A Message from
Stephanie M. Moleski, MD
Benjamin Franklin mused that without continual growth and progress, words such as achievement and success have no meaning. In the GI department we are seeing great growth, steady progress—and much achievement and success.
First—Growth: Over the past few months, we have added new faculty and staff members that are strengthening our department and adding expertise. We welcomed advanced endoscopist Alexander Schlachterman, MD, who will be working with David E. Loren, MD, and Tom Kowalksi, MD. In addition, we have been fortunate enough to retain a fellow from last year, Christina Tofani, MD, who specializes in Barrett’s esophagus, EMR, and deep enteroscopy. The department has also added Raina Shivashankar, MD, who specializes in IBD; she will work with Patty Kozuch, MD, and Cuckoo Choudhary, MD.
The GI department is just finishing up interview season, eagerly anticipating a new cohort of fellows to begin in July. Of the 498 applicants to the program, we interviewed 24 outstanding candidates, and now we face the difficult decision of choosing only four. Stand by—we know we will be bringing the best and brightest aboard!
We are continuing to expand into the community. Not only are we a presence in the Philadelphia suburbs of Doylestown and Bala Cynwyd, but we have reached across state lines with offices in Wilmington, Delaware, and Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Last year, we opened the Jefferson Endoscopy Center at Bala Cynwd, an ambulatory surgical center for endoscopy and colonoscopy. Jefferson physicians are now more accessible than ever, making it easier for our patients to receive care in their own towns and neighborhoods.
Second—Progress: We continue to move forward in education with lectures, conferences, and research. The department is seeing a steady stream of visiting lecturers who expand and advance our knowledge base. Our robust lecture schedule includes conferences every day of the week and research speakers from all over the country once a month. Most recently, Don C. Rockey, MD, Department of Medicine chair and professor of Gastroenterology at the Medical University of South Carolina, spoke on cirrhosis modeling; Gary Lichtenstein, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center of the University of Pennsylvania, lectured on IBD; and our own Scott Waldman, MD, chair of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, discussed experimental therapies in colon cancer. In addition, several of our colleagues represented Jefferson at the ACG conference in Orlando, as well as the AASLD conference in Washington DC, both in mid-October.
And lastly—Achievement and Success: Numerous new studies and clinical trials are on the horizon. The IBD program will begin new clinical trials in the near future, and Jefferson is slated to participate in upcoming trials for medicines for celiac disease. A study into nonceliac gluten sensitivity is also underway.
By continually sowing seeds of growth and progress, our department is consistently reaping the benefits of achievement and success.
Stephanie M. Moleski, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Fellowship
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology