News / Announcements

COVID-19 Facility Vaccination data 

Please click here to see our facility vaccination data

UGI, UEG Partnership with Providence College Coach Cooley Benefits Rhode Island Free Clinic

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 24, 2022) — In addition to spreading the word about the importance of colonoscopy, the relationship between University Gastroenterology, University Endoscopy Group, and Providence College Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley will now also help people seeking medical care at Rhode Island Free Clinic.

From Providence Business News: UGI, UEG, PC Athletics Donate to RI Free Clinic

As part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, UGI and UEG once again partnered with Coach Cooley to help spread awareness about new screening guidelines for colorectal cancer. In exchange for Coach Cooley’s time, UGI and UEG agreed to donate $2,500 to a charity of the practice’s choice on behalf of Providence College Athletics. UGI and UEG selected Rhode Island Free Clinic as the recipient. 

PC’s Athletic Director Steven Napolillo this week joined representatives from the groups for a check presentation ceremony at Providence College.  

UGI Partners With Virgo Surgical Video Solutions to Reimagine IBD Clinical Trial Recruitment

When it comes to testing new and promising treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, finding the right patients to participate in clinical trials has always been a challenge. Now, in an effort to remove that obstacle, Rhode Island-based University Gastroenterology (UGI) is teaming up with Virgo Surgical Video Solutions (Virgo) out of Carlsbad, California.

UGI physicians will begin using the Virgo Platform in their everyday standard of care to accelerate enrollment in IBD clinical trials. Virgo leverages artificial intelligence and endoscopic video data to more easily identify patients who meet the complex inclusion and exclusion criteria set forth by pharmaceutical companies. The platform will automatically record every endoscopic procedure across UGI's practice facilities without interrupting clinical workflows. Computer vision will then analyze the endoscopic video data and identify patients who meet the eligibility criteria for specific clinical trials within Virgo's pharmaceutical partner network.

"This is a really big deal in many ways. This technology combines artificial intelligence, cloud storage, Image management, and video recall. The technology will allow us to better interpret what we see in real-time and help to best guide appropriate care with new patient-specific therapies and help guide future decisions better due to full video recall and ability to share the video with colleagues and consultants," said UGI's Paul Akerman, MD.

The addition of UGI and its team to the Virgo Network is a clear reflection of the platform's ease of use and implementation. It further demonstrates how Virgo and its rapidly expanding footprint provide daily clinical value to endoscopists across practice types.

"We at Virgo are proud to partner with University Gastroenterology, one of the nation's most eminent private practice groups, to innovate and change the paradigm in patient recruitment for clinical trials," said Ian Strug, Virgo co-founder and chief customer officer. "After getting to know the UGI team, we're confident their expertise in clinical research and patient care will assist us as we continue to develop novel solutions for age-old problems in endoscopy."

To learn more about Virgo and its partnership with University Gastroenterology, you can meet representatives at the annual Digestive Disease Week conference on May 21- May 24, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Alcohol-related liver disease increases during pandemic

A study published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal showed alcohol-related liver disease spiked significantly in early 2020.

"Our group has never been busier," said Dr. Thomas Sepe, of University Gastroenterology, who has become nationally recognized for his research on liver disease. "It's been a long two and a half years."

More people, he said, are drinking.

"You're hearing people who would have a couple of glasses of wine on the weekend who are now having a magnum of wine every day of the week," said Sepe.

Watch Dr.Sepe's interview on WJAR's website »

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, there's help available.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) »

 

Don't Wait for Symptoms to Get Screened for Colonoscopy

As people are starting to heed the message that 45 is the new 50 when it comes to colorectal cancer screening, UGI NP Bridget Fitzgibbon explains why people shouldn't wait for symptoms to get screened.

 

UGI's #45isthenew50 Campaign Hits Airwaves

During Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, University Gastroenterology has been focusing on new guidelines lowering the screening age from 50 to 45.

To get the word out, Dr. Eric Berthiaume, UGI president, appeared on The Matt Allen Show on WPRO radio to discuss the new guidelines and also why colonoscopy remains the "gold standard" for detecting colorectal cancer.

Breanne St. Martin, a nurse practitioner with UGI, appeared on Studio 10 on WJAR to discuss Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and #45isthenew50 with host Rosie Woods.

PC Basketball Coach Ed Cooley Joins UGI, UEG Colorectal Awareness Campaign

University Gastroenterology - Southeastern New England’s largest gastroenterology practice - and University Endoscopy Group are teaming up with several well-known figures in the community to help spread the word that, when it comes to screening for colorectal cancer, “45 is the New 50.” 

•In the News: PC Basketball Coach Lends Voice to Colon Cancer Screening Campaign »

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. And, while overall cases have steadily declined over the years, deaths have actually been on the rise in adults under the age of 50. This disturbing trend has prompted a recent change in screening guidelines. Instead of 50, adults who are at average risk for colorectal cancer are now urged to begin routine screening at age 45. 

To help spread the word about the changes, UGI and UEG have partnered with Providence College Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley. As part of this partnership, UGI and UEG will donate $2,500 to the Rhode Island Free Clinic on behalf of PC Athletics. In addition, radio personalities Amy Pontes from Lite Rock 105 and Matt Allen from WPRO are both participating in the PSA campaign. 

 

Colon cancer is a slow-progressing disease that - if caught early - can be extremely treatable. Not only does colonoscopy often detect cancer before symptoms present, but it can even prevent it altogether with the removal of pre-cancerous polyps. UGI’s campaign is aimed at informing the community about the guideline changes and urging people to get the screening they may have put off during the pandemic.

“The death of actor Chadwick Boseman last year at the age of 43 not only put a spotlight on the disproportionate impact colorectal cancer has on the Black community, but also highlighted the very real danger it is now posing to a younger population,” said Dr. Eric P. Berthiaume, UGI president. “By the time a patient presents with symptoms, the disease has often progressed to advanced stages. That’s why screening is so important.”

"We have seen a dramatic increase over the last 20 years in younger patients being diagnosed with colorectal cancer," said UEG Regional Director Kathy Abiri, RN, MS, CASC. "By lowering the screening age to 45, we'll be able to catch cancers early or prevent tumors from growing in the first place."

While “45 is the New 50” for adults at average risk, those at higher risk for the disease should speak with their doctor about the need for a baseline screening even earlier than that, including those with:

  • A family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps 
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps 
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) 
  • A known or suspected family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer, or HNPCC) 
  • A personal history of radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer

Everyone, even those under the age of 45, should be aware of the signs of colon cancer and consult with a doctor if experiencing:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days 
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that's not relieved by having one 
  • Rectal bleeding 
  • Blood in the stool, which might make the stool look dark brown or black 
  • Cramping or pain in the abdomen (belly) 
  • Feeling tired or weak 
  • Losing weight without trying

Dr. Nadimpalli Discusses Colorectal Cancer Awareness with WADK's Bruce Newbury

 

With UGI's Help, Ted's Winning His Battle with Crohn's

Ted is a businessman, an avid golfer, and someone who's living with Crohn's disease. But, with the guidance of doctors at University Gastroenterology over the course of many years, Ted isn't letting his condition get in the way of his best life. He recently shared his story with us.

Preventative Care Vital for Men's Health

As #MoVember wraps up - it's important to remember that #MensHealth is important all year long. University Gastroenterology's Daniel Piascik, PA-C explains why preventative care and screening are key components to living a healthy life.

C. Diff Awareness: Know the Causes and Treatments

University Gastroenterology PA Daniel Piascik details the causes of C-Diff and how it's treated.

Simple steps to avoid bloat this Thanksgiving

Overindulging during Thanksgiving can be a problem, especially if you deal with GI issues. But there are ways to avoid that uncomfortable holiday bloat. University Gastroenterology nurse practitioner Bre St. Martin shared some helpful information this morning on ABC6 News  

5 Questions with PBN: Dr. Chen talks gut health, mental health connection 

Dr. William T. Chen, a gastroenterologist at University Gastroenterology, often treats patients with esophageal disorders, pancreatic disease, and other similar issues.

Chen’s nearly 25 years of experience in the field, along with recent research, have led him to become an advocate for recognizing the connection between mental and gut health. Chen says he encourages his patients to be aware of the connection when seeking care. 

He discussed the connection recently when he answered Five Questions from The Providence Business News. READ FULL ARTICLE »

Delayed growth can be sign of celiac disease in children

As a GI doctor at University Gastroenterology, Dr. Eric Newton knows a lot about celiac disease when it comes to diagnosing and treating adults. However, he almost missed signs of the disease in his son. It was only when they learned that the 7-year-old wasn't growing as he should that he was diagnosed with celiac disease. Dr. Michael Herzlinger, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Hasbro Children's Hospital, said a child who isn't growing well is often a trigger to test for celiac.

In addition to lack of growth, the following are also symptoms of celiac disease in children.

- Abdominal Pain

- Vomiting

- Poor Appetite

- Decreased Weight

- Changes in Bowel Function

- Change iN Bowel Habits

Both Dr. NewtonNand Dr. Herzlinger spoke with NBC 10 reporter Barbara Morse about celiac disease and how it affects children. WATCH FULL STORY »

Trust Your Gut: There's a connection between gut health and mental health

For Mental Health Awareness Month, University Gastroenterology Dr. William Chen shared an important message about the connection between gut health and mental health. He said there is growing evidence your gut is not only affected by your emotions and mental state - but that it's a two-way street. He said GI conditions can play a role in various mental health issues and urges patients to speak with their primary physicians, gastroenterologist, and therapist to treat the whole body.

UGI patient raising awareness about colon cancer

Lisa Adams was 39 when a colonoscopy performed by Dr. Akerman discovered she had colon cancer. Now, 17 years later, Lisa shares her story with others hoping others, particularly African Americans, will learn from her experience. 

Channel 12 caught up with her this weekend after she spoke to members of her church about why it's so important to know your family history and to get screened. 

Here's more about Lisa's story:

When it comes to colon cancer, UGI urges African Americans to know their family history

Members of the Black community are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from the disease than members of any other race or ethnicity. 

University Gastroenterology urges African Americans to get screened for colon cancer starting at 45, or younger if they have any risk factors - such as family history.

UGI launches PSA calling attention to changes in screening guidelines

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Gastroenterology now both recommend adults at normal risk of colon cancer get screened at 45, lowering the age from 50. Those with risks, including a family history of colon cancer or polyps, may need to get screened even earlier than that.

UGI put together a PSA to call attention to these changes.

 

 Dr. Decker discusses the importance of screening for colorectal cancer

University Gastroenterology's Dr. Elizabeth Decker was a recent guest on the podcast Cumulus Community with Tyler Salk. She discussed Colon Cancer Awareness Month and why it's so important to get screened. If you missed it take a listen:

 

 

 

Colorectal cancer and death rates higher among African American men and women

Colorectal cancer and death rates are higher among African-American men and women.

Those cancer rates are also rising for people younger than 50.

"I was having stomach pains with, like stabbing stomach pains, I thought it was food poisoning," said 56-year-old Lisa Adams, who at 39 was diagnosed with something much worse.

She said she's thankful she went to her doctor who referred her to Dr. Paul Akerman, of University Gastroenterology.

Both Lisa and Dr. Akerman, as well as NAACP President Jim Vincent, spoke with NBC 10's Barbara Morse about why it's so important for African Americans to know their family history and to get screened,

WATCH FULL STORY »

Know Your Risk: Colon Cancer & The Black Community »

Informational Flyer »

COVID-19 could lead to increase in colon cancer deaths

One of the top cancer doctors in the country recently wrote an editorial for the publication Science in which he expressed concerns about a dramatic increase in deaths from breast and colorectal cancers in the next 10 years. The issue was not an increase in cases, but rather late diagnosis due to delayed screening.

"They're predicting about a one percent increased risk in just breast cancer and colon cancer alone over the next ten years which amounts to about 10,000 excess deaths,” Dr. Angela Fishman, a GI doctor at University Gastroenterology, told Channel 10's Barbara Morse.

During this pandemic, researchers report a major dip in screenings at a time when numbers had been trending in a positive direction.

"And likely what has happened is because these people have decreased their screening, it's unlikely they're going to get in in the next two months, they'll delay it for another year,” said Fishman.

WATCH THE FULL STORY »

 

PBN 5 Questions: Dr. Margolis discusses how patients, UGI rebounding from COVID-19

Providence Journal highlights UGI CEO Jonathan Friedman in 'On the Move' feature

PBN 5 Questions: Dr. Edward Pensa discusses over-the-counter cancer screening products 

Dr. Edward Pensa

Spike in Referral Cases Prompt University Gastroenterology to Encourage Colorectal Cancer Screenings

 

University Gastroenterology Recognized for Its Exceptional Commitment to Improving Patient Care in RI

 

Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News: Creating Workflow Efficiencies and Driving Compliance: UNIFIA Modernizes Endoscope Reprocessing

 

The Rhode Show: March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

 

University Gastroenterology Doctor Named Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association

 

Providence Business News: Five Questions with Dr. Elizabeth Decker

 

Providence Business News: Berthiaume named president of University Gastroenterology

 

University Gastroenterology Welcomes Elizabeth Decker, DO to Expanding Practice

 

Five Questions With: Dr. Jeffrey D. Nadelson

 

University Gastroenterology hires Jeffrey D. Nadelson, MD

 

The liver center at University Gastroenterology was recently on WLNE/ ABC6 featured for its work with treating Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

 

University Gastroenterology President Dr. Thomas E. Sepe Earns Clinical Professorship at Brown University Medical School

 

Providence Business News: Five Questions with Dr. Robert M. Najarian

 

University Gastroenterology Names Robert M. Najarian as Medical Director of New Pathology Center

 

 

WJAR's Barbara Morse Silva visits the Liver Center at University Gastroenterology to discuss advancements in the treatment of liver disease.

 

 

Five Questions With: Dr. Eric B. Newton

 

 

PROVIDENCE FRIARS, UNIVERSITY GASTROENTEROLOGY UNVEIL PARTNERSHIP FOR COLON CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

 

 

 

Dr. Eric Newton and Nurse Practitioner Bridget Fitzgibbon of University Gastroenterology join The Rhode Show on WPRI/CBS Providence to discuss the importance of getting screened and their March Madness Campaign with Providence College Head Basketball Coach Ed Cooley.

 

 

University Gastroenterology's Dr. Kevin Palumbo recently sat down
with WJAR Health Check Reporter Barbara Morse Silva to discuss
the dangers of the Tide Pod Challenge.  You can view the entire segment below:

University Gastroenterology's Dr. Kevin Palumbo recently sat down with WJAR Health Check Reporter Barbara Morse Silva to discuss the dangers of the Tide Pod Challenge.

 

Read Here:
Dr. Sheldon Lidofsky's recent interview by
Providence Business News about the advancements
in the treatment of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.