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Community Leadership

Giving Back

The doctors of NYGA are committed to community service.

Some of the ways we give back to our community include:

• Providing free colonoscopy and to uninsured and underinsured patients

• Teaching gastroenterology and GI endoscopy to the next generation of gastroenterologists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and other leading academic medical centers

• Providing consultative GI services to underinsured community members through the GI clinic system at Mount Sinai

The New York City Department of Health recognized the The Endoscopy Center of New York’s community outreach program, led by NYGA’s Dr. Laura Frado, for providing the greatest number of free colon cancer screening exams to under-insured neighbors in New York City.

The incidence of colorectal cancer is higher among African Americans than any other population group in the United States, according to the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Research also shows that African Americans are often diagnosed at a younger age than other people. After the death from colon cancer of trailblazing actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020 at the age of 43, a nationwide effort was mounted to alert Americans to the dangers of this deadly disease among minorities. NYGA’s Dr. Ugonna Iroku joined forces with colleagues from across the country to make this important public service announcement.

Dr. Iroku is also a leader of The Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists (ABGH), which will work alongside existing national organizations (such as ACG/AGA/ASGE/AASLD/NASPGHAN) on issues that impact the Black community.

The Doctors of NYGA:
Dr. Iroku Joins National Effort
to Fight Colon Cancer

Leading Independent Research

In 2003, NYGA physicians founded the Digestive Disease Research Foundation (, an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports outstanding young investigators and research in digestive disease medicine. In collaboration with the Henry D Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai, NYGA physicians direct this organization.

DDRF has raised over $2,000,000 and awarded over 30 one-year fellowships. DDRF investigators, and their mentors, have advanced our understanding of inflammatory bowel diseases, precancerous colon polyps, and most recently the interaction of the novel coronavirus (which causes COVID-19) with the human gastrointestinal tract (Mount Sinai Researchers Describe Viral Sanctuaries in the Gastrointestinal Tract of COVID-19 Patients).

NYGA physicians participate in national professional societies such as the American College of Gastroenterology and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and are active nationally in advocacy organizations on behalf of women’s and minority issues.

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