Tag Archives: Penn State Hershey Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Push to Screen, Treat Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C Virus

In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended one-time screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) for all adults born from 1945 to 1965 – the “baby boomers.”1 Pennsylvania and New York state legislatures have passed laws making it mandatory for health care providers to offer HCV screening or diagnostic testing for all baby boomer patients.2,3 According to Thomas R. Riley, III, MD, gastroenterology and hepatology, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, “We just aren’t seeing the numbers of HCV cases that we know are out there in this population; this tells us that it isn’t being detected.” Continue reading

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Introducing Kofi Clarke, MD, Division Chief, Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Kofi Clarke, MD, FACP, FRCP (Lond)

Kofi Clarke, MD

I am excited to join Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and be part of a team of highly skilled colleagues who are greatly regarded for excellent clinical care and research.

As I transition to Hershey Medical Center, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on today’s unique health care climate. It is marked by increased recognition of limited resources and an appropriate shift toward cost efficiency and quality of care outcomes. In this environment, we must be at the forefront of the discussion among stakeholders—patients, clinicians and payers. In line with national and global initiatives to provide more efficient and effective care, we will focus on creating technology-driven and evidence-based clinical care programs across our service region. We plan to develop new collaborative programs with community partners, broadening access to specialty GI care in areas not previously served. The key to the success of this plan is a better understanding of population characteristics influencing disease states and health care choices. Likewise, an integral part of this focus is to define clinical parameters and quality of care measures that accurately and meaningfully describe patient outcomes and the effectiveness of the care we provide in our specialty. Continue reading

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Exercise as Medicine for Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Surgery Patients

Photo of man in a gym ssetting, holding a towel around his neck.Exercise interventions that increase physical activity prior to a patient undergoing surgery or during chemo/radiotherapy for colorectal cancer and other types of cancer have demonstrated improvements in daily activities, social activity, and fatigue, anxiety and depression.1 “If exercise were a drug, it would have no trouble getting FDA approval,” says Niraj J. Gusani, MD, associate professor of surgery, medicine and public health sciences, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Gusani and Amanda B. Cooper, MD, assistant professor of surgery, have launched rigorous research programs for patients with upper GI cancers, studying the effects of physical activity as it relates to recovery from surgery and long-term survival.

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Advances in Living Donor Liver Transplantation

To better meet the increasing need for liver transplantation in the U.S. and expand the potential donor pool, living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is an increasingly viable option.1-3 According to Karen Krok, MD, transplant hepatologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, “Advances in the surgical procedure and donor selection have made the process safer. Overall, donors fare remarkably well afterward. We have had donors who run a marathon within a year after donation!” Dr. Krok directs the LDLT program, where a total of 12 LDLT procedures have been performed since its inception in 2008, with no donor deaths. Continue reading

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Structured Transition from Pediatric to Adult IBD Care Increases Patient Retention, May Improve Outcomes

For adolescent patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, a quarterly pediatric-to-adult care transition clinic has dramatically improved follow-up rates in the adult clinic, reducing no-shows to less than one percent.

“The structured transition program makes the process smoother and addresses the biggest problems that patients and parents encounter when the patient reaches 18 years-of-age,” says Emmanuelle Williams, M.D., assistant professor, Penn State Hershey Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and associate director, Penn State Hershey IBD Center. Together with Tolulope Falaiye, M.D., Penn State Hershey Pediatric Gastroenterology, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Williams has led the development of the successful program.

The process of transition begins around the age of 12. Transfer to adult care occurs at age 18. A specialized IBD nurse navigator is assigned to follow patients throughout the multi-year transition process. Older adolescents with IBD, under the care of pediatric gastroenterology, complete the Transition Readiness Assessment Questionnaire (TRAQ). At age 18, patients identified as ‘transition-ready’ are presented at a transition conference and have their first adult care visit held in the pediatric clinic location. Their former gastroenterologist performs introductions and is present the day of transfer. Continue reading

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