Leffler passed away last December at the age of 51. He was an inspiration to all who knew him within the ASC community. “He was the greatest guy in the whole world, and he made our state association one of the top state associations in the country,” says Barb Draves, CASC, president of OAASC and administrator of The Surgery Center of Middleburg Heights, Ohio. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say ‘no’ to anything.”
Leffler joined OAASC in 2007. “He grew our membership by his exemplary communication skills and his ability to get things done,” Draves says. “He was devoted full-time to building the association. He traveled all over the state of Ohio, working with people. He worked on our webpage to update it. He worked on the laws and the government issues in Columbus. He took his knowledge from the state to the national level.”
He was the face of ambulatory surgery in the state of Ohio, Draves says. “Randy was the face of quality care in ASCs, doing the right thing right all the time, doing things right even when nobody was looking. Whether it was a new center starting out or an old center, Randy was always there as a resource. He knew where to refer people and how to solve all issues.”
Leffler led the State Affairs Committee at ASCA and served on ASCA’s Government Affairs Committee. “Randy was simply one of the kindest, warmest people I’ve ever met,” says Kara Newbury ASCA’s director of Government Affairs and regulatory counsel. “He was an excellent leader at the state and national levels, and I always brag about the Ohio state association and how it was one of the best in the country by far due to Randy’s leadership.”
Tori Caillet RN, CASC, senior director of Clinical Services at Amsurg in Nashville, Tennessee, knew Leffler for 11 years and the last two as the chair of the OAASC. “Working with him was the highlight of my time as the chairperson,” she says. “He is one of the best persons I had the privilege of knowing, professionally and personally, and I am better for that.”
Leffler was born on March 29, 1968, in Carroll, Ohio, and graduated from Bloom-Carroll High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Ohio State University and was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. During his college years, he studied abroad in France for a summer and worked as a Republican page at the Ohio Statehouse. He also served a Capitol Hill internship for Rep. Clarence E. Miller, (R-Ohio), which solidified his commitment to political causes.
After graduation, Leffler served on Governor George Voinovich’s gubernatorial campaign. Later, he worked in the Ohio Department of Aging as the director’s executive assistant, and after that as the director of communications at the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Manufacturers Association. He also established and operated a successful business called Select Association Management.
Leffler was a devoted father and husband. He was a constant presence at all his son Ben’s sporting events, school fundraisers and theater performances. During Cub Scouts he was known as the Popcorn Kernel for his help with fundraising drives.
Leffler’s passion was to travel. Among the highlights were vacations in New York, California, Paris, Italy and Hawaii, and a 2012 European trip for the London Olympics, which also featured a meaningful stop in Normandy, France. The family loved their twice-yearly visits to the Disney Parks, the most special one to Disneyland in 2018 for Leffler’s 50th birthday when he watched Ben march down Mainstreet USA with the Worthington Kilbourne band.
“Randy equaled comfort to me,” Draves says. “He gave a feeling of safety to our ASCs because he was on top of everything. As the president of OAASC, I felt safe with Randy next to me.
“There’s a hole in my heart now,” she says. “While we can never fill Randy’s shoes, we are charged with assuring that we follow in Randy’s steps, always striving for improvement and quality in our ASCs and in our state association, continuing to keep Ohio at the forefront of ASC associations around the country and to make Randy proud of what we learned from him.”
The Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC Community honors ASC community members who have worked in the industry for the preceding 10 years at least and have made sustained contributions in the local, state or national outpatient surgery communities as advocates for, and to the betterment of, the ASC healthcare delivery model.