For the Troy Daily News
TROY — Little did Charles Gariety, MD, FACS, know that when he met with surgeon, Robert Finley, MD, FACS it would not only alter the course of his own career, but also the health of an entire community. As a family practitioner, Dr. Gariety had simply hoped to learn some new surgical skills to better care for his patients.
However, Dr. Finley challenged Dr. Gariety to pursue surgical training as a profession and would eventually take him on as a resident. Four years later, in 1966, Dr. Gariety and his family would settle in Piqua, Ohio where he would launch a solo practice and become that city’s first board certified general surgeon. He would be joined, six years later by Joseph Miller, MD, FACS, who would partner with him for the next 13 and half years.
“When I joined Dr. Gariety, our goal was to provide quality care in a very humane manner,” says Dr. Miller. “I think we did that and set a standard I feel is being continued with the men and women who have followed.”
In 1984, the practice would officially become Miami County Surgeons, Inc., as they also welcomed the arrival of their newest team member, Reece Nickol, MD, FACS. Just as the practice was evolving, so was the nature of surgery itself as increased technology gave way to tools and techniques that opened the door to less invasive procedures.
“I started performing GI endoscopic procedures, performing the first colonoscopy in 1980,” said Dr. Miller. “Early on we would tell patients with colon cancer that we could treat and control their disease. Later, with chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy we could come close to telling patients that we could cure it. Then, with the advent of endoscopy, colonoscopy and polyp removal we could now tell them that we could possibly prevent it. All this occurred within my lifetime as a surgeon.”
Dr. Gariety would retire in 1989, but the practice would continue to grow with the addition of Keith Knupp, MD, FACS. The doctors also had a tremendous influence upon the evolution of health care options for families in Miami County, as they actively participated on area hospital boards and would be instrumental in the eventual formation of Upper Valley Medical Center.
“We’re here to take care of people,” says Dr. Nickol. “I had other offers to practice in bigger cities for more money, but I’m unbelievably glad I chose not to. In a smaller community you are taking care of friends. You go to church with them. You see them at the grocery. You’re taking care of people you know. It’s completely different than working in the city.”
Treating patients as friends and neighbors has not only been crucial for the growth of Miami County Surgeons, but it has made all the difference to improve the health of the community it serves. In 2016, the practice will celebrate 50 years of caring for Miami County families, and is staffed by a new generation of medical professionals including three board certified surgeons, three physician assistants and one additional surgeon. Patrick A. Larreatequi, DO, FACOS, L. Stewart Lowry, MD, FACS, Zachary Simmons, MD, and Daniel S. Taylor, MD, FACS continue a tradition of patient-centered care that has remained unchanged since it began in 1966.
For more information about Miami County Surgeons, visit www.miamicountysurgeons.com.