Gastro Health Guidance for Our Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to our entire global population. No one is spared the anxieties of the uncertainty we face. We recognize that our Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients are challenged with the added concern of whether they are at increased risk of contracting the virus, or at increased risk of having a more severe disease course.

At present, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has issued guidance for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. To summarize:

  1. IBD patients should be meticulous about social distancing, minimizing outings for any purpose that are not absolutely vital, frequent hand washing, avoiding touching their nose, eyes, or mouth, and frequent disinfecting of surfaces.
  2. Medications that contain mesalamine do not affect the body’s natural immunity and should be continued.
  3. Steroids such as prednisone do affect the immune system, but it should be a clinical decision whether to continue based on the medical need. It can be dangerous to abruptly discontinue steroids making it vitally important that any of our patients on steroids reach out to their Gastro Health physician to discuss how to optimally manage their regimen.
  4. Immunomodulators (6MP, 6-Mercaptopurine, Azathioprine, Imuran), methotrexate, and Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) should be continued.
  5. Biologics include any medications for Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis that are given by injection or given intravenously and should be continued. Even temporarily discontinuing these medications can diminish or eliminate their benefit. It is important that patients who are on biologics communicate with their Gastro Health provider if adjustments to medications need to be considered.

These guidelines are based on expert opinion and naturally can change as more is learned. A global registry of patients with IBD who have contracted COVID-19 exists and is being monitored closely.

In this time of uncertainty, you can take comfort in the fact that your Gastro Health physician is invested in making sure that you benefit from the latest science-based information to guide you in this trying time.

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Gastro Health is steadfast in our commitment to providing you with outstanding medical care throughout this public health crisis and well into the future. We want you to know that our offices are open and, in accordance with CDC recommendations, we are continuing to minimize exposure risks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at our locations.

We are now offering telehealth visits, allowing our patients to get the care they need safely from home. Patients need a device with a camera and microphone. Please call your doctor’s office to find out options available to you.

Florida

In order to protect our patients and staff, we’re asking that all people who meet the following criteria do not enter our locations and call to reschedule appointments at a later date.

  • If you have recently (within the last 14 days) traveled outside of the United States
  • Been exposed to COVID-19
  • Or have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Also, we ask that, consistent with the CDC’s social distancing recommendation, you attend your appointment alone. If it is essential for you to have someone accompany you to your appointment, please limit it to one person. In addition, that person will be subject to the same screening as others.

Our offices have adjusted the type of services being provided at the office during this time to urgent/emergent visits. We have implemented a telehealth solution to continue to provide treatment to patients with non-urgent/routine/surveillance needs. There will be some services that will be delayed; however, we are making every effort to continue to provide our patients with quality care and ensure an excellent healthcare experience during this time. Please call our office for additional details.

For additional information related to offices in various states, please visit our state-specific pages below:

For questions related to gastroenterology or your appointment, please call our office. (Find your doctor’s office number here.)

Gastro Health establishes platform for growth in the Mid-Atlantic through acquisition of Gastroenterology Associates of Northern Virginia

(MIAMI, November 15, 2019) — Gastro Health, a leading medical group specializing in digestive health, announced its expansion into the Mid-Atlantic with the acquisition of a Fairfax, Virginia-based practice, Gastroenterology Associates of Northern Virginia (GANV).

Gastro Health establishes platform for growth in the Mid-Atlantic through acquisition of Gastroenterology Associates of Northern VirginiaSince 1998, GANV has grown in provider number and scope of services to become the largest and most comprehensive GI group in the region. GANV combines clinical expertise with state-of-the-art technology and a personalized approach to care to ensure diagnostic accuracy and the most effective treatment for its patients.

The team of 18 physicians, 8 physician assistants and 60 support staff provide services in four outpatient clinic locations. As part of a comprehensive service offering, GANV recently introduced a health and wellness program to meet the unique needs of patients who are obese or living with chronic health conditions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Gastroenterology Associates of Northern Virginia,” said Joseph Garcia, Gastro Health CEO. “Their emphasis on quality care and the patient experience closely align with our mission. GANV is a well-respected group that will serve as our platform in the Mid-Atlantic.”

GANV physicians hold clinical faculty appointments at George Washington University and participate in training gastroenterology fellows and medical residents. They also serve in a variety of leadership roles in area hospitals and on medical advisory boards.

“Collaboration has always been a critical factor in our success. Now more than ever, physicians need to come together to remain viable in the rapidly changing healthcare environment and continue delivering the best patient care possible,” said Ahmed Hegab, M.D., GANV Medical Director. “Our partnership with Gastro Health will foster continued collaboration with leading practices in the market and give us the resources we need to grow.”

With the acquisition, Dr. Hegab will serve as Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Virginia, and Teresa Strausbaugh will serve as the Division Vice President of Operations.

About Gastro Health
Gastro Health is one of the leading gastroenterology groups in the United States. Gastro Health strives to provide outstanding medical care and an exceptional healthcare experience. The Gastro Health care teams utilize technology, clinical expertise, and compassionate care to provide a personalized approach to digestive health and overall wellness. Learn more at GastroHealth.com.

Media Contact
Shannon Zemantauski, Director of Marketing
305-351-8126
SZemantauski@GastroHealth.com

FDA Statement Regarding Ranitidine (Zantac)

FDA Statement Regarding Ranitidine (Zantac)

 

There have been some concerns raised about the possible contamination of ranitidine (Zantac). If you have concerns, please read this statement from the FDA carefully:

FDA Statement on Ranitidine »

If after reading the statement you wish to change medication from ranitidine (Zantac) to an equivalent medication, we suggest switching to famotidine (Pepcid). 20 mg famotidine is equivalent to 150 mg ranitidine and is available over the counter.

If your ranitidine is prescribed and you wish to change the prescription, you may contact our office.

Gastro Health acquires Puget Sound Gastroenterology

 

(MIAMI, September 23, 2019) Gastro Health, a leading medical group specializing in digestive health, today announced the acquisition of Puget Sound Gastroenterology, a gastroenterology group based in Seattle, Washington.

Puget Sound Gastroenterology (PSG) has served the Puget Sound region for more than 25 years. Established from the merger of three premier gastroenterology groups in the area in 2004, PSG hasGastro Health acquires Puget Sound Gastroenterology long recognized the value of strong partnerships. Seattle Gastroenterology Associates (in Northgate and Fremont), Digestive Disease Center (in Edmonds), and Eastside Gastroenterology (in Kirkland) formed to create Puget Sound Gastroenterology, which strives to deliver comprehensive, cost-effective and medically-appropriate digestive care to patients and referring physicians in the community.

“We’re proud to partner with the team at Puget Sound Gastroenterology,” said Gastro Health CEO Joseph Garcia. “Their local efforts to collaborate and create a premier practice showcase their commitment to patient care, which closely aligns with our mission.”

Puget Sound Gastroenterology’s group of 24 physicians specialize in gastroenterology, hepatology and internal medicine. The team also includes advanced registered nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and additional clinical and non-clinical support staff providing services in Edmonds, Kirkland, Seattle/Fremont and Seattle/Northgate. The acquisition includes Puget Sound’s four ambulatory surgery centers located throughout the area. Rachel Todd, PSG’s Chief Executive Officer, will continue to manage the practice’s operations as she assumes the new role of Division Vice President of Washington.

“For more than 40 years, physicians at Puget Sound Gastroenterology have provided the highest quality, individualized patient care, and have been recognized for this by both their patients and peers,” said Steven T. Lewis, M.D., PSG’s Board President. “We are excited to become a part of Gastro Health, which brings us highly-developed information technology and unmatched business and clinical analytics. This allows us to expand and develop our capacity to address gastrointestinal healthcare across our region, as well as enhance our care of patients as individuals.”

“Health care is changing,” said Russ Arjal, M.D., PSG’s Board Vice President. “Our new partnership helps ensure we will remain a strong, premier practice no matter what’s on the horizon.”

Financial Advisor
Coker Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Puget Sound Gastroenterology. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Gastro Health
Gastro Health is one of the leading gastroenterology groups in the United States. Gastro Health strives to provide outstanding medical care and an exceptional healthcare experience. The Gastro Health care teams utilize technology, clinical expertise, and compassionate care to provide a personalized approach to digestive health and overall wellness.

Media Contact
Shannon Zemantauski, Director of Marketing
305-351-8126
SZemantauski@GastroHealth.com

Hurricane Dorian: Office Updates

We’re continuing to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will update our Florida patients to the best of our ability on office closures. In the event of closures or changes in schedule, patients will receive either phone calls from office staff, email or text message updates. For medical emergencies, please call 9-1-1 and follow instructions from local authorities.

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 12 p.m. EST

All locations will resume normal business hours on Thursday, Sept. 5.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 12 p.m. EST

All care centers and surgery centers in Orange County and Seminole County have canceled office appointments and procedures on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Orange County

Seminole County

 

All care centers in Palm Beach County have canceled office appointments on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Palm Beach County

 

The following Palm Beach County surgery centers are open on Wednesday, Sept. 4, and any patient scheduled for a procedure with one of our physicians should plan to proceed as scheduled. Patients should look for procedure confirmations via email and text message.

  • Baptist Health Endoscopy Center at Flagler
  • The Outpatient Center of Boynton Beach
  • The Outpatient Center of Delray Beach

 

All Miami-Dade County and Broward County locations will resume normal office hours and procedures on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

 

Sunday, Sept. 1, 6 p.m. EST

All care centers and surgery centers in the following counties have canceled office appointments and any procedures with our physicians on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

  • Broward County
  • Miami-Dade County
  • Orange County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Seminole County

 

Saturday, Aug. 31, 6 p.m. EST

The following care centers have canceled office appointments for Tuesday, Sept. 3, and any procedures with those physicians:

Miami-Dade County

Orange County

Palm Beach County

Seminole County

The following surgery centers have canceled procedures on Tuesday, Sept. 3:

  • Ambulatory Endoscopy Center of Central Florida
  • Baptist Health Endoscopy Center at Flagler
  • Baptist Health Endoscopy Center at Miami Beach
  • Kendall Endoscopy Center
  • The Outpatient Center of Boynton Beach
  • Westland Endoscopy Center

 

Friday, Aug. 30, 12 noon EST

The N. Miami Beach Care Center will be closing at 12 noon today.
The West Palm Beach Care Center will stop seeing patients by 2 p.m. today.
All other locations are following normal business hours.

Gastro Health Unveils new Logo

Gastro Health Unveils new Logo

Gastro Health unveiled a new logo and color scheme.

Patients, Referring Physicians and Teammates, recently, Gastro Health unveiled a new logo and color scheme.

You may be wondering, why the change?

Question: Why did the logo change?

Answer: Changing our logo was not a decision that was taken lightly. Our current logo has served us well, however, in an effort to more meaningfully engage with our patients, we saw an opportunity for the logo to be a visual reminder of the importance of your gastroenterological healthcare.

Question: Why is there a checkmark in the logo?

Answer: There is a checkmark in the new logo because of our patients.
The checkmark is a visual statement of getting things done and functions as a call to action to motivate patients to complete the task of prevention by scheduling life-saving screenings and follow-up procedures. It articulates the satisfaction and peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve taken the necessary steps toward your optimal health in partnership with your physician and Gastro Health.

Question: Will anything be different at my Gastro Health practice?

Answer: Other than seeing a new logo on signs, printed material, uniforms and lab coats, everything will stay exactly the same. You will continue to work with the same trusted physicians, allied health professionals and staff as you have in the past.

Gastro Health Partners with Alabama-Based Southeast Gastro

Gastro Health Partners with Alabama-Based Southeast Gastro

Founded in 1976, Southeast Gastro is widely regarded as one of the region’s premier resources for the evaluation and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. It was announced today that Southeast Gastro will be joining Gastro Health, a leading medical group specializing in digestive health.

(MIAMI, April 2, 2019) — Gastro Health, a leading medical group specializing in digestive health, today announced the acquisition of Southeast Gastro, a gastroenterology group based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Founded in 1976, Southeast Gastro is widely regarded as one of the region’s premier resources for the evaluation and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The practice is comprised of 20 board-certified gastroenterologists and 17 advanced practitioners. Southeast Gastro operates four main clinic locations, four satellite locations, and provides diagnostic and preventive procedures at three surgery centers throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area.

“We are honored to partner with the exceptional team of physicians and advanced practitioners from Southeast Gastro,” said Gastro Health CEO, Joseph M. Garcia. “Their long history of providing the highest quality, patient-centered care has made a tremendous impact in their community and speaks directly to our own commitment to improving the health of our patients through teamwork, mutual respect, and compassionate care.”

The addition of Southeast Gastro bolsters Gastro Health’s growing network of providers and further enhances its service offerings and collaborative team approach for patients in need of specialized digestive care.

“We have been dedicated to providing a world-class standard of care for more than 40 years and this partnership is an extension of that commitment,” said Miles Gresham, M.D., of Southeast Gastro. “Partnering with Gastro Health strengthens our shared values of quality and compassion that make a meaningful difference in the lives of our patients each and every day.”

Gastro Health continues to attract private practice groups and talented physicians from across the United States and is continually expanding its capabilities to better serve patient needs.

“Our patients are playing an increasingly active and informed role in the healthcare choices they make for themselves and their families,” said Brent Barranco, M.D., of Southeast Gastro. “Partnering with a forward-thinking group like Gastro Health ensures our ability to offer personalized solutions backed by the modern infrastructure, technology, and support systems our patients deserve.”

Financial Advisor
Provident Healthcare Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Southeast Gastro. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Gastro Health

Gastro Health is one of the leading gastroenterology groups in the United States. Gastro Health strives to provide outstanding medical care and an exceptional healthcare experience. The Gastro Health care teams utilize technology, clinical expertise, and compassionate care to provide a personalized approach to digestive health and overall wellness. Learn more at GastroHealth.com.

Media Contact
Shannon Zemantauski, Director of Marketing
305-351-8126
szemantauski@GastroHealth.com

Gastro Health Accelerates Statewide Expansion with Second Central Florida Acquisition

Gastro Health Accelerates Statewide Expansion with Second Central Florida Acquisition

Gastro Health Accelerates Statewide Expansion with
Second Central Florida Acquisition

 

Group Continues Rapid Growth Across Major Florida Markets

 

Gastro Health Accelerates Statewide Expansion with Second Central Florida Acquisition Gastro Health Accelerates Statewide Expansion with Second Central Florida Acquisition

 

(MIAMI, February 13, 2019) — Gastro Health, LLC (“Gastro Health”), announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Giles Gastroenterology Center, P.A. DBA Gastroenterology Specialists (“Gastroenterology Specialists”), a leading physician group with more than three decades of practice in Orlando. This marks Gastro Health’s second acquisition in the Central Florida market, after it acquired Central Florida Gastroenterology in August of 2018.

 

“We are delighted to partner with such a fine group of physicians and teammates,” said Joseph M. Garcia, Gastro Health CEO. “The integration of Gastroenterology Specialists enhances our ability to deliver quality care to the Orlando market. We are focused on thoughtful growth and partnering with physicians who share our commitment to providing an exceptional healthcare experience.”

 

Gastroenterology Specialists was established in 1986 and is one of the region’s most trusted resources for the evaluation and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, including colonoscopies for colon cancer screening and prevention. Joining the Gastro Health team are board-certified physicians Andrew Giles, M.D.; Anthony J. Coppola, M.D.; and Anthony C. Lin, M.D. Dr. Giles is the former Chief of Staff and Chief of Medicine at Florida Hospital Altamonte.

 

“We are pleased and excited to join Gastro Health,” said Dr. Andrew Giles of Gastroenterology Specialists. “The combination of our shared values of having quality personnel and compassionate care, along with Gastro Health’s robust infrastructure, allows us to expand our capabilities and to improve the health of our patients.”

 

About Gastro Health

Gastro Health is one of the leading gastroenterology groups in the United States. Gastro Health strives to provide outstanding medical care and an exceptional healthcare experience. The Gastro Health care teams, utilize technology, clinical expertise, and compassionate care to provide a personalized approach to digestive health and overall wellness. Learn more at gastrohealth.com.

Media Contact
Shannon Zemantauski, Director of Marketing
305-351-8126

Gastro Health Expands Executive Leadership Team Amid Rapid Growth

Gastro Health Expands Executive Leadership Team Amid Rapid Growth

New leadership role for healthcare executive Chris Weinstein

(MIAMI, August 14, 2018)Gastro Health, LLC (“Gastro Health”), one of the nation’s fastest-growing gastroenterology groups, today announced a new leadership role for healthcare executive Chris Weinstein, who has been appointed Division Vice President, Florida. Weinstein assumes her role at a time of tremendous growth for the group, which has increased its physician headcount by more than 40% over the past twelve months to 118 providers across 55 offices in Florida. Weinstein brings decades of experience and will help build vital leadership capacity for Gastro Health’s growing platform during a highly acquisitive period for the company.

“These are energizing times at Gastro Health,” said Gastro Health CEO, Joseph M. Garcia. “Chris is an exceptional professional who is mission-driven on our commitment to providing outstanding medical care and patient experiences. Her expertise is critical as we continue to scale the business.”

At a time of robust M&A activity in the gastroenterology space, Weinstein will help guide Gastro Health’s patient-centered strategic priorities and the change management necessary to ensure successful integration of newly acquired physician groups. Weinstein will also oversee a slate of newly expanded regional leadership roles as Gastro Health continues its march across the state.

Chris Weinstein

Chris Weinstein joins Gastro Health as Division Vice President, Florida. Weinstein will serve as the group’s principal leader for Florida, providing strategic and operational support as the group prepares to establish additional divisions beyond the state. She brings over 20 years of healthcare leadership and physician practice management experience, with success in leading and developing teams, as well as growing multi-site, multi-size operations. Prior to Joining Gastro Health, Weinstein served as Senior Vice President of Operations and COO for a joint venture partnership with Envision Physician Services (Formerly Sheridan Healthcare). Previously, she held progressive management roles for Health Management Associates and U.S. Healthworks. She earned her MBA from Regis University, her BA from the University of Colorado, and is board certified by the Medical Group Management Association as a Medical Practice Executive.

About Gastro Health

Gastro Health is one of the fastest-growing gastroenterology groups in the United States. With a focus on patient experience, its more than 100 board-certified physicians collaborate with allied health professionals to deliver exceptional gastrointestinal care across an integrated network of 50+ locations. Gastro Health’s expert care teams utilize technology, clinical expertise, and compassionate care to provide a personalized approach to digestive health and overall wellness. Learn more at gastrohealth.com.

Media Contact

Claudia Lezcano
954-554-6775