Meet Dr. Tagge.

Heber Valley’s ENT Specialist

Otorhinolaryngology. Otorhinolaryngologist. These two words are terms most of us don’t associate with our common everyday vocabulary. However, once you know their meaning, you’ll realize we talk about both quite often, especially if you have kids. On that note: if you’ve seen the animated movie Penguins of Madagascar, trying to pronounce the words may bring a particular scene to mind: Classified, says to Skipper, “This is difficult for me to say.” Skipper interrupts with, “Is it Osteoporosis? You’ve just got to lean into the vowels […]” So, let’s “lean into the vowels.”

ow·tow·rai·now·leh·ruhn·gaa·luh·jee | ow·tow·rai·now·leh·ruhn·gaa·luh·juhst

In layman’s terms: the study of, and practice of, diseases concerning the ear, nose, and throat (ENT).

Heber Valley’s Otorhinolaryngologist, Doctor Bryan Tagge (TAE ge), specializes in health concerns of ears, sinuses, and throats; focusing mainly on the multifaceted medical treatments for neck cancers, and the complex anatomy within the neck and sinuses. This surgical sub-specialty field appealed to Dr. Tagge during his early years in medical school. Originally, he had been on a path toward Ophthalmology but is grateful he made the change. After graduating from the University of Utah Medical School, Tagge went to Ohio for his internship in general surgery. This notable track allowed him to become a professor, but it also meant living in Ohio. Looking east, out the window of his new Heber Valley office, at the canyons and peaks of Snake Creek, he says, “This is what brought me back. I wanted to be here.”

Those who know Dr. Tagge know he enjoys riding bikes and skiing. In the course of our conversation, we discussed how busy the backcountry skiing had gotten along the Wasatch Front. While we both enjoyed skiing there very much, the often-quiet backcountry in the mountains surrounding Heber Valley is heavenly. It is what initially drew him here. But the gorgeous biking and skiing trails were not the only things that attracted him.

Dr. Tagge loves helping whole families, and being able to offer many different treatments right here in the valley. Before, if residents needed ENT specific care, they would have to travel outside of Heber. With myriad sinus concerns among adults, and hearing problems across all ages, in addition to things like chronic coughs, having an ENT consultation and treatment office nearby is a blessing. Especially for parents who opt to have tubes inserted into their children’s ears to eliminate constant ear infections.

In 2004, driven by his interest in helping the Wasatch Back community, Dr. Tagge offered his services once a week in the mornings at Doctor David Larson’s pediatric clinic. He spent the rest of his time at his primary practice in the Salt Lake Valley. Over the years, his time at Dr. Larson’s clinic evolved to an entire day in Heber and two full days per week in Park City. His patient base continued to grow.

In 2017, he finally moved his family to Midway, justified by the growth of his practice along the Wasatch Back. Within a year he set to work on building a Heber office so that he could base his practice here. Tagge wanted all the tools, facilities, and features of a high-class ENT practice. His expectations were blown out of the water when he first entered the finished office.

The doors opened in June 2023, with a grand opening celebration; including a ribbon-cutting event and food. Many locals, doctors, and professionals from around the area attended. It was a wonderful chance for folks to get an early glimpse of what Dr. Tagge will be offering here.

The Ear, Nose, & Throat Center of Utah’s list of facilities includes two new soundproof hearing booths for audiology where hearing tests are performed (these are smaller rooms within another room); endoscope rooms for viewing sinus and throat tissue; sterilization rooms for cleaning medical equipment; and a separate room for administering allergy medicines. Dr. Tagge says they are waiting on a new CT Scanner for imaging. The ENT Center also brought on a new partner, another ENT, Doctor Libby Ridder. The growth is a testament to the local demand for ENT services.

Art adorns the walls from local professional photographers Alan Day (in the form of humungous metal prints) and Brent Berry’s traditional framed prints. The view from the south windows reveals our majestic Mount Timpanogos which is also featured in many of the photographs. The location offers prime eastern views of the Central Wasatch Mountain range from each of the patient rooms. This was done strategically, and patients always comment on how beautiful it is to look out the window.

Built in the newly developed Coyote Ridge neighborhood, accessing the new office is a simple drive to the north of town. It is also a convenient location for those coming from Park City, Kamas, and Salt Lake City. Dr. Tagge briefly introduced an additional project he is working on; another medical building adjacent to his. This expansion of medical services is explained best by building partners, Rigby Watts & Company’s, co-founder, Adam Watts, “The second phase of this medical campus is set to break ground this summer. The project is a collaboration between Rigby Watts & Company, a boutique Investment and Advisory firm with a focus on healthcare real estate and early-stage healthcare venture, and Watts Enterprises which will be constructing the building. The building sits on an acre and will be two stories, approximately 16,073 square feet, and has attracted medical tenants in the imaging center space and Ophthalmology to date. The owner’s vision is to create a small but bustling medical campus on the north side of town to offer more convenient services to the growing population not only in Heber City but in Kamas and the new Mayflower development area.”

The ENT Center of Utah currently shares the first building with Heiden Orthopedics, House of Hearing, Motion (physical therapy), Southwest Spine & Pain Center, and Eyelid Center of Utah.

Tagge believes that the quality of medical care has been evolving in Heber Valley for many years. He describes a triangle of care with medical professionals, facilities, and equipment at each apex. As time has gone by, he has been able to witness each of those factors improve, and not only with his ENT practice here. He is seeing this across all disciplines of medicine. Patients used to leave the valley for expert care far more often 20 years ago than they do now. That is changing. It is exciting.

Dr. Tagge is part of that. Although he is humble about his story and legacy here, it is easy to see that he brought ENT medicine to our picturesque mountain valley. The practice he has now is the fruit of his labors.

He has not only fulfilled a professional and personal dream, but his local patients also no longer need to leave town. Doctor Bryan Tagge has made this place his home and place of work. He is anxious to share the best care he has to offer in Heber Valley and looks forward to contributing even more to the community.

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