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Columbia Surgical Associates

50 Years

In the last 50 years, surgery has changed immensely; and the Columbia Surgical Associates (CSA) has been there to observe, learn and take part in new discoveries along the way. One thing that has remained constant over the years is the dedication to high-quality patient care.

“The philosophy of our founder Dr. [E.J.] Schewe, was if you take good care of the patient, everything else will take care of itself,” says Dr. Walter Peters, CSA president. This philosophy saw the practice grow from a one-man office in 1961 to the 41-employee facility of today, now with nine full-time surgeons.

Peters takes pride in the practice achieving this 50 year milestone. For a practice to stay in business that long is unique, he says—especially with the numerous breakthroughs of recent medical history. “When you look at that timeline when this practice started, nobody had heard of Medicare, and outpatient surgery was not like today.”

Today, CSA uses laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques with the use of robotics in colon surgery; endovascular techniques for major vascular procedures; laser therapies for varicose veins; video in thyroidectomies; and single-incision techniques in gallbladder and appendicitis surgeries. Hospital stays are shorter, and incisions are smaller. They also offer care in the areas of diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of cancers, varicose veins, vascular disease, hernia repair, heartburn relief and more.

CSA has been instrumental in bringing innovative surgeons to mid-Missouri since opening its doors. Since 1991, their physicians have performed more than 1,200 laparoscopic colon surgeries; more than 1,800 patients have been seen in the angiography suite since 2008; and in 2010, Boone Hospital Center surgical cases totaled 3,041.

Peters believes the dedicated staff and the family-like atmosphere have been a key factor in CSA’s success. Not only do patients see the same physician, but they are greeted by familiar faces as well. “This group would not have stayed in business 50 years if it was up to just the surgeons. We have a great staff and that makes a huge difference.”


1961 – Dr. E.J. Schewe opens a private practice at 1502 E. Broadway

1965 – Dr. James Moldin joins practice

1968 – Dr. Gene Ridenhour joins practice after the passing of Modlin

1970 – Dr. Hugh Harris, Jr. joins practice

1975 – Dr. Curt Vogel joins practice; partnership changes its name to Columbia Surgical Associates

1980 – First mobile non-invasive vascular laboratory established serving mid-Missouri; Dr. Vincent Gurucharri joins the practice.

1982 – Dr. Curt Vogel becomes the first fellowship-trained vascular surgeon in mid-Missouri

1983 – Move to Berrywood Medical Building

1988 – Dr. Walter Peters joins the practice and becomes the first fellowship-trained, board-certified colorectal surgeon in mid-Missouri

1990 – Dr. Vince Gurucharri performs first laparoscopic gallbladder surgery in mid-Missouri

1993 – Drs. Paul W. Humphrey and James Pitt join practice

1997 – Dr. Joe Starke joins practice

2000 – Move to Boone Medical Plaza; Dr. John G. Adams joins the practice

2004 – Vincent G. Gurucharri Foundation established; Boone Hospital Center names Harris Breast Center in honor of Dr. Hugh Harris, Jr.

2006 – Dr. Erik Grossman joins practice

2009 – Drs. Thomas Etter and Jake Laks join practice

2010 – Dr. Scott Gard joins practice; practice moves to 3220 Bluff Creek Drive

2011 – Dr. Suppes joins the practice

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