New State-of-the-Art Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease Opens at Mercy Medical Center

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Renowned Physicians Drs. Paul Thuluvath, Mary Harris and Sergey Kantsevoy to see patients on Mercy's downtown campus; Drs. Richard Desi and Laura Pichney to also join new Mercy Institute.

Mercy Medical Center will open the doors of its new, multi-million dollar, one-of-a-kind treatment center for the diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy comprises the entire 7th floor of Mercy's Professional Office Building.

The Institute will address inflammatory bowel disease, hepatology, gastroenterology, endoscopy, colon-rectal disorders, and provide Remicade infusion services, Thomas R. Mullen, President and CEO of Mercy Health Services, Mercy Medical Center, has announced.

Joining Mercy are renowned physicians Drs. Paul Thuluvath, Mary Harris, and Sergey Kantsevoy - all formerly of Johns Hopkins. They join the noted Mercy team of gastroenterologists, Drs. David Posner, Michael Cox, Scott Huber and Patrick Hyatt, and colon-rectal surgeon, Dr. Debra Vachon.

In addition, gastroenterologists Drs. Richard Desi and Laura Pichney will also be members of the new team, bringing expertise in community colorectal screening.

"By combining the medical expertise of these physicians with progressive technology -
including state-of-the-art endoscopic equipment, as well as Mercy's 134-tradition of providing compassionate and quality care - the new Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy is positioned to be the leading center in the region for digestive health," Mr. Mullen said.

According to Mercy Chief of Gastroenterology Dr. David Posner, Director of the new Institute, patients will have access to endoscopic procedures such as interventional endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound and capsule endoscopy for the diagnosis of "a number of digestive and related disorders. The Institute provides expert treatment for bilary tract disease including bile duct cancer; gallstone disease, inflammatory conditions of the colon, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel and irritable bowel disease, colorectal cancer, esophageal disorders, reflux, swallowing disorders, heartburn, liver disease including hepatitis, and as well as disorders of the pancreas, stomach and duodenum," Dr. Posner said.

The new Institute will also take part in clinical trials for Hepatitis B, C, and liver cancer, as well as genetic counseling and preventive medical services, in coordination with Mercy's Prevention and Research center under nationally renowned cancer researcher and epidemiologist Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer.

Other features to the Institute will include a women's center for diarrheal management, treating inflammatory bowel disease in pregnancy, minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, a comprehensive liver center, including liver transplantation services, and a Remicade infusion center.

Remicade (Infliximba) is a drug used to treat autoimmune disorders and has been approved by the USFDA for the treatment of Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Remicade is delivered by intravenous infusion or IV, typically at 6-8 week intervals.

"Many of the physicians who comprise the staff of the new Institute have national and international reputations for their work, such as in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease, pancreatic cancer, and more. Mercy already has a reputation as one of the nation's finest hospitals in terms of quality of care. This new Institute is further evidence of our dedication to providing patients with advanced therapies so that they may enjoy a better, healthier, quality of life," Mr. Mullen said.

Below are brief biographies of the new Institute's physician staff:

David B. Posner, M.D.
David B. Posner, M.D., Chief of Gastroenterology at Mercy, is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Posner is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Gastroenterology. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Society, and American College of Gastroenterology as well as American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and Baltimore City Medical Society. Dr. Posner is past president of the Maryland Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Posner has taught students and residents from the University of Maryland. As Attending Physician at Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Posner teaches residents in medicine and surgery and received the Outstanding Physician-Teacher Award in 1982. He has authored numerous abstracts and publications.

Paul J. Thuluvath, M.D.
Paul J. Thuluvath, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of Sheffield School of Medicine, England. He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at St. Johns Medical College Hospital, India, as well as a residency in Internal Medicine at the Dunston Hill Hospital and Castle Hill Hospital, England. He completed his Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship at the University of Cambridge, England. Board Certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Dr. Thuluvath specializes in liver disease, liver transplantation, ERCP, liver cancer, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. He has extensive research experience, has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and editorials, and is an international speaker. A fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and Royal College of Physicians of London, Dr. Thuluvath is a member of the American Association for Study of Liver Disease, American Gastrenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, International Liver Transplant Society, The Transplantation Society, and European Association for Study of Liver Diseases.

Mary L. Harris, M.D.
Mary L. Harris, M.D., received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where she also completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine. She completed her Gastroenterology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her interests include Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, pregnancy and IBD, general endoscopy, and diarrhea. Dr. Harris is a member of the American Gastroenterologist Association and American College of Physicians. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Physician Advisory Committee. Dr. Harris has participated in many research programs and is the author of many manuscripts, book chapters, and abstracts.

Sergey Kantsevoy, M.D., Ph.D.
Sergey Kantsevoy, M.D., Ph.D., received his medical degree from Gorky Medical Institute, Gorky, Russia, where he also completed a residency in Surgery. His surgical internship was completed at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY. He completed an Internal Medicine internship and residency at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Kantsevoy completed his fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Board Certified in Gastroenterology and Hepatology as well as Internal Medicine, Dr. Kantsevoy specializes in interventional endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Dr. Kantsevoy is an international lecturer and course director, author of various abstracts, book chapters, and articles, and has been issued various patents.

Michael E. Cox, M.D.
Michael E. Cox, M.D., Assistant Chief of Gastroenterology, is a graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School with certifications in both Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine. His research interests include endoscopic laser surgery and Hepatitis C. He has been a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland since 1981 and was the first medical director of the Maryland Endoscopy Center. Dr. Cox is a member of the American Gastroenterology Association and American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, as well as Maryland Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, for which he served as president from 1997 through 1999. His fellowships include the American College of Gastroenterology (FACG) and American College of Physicians (FACP). He has authored numerous papers and publications.

Debra A. Vachon, M.D.
Debra A. Vachon, M.D., received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Board Certified in both general surgery and colon-rectal surgery, Dr. Vachon is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. She has made numerous presentations regarding the Delorme procedure for complete rectal prolapse in severely debilitated patients; management of inflammatory carcinoma of the breast; and surgical complications in children with HIV infections

Scott Huber, M.D.
Scott Huber, M.D., earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine through the University of Maryland Medical System and fellowship in Gastroenterology at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and specialist in Gastroenterology, Dr. Huber has conducted research in the gastroenterology field at Brown University and Johns Hopkins University.

Patrick Hyatt, M.D.
Patrick Hyatt, M.D., earned his medical degree at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Hyatt is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is Board-Eligible in Gastroenterology. He has numerous clinical presentations and medical publications to his credit, addressing disorders of the GI tract as well as treatments such as chemoprevention of colon cancer. Dr. Hyatt is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and American College of Gastroenterology.

Lisa Pichney, M.D.
Lisa Pichney, M.D., received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Maryland Hospital/Baltimore V.A. Medical Center. Board Certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Dr. Pichney serves on the Board of Governors of the Maryland Endoscopy Center, is President of the Maryland Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and is a Physician Member of Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. She is a member of various medical associations, including Med-Chi of Maryland, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastroenterological Endoscopy, American College of Physicians, and Baltimore County Medical Association. A fellow of the American College of Physicians/ASIM and American College of Gastroenterology, Dr. Pichney has been the recipient of numerous awards, is the author of various publications and abstracts, and has presented numerous lectures.

Richard A. Desi, M.D.
Richard A. Desi, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Maryland Department of Internal Medicine. He completed his Gastroenterology fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Desi is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is Board-Eligible in Gastroenterology. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and American College of Gastroenterology.

The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy is located on the 7th floor of Mercy's Professional Office Building at 301 St. Paul Street. Call 410-332-9829 or call
1-800-M.D.-Mercy for an appointment.

Mercy Medical Center is a 134-year-old, university affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation and among 10 best centers for women's health care. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine, and in 2010, will open the new $400 million Mary Catherine Bunting Center for inpatient care. For more information, visit Mercy online at http://www.mdmercy.com or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.

Editor's note: Caption for accompanying photo, Mercy Medical Center's Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease features a highly skilled and talented staff of physicians (left to right, first row): David B. Posner, M.D., Paul J. Thuluvath, M.D., Mary L. Harris, M.D., Sergey Kantsevoy, M.D., Ph.D. (left to right, back row): Lisa Pichney, M.D., Michael E. Cox, M.D., Debra A. Vachon, M.D., Patrick Hyatt, M.D., Scott Huber, M.D., and Richard A. Desi, M.D.

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