leadership development, operational efficiency, outpatient care, supply management, and strategic planning. With ample networking opportunities and many vendors showcasing products and services for streamlining operations and personnel management, attendees can exchange solutions to industry challenges and explore innovative approaches to implement lean business practices, ultimately driving optimized outcomes in operating room facilities.

"I experienced numerous opportunities for both academic and professional growth at the conference", shared Luigi. "By participating in workshops like 'Planning OR Renovations and New Build,' I was able to gain valuable insights into constructing new surgical facilities and optimizing existing ones, which can directly improve my planning skills as I am currently working on an expansion project for my hospital where I am tasked to lead relocating our Sterile Processing Department to a new location and to build an additional 8 to 10 ORs."

Luigi Estrera with UCLA Nursing CNO Karen Grimley
DNP student Luigi Estrera with UCLA Health Chief Nursing Executive Karen Grimley.

"Throughout the conference," Luigi continued, "I attended sessions on topics related to my DNP Scholarly Project, such as 'Optimizing the OR – Cost Savings and Waste Reduction,' 'Unlocking the OR’s Potential – Data-Driven Strategies,' and 'Using AI to Revolutionize the OR.' Those sessions and workshops provided me with practical strategies to enhance operational efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Additionally, sessions like 'Legal Implications of AI in Healthcare' and 'Healthcare Policies – What Regulatory Changes are Coming?' offered critical insights into the legal and regulatory landscape impacting surgical services, which is essential knowledge for my professional practice and scholarly endeavors. 

"The highlight of the conference was my opportunity to spend time and learn from Dr. Karen Grimley (Chief Nursing Executive of UCLA Health, Assistant Dean of the School of Nursing, and DNP program faculty)," shared Luigi. "I spent an entire morning with Dr. Grimley before she delivered the closing keynote address on 'Staffing Models Built for the Future - Improving Efficiencies and Profitability of the Surgical Suite.' In my pursuit of eventually delivering keynote speeches at conferences, observing Dr. Grimley and learning from her firsthand was an opportunity I will always remember. She certainly inspired me to work harder to achieve my professional and academic goals."

Luigi continued, "The UCLA School of Nursing (SON) demonstrates its commitment to supporting my professional growth and development by allowing me to attend the 2024 OR Business Management Conference. By sponsoring a portion of the conference’s total cost, SON enabled me to thrive both academically and in my professional role by empowering me to access valuable educational content, networking opportunities, and professional development experiences that are directly relevant to my academic pursuits as a DNP student and my role as a Surgical Services Nurse Executive."