Welcome to Our Practice
Gastroenterology Associates welcomes you!
At GA, we provide best practice gastroenterology care to the southern Puget Sound region by focusing on our patient’s experience and continually striving to improve safety, quality, accessibility, efficiency and cost containment. Our Gastroenterology Board Certified physicians specialize in gastroenterology, hepatology and related endoscopy procedures.
Our Board-Certified Advanced Practice Providers – ARNPs, PA-Cs and CRNAs – work closely with our physicians to provide our patients with the compassionate and evidence-based care they deserve. At GA, our core values of knowledge sharing, respect, kindness, commitment and collaboration guide us daily in providing excellent patient care.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
Your health and safety are our first priority, especially during these uncertain times. COVID-19 is a new disease with updated research data and information being released frequently. Gastroenterology Associates providers continually follow this influx of information including CDC, national GI tri-Societies (ACG, AGA, ASGE) and local and WA State public health department recommendations.
What we know:
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
- People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index of ≥ 30)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Based on what we know at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines (such as with our Infusion therapy patients)
- Additional COVID-19 resources for IBD patients can be found at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Website
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
- It is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.
- The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to
- Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
- Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact: Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Limit travel to within your local community.
- Monitor your daily health: Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
GA Protecting Your Health:
At Gastroenterology Associates, we are doing everything possible to ensure our patients are protected from COVID-19, including but not limited to:
- If you have an on-site appointment and are ill with fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, please call us immediately to reschedule (360-413-8250).
- We do not diagnose or treat COVID-19 patients on-site.
- We screen every on-site person for COVID-19 symptoms upon their arrival (Providers, staff, patients, support persons, etc.). This includes a temperature, oxygen saturation and symptom check and a screen for travel outside of the United States within the past 14 days.
- We do not allow anyone with a positive COVID-19 screen to remain on-site.
- We practice social distancing whenever possible.
- We ask patients not to bring non-essential persons with them.
- We do not allow non-essential “visitors” at this time.
- We ask essential support persons accompanying patients to wait in the car and/or use multiple lobby areas to facilitate social distancing.
- We require face masks for all staff and providers and face masks/facial covering (nose and mouth) for every person on-site.
- We offer telehealth visits as an alternative to on-site visits.
- We have plexiglass barriers in place at all check-in/check-out desks.
- We frequently sanitize our lobbies and sanitize each patient space (exam rooms, Endoscopy admit, procedure and recovery rooms) between each use.
- We have removed reading material from our lobbies.
- We provide hand sanitizer in multiple locations and encourage their use as well as adhering to strict handwashing/hand hygiene guidelines by our staff and providers.
- We monitor CDC, national GI tri-Societies (ACG, AGA, ASGE) and local and WA State public health department recommendations and adjust our protocols accordingly.
Risks of Venturing Out in Public:
- During this COVID-19 pandemic, you are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 when you leave your home and choose not to self-isolate or choose to spend time with others who do not self-isolate. Some recent studies suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who do not have symptoms.
- We understand weighing the benefits and risks of attending an in-person appointment during this pandemic may be difficult. Each individual comes to us with a unique health history, chronic health conditions, new or chronic symptoms and/or the potential for silent health conditions (such as undiagnosed colon polyps, Barrett’s esophagus or cancer). Some chronic health conditions increase the risk of COVID-19 complications should an individual contract COVID-19.
- Weighing the risks of COVID-19 complications versus not treating GI health concerns is something that should be reviewed and considered on an individual basis. While choosing to be seen in person for an appointment or procedure which is non-emergent has risks, as the pandemic spans more time, the risks of the untreated health issue may outweigh the risk of the likelihood of COVID-19 complications for particular individuals. We are happy to help our established patients review your particular risks for an in person visit. Please contact us through our Patient Portal or at 360-413-8250 for assistance, if needed. If you are not an established patient at Gastroenterology Associates, please contact your primary care provider (or provider who knows your health history) to review your risks versus benefits.