Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute Center for Advanced Endoscopy, Research and Education opens
The highly advanced center serves as the flagship destination of the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute, one of the most comprehensive gastrointestinal programs in the southeastern United States.
Orlando, Fla. (February 7, 2022) – Phase one of the new Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute Center for Advanced Endoscopy, Research and Education (CARE) officially opened today. Located on the downtown Orlando campus adjacent to Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, the center features technologically advanced procedure rooms, preoperative and recovery bays and support space for patients and staff. Phase two of the center, which will increase square footage creating additional space for patient care and staff, will open in the summer of 2022. The highly specialized gastrointestinal diagnostic and treatment center will serve as the flagship destination of the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute, one of the most comprehensive gastrointestinal programs in the southeastern United States.
“Our physicians and advanced practitioners use the best traditions of clinical medicine, apply cutting-edge innovations, and incorporate the most current research findings to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for each patient,” said Shyam S. Varadarajulu, MD, president, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. “We are excited to offer technology patients will find only at our program, treatment options that are available at only a few facilities around the country and participate in cutting-edge clinical trials that leads to innovation. We have designed a truly unique program.”
The Institute, which provides advanced medical care for general, extremely complex, and often rare digestive and liver disorders, was designed and developed by four internationally recognized experts, all of whom are board certified in gastroenterology: Dr. Varadarajulu, who specializes in complex digestive disorders, has authored more than 300 research publications and has served in visiting professorships around the world; Ji Young Bang, MD, is internationally recognized for her research in interventional endoscopy and has conducted 15 randomized clinical trials to date, winning numerous awards at all major national and internal conferences for her research; Robert H. Hawes, MD, former President of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, specializes in advanced endoscopy with particular interest in pancreatobiliary diseases and gastrointestinal oncology; and Udayakumar Navaneethan, MD, is a leading international expert on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who is currently the principal investigator for multiple IBD-related clinical trials and studies.
The medical team also includes general gastroenterologists led by Christina Covelli, MD, medical director, General Gastroenterology, Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute. General gastroenterology includes evaluation of abdominal pain, colon polyps, diverticulitis, gallstones and gallbladder disorders, and ulcers. Dr. Covelli oversees gastroenterology practices at multiple Orlando Health campuses including Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital and Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital. Future digestive health facilities are planned at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and Orlando Health Medical Pavilion – Summerport.
The Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute offers several condition-specific programs to meet individual patient care needs.
- The Center for Advanced Endoscopy Research and Education where complex conditions are treated using the latest therapeutic endoscopy techniques resulting in fewer complications and hospitalizations.
- The Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease featuring minimally invasive endoscopic treatments and a team-based approach to manage IBD and its complications.
- The Luminal Gastroenterology Program that manages patients with disorders such as GI bleeding, abdominal pain and intestinal polyps.
- Research that provides opportunities for innovative clinical trials and programs that educate the next generation of digestive health experts.
- Subspecialty Programs encompassing pancreatic, liver and motility diseases are in development.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 60 to 70 million people in the United States are affected by digestive diseases. More specifically, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect approximately 1.5 million people across the country, according to the National Library of Medicine. Digestive health is important to ensure the body breaks down food and beverages to gain the nutrients needed for energy, growth, and cell repair to work properly and stay healthy. Digestive tract problems can cause pain, discomfort, and more serious complications. Proper diagnosis and treatment of digestive issues are imperative to a healthier and improved quality of life.
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $7.6 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States.
Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in the St. Petersburg region. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows. The 3,200-bed system includes 16 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with FastMed Urgent Care. Nearly 4,500 physicians, representing more than 90 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 23,000 team members. In FY21, Orlando Health served nearly 160,000 inpatients and nearly 3.6 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $648 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at http://www.orlandohealth.com, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @orlandohealth.