Foundation Program Sites

SCOAP is a program of the Foundation for Health Care Quality (FHCQ).  FHCQ provides the corporate structure to support SCOAP’s operating needs, e.g., the responsibility to enter into contracts for data management/security services and the provision of technical and administrative support.  FHCQ also provides the requisite stewardship over data and ensures confidentiality.  The FHCQ Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the SCOAP Program.  The FHCQ Board of Trustees delegates control to the SCOAP Advisory Board over the rules of operation and program activities.  The general powers of the Advisory Board include policy-making and operational oversight.


Richard C. Thirlby, MD, FACS

SCOAP Medical Director

Dr. Thirlby received his degree in Medicine from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1978. He completed his residency in General Surgery and Gastric Physiology Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas in 1984. Dr. Thirlby has been with Virginia Mason Medical Center since 1987.

He has published more than 100 papers and book chapters addressing topics such as gastric surgery, morbid obesity, ileal-pouch surgery, health-related quality of life and gastrointestinal cancer. Dr. Thirlby is an active member of numerous professional associations  He is a past president of the Washington State Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, the Western Surgical Association and the Seattle Surgical Society. He is a senior Director of the American Board of Surgery and is currently on the ACGME Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Surgery.


Robert M. Rush, Jr., MD, FACS

SCOAP Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Robert M. Rush is a General Surgeon at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. Dr. Rush has recently held positions at Madigan Army Medical Center as the Deputy Commander for Surgical Services and Chief of Surgery. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point and the Uniformed Services University.

Dr. Rush is board certified in General Surgery and his practice spans over 20 years. During that time, he has contributed extensively to the literature and he has lectured locally and internationally on topics in general surgery, military medicine, and surgical education through simulation.  His military service has taken him to locations throughout the world to include Bosnia, Central and South America, and Southwest Asia where he has provided needed far forward surgical care to the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Dr. Rush is known for his work in surgical simulation, disaster medicine, team training and surgical quality/outcomes and is an avid supporter of many patient safety and quality improvement programs to include TeamSTEPPS, NSQIP, SCOAP, SCIP, error reduction from a systems and human factors standpoint. He is a TeamSTEPPS master trainer and he sits on several committees for the American College of Surgeons Consortium of Accredited Education Institutes that involve improving patient outcomes and safety.


Vickie Kolios-Morris, MSHSA CPHQ

Senior Program Director, SCOAP & Spine COAP

With over 20 years of healthcare experience in both clinical and non-clinical areas, and the last 15 years specific to quality, Vickie’s experiences range from the operational to consulting and project management.  Vickie is currently the Senior Program Director for the Foundation for Health Care Quality, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a trusted, independent, third party resource to all participants in the health care community – including patients, providers, payers, employers, government agencies, and public health professionals.  She is responsible for the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) and the Spine Care Outcomes Assessment Program (Spine COAP), programs that specifically deal with variability, outcomes and quality in surgical services for varied procedures.  Vickie holds a Master of Science in Health Services Administration.  She obtained her Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) credential in 2007 and has been active in varied quality entities—WSAHQ, NAHQ and OrAHQ; Vickie is particularly excited to serve as the Oregon Association for Healthcare Quality’s President through 2020.  When not working or volunteering professionally, Vickie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.