Meet Barb Pitts – National Liver Champion of the American Liver Foundation (ALF) 2022 Liver Life Walks. Barb was diagnosed with liver disease in 1999 at age 44. Initially, her symptoms aligned with PBC, a chronic liver disease resulting from progressive destruction of bile ducts in the liver – but – after extensive testing revealed a lack of PBC markers, the mystery ensued. Bard said, “At that point they could not diagnose me so my doctor and I jokingly called it “BPD” - Barb Pitts Disease.”
Meet Dr. Robert Wong, MD, MS, Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) of Medicine in the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Staff Physician in the Gastroenterology Section at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System.
Meet leading physician, researcher and passionate advocate Guadalupe “Lupe” Garcia-Tsao, MD, FRCP. Dr. Garcia-Tsao is Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and Chief of Digestive Diseases at the VA-Connecticut Healthcare System.
“As physicians, our voices matter to legislators just as much as the voices of our patients. We too can affect change by sharing our stories and experiences. It does not require a lot of time, either – the most important thing is to show up with a smile on your face and a true passion for the cause!”
August signals summer’s end and school’s beginning for millions of Americans nationwide. While children coordinate their “first-day” outfits with friends, parents worry about things like, “what do I pack for lunch 5-days in a row?” We spoke to Melissa Semp, APRN-NP, Family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago about what to pack for even the pickiest eater.
“My grandma played a pivotal role in my decision to pursue health advocacy. As a public health professional, I am dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of doing more intentional outreach, education and research with linguistically and ethnically diverse communities to achieve health equity and improve polices that benefit all community members.”
Michelle had a successful liver transplant at 12 years old. She is currently 30 and working part-time. She says, “I feel good but get really tired. I have to remind myself to listen to by body and not overdo it” PFIC is starting to cause some scarring on Michelle’s transplanted liver but she keeps a positive mindset, “It isn’t bad. At least we know what’s causing it so we can manage it.”
During his tenure as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Liver Study Unit at the University of Chicago, Dr. Baker helped develop the first Liver Transplant program in the Midwest.
Dr. Na Li was born in China and her passion for practicing medicine and taking care of patients inspired her to pursue an internal medicine residency and a fellowship in gastroenterology.