Institute offers more advanced approach for patients who need digestive health care

Thanks to a $1 million charitable gift, Carle is enhancing digestive health services for patients with more specialized services, technical advancements and clinical trials.

The family of Eugene Greenberg, MD, pledged $1 million in 2014 to launch the Dr. Eugene Greenberg Digestive Health Institute.

"I always dreamed that Carle would have a digestive health institute to bring great care and research to our patients. I just never thought it would have my name on it," Dr. Greenberg said (pictured with his wife, Toni).

Carle formally named its digestive health services in honor of Dr. Greenberg in a Monday ceremony.

"This institute will let us serve more patients through clinical trial opportunities, leading edge procedures and specialty clinics, said Paul Tender, MD, associate medical director at the Digestive Health Institute.

Carle plans to launch three specialty clinics that cover hepatology (diseases that affect the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas), gastrointestinal cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

"These clinics will give comprehensive and highly specialized care to people who are suffering from serious diseases through advanced procedures and preventative treatment,” Dr. Tender said (pictured with Dr. Greenberg).

Research is also a key at the Digestive Health Institute.

"Having a digestive health institute here opens more doors into clinical research because we are committing more time and resources to studying different diseases. It will give patients more chances to participate in new and potentially exciting trials to help treat digestive health conditions," Dr. Tender noted.

The Digestive Health Institute has already brought new equipment to Carle and looks to add more in time.

"Dr. Wael Youssef has brought endoscopic ultrasound to Carle where he can use methods to explore pancreas and bile duct problems formerly unreachable. He can biopsy growths and possibly catch cancer earlier and treat bile duct blockages without invasive surgery," Tender explained.

"Before Dr. Youseff arrived, our patients had to travel to Chicago or St. Louis for this procedure."

But, Dr. Tender says he and others need to remember one thing when it comes to all of these advances.

"None of this matters unless we design the institute around our patients and the people who serve them. We must always focus on people, and I can think of no better example of that focus than Dr. Greenberg."