2021 Uniting to Care & Cure Awards

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation congratulates the 2021 Uniting to Care & Cure Awards recipients. Thank you for your dedication to the IBD community of patients and caregivers, and for advancing our mission to improve patient quality of life and find cures for IBD.

Uniting to Care & Cure Honorees

Edward L. Barnes, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Dr. Edward Barnes has been a champion of the Foundation's early-career efforts through the Foundation’s REACH-IBD (Rising Educators Academics and Clinicians Helping IBD) Committee. He helped shepherd the Career Connection mentor program to new heights through expanding the program and levels of engagement for participants, in spite of the impact of COVID-19. Dr. Barnes is a true team player and is always willing to pitch in.

“Dr. Barnes provides exceptional leadership to our REACH-IBD committee. He is always at the ready to brainstorm and then implement new ways to improve our education and support of early career clinicians and investigators as well as trainees. He goes above and beyond and he always does it with a smile!” - Orna G. Ehrlich MPH, Vice President, Strategic Impact

Raymond Cross, MD

Raymond K. Cross, MD, MS, AGAF, FACG

Professor of Medicine, Director of the IBD Program
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Co-Director, Digestive Health Center
University of Maryland Medical Center

Dr. Raymond Cross is a driving force in clinical and translational research within the IBD community. He is an investigator in several clinical research studies and his site is the #1-star site in the SPARC IBD cohort. He serves as co-chair of the Clinical Research Alliance of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. Dr. Cross was selected for the Dynamic Duo in Clinical Research award based on his distinguished accomplishments in IBD research, his long track record of broad collaboration, and his service as a mentor for other clinical researchers.

"Dr. Cross provides outstanding leadership to the Foundation's Clinical Research Alliance. He is also not shy about expressing his opinion, especially when it comes to football and the Pittsburgh Steelers!" - Alandra Weaver, Associate Vice President, Clinical Quality and Research Innovation

Kara De Felice

Kara De Felice, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Louisiana State University, New Orleans

Dr. Kara De Felice has been an outstanding member of the REACH-IBD (Rising Educators Academics and Clinicians Helping-IBD) Committee and a star contributor to its educational programs. 

"Kara has been an outstanding member of the REACH-IBD Committee and has provided leadership and expertise in developing their career development programs. She is passionate and committed, and always willing to take on another task." - Lisa Axisa, Senior Manager, Professional Membership

Marla Dubinsky

Marla Dubinsky, MD

Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Co-Director, Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Marla Dubinsky, an internationally-recognized leader in the field of pediatric IBD, has been an important partner to the Foundation since her involvement, starting in 2008, with the Foundation-supported Pediatric Risk Stratification Study—the largest, new-onset study evaluating pediatric Crohn’s disease patients. She partnered through WeCare, an organization she cofounded to support women with IBD, to enable three women gastroenterologists to participate in the Foundation’s Visiting IBD fellowship program. Dr. Dubinsky has served on the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee, including leading efforts on the Pediatric Affairs Committee. She is currently chairing the Foundation’s Pediatric Clinical Trials Task Force, which aims to help accelerate the process for expanding regulatory approvals for current and new therapies to children with IBD.

“Marla is very passionate about and strongly committed to ensuring the best possible care for children with IBD from the time of their diagnosis. Her ability and status as a leader in the field makes her a great partner with the Foundation to advance our mission of improving the lives of patients, children and adults living with these diseases.” -Caren Heller, MD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer

Steven N. Fine, MD

Chief of Gastroenterology, MetroWest Medical Center
Medical Director, Boston Endoscopy Center
President, Greater Boston Gastroenterology

Dr. Steven Fine is the founding physician of Greater Boston Gastroenterology, and has practiced in the MetroWest area for over 28 years. He serves as Chief of the GI Department and Endoscopy Service at MetroWest Medical Center and is the Medical Director of Boston Endoscopy Center in Wellesley. Dr. Fine’s practice includes a wide range of GI disorders, with procedural expertise in GI upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and pill capsule endoscopy, and with a special interest in Crohn’s and colitis. He has been a member of the New England Chapter Medical Advisory Committee for 15 years and served as the Chair for the past two years. Dr. Fine is a leader and advocate for patient protections, including Fail First (Step Therapy) legislation, meeting with legislative members both regionally and nationally. He is a speaker and panelist at multiple IBD patient and professional education events.

“Dr. Fine continues to be a great partner and a fundamental piece of the Foundation’s advocacy work to reform step therapy in Massachusetts. His desire to increase access to care for his patients and his willingness to engage with policymakers at a moment’s notice has been an invaluable asset to the IBD community. The Foundation’s Advocacy team is grateful to have been able to call on his expertise for the past five years working on these bills.” -Jake Johnson, State Advocacy Manager

Ann Flynn

Ann D. Flynn, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Utah Health

Dr. Ann Flynn is a valued member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Qorus Collaborative. She has served as the Qorus physician champion at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City since 2017. Throughout this time, she has remained dedicated to examining care practices and proactively initiating changes to improve the quality of care delivered. Most recently, she contributed significantly to the development of educational materials and videos on treat to target.

“Dr. Flynn has been a strong advocate in planning out ideas for effective patient partnership. Her caring and enduring personality has really nurtured her relationship of those she interacts with. We are so lucky to have her as part of the Qorus family.” - Ridhima Oberai, Senior Manager, IBD Qorus Clinical Operations

Michele Kissous Hunt

Michele Kissous-Hunt, PA-C, DFAAPA

Mount Sinai Medical Center

Michelle Kissous-Hunt is a committed physician assistant supporting patients and their families with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. She is dedicated to serving her patients, educating her colleagues, and providing guidance to the Foundation through her volunteer activities on the Board of Trustees and serving as the chair (2018-21) of the National Scientific Advisory Committee, Nurse and Advanced Practice Provider Committee.

“Michele is one of the most dedicated volunteers I have ever known. I am truly awed by her passion and the time she commits to supporting the IBD Community.” - Laura D. Wingate, Executive Vice President, Education, Advocacy & Support

Millie Long, MD, MPH

Millie D. Long MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  

Dr. Millie Long is a leader in the field of clinical and patient-centered IBD research. For more than a decade, she has paved the way in patient-centered outcomes research as Co-PI of the IBD Partners cohort. She also serves as co-chair of the Clinical Research Alliance of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. Dr. Long was selected for the Dynamic Duo in Clinical Research award as she is an ever-present partner for the Foundation and a true leader in driving impactful clinical research in IBD.

"Dr. Long's commitment to IBD research and the Foundation is limitless. Her experiences as an endurance athlete in swimming and marathon running translates into her energy, passion, and determination in improving patient care for IBD patients." - Alandra Weaver, Associate Vice President, Clinical Quality and Research Innovation.  

Anish Patel

Anish Patel, DO, FACG

Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Director, IBD Center
Brooke Army Medical Center

Dr. Anish Patel currently serves as the Medical Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center within the Division of Gastroenterology at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He manages the only IBD center in the US military and is the only formally trained IBD specialist within the Department of Defense.

To date, Lieutenant Colonel Patel has authored over 25 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and is an investigator on six active clinical trials for experimental IBD medications at Brooke Army Medical Center. He is actively participating in five investigator-initiated projects, and was awarded a pilot grant through the American College of Gastroenterology for pioneering research in the transition of active duty IBD patients from active military service into the VA system (first active military GI physician awarded this grant).

Dr. Patel served as chair of the Central Texas Chapter Medical Advisory Committee, and will soon be joining the San Antonio Board. His interest in care for military members and veterans with IBD has prompted the Foundation to start a workgroup around the needs of this community. Dr. Patel has a passion for meeting mental health needs of IBD patients.

“Dr. Patel sparked interest in creating Foundation resources specific to the VA community, which will allow us to reach men and women of the military with critical information to manage their quality of life with IBD. He has been a patient, thoughtful partner at both chapter and national levels, and a staunch advocate for the physical and mental health needs of this underserved community.” – Becky Johnson Rescola, VP, Education & Community Engagement

Brent Polk, MD

D. Brent Polk, MD

Martin Brotman Professor and Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Executive Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
University of California San Diego

Dr. Brent Polk has demonstrated extraordinary dedication and leadership as the Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC). During his tenure from May 2018 through January 2021, Dr. Polk launched the NSAC Executive Research Council along with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Investigators Research Symposium in 2019 and 2020. He served as the inaugural chair of the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress® and spearheaded the creation of the Foundation’s new open-access online journal, Crohn’s & Colitis 360. Dr. Polk has also demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Under his guidance, the Foundation engaged the Diversity & Inclusion and Women in IBD task forces to expand and engage leaders across the IBD Community. He also provided guidance supporting the expansion of the Foundation’s educational offerings, including launching the three-day live Advanced Practice Provider preceptorship. Dr. Polk also deepened the Foundation’s relationship with the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Polk has been providing his talent and time as a volunteer to the Foundation for decades. As NSAC chair the past three years, he has helped advise and guide the development of dozens of new critical mission programs, all while championing and instituting important new Diversity & Inclusion efforts. We are thrilled to have him transitioning into the role of Chair of the National Board of Trustees, where he will surely continue to make a profound impact on the work of the Foundation.” – Michael Osso, President & CEO

Larry Saripkin

Larry Saripkin, MD

Partner, GI Care for Kids, LLC

Dr. Larry Saripkin is one of our longest-serving camp medical directors, serving in this role at GA Camp Oasis for 22 years. He is admired by campers and other volunteers, and has helped  create an inclusive and fun camp community. He is our top recruiter of new campers in GA, one of our largest sites in the country.

He also personally organized a benefit and awareness concert to generate funds to support the camp program. Beyond his impressive work with GA Camp Oasis, Dr. Saripkin works closely with the Foundation to create fun and educational programs for families affected by IBD, including programs on transitioning to adult care. He helped launch a local pediatric support group and has provided support to other groups and facilitators across the country. He has served as a presenter at education programs and provided chapter leadership as both a past board and CMAC member. The chapter recently honored him at the local Torch Gala as a Premiere Physician.

“Dr. Saripkin has been a critical partner to the Foundation, with camp his most notable and exceptional contribution to our mission. For 22 years, he has served as the medical backbone of our GA camp and makes it possible for us to provide exceptional quality of care at one of our largest Camp Oasis sites. His passion and compassion for pediatric IBD patients is immeasurable.” – Becky Johnson Rescola, VP, Education & Community Engagement

Ramnik Xavier

Ramnik Xavier, MD

Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School 
Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Director, Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital

Co-Director, Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics, MIT

Dr. Ramnik Xavier has long been committed to the Foundation’s mission as Principal Investigator (PI) of the Genetics Initiative and Co-PI of the Microbiome initiative. He has conducted cutting-edge research with worldwide impact and recognition in the IBD field and beyond. In addition to his committed role as PI of the translational research initiatives of the Foundation, he has also provided expert insights in research prioritization processes such as challenges in IBD and the strategic plan. He has also contributed as keynote speaker for the Foundation’s scientific and product-oriented conference IBD Innovate.

“The groundbreaking research of Dr. Xavier has provided a transformative approach of the application of state-of-the-art functional genomics and microbial metabolomics in the understanding of the biological mechanisms of mucosal homeostasis in IBD. This work has resulted in the discovery of novel potential drug targets linked to the unique biology of IBD patients, which could be developed as therapies for the restoration of mucosal barrier integrity, and in support of the emerging concepts of precision medicine and treat to target.” - Dr. Andrés Hurtado-Lorenzo, PhD, Vice President of Translational Research

IBD Plexus Team 

Top row, L-R: Richard H. Duerr, MD and Curtis Huttenhower, PhD Bottom row, L-R: Michael D. Kappelman, MD, MPH and James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE

Richard H. Duerr, MD 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetic Research Endowed Chair Professor of Medicine, Human Genetics, and Clinical and Translational Science
Co-Director and Scientific Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center 
University of Pittsburg and UPMC

Curtis Huttenhower, PhD

Professor and Co-Director, Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Michael D. Kappelman, MD, MPH

Professor of Pediatrics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

IBD Plexus - named for its complex network of parts – required a multi-discipline team of advisors to create a well-coordinated information exchange system designed to unite basic and clinical research and enable actionable patient-centric, real-world evidence generation. Drs. Lewis, Kappelman, Duerr and Huttenhower are the inaugural members of the IBD Plexus Scientific Research Team. They have led efforts to transform the idea of a research exchange to unite patients, clinicians, academic scientists and industry life science partners into the largest IBD registry with linked bio samples in the US. Their guidance has contributed to efforts such as establishment of a best-in-class operations model and governance structure including polices like IBD Plexus’ novel data sharing guidelines. In addition, they provide consultative support for the development of studies using IBD Plexus infrastructure. Since launch in late 2017, IBD Plexus biosamples and / or data has been leveraged by 11 life science companies and more than 30 academic institutions to advance IBD research and accelerate progress towards precision medicine.

“The Fab Four, Drs. Lewis, Kappelman, Duerr and Huttenhower, took an idea, a desire to do better for patients by taking a holistic and integrated approach to research, and shepherded the design and build of IBD Plexus. Their knowledge, perseverance, and passion to help patients shines. They exemplify the power of bringing the right people together to advance a common goal. Through their guidance IBD Plexus has been able to break down historic data silo barriers hindering the advancement of science to unite patients, clinicians and scientists to accelerate the pace of trustworthy, high-impact research.” - Angela Dobes, MPH, Vice President, IBD Plexus


Past Award Recipients


Lea Ann Chen, MD, FACG, AGAF

Russell D. Cohen, MD, FACG, AGAF

Michael D. Kappelman, MD, MPH

Sandra C. Kim, MD

Laura E. Raffals, MD, MS

Michele Rubin, MSN, APRN, CNS-BC, CGRN

Frank I. Scott, MD, MSCE 

Gary D. Wu, MD 


2020 Participating IBD Qorus Sites

Gastroenterology Associates, Inc.

Samir A. Shah, MD, FACG, FASGE, AGAF; Chung Sang Tse, MD; Michelle Kwon


Oregon Clinic

Donald Lum, MD; Harry Bray, MD; Rebecca Fausel, MD; Betty Kim, MD; Michael Phillips, MD; Erica Heagy, FNP-BC; Jennifer Williams, MA; Mindy Stewart, RN; Alyssa Berkheimer, MA


Saratoga-Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates, P.C.

Arthur H. Ostrov, MD, FACP, FACG; Mark Metwally, MD; Zachary Feinberg, MD; Donna Gerner, RN, CSC; Jessica Kehn, LPN, CSC; Christopher Jones



Clara Abraham, MD

Richard Colletti, MD

Tolulope Falaiye, MD

James Lord, MD, PhD

Theresa Pizarro, PhD

Joel Rosh, MD

Namita Singh, MD

Thaddeus Stappenback, MD, PhD

Tiffany Taft, PsyD



Benjamin Cohen, MD

Jennifer Dotson, MD, MPH

Hans Herfarth, MD, PhD

Peter Doyle Higgins MD, PhD

Maureen Kelly, DNP, RN, CPNP

Ross Maltz, MD

Ashish Patel, MD

R. Balfour Sartor, MD

Scott B. Snapper, MD, PhD



Tina Ha, MD

James Lewis, MD, MSCE

Gil Melmed, MD

Florian Rieder, MD

Corey Siegel, MD, MS

Eugene Yen, MD

Pediatric RISK Stratification Study Steering Committee:

  • Bruce Aronow, PhD
  • Robert Baldassano, MD
  • Marla Dubinsky, MD · Lee A. Denson, MD
  • Jeffrey Hyams, MD
  • Subra Kugathasan, MD
  • James Markowitz, MD
  • Mi-Ok Kim, PhD
  • Michael Stephens, MD
  • Thomas Walters, MD