CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has been named a National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) Pancreatitis Center, one of only 47 facilities in the country and one of only two centers in Illinois to receive the prestigious designation. The NPF is a nonprofit organization that provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas causing abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that appears suddenly with intense pain and is at times deadly. Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve—it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. NPF Centers are some of the nation's leading healthcare facilities and provide multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatitis that is centered on the "whole patient" with a focus on the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.
"Acute and chronic pancreatitis can be incredibly difficult to manage and truly requires an inter-disciplinary approach to care," said Rajesh N. Keswani, MD, interventional gastroenterologist at Northwestern Memorial and associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, we are always cognizant of the need to work together. We are honored to receive the NPF designation, which recognizes our patient first mission and commitment to holistic care. We have providers in multiple disciplines -- including therapeutic endoscopy, interventional radiology, and surgery who work together to provide state of the art interventions for patients with pancreas diseases."
NPF Pancreatitis Centers must go through an extensive audit and meet the criteria developed by a task force made up of clinical specialists and patient advocates. The criteria include having required expert physician specialties, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management, psychosocial support and more.
"We are excited to announce Northwestern Memorial Hospital as an NPF Pancreatitis Center," said Matthew Alsante, executive director of the NPF. "The NPF Center designation shows the high level of quality care at Northwestern Memorial and we are proud to give them this honor."
The Pancreatitis Program is part of the broader Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center, which brings together some of the best academic and clinical minds in pursuit of medical excellence in the area of gastrointestinal health. The center's mission is to prevent, diagnose and treat disorders of the digestive tract and associated organs.
Recently, the Digestive Health Center opened a new leading edge clinic located in the Lavin Family Pavilion on Northwestern Memorial's Chicago medical campus. The center features the latest in GI technology and advanced research and clinical services, while focusing on providing a convenient patient-focused experience. The new space features an expanded endoscopy lab; a patient-centered building design that integrates advanced technology and easy access to medical services, parking and amenities; and a further integrated patient care experience that offers multidisciplinary digestive health care including clinic appointments, procedures, diagnostic tests, follow-up care and nutrition and counseling services all in one location.
"The recent move of the Digestive Health Center to the Lavin Family Pavilion affords the opportunity to promote integrated medical and surgical care for digestive diseases including programs for inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal disease, and surgical weight (bariatric) loss by co-localization of providers and staff in a patient-friendly, state-of-the-art facility," said Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, medical director of the Digestive Health Center at Northwestern Memorial and professor of medicine (gastroenterology and hepatology) at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
The Digestive Health Center offers comprehensive care for digestive diseases including the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, Esophageal Program, Pancreaticobiliary Program, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, Functional Bowel Disease Program, High-Risk Prevention Program, Interventional Endoscopy Program, Gastroenterology Behavioral Medicine Program, Endoscopy Services and the Surgical Weight (Bariatric) Loss. The center is also dedicated to finding new treatments for gastrointestinal disorders through the Digestive Diseases Research Program. Northwestern Memorial and the Feinberg School of Medicine work together on clinical trials in gastroenterology, National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded investigations and research into endoscopy and hepatology treatments for patients with GERD, Barrett's esophagus and other digestive disorders.
For more information about Northwestern Medicine, visit news.nm.org/about-northwestern-medicine.html.
For more information about the National Pancreas Foundation, please visit www.pancreasfoundation.org.
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SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital