Center for Digestive Care Established at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Dedicated to Innovative and Coordinated Patient Care

Made Possible Through Gifts Totaling $65 Million From The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

Dec 2, 2009


The Center for Digestive Care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has been established with a mission to provide high-quality patient care, research and education for all aspects of digestive disease. It offers innovative treatments and coordinated care for conditions ranging from gastrointestinal reflux and hepatitis C to colon cancer and metabolic surgery, a new field that focuses on reversing Type 2 diabetes.

The Center was made possible through gifts totaling $65 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center — among the largest earmarked specifically for advancing treatment of digestive diseases. These gifts were announced at earlier dates.

"Close to 70 million Americans suffer from a digestive disorder, and as our population ages, the number of those affected will continue to rise," says Dr. Jeffrey Milsom, executive director of the Center. "Our Center is designed to address this need by offering the latest and most effective treatment options, as well as preventive strategies, available in a safe and supportive environment that emphasizes the needs of patients and their families."

Among the treatments offered are radiofrequency ablation to avoid surgery for patients suffering from Barrett's esophagus; minimally invasive surgery for morbid obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, colon cancer and metabolic disorders; advanced endoscopic techniques for diagnosing and treating GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease); and novel therapies aimed at preventing esophageal, pancreatic and colon cancer using biomarkers and genetic testing.

Nurse Coordinators Streamline Patient Care

A central feature of the Center is an emphasis on coordinated care. Nurse coordinators guide patients from their initial diagnosis throughout their treatment and recovery and facilitate the referral process among the digestive care team. Patients may see any number of closely linked adult and pediatrics specialists — including gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, nutritionists, pathologists, genetic counselors and social workers.

"Our coordinated care approach will improve and expedite patient care across the board and we hope our Center will serve as a model for other programs across the country," says Dr. Milsom, chief of Colorectal Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Jerome J. DeCosse, M.D., Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Within the Center for Digestive Care are programs that integrate expertise and provide treatment for a wide range of digestive disorders, including:

  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Inpatient Surgical Care Unit, designed specifically for patients recovering from gastrointestinal surgery.
  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Surgical Suite will include futuristic information processing and data coordination that can be instantly accessed by the surgeon, along with advanced imaging equipment.
  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Center for Colon and Rectal Surgery, a leading center in minimally invasive colorectal surgery.
  • The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program dedicated to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers as well as research and education.
  • The Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), referring to two common chronic and debilitating diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
  • A state-of-the-art Endoscopy Suite where physicians are pioneering novel diagnostic and treatment procedures.

For more information, individuals may visit the Center for Digestive Care Web site at or call 877-NYC-DIGESTIVE (1-877-692-3443).

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease; the first indication of bone marrow’s critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit Weill Cornell Medical College.

Media Contact:

Linda Kamateh 212-821-0560