What to Expect as a Patient

Anesthesiology is just one aspect of your medical procedure – but it’s very important for your comfort and safety. With Great Lakes, our experienced team is here to guide you through the entire process – from providing easy-to-follow pre-surgery instructions to making sure you recover properly.

Below, you’ll find patient information and resources. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Insurance we accept

As of January 1, 2022, Great Lakes Anesthesiology is happy to accept health insurance plans from the following providers.

Aetna Health

AmeriHealth Health Plan

AmeriGroup

Excellus

Highmark of Western New York (formerly BlueCross BlueShield of WNY)

Highmark of Pennsylvania

Independent Health

Univera Health Care

WellCare

New York Medicaid

Pennsylvania Medicaid

Worker’s Compensation and No-Fault

Medicare

Nova

Fidelis

Tricare

Coventry

The Empire Plan

Meritain Health​

Where we practice.

Great Lakes manages the anesthesia department at several healthcare facilities in Western New York and northern Pennsylvania. Visit our Locations page for information and directions.

Frequently asked questions.

What food and drink should I avoid before my surgery?

NPO stands for Nil Per Os, which is Latin for ‘Nothing By Mouth.’ Fasting before elective surgery is essential for your safety. Under general anesthesia, your body loses the protective reflexes that prevent your stomach contents from being breathed into your lungs. This is called aspiration, which can be life-threatening.

An empty stomach is the best way to prevent aspiration. If you eat food or drink beverages before your surgery, the procedure will be delayed or canceled in order to protect you.

Click here to read our policy.

What medications should I take before the surgery?

Your surgeon or anesthesiologist will give you specific instructions on what medications to take and what should be stopped. You may take most medications with a small sip of water before surgery.

Common drugs that should be taken on the day of surgery include:

  • Beta-blockers (Inderal, atenolol, propranolol, etc.)
  • Thyroid medications (levothyroxine)
  • Seizure medications (Dilantin, valproic acid, Tegretol, Topamax, etc.)
  • Asthma medications, including inhalers (albuterol, etc.)

Drugs that should be stopped before the day of surgery include:

  • Blood thinners (aspirin, heparin, Lovenox, Warfarin, coumadin, etc.)
  • ACE inhibitors for hypertension (Captopril, Enalapril, Losartan, etc.)

Some children can only take their medication with food. In that case, please contact our office for specific instructions before the day of surgery. Taking medication with food on the morning of surgery might cause the procedure to be delayed or canceled.

If you have any questions about drugs you should take before your surgery, please contact your surgeon or your anesthesia team at our office.

What is an anesthesiologist, and what training do they go through?

Your anesthesiologist is a doctor. After medical school, they completed a one-year internship and a residency of at least three more years in the specialty of anesthesia. In addition, they may have done even more specialized training in pediatric anesthesia, pain medicine, cardiac anesthesia, or other subspecialties. In total, your anesthesiologist has spent more than eight years since starting medical school preparing for your operation, in addition to many years of experience.

Who will be watching over me during my operation?

Our anesthesiologists most often practice in the Anesthesia Care Team model. The team includes anesthesia residents (doctors in anesthesia training) and fellows (anesthesia doctors who are obtaining advanced subspecialty training) as well as skilled certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). In order to provide safe patient care, the anesthesiologist directs the Anesthesia Care Team. The anesthesiologist is responsible for evaluating the patient before surgery, prescribing the anesthetic plan, managing the anesthetic during surgery, and providing post-anesthesia care.

What If I have questions before my procedure?

You will meet your anesthesia team on the day of surgery. We will ask you many questions about your health and anesthesia experiences to plan the best anesthetic for you. For most patients, all of their concerns are addressed at that time. Some patients have special medical issues and may be referred by their surgeon to our office for a preoperative consultation. Many patients will also be sent to their primary care doctor to get a complete and up-to-date picture of their health problems. If you have specific questions or concerns, we would happily speak with you by telephone. Usually, that will save you a special trip to our office.

What if I get a surprise or out-of-network balance bill after my surgery?

When you get emergency care or are treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from balance billing, also called surprise billing. In these cases, you shouldn’t be charged more than your plan’s copayments, coinsurance, or deductible.

You’re never required to give up your protection from balance billing. Generally, your health plan must:

  • Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (also known as “prior authorization”)
  • Cover emergency services by out-of-network providers
  • Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility, and show that amount in your explanation of benefits
  • Count any amount you pay for emergency services or out-of-network services toward your in-network deductible and out-of-pocket limit

If you think you’ve been wrongly billed, contact, please call 1-800-985-3059.

“Our family is forever grateful for the knowledgeable and compassionate team at Great Lakes Anesthesia. Having experienced a complicated and painful pregnancy, they provided the first true moment of relief and ease.”

Courtney Flick, patient

Billing information.

Anesthesia services are billed separately from surgery and hospital charges. The estimated amount of your bill for anesthesia services is available upon request by contacting our office.

Actual anesthesia charges may exceed the estimated bill for many reasons, such as surgery taking longer than expected, the surgery ending up more extensive than initially planned, or the need for treatments that were not anticipated. We strongly encourage you to contact our office before elective surgery to discuss the billing process, patient responsibility, and situations with non-participating or out-of-network insurance.

If you have questions or concerns about a bill, please call the Great Lakes Anesthesiology billing office at (716) 323-6580. We are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Have a question?

To learn more about what Great Lakes has to offer, fill out the short form below or call our administrative office at 716.323.6570. We look forward to talking with you.

Barbara Williams

Sr. Medical Biller/Certified Medical Coder

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Donna Kibler

Sr. Medical Biller

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Melissa A. Klopfer

Credentialing Specialist

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Danielle Washington

Medical Charge Entry Specialist

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Jennifer Polizzi

Sr. Medical Biller/Certified Medical Coder

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Dawn Henderson

Credentialing Specialist

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Jenna Weiss

Sr. Medical Biller/Certified Medical Coder

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Dianne Adams, MAOL

Dianne Adams, MAOL

Executive Assistant to the CFO/COO

Dianne Adams is Executive Assistant to Andrea Watkins, our CFO/COO. She joined the GLA team in late 2021, but boasts over 35 years of experience. She cites the diversity of ideas and the clear, open communication between the team as her favorite thing about working here.

Dianne earned an Associate’s Degree in Secretarial Science/Office Management from ECC, and two degrees from Medaille College: a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership (MAOL).

Additionally, Dianne is a Certified Clerk typist and specializes in Medical Transcription.

Dragana Draca, MBA

Dragana Draca, MBA

Human Resource Manager

Dragana Draca is Great Lakes Anesthesiology’s HR Manager, joining the team in 2021. Company culture is her favorite part of working at GLA. “We are Empowered to Grow,” she says.

Dragana holds undergraduate degrees in Paralegal Studies and Business Administration, and a Master of Business Administration Degree, with a concentration in Leadership and Change from Canisius College.

She is active in the Society for Human Resource Management and when she is not working, Dragana can be found baking in the kitchen, expressing herself through art, music, fashion, or interior design, spending time with her Pomsky Lola, reading, traveling or cheering on her favorite football team. Go Bills!

Megan A. Roemer

Megan A. Roemer

Office Manager & Scheduling Specialist

A GLA team member for over 20 years, Megan Roemer is Great Lakes Anesthesiology’s Office Manager and Scheduling Specialist.

Megan is a certified Surgical Tech, and has an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology from Niagara County Community College.

A team member since 2002, Megan knows a great deal about the teamwork culture at GLA.

“When all clinical and nonclinical staff collaborate effectively, healthcare teams can improve patient outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.”

Stacey Watt, MD, MBA, MHPE, FASA

Stacey Watt, MD, MBA, MHPE, FASA

Site Director - Oishei Children's Hospital, Chief of Anesthesia - Kaleida Health

Dr. Watt wears many hats, serving as the Chief of Anesthesia for Kaleida Health, Site Director for Oishei Children’s Hospital, and the Program Director of the Anesthesia Residency & Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship at University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She was board certified by the American Board of Education in 2007, earning a subspecialty certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology in 2014.

Dr.Watt followed her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 2001 with a residency at University at Buffalo in 2005, where she was also fellowship-trained in Pediatric Anesthesia in 2007.

Like many of her GLA colleagues, Dr. Watt serves as a Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Her other specialities include malignant hyperthermia, heat related illness and injury, and trauma and emergency preparedness.

Christopher Heard, MD

Christopher Heard, MD

Site Director - University Pediatric Dental, Site Director - Dentistry by Dr. Kaplansky

Dr. Heard is the Site Director for both University Pediatric Dental and Dentistry by Dr. Kaplansky. He is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology (1998) with a subspecialty certification in Critical Care Medicine (1999) and is a fellow of the Royal College of Anesthetists UK.

A 1986 Graduate of University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Dr. Heard completed residencies at Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire in England and University at Buffalo in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Additionally, he is fellowship-trained in Pediatric Critical Care in the UK, and in Adult Critical Care at University at Buffalo.

Robert Ramsdell MD, MBA

Robert Ramsdell MD, MBA

Site Director, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

Dr. Ramsdell serves on the GLA Board of Directors, and is the site director at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. He was board certified by the American Board of Education in 2008, earning a subspecialty certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology in 2015.

Dr. Ramsdell received his education from the University at Buffalo, completing his medical degree in 2002, residency in 2006, and fellowship training in Pediatric Anesthesia in 2007. Dr. Ramsdell also earned his MBA from Canisius College.

In addition to his role at GLA, Dr. Ramsdell serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at University at Buffalo. He is also a proud veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve.

Michael Marino, MD

Michael Marino, MD

Treasurer

Dr. Marino earned his board certification from the American Board of Anesthesiologists (ABA) in 1997, and a subspecialty certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology from the ABA in 2016. He serves as Treasurer for GLA’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Marino earned a medical degree from the University at Buffalo in 1990, and completed a residency at the school in 1995. He is fellowship-trained in Adult Critical Care Medicine from the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Marino serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at University at Buffalo. His other specialties are in Regional and Pediatric Anesthesia.

Marybeth Sgroi, CPC

Marybeth Sgroi, CPC

Billing Manager

Marybeth Sgroi has more than 30 years of professional experience. She joined the GLA team in 2007, and is currently our Billing Manager.

“Being part of the GLA team for the past 15 years has given me the opportunity to watch the corporation grow and work with an exceptional team of providers and administrative staff.”

Her education is in business, in which she holds an associate’s degree from SUNY Canton. Marybeth is also an AAPC Certified Medical Coder.

Outside of GLA, Marybeth is an active volunteer with Churches in Action, and a Black Belt in Karate.

Name

Position

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

In vim omnium offendit. Vix dico putant dicunt cu, ea eos partem praesent. Elit nostrud vim ea. No eum persius iudicabit, an consequat interpretaris est. Hinc case reque id mei.

Et sea error dolore. An nusquam mentitum disputando cum. Probatus consequat pri at, ex eos tantas interpretaris. Dicant noster persequeris et vel, graece offendit quo ut. Mei latine detraxit eu, ut vim quas principes, oblique accommodare est et.

Huseyin Tunceroglu, MD

Site Director, Olean General Hospital

Dr. Huseyin Tuncerloglu is the anesthesia Site Director at Olean General Hospital in Olean, NY, and a member of the Great Lakes Anesthesiology board of directors. He is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and specializes in Pediatric Anesthesiology.

After earning his bachelor's degree at Yale University, Dr. Tuncerloglu attended medical school at SUNY University at Buffalo. He returned to Yale University for his residency, then completed a Pediatric Fellowship at Emory University. Dr. Tuncerloglu joined Great Lakes Anesthesiology in 2018 to "Be part of an outstanding team of anesthesia providers delivering the highest quality care while helping to shape and educate future anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists."

In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Tuncerloglu maintains an academic affiliation with SUNY University at Buffalo. He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.

Mark Thompson, MD

Mark Thompson, MD

Director of Regional Anesthesia

Dr. Thompson is the Director of Regional Anesthesia at Great Lakes Anesthesiology.

With nearly two decades of experience, he specializes in neurasthenia, regional anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, and ambulatory anesthesia. Dr. Thompson is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and has demonstrated ongoing excellence through Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA) since 2014.

Dr. Thompson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, MA. He then completed medical school, his internship, and his residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA. Additionally, he is fellowship-trained in pediatric anesthesiology from Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, CO.

He joined Great Lakes in 2015 and appreciates the company’s collaborative solutions, team spirit, and commitment to the community. Beyond his practitioner duties, Dr. Thompson is a Clinical Associate Professor at SUNY University at Buffalo. He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.

Outside of work, Dr. Thompson devotes his time and attention to family, fitness, and faith.

Cyrus Tanhaee, MD

Secretary

Dr. Cyrus Tanhaee is the Educational/Clinical Committee Representative at Great Lakes Anesthesiology. He is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology with subspecialty board certification in pediatric anesthesiology.

Dr. Tanhaee attended Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. He completed his residency and fellowship in pediatric anesthesia at SUNY University at Buffalo. In addition to his practitioner duties, Dr. Tanhaee is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at SUNY University at Buffalo.

Lilleigh Stein, CRNA

Clinical Coordinator - Olean General Hospital

Lilleigh Stein is the Clinical Coordinator at Olean General Hospital in Olean, NY. She’s been a member of the Great Lakes Anesthesiology team since 2019 and appreciates the group's family atmosphere.

Lilleigh conducted her undergraduate studies at Trocaire College and Daemen College, then attended graduate school at Gannon University. She completed her nurse anesthesia residency at UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA), Pennsylvania Association.