Hickory Daily Record – September 12, 2021 – Gastroenterology Associates of Hickory marks a major milestone celebrating 25 years in private practice serving western North Carolina as board-certified specialists in gastrointestinal and liver disease.
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Caroll Koscheski and Dr. John Meier, the practice began with only two doctors and three employees. Gastroenterology Associates now lists thirteen providers, including seven physicians plus six advanced practice providers. More than seventy-five full-time and part-time employees complete the staff.
In addition to Doctors Koscheski and Meier, gastroenterologists at the practice also include Doctors Simon Allport, Gaa Richardson, Susan Nikrooz, Kristen Mussari and Disha Shah.
Dr. Caroll Koscheski
“Against national trends of doctors working for large health-care organizations, we have strived to remain independent, since that allows us to provide both quality and economical care in the best interests of our patients,” said Dr. Meier, president of the group.
“It is very gratifying to see how our practice has developed in 25 years with hard work by our physicians and employees,” added Dr. Koscheski. “We feel we have had a very positive impact on the Hickory medical community and on the lives of our patients.”
Staff dedication, outstanding service and commitment have been instrumental to the growth of the practice. “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop a busy practice providing very high-quality GI care right here in Hickory, NC,” Doctors Koscheski and Meier said.
Although much has changed in health care over the last 25 years, the doctors’ philosophy remains the same. The specialty medical practice is committed to excellence in endoscopy, delivering quality care in a comfortable, compassionate, and safe environment. The entire group adheres to very strict performance standards and consistently performs among top groups both regionally and nationally.
“One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in 25 years is patient acceptance for colonoscopy,” explained Dr. Koscheski. “Patients are very proactive today. They understand that screening saves lives and can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 70-80%. Now that the age for screening has dropped to 45, patients call us and say let’s get the process started.”
Colon cancer has decreased more than 30% over a ten-year time span in our area. Much of this progress can be attributed to colonoscopy and increased screening efforts, according to Dr. Koscheski.
A major development in the growth of Gastroenterology Associates was the opening of the first in-office endoscopy center in the greater Hickory area in 2005. Most endoscopy procedures for the practice are performed on-site in the award-winning facility.
“Patients like the privacy of our office setting, and our caring staff creates a comfortable atmosphere for each and every patient,” said Dr. Meier. The practice has safely performed tens of thousands of examinations in the facility.
With continued growth came the need for additional office space. Today, the practice occupies two floors in the Medical Specialties Center.
“It has been exciting to see major advancements within the GI specialty. We offer a broad range of services not usually available in a community of this size,” said Dr. Koscheski. “We look forward to serving patients in Hickory and the Unifour area for many years to come.“
Dr. John Meier