Southwoods campus continues to grow bigger than founders ever imagined

Local News

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, Southwoods Health in Boardman expanded yet again by adding a Pain & Spine Center to its portfolio.

What started in the early 1990s as an idea among two best friends is today one of the leading healthcare operations around Youngstown. Southwoods has gone from one small building to a multi-building campus.

The best friends who started it — Ed Muransky and Dr. Lou Lyras — never thought it would get this big.

Muransky, CEO of Southwoods Health, orchestrated Thursday evening’s ribbon-cutting.

Lyras stood nearby. He created Southwoods with Muransky in 1994. Muransky owned the building and wanted to open an MRI.

“I go, ‘Forget all that. Open up an outpatient surgery center, make it more efficient and maybe physician-owned, and you’ll have people coming like crazy,'” Lyras said.

In June of 1996, the Surgical Center at Southwoods opened.

“That was piece number one. It was a little 15,000-square-foot facility. I think we employed about 50 people at the time,” Muransky said.

“I’d be the only one operating, the only one working and there was like six of us, seven of us. Well, we’re done for the day, it’s 10 o’clock in the morning or 10:30,” Lyras said.

Eventually, people did come like crazy.

What followed was Southwoods Sleep Centers, then Southwoods Imaging. Buildings were constructed to house all of the doctors.

Today, Southwoods has over 500,000 square feet and close to a thousand employees.

Chief of Nursing Angela Kerns showed us around the new Pain & Spine Center, which has the latest technology and most modern methods. The procedure rooms can be set up to a doctor’s liking.

“Every doctor has their own preference of where they like to be in the room, how they like to set up. Some are right-handed, some are left-handed,” Kerns said.

“We have clinically provided, I think, a level of care that I hold to be as good as anybody in the country,” Dr. Tom Gemma said.

“It always starts with a need in the community and then it matches up to, ‘Does it make sense business-wise?'” Muransky said.

“This is an entity that’s keeping private practice alive. If it wasn’t for Southwoods in Mahoning County, I tell people we’d all be employed by one of the hospitals because we’d have nowhere to go,” Lyras said.

The next addition for Southwoods? One of its primary care offices will be converted to express care for medical care without an appointment and on the weekend. That’s coming this summer.

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