Gastroenterology Associates, PA Sponsors Cycling Fundraiser for Pediatric Cancer Research

Dr. John Meier of Gastroenterology Associates joined hundreds of riders for the first Carolina Cycle Challenge on October 6, 2013 in Hickory. Dr. Meier completed the 32-mile course in the event that also included a 10-mile route, kid zone and tot ride. The ride was a tremendous success with more than 500 riders and 350 volunteers who participated.

The 2013 Carolina Cycle Challenge is a continuation of Brett's Ride which honored Brett Gosnell of Hickory who died of pediatric cancer in 2006. Over the years, the event raised more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research. Like Brett's Ride, the Carolina Cycle Challenge will donate its proceeds to fight pediatric cancer in combination with Carolinas Health Care Foundation of Charlotte, NC.

The Carolina Cycle Challenge was presented by the Rotary Club of Catawba Valley, Rotary Club of Lake Hickory, Rotary Club of Hickory, Rotary Club of Newton-Conover and the Sunrise Rotary Club, along with the City of Hickory, Hickory Foundation YMCA, and the Hickory Velo Club.

MAY 2013

Clinical Manager Attends Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) 40th Annual Conference

Terry Thomas, RN, CGRN, Clinical Manager for Gastroenterology Associates, attended the SGNA 40th Annual Course May 17-22, 2013, in Austin, TX. Close to 2,000 gastrointestinal/endoscopy nursing professionals gathered for educational and networking opportunities held at the Austin Convention Center.

Educational symposiums featured nationally recognized GI/endoscopy speakers and leaders. Topics included Patient Safety in Endoscopy, Quality in Endoscopy, Confocal Laser Endo Microscopy, and discussion on new cutting-edge treatment modalities and technologies.

"The quality of the sessions was first-rate and the speakers were exceptional. The annual SGNA conference is the gold standard for builder a wider knowledge base and keeping up to date with the ever-evolving gastrointestinal specialty," said Thomas, a SGNA member for the past 15 years.

MARCH 2013
Gastroenterology Associates Sponsors 5K Run/Walk for Colon Cancer Awareness - A Huge Success!

"Get Your Rear in Gear Hickory 5K Run/Walk" for colon cancer awareness was a huge success. More than 550 runners and walkers plus families and friends turned out on Saturday, March 16th, at Lenoir-Rhyne University. The day included opportunities for celebration of cancer survivors and support of their caregivers.

"March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so the timing for our event was perfect," said Dr. Gregory Diamonti of Gastroenterology Associates and Local Event Chair. "We were very proud to bring this event to Hickory for the first time."

Funds raised at the Get Your Rear in Gear Hickory event will stay in the local area to promote awareness of colon cancer, help with screening and prevention programs, promote early detection, support treatment, provide educational programs and bring screening opportunities to those who are under-insured or uninsured.

Get Your Rear in Gear® events are presented nationally by the Colon Cancer Coalition, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis. Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. was the local presenting sponsor.

Learn more at:


Dr.Susan Nikrooz Named to Top Doctors™ Central Carolina

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. selected Susan Nikrooz, MD to their 2012 Top Doctors Central Carolina list for excellence in gastroenterology.

Dr.Nikrooz was named as one of the top 10% of all board-certified physicians throughout the Central Carolina area as voted by their peers, hospital chiefs of service and executives.

Each year, Castle Connolly surveys thousands of physicians and other healthcare professionals and asks them to identify top specialists for most diseases and procedures. Only those doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion.

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. publishes a variety of books, including the "Top Doctors" series and the popular America's Top Doctors®. Castle Connolly "Top Doctors" features have been included in more than 40 regional and national magazines, in addition to network and cable television shows.


Practice Earns Re-accreditation by AAAHC
Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. achieved a three-year re-accreditation for its endoscopy facility from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the nation's leading accrediting organization for outpatient facilities. The practice also earned three-year accreditations in 2006 and 2009.

This accreditation means Gastroenterology Associates has undergone rigorous professional scrutiny by AAAHC professionals, including on-site review with comprehensive assessment of compliance with AAAHC Standards for the entire organization. Gastroenterology Associates achieved nationally recognized standards for quality care, service and performance. The 3,500 square foot endoscopy unit allows patients to receive outpatient care as well as endoscopy services in a safe, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

“With our certificate of re-accreditation, Gastroenterology Associates continues our strong commitment to deliver high-quality patient care, maintain patient safety and protect patient privacy,” said Dr. Susan Nikrooz, Medical Director of the endoscopy facility.


Physicians Named to Best Doctors List
Best Doctors, Inc. named five physicians of Gastroenterology Associates to their Best Doctors in America® 2013 list. Caroll Koscheski, MD, FACG; John Meier, MD, FACG; Frank Wright, MD, FACG; Simon Allport, MD and Gregory Diamonti, MD were selected to receive this prestigious honor.

Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. had the highest number of physicians honored from any one private gastroenterology practice listed in North Carolina.

Only those doctors who earn the consensus support of other physicians in a nationwide peer-review survey are chosen.

The Best Doctors in America® list represents the top 5% of doctors in the United States and includes the nation's most respected specialists and outstanding primary care physicians.


Gastroenterology Associates Sponsors Charity Bike Ride
Gastroenterology Associates joined several sponsors for the 9th annual Brett’s Ride in Hickory on 
October 7, 2012. This widely supported community event raises funds for pediatric cancer research.

Proceeds are donated directly to Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Dr. Gregory Diamonti participated in this year’s ride which included more than 1,600 cyclists. Hosted by the Hickory Foundation YMCA, the event offers 10, 32, and 52-mile routes for riders.


Prime of Life Senior Expo 2012
Gastroenterology Associates participated in the first ever Prime of Life Senior Expo held at the Hickory Metro Convention Center on August 28, 2012. Topics presented by Gastroenterology Associates included information on colon cancer awareness and the importance of screening.

Nearly 1,000 attended the event produced in partnership with The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, SIR Senior Information Resources, Inc., and The Catawba County Council on Aging. Seniors explored 100 exhibits and demonstrations from local businesses, non-profits and healthcare organizations.

MARCH 2012

Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk
Dr. Gregory Diamonti of Gastroenterology Associates participated in the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk event held in Winston-Salem, NC on March 31, 2012. Get Your Rear in Gear is a series of 5K events held across the country to promote awareness and prevention of colon cancer, increase the number of colon cancer screenings, and raise funds to fight colon cancer. More than 800 participants signed up for the race held in Tanglewood Park.

The Colon Cancer Coalition, a national organization, oversees the Get Your Rear in Gear events, and provides guidance and support for those whose lives have been affected by colon cancer.

MARCH 2012

Colon Cancer Awareness Lunch & Learn Program
Dr. John Meier joined a speaker panel for an employees’ Lunch & Learn program held March 30, 2012 at Frye Regional Medical Center. Dr. Meier discussed risk factors for colon cancer and emphasized the importance of screening, even if there are no symptoms. He stressed prevention through regular screening and noted that a colonoscopy exam is considered the preferred screening test.

Colon cancer survivors also shared insights of their personal journeys from detection through treatment. Attendees asked questions and enjoyed a complimentary lunch.

MARCH 2012

Dr. Allport Named to Catawba County Cancer Task Force Advisory Team
The Catawba County Cancer Task Force has named Simon Allport, MD, to its advisory team. Dr. Allport will contribute to the development of a long-term vision for cancer advocacy in the community. Colorectal cancer prevention is a top priority.

Dr. Allport will work with the Cancer Task Force to increase awareness of the importance of colon cancer screening and early detection.

“Nearly 80-90% of colorectal cancers can be prevented through screening,” said Dr. Allport. “Our focus will be to educate the public about colon cancer risk factors and prevention.”


Excellence in Endoscopy - Patient Safety Comes First
Gastroenterology Associates is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2012, an expanded Procedure Safety Checklist has been implemented in our award-winning endoscopy facility in compliance with Medicare’s new quality reporting program.

“Patient safety is always our main focus in any procedure,” said Terry Thomas, RN, CGRN, clinical nurse manager for the Endoscopy Unit who coordinated the effort. “We have always had safety measures in place, and the addition of the new procedure safety initiative further enhances our existing safety policies and protocols. Our mission is to provide excellence in endoscopy and to facilitate patient safety throughout the entire process. We strive to consistently provide high-quality care for each patient and with every procedure.”

Based on the ‘Safe Surgery Saves Lives’ checklist endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Procedure Safety Checklist includes clinical safety measures before sedation, during the procedure, and in recovery.
Gastroenterology Associates features a 3,500 square foot state-of-the-art endoscopy facility recognized for quality measures by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). It is accredited by the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC), and is licensed by Medicare and the State of North Carolina.


Dr. Meier Named to Best Doctors in North Carolina 2007 - 2011
Best Doctors Inc. has again named John Meier, MD, FACG, as one of the best doctors in North Carolina. Dr. Meier was recognized in the November 2011 issue of Business North Carolina magazine. He is one of 34 physicians honored in the gastroenterology specialty.

Dr. Meier has been selected to Best Doctors in North Carolina every year since 2007.

The Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc. polls physicians to find out who they feel are the top achievers in their field or specialty. Only those who earn the consensus support of their peers are included. The select list includes 1,600 North Carolina physicians. Doctors are chosen from the Best Doctors in America® database which includes over 45,000 doctors in more than 40 medical specialties.


Dr. Koscheski Honored by American College of Gastroenterology
Caroll Koscheski, MD, FACG, (right) was awarded the designation “American College of Gastroenterology Freshman Governor of the Year” at the organization’s most recent Annual Scientific Meeting held in Washington, DC. Dr. Koscheski was nominated by his peers and selected by the Chair and Vice Chair who announced the honor during the ACG Board of Governors meeting. Delbert L. Chumley, MD, FACG, past president of ACG 2010-2011, presented the award.

Dr. Koscheski was chosen from among 75 governors across 7 different regions in the U.S. and abroad. He is serving a three-year term as Governor which began in October 2010.

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership representing more than 12,000 individuals from 80 countries.


Gastroenterology Associates Sponsors Brett's Ride
Pediatric cancer research was the winner in the 8th annual Brett’s Ride, Hickory’s premier charity bike ride held October 2nd. Gastroenterology Associates joined other sponsors for this event which donates all proceeds to Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem and Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte.

Dr. Frank Wright and Dr. Gregory Diamonti participated in this year’s ride which included more than 1,400 cyclists. The first 1,000 registered riders received a packet that included bike socks featuring Gastroenterology Associates with a “Get Screened Today” message to promote colon cancer awareness. 


Gastroenterology Associates Celebrates 15-Year Service Awards
Dr. John Meier, standing from left, and Dr. Caroll Koscheski, founding members of Gastroenterology Associates, honored practice manager Revonda Rand, seated left, and Jeanne Gerhardt, for 15 years of service to the practice and its patients at an awards luncheon attended by doctors and staff. Both women have been with the practice since it opened in 1996.

Revonda Rand worked full-time in the business office while she completed her certification in medical office management at Catawba Valley Community College. After working as assistant manager for two years, she was promoted to practice manager in 2002.

Jeanne Gerhardt supervises the clinical area nursing staff, performs specialized testing, and conducts the initial teaching for hepatitis C patients. She is a graduate of the nursing program at Catawba Valley Community College.

“The growth of our practice could never have happened without the daily hard work and caring of our employees. These two women have been instrumental to our success,” said Dr. Caroll Koscheski and Dr. John Meier. “Gastroenterology Associates is extremely grateful to these two very dedicated employees," added Dr. Koscheski.

JUNE 2011

Health Fair A Huge Success
Gastroenterology Associates participated in the 10th annual City of Hickory Co-Worker Health Fair held at Highland Recreation Center. Attendance was the largest to date with more than 300 Hickory City employees and 86 vendors.

Clinical Manager for our Endoscopy Unit, Terry Thomas, RN, CGRN, educated attendees on the importance of colon cancer screening and pointed out that colon cancer is now the #2 cause of cancer death in American men and women.

He also discussed features of our new co-pay option for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina members. Gastroenterology Associates now provides office-based colonoscopy for SPECIALTY CO-PAY for Blue Care, Blue Options and Blue Advantage co-pay plan members.

MARCH 2011

Congressman Patrick McHenry Visits Our Hickory Clinic
Congressman Patrick McHenry, 10th District of North Carolina, visited with physicians and administration of Gastroenterology Associates to promote Colon Cancer Awareness month. The staff welcomed the Congressman whose visit also tied in with National Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates Day.

The Congressman addressed questions and concerns related to healthcare reform and the potential impact on patient access to healthcare. Ben Ridley, Chief Executive Officer at Gastroenterology Associates stated, "We are pleased to have Congressman McHenry join us to promote colon cancer awareness and to address concerns of providers and patients relating to the future delivery of healthcare."


Boston-Based Best Doctors, Inc. Notes Dr. Meier as One of the Tops in the State
John Meier, MD, FACG, was recognized in a recent issue of Business North Carolina magazine as one of the best doctors in North Carolina. The honor came from Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc. who polled physicians to find out who they felt were the top achievers in their field or specialty.

Those chosen were from the Best Doctors in America® database which includes over 40,000 doctors in more than 40 medical specialties. Only those who earn the consensus support of their peers were included. The elite list featured in the magazine honored only 1,600.

We are proud to congratulate Dr. Meier for this prestigious recognition.


Dr. Wright Receives Designation from the ACG
Frank Wright, MD, received fellowship designation (FACG) from the American College of Gastroenterology. Recipients are selected based on significant professional achievement and superior competence within the field of gastroenterology.

Dr. Wright joins two other physicians at our practice who are also designated fellows, Dr. John Meier and Dr. Caroll Koscheski.

The American College of Gastroenterology is an international organization seeking to advance the medical treatment and scientific study of gastrointestinal disorders.


Dr. Koscheski elected ACG Governor for North Carolina
Caroll Koscheski, MD, FACG was elected Governor for the State of North Carolina for the American College of Gastroenterology. His three-year term will begin in October 2010.

Currently, there are 75 governors across 7 different regions in the U.S. and abroad. The Board of Governors acts as a two-way conduit between College leadership and the membership at large to ensure that evolving needs facing gastroenterologists and organized medicine are met.

The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical and cost‐effective health care to gastroenterology patients.

JULY 2010

Clinical Manager Attends Statewide Training
In June, our Clinical Manager for the Endoscopy Unit, Terry Thomas, RN, CGRN, attended the Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology (S.P.I.C.E). The course was held in Greensboro, North Carolina. This program was established in order to assist health care organizations in meeting requirements of the law: 10A NCAC 41A.0206 which states that each health care organization (i.e. physician practice, Ambulatory Surgery Center, local health department, urgent care center) that performs invasive procedures of any type will:

• Designate a staff member for each location (each non-contiguous site) to be trained in infection control by completing a state approved course, and to direct infection control activities.

• Adopt a written infection control policy.

• Conduct a training program for healthcare workers.

The comprehensive training included a wide variety of topics including: epidemiology of infectious diseases, principles and practices of asepsis, sterilization, disinfection, sanitation, standard precautions and safe injection practices.

APRIL 2010

Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. Receives AAAHC Re-accreditation
Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. has achieved re-accreditation for its endoscopy facility by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC/Accreditation Association). Accreditation distinguishes this surgical center from many other outpatient surgical facilities by providing a safe work environment and the highest quality of care to its patients.

Status as an accredited organization means Gastroenterology Associates has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care, set by the Accreditation Association. More than 4,500 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all undergoing the on-site survey are granted accreditation.

“Our patients deserve the best before, during and after each visit,” stated Dr. John Meier, Medical Director of the Endoscopy facility. “Our certificate of accreditation echoes this thinking and validates that we strive for the highest level of quality care possible year after year.”

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by the AAAHC undergo extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by the Accreditation Association’s expert surveyors - volunteer physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care.

MARCH 31, 2010

Employees Gather to Learn About Colon Cancer
On Wednesday, March 31st, employees of Frye Regional Medical Center gathered for a one hour lunch and learn session. During this time, complimentary lunch was served and attendees listened as guest speakers addressed topics relating to colon cancer. Dr. Gregory Diamonti from Gastroenterology Associates spoke about colonoscopy being the "gold standard" for detection of colon cancer. He stressed the importance of screenings as a method of preventing this deadly disease. Employees had the opportunity to ask questions after each speaker was finished.

MARCH 23, 2010

Protecting Your Bottom Line
This humorous take on a serious topic served as part of the seminar series for Frye Regional Medical Center's Spirit of Women program. Dr. Caroll Koscheski joined other selected physicians and specialists to address the female crowd about protecting themselves from the deadly disease of colon cancer.

The event took place at FryeCare on Tate Blvd. in Hickory and was held in conjunction with March being recognized as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Guests enjoyed complimentary refreshments and visited booths set up in the space. Tours of the facility were given before and after the discussion.

MARCH 20, 2010

Educational Breakfast Addresses Prostate and Colon Cancer Awareness
In recognition of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Catawba County Health Partners presented an educational health breakfast for the community to help men and women learn about topics related to colon and prostate cancer. Dr. Simon Allport was one of three guest speakers engaged in the open forum discussion with attendees.

Dr. Allport spoke specifically about colon cancer and how vital screenings were for detection and prevention. Audience members were able to ask questions and get feedback while enjoying a complimentary breakfast. The event took place at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Conover. It was presented by Frye Regional Medical Center, Catawba Valley Medical Center and the American Cancer Society.

MARCH 2, 2010

New Clinic Opens in Lincolnton
On March 2nd, we celebrated the opening of our new clinic in Lincolnton. Located at 1470 East Gaston Street, Suite 600,
in the Lincoln Medical Specialists Center, the clinic provides a new level of expertise for our patients and providers. The clinic
aims to bring the same level of high quality, nationally recognized care that our practice is known for to the community of
Lincolnton and the surrounding counties.

Doctors are available by appointment on Tuesdays beginning at 8:30am. Patients are seen by referral but for more information,
please call (828) 328-3300.

NOVEMBER 14, 2009

Tummy Talk Draws a Crowd
Dr. Gaa Richardson of Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. was a guest speaker for the Spirit of Women event titled, "Trusting What
Your Tummy is Telling You". The program took place on November 14, 2009 at the Frye Wellness & Education Center in Hickory.

The program was a part of the monthly Spirit of Women seminar series hosted by Frye Regional Medical Center. Attendees enjoyed lunch, entertainment and informative discussion about issues involving gastrointestinal health. Dr. Richardson spoke specifically about Irritable Bowel Syndrome - its symptoms and treatment options.

As one of two female board certified physicians at Gastroenterology Associates, Dr. Richardson lent a unique perspective on how this issue affects so many females. Members of the audience asked questions and had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the speakers afterwards.


Two Doctors Recognized by Best Doctors in America®
Dr. Caroll Koscheski and Dr. John Meier of Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. were selected for inclusion in the Best Doctors
in America® database on September of this year. Best Doctors in America recognizes physicians based on a peer-review
survey by thousands of doctors nationwide. Only those who earn the consensus support of their peers are included.

Dr. Koscheski has been in practice in Hickory since 1991. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University, where he completed his residency and fellowship. Dr. Meier, a native of Atlanta, joined Gastroenterology Associates in 1994. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his residency and fellowship at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado.

Both Dr. Koscheski and Dr. Meier are board certified specialists in gastroenterology and Fellows of the American College of Gastroenterology.


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