PROVIDENCE, R.I. (November 9, 2023) — University Gastroenterology is proud to announce its team will be presenting the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation with nearly $1,100 raised during an employee-organized “Pink Out” day last month.
Employees at all four of UGI’s main campuses raised $1,080 for the organization - which provides free services to individuals and families touched by breast cancer in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut. In exchange for a donation, staff members received a pink t-shirt designed by West River employee Alyssa Northrop - who also owns Lynn’s Creative Corner.
“Alyssa asked if she could organize something to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She came up with the idea to offer t-shirts in exchange for a donation and the event took off from there with nearly 100 people taking part,” said Kiesha Santos, Director of Human Resources at University Gastroenterology. “While we aren’t surprised by the outpouring of support from our team, we’re incredibly proud of how they continue to give back to our community.”
Maria Northrop - site supervisor at UGI’s Staniford Street location and Alyssa’s mom - helped make the day even more festive. Her business, Poppin’ Up Decor, decorated the Staniford and West River locations with beautiful balloon arches and towers, while Honey Dew Donuts donated food for the day.
You may have seen recent headlines about a study published Aug. 9 in Neurology that found an association between proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) use and dementia. Realizing these headlines could be confusing for our patients who are taking PPIs, Dr. Breton Roussel in the below video discusses the study, why the results should be taken with a grain of salt, and what you should do moving forward.
IMPORTANT: If you have questions about the medications you're taking, talk to your doctor before making any changes. Do not stop taking your medication.
PBN 5 Questions: Dr. Newton Discusses Priorities as UGI's New President
(PBN) — Eric Newton, MD is the new president of University Gastroenterology LLC. Newton, who has been with the group for more than 13 years, was named president in January. He is also a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. In the Providence Business News' 5 Questions, he discussed his experience with University Gastroenterology, his priorities as president, and the group’s growth in recent years.
WPRO Radio host Matt Allen welcomed University Gastroenterology President Eric Newton, MD on his show Tuesday afternoon to discuss the importance of colon cancer awareness month. During the very informative segment, Dr. Newton also answered questions from Matt's listeners.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the segment online.
Providence Business News: UGI Expands Infusion Therapy Center »
University Gastroenterology is proud to announce the expansion of its state-of-the-art Infusion Center is complete, enabling Rhode Island’s largest GI practice to not only care for more patients but also expand its research capabilities into new cutting-edge treatments.
Located at the practice’s West River location, the Infusion Center for years has provided patient-centric services in a comfortable setting. The staff is focused on creating an individualized infusion experience for patients that is convenient and efficient from beginning to end. Additionally, the Infusion Center of UGI is a lower-cost facility for infusion services than hospital-affiliated locations.
"In 2022, our skilled nurses provided patients with more than 2,500 infusions. As more and more treatments become available for various conditions, the need for infusion services has only grown,” said Dr. Eric B. Newton, UGI president. “By doubling the size of our Infusion Center, we’ll be able to accommodate this increased demand and also provide more scheduling flexibility for our existing patients.”
UGI’s expanding Research Department also utilizes the Infusion Center to participate in studies of new and upcoming medications for patients with GI diseases.
“University Gastroenterology offers excellence in inflammatory bowel disease treatment utilizing the most advanced medications for clinical and research purposes in our new state-of-the-art infusion center,” said Infusion Center Medical Director Philip McAndrew, MD.
In addition to routinely treating patients with IBD, UGI’s expanded Infusion Center provides infusion therapy for many non-GI-related conditions. Some of the most common infusion therapies provided at the center include the following medications:
At the Infusion Center of University GI, patients will experience:
• Easy referral process
• Benefit eligibility and authorization verification
• Fast referral to appointment scheduling
• Private intake areas
• Reclining lounge chairs
• Nurses who specialize in IV procedures
• Timely communications to referring physician regarding patient status and care
• Private and monitored off-street parking
• Private intake areas
• Beverages and snacks within the suite
University Gastroenterology - Rhode Island's largest gastroenterology group - announced today that it has named experienced gastroenterologist Eric B. Newton, MD, as the practice's next president.
Dr. Newton has been with UGI for more than 13 years. He assumes the role held by multiple UGI physicians over the years, most recently by Dr. Eric P. Berthiaume - who during his four-year tenure as president helped propel University Gastroenterology from a local leader in the field into a regional leader, all while guiding the practice through multiple challenges resulting from the COVID pandemic.
"I’m both excited and honored to take the torch from our previous practice leaders and look to strengthen and solidify UGI's position as the local leader in high-quality GI care that is both cutting-edge and cost-effective," Dr. Newton said. "I am not looking to drastically change course from the remarkable work of my predecessors, but rather I hope to guide the practice as it strives to fulfill its mission of providing people in our ever-expanding community with the best comprehensive GI care possible.”
In order to expand University Gastroenterology's footprint in Rhode Island, thus increasing the availability of the quality care for which the practice is known, Dr. Newton said the practice will be focused on continuing several key initiatives including
In the News:
Providence Business News: Eric Newton named new president of University Gastroenterology
5 Questions with Dr. Malik
Dr. Amer Malik, a board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist, has recently joined University Gastroenterology LLC.
In a recent article with The Providence Business News, Dr. Malik discusses the evolution of gastroenterology medicine, the role of technology, and his love for Rhode Island.
EG Endoscopy Goes Pink in Honor of Co-Workers.
The team at our East Greenwich endoscopy center had a pint blowout in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A few of the nurses at this location are survivors, so the cause is extra close to their hearts.
UGI welcomes Dr. Bhutta to Portsmouth Office.
Dr. A. Qadir Bhutta discusses why he chose a profession in gastroenterology, the conditions he treats, and why he's excited to live on Aquidneck Island and work in University Gastroenterology's Portsmouth Office.
UGI's Dr. Perera the only doc in RI performing non-surgical, long-term treatment for achalasia
"It was like a knife going through my chest," Juan Cruz told Channel 10's Barbara Morse as he explained what it was like living with achalasia - a rare disorder of the esophagus that makes swallowing difficult. But, University Gastroenterology's Dr. Pranith Perera helped him find relief. He's the only doctor in Rhode Island performing a long-term, non-surgical treatment for the condition. Juan says the procedure saved his life.
Dr. Amer Malik Brings Decades of Experience to University Gastroenterology
University Gastroenterology - one of Southern New England’s largest gastroenterology practices - is proud to announce well-known and highly skilled gastroenterologist Amer Malik, MD has joined the practice.
Dr. Malik is a board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist specializing in general gastroenterology, colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux, and pancreaticobiliary disorders.
“We are truly honored and humbled that a physician the caliber of Dr. Malik has decided to join University Gastroenterology,” said Dr. Eric P. Berthiaume, UGI president. “The expertise he brings will not only be an incredible asset to our patients but our entire staff.”
Dr. Malik earned his medical degree at Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in London; completed his internship at New York University; and his residency at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He later completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and interventional endoscopy at Stanford University in California.
“I am truly excited to join such a cutting-edge practice that embraces new technology and research,” Dr. Malik said. “The team at University Gastroenterology is second-to-none. I look forward to continuing to serve the gastroenterological needs of our patients with them by my side.”
Dr. Malik is currently accepting new patients.
Dr. Akerman: Virgo AI Platform Will Enhance Cutting-Edge Patient Care
Dr. Paul Akerman, a gastroenterologist here at University Gastroenterology LLC, is among the physicians at the practice to use the Virgo platform, a system that works hand in hand with endoscopic procedures to help identify good candidates for clinical trials. In Providence Business News' 5 Questions, Akerman explains the system and what its use at University Gastroenterology will mean for patients.
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
CARLSBAD, Calif., May 20, 2022 (Newswire.com) - 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.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, there's help available.
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.”
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
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
- 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.
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 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,
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.
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
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
WJAR's Barbara Morse Silva visits the Liver Center at University Gastroenterology to discuss advancements in the treatment of liver disease.
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:
Dr. Sheldon Lidofsky's recent interview by
Providence Business News about the advancements
in the treatment of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.