It is with tremendous gratitude and surprise that I accept this year’s ASGE Distinguished Service Award. I’ve had the privilege of serving on ASGE’s Practice Operations Committee for over 10 years. I was introduced to ASGE by Frank Chapman, who has served as a mentor to many of us in GI operations. I can’t thank him enough for his patience and guidance, and for the knowledge that he has departed to many GI practice administrators. I also want to thank the physician leaders (Drs. Littenberg, Bentley, Vicari and Khaykis) who have devoted countless hours to assure the success of ASGE and its members. By participating in ASGE’s Practice Operations Committee, I had the opportunity to network with others in the GI community. From each interaction, I’ve learned something new or have reinforced that our group was on the right track. There are tremendous benefits to serving on an ASGE Committee. You have the opportunity to learn from the best, share your experiences, build your professional network and make friends along the way. This award comes at the end of my career, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end this chapter in my life. Thank you so much ASGE staff, physicians and members!
Barbara Tauscher received her bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and her master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. She worked in a variety of primary care and specialty practices, including cardiology and orthopedics, before joining Gastroenterology Specialists of Oregon (GSO) in 1994.
When she joined GSO, it had just broken ground on a 12,000-sqare-foot building that houses a three-room endoscopy center with an adjacent seven-room office suite. The group continues to build new endoscopy centers, with its second site being added in 2018 and its third site scheduled to be completed in mid-2023. Through her 18 years with the group, Tauscher worked with the physician leadership team to: expand the group from seven MDs to 21 MDs and from two APPs to eight APPs; implement a new computer system; introduce contracted CRNAs in the endoscopy units; and add new ancillary services, including a histo-lab, anorectal manometry, and breath testing.
Tauscher believes in collaboration, teamwork and process improvement. Just after joining GSO, she worked with other GI practice administrators to establish the “GI Consortium,” which is comprised of GI practice administrators and endoscopy nurse managers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Prior to COVID, the group met to discuss best practices and ideas to improve the quality of care provided in the endoscopy units.
Tauscher carried that theme of collaboration when GSO joined the large multi-specialty group, The Oregon Clinic (TOC), in September 2013. GSO became the third GI group within TOC, which now has over 60 GI MDs and 20 APPs. As the director of operations for GI South (GSO’s new name with TOC), Tauscher worked with the other two GI groups (GI East and GI West) to begin building a more integrated GI service line. She organized the GI Steering Committee, which is comprised of the director of operations and managing partners from each GI group. The GI Steering Committee members share best practices and oversee the activities of the GI QA and marketing committees.
Tauscher attributes the success of GI South to its outstanding and dedicated physicians, managers and the information that she has learned through her time on the ASGE Practice Operations Committee.