[July 2008] The new Digestive Diseases clinical suite at 40 Temple St., which opened on January 3, has already been visited by more than 400 patients.
With eight exam rooms, patients spend less time in the waiting room. There are also two labs in the building, so it takes only minutes to get a blood sample , and an on-site endoscopy suite conveniently accommodates patients who need colonoscopy screenings and other endoscopic procedures. The new location, just off the highway, is easy to get to, and there is always ample, inexpensive parking.
But greater convenience and improved efficiency are just the beginning. Members of the Temple Street staff now work exclusively for the digestive diseases physicians, so they are available to focus directly on the needs of the practice’s patients and physicians. “It makes it easier to have the medical assistants, administrative staff and physicians working together as a team,” said Section Chief Michael Nathanson, MD, PhD. “Now, there is a sense that we can run the practice in the way that we want and in the way that our patients would expect.”
The move comes after years of growth for the practice. During the past five years, the section added 10 new faculty members, bringing the total to 30. The number of gastroenterologists has grown to 13, and the number of hepatologists has risen to 10. The practice has plans to add three more specialists, one in motility and two more in inflammatory bowel disease.
The two sub-specialties that comprise Digestive Diseases are gastroenterology and hepatology, and YMG patients are fortunate to have access to expertise in both units that is second to none in the region. Now, with the consolidation of these interdisciplinary services in one location, the program is just that much stronger.
Yale has attracted nationally recognized clinical experts in gastroenterology, GI pathology and GI surgery . They serve the whole region as a referral center for GI disease. The gastroenterology group is the only group in Connecticut that offers gastroenterology fellowships in medicine, surgery and pathology. Yale’s consolidated expertise enables the creation of important multidisciplinary programs, such as the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program and the Interventional Endoscopy Program, both of which offer the most advanced care and comprehensive services for GI diseases in the area. Many patients come here for advanced procedures that aren’t performed elsewhere, or have been done unsuccessfully.
Yale’s hepatology practice is one of the oldest and most successful in the country. It is home to one of only four liver centers sponsored by the National Institutes of Health for research. The practice’s clinical activities are organized around five comprehensive programs spanning early-stage to chronic liver diseases. Patients can receive treatment ranging from an initial evaluation to referrals for complex cases. The practice’s viral hepatitis and steatohepatitis programs contribute to the multidisciplinary care offered in the liver cancer program, the end-stage liver disease program and at the Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center.
Looking to the future, Nathanson says, “Our goal is to build on our areas of expertise and expand the practice in such a way that it is unsurpassed in the region.”