The first company of its kind, SCA is the reason Nashville is credited with the invention of the ambulatory surgery center business.

Joel Gordon, founding president and vice-chairman of General Care Corporation, creates SCA in 1982 with HCA exec Andrew “Woody” Miller and $14 million. The company goes public in January 1984 and eventually sells to HealthSouth for $1.1 billion in 1996.

Coincidentally, Gordon re-enters the company as chairman seven years later to lead a turnaround of then-troubled HealthSouth.

Other executives from SCA go on to create many other health care companies. SCA will also spin out its managed care unit, HealthWise of America, into a publicly traded company 11 years later.