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Orlando Health Announces Team of Gastroenterologists Leading the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute

Orlando Health announced the nationally and internationally recognized team of gastroenterologists who designed and developed the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute, a highly specialized gastrointestinal diagnostic and treatment center to serve patients from across the southeastern United States.

The physician leaders of the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute are Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD, president; Ji Young Bang, MD, MPH; Robert H. Hawes, MD; and Udayakumar Navaneethan, MD. Each of the four are board certified in gastroenterology and each specializes in advanced endoscopy. These physician leaders have already recruited ten other general gastroenterologists and subspecialists to the Digestive Health Institute.

As advanced endoscopists, the team treats complex digestive disorders including pancreatic and biliary disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastrointestinal oncology, and other complex conditions. Collectively the team has held various leadership roles at health care organizations and served in faculty appointments at academic institutions across the country and world. The specialists are also active leaders in clinical research, education, and professional associations.

"We are excited to bring the expertise and experience of nationally and internationally recognized advanced endoscopists to our patients," said Sunil Desai, MD, president of Orlando Health Medical Group. "The advanced endoscopists are part of the multidisciplinary teams at our digestive health institute offering condition-specific programs to provide individualized patient care for complex and general digestive conditions."

Additional information about the advanced endoscopists at Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute follows.

Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD
Shyam Varadarajulu, MD

Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute 

Dr. Varadarajulu's clinical interests and notable procedures include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, luminal interventions, pancreatic endotherapy, and tumor ablation.

The principal investigator of more than 20 randomized trials related to interventional endoscopy, Dr. Varadarajulu also has lectured and held visiting professorships around the world. He has authored 65 chapters in reference textbooks and he has written more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts in high-impact journals and is a reviewer for more than 30 professional journals.

Dr. Varadarajulu is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; an honorary member of the European Endoscopic Ultrasound Club and Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy of India; and an honorary fellow of the Japanese Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society.

Dr. Varadarajulu earned a medical degree from Madras Medical College in Tamil Nadu, India. His training includes an internship and residency in internal medicine at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, New York; a gastroenterology fellowship at University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut; and an interventional endoscopy fellowship at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.

Ji Young Bang, MD
Ji Young Bang, MD

Ji Young Bang, MD, MPH, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute

Dr. Bang's clinical interests and notable procedures include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic mucosal resection and submucosal dissection, luminal interventions, and third-space endoscopy, including peroral endoscopic myotomy and gastric peroral endoscopic myotomy.

An internationally recognized researcher in interventional endoscopy, Dr. Bang has conducted 15 randomized clinical trials to date and has won numerous national and international research awards. She also has authored more than 100 original articles, editorials, book chapters and review articles. Dr. Bang lectures nationally and internationally.

She has served on the editorial board of the Digestive Endoscopy journal and is a reviewer for 15 medical journals. She is a fellow of the Japanese Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society and vice-chair of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Endoscopic Ultrasonography special interest group. Dr. Bang also is a member of the American Gastroenterology Association and the American College of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Bang earned a medical degree from the University College London Medical School in London, United Kingdom, and a master's degree in public health degree from Imperial College London in London, United Kingdom. Her training includes a residency in internal medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama; a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology, and an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana; an advanced endoscopy fellowship under the tutelage of Dr. Varadarajulu and Dr. Hawes in Orlando, Florida; interventional endoscopy and tissue resection at Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia; and third-space endoscopy at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune, India.

Robert Hawes, MD
Robert Hawes, MD

Robert H. Hawes, MD, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute

Dr. Hawes' clinical interests and notable procedures include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, luminal stenting, endoscopic mucosal resection, management of Barrett's esophagus, and Zenkers diverticulum.

Dr. Hawes was an early adopter of endoscopic ultrasound and started one of the United States' first endoscopic ultrasound programs at Indiana University School of Medicine in 1987.

During his career, he has published more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, edits the primary textbook on endoscopic ultrasonography and has contributed numerous chapters to gastroenterology and endoscopy textbooks. He has lectured and performed live endoscopy demonstrations around the world and trained a generation of endosonographers over the past 30 years.

Dr. Hawes is a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the Japanese Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society. Dr. Hawes is a Master of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and previously served as president for ASGE.

Dr. Hawes earned a medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He went on to complete an internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Indiana University. He completed with an advanced endoscopic fellowship in London, United Kingdom, with Peter Cotton and Steve Bown.

Udayakumar Navaneethan, MD
Udayakumar Navaneethan, MD

Udayakumar Navaneethan, MD, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute

Dr. Navaneethan's clinical interests and notable procedures include chromoendoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound, luminal interventions, endoscopic mucosal resection, double balloon enteroscopy, and pouchoscopy and therapeutic endoscopy in IBD.

A leading international expert on IBD, Dr. Navaneethan is the principal investigator for multiple IBD-related clinical trials and studies and has lectured nationally and internationally. He has presented more than 100 research study abstracts and authored more than 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts and several book chapters. He sits on the editorial board of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases journal.

He was one of the founding members of the Global Interventional IBD group and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Interventional IBD special interest group. Dr. Navaneethan is a member of the American Gastroenterology Association and Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Florida Chapter, where he is on the medical advisory committee and chair of the professional educational committee. He also is a fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American College of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Navaneethan earned a medical degree from Madras Medical College in Tamil Nadu, India. His training includes a residency in internal medicine at University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and fellowships in gastroenterology, IBD, and advanced endoscopy at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

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