2020 Uniting to Care & Cure Awards

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation congratulates the 2020 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.


 2020 Recipients | IBD Qorus Participants |  Past Recipients

Uniting to Care & Cure Honorees

lea ann chen, md

Lea Ann Chen, MD, FACG, AGAF
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
NYU Grossman School of Medicine 

Dr. Chen is a valued member of the Foundation’s REACH-IBD (Rising Educators Academics and Clinicians Helping IBD) program, which promotes research collaboration, education, networking, and career development among junior faculty, fellows, and post-doctoral scientists. She currently serves as chair of the committee. Dr. Chen is also an active member of the Women in IBD Task Force where she has contributed by liaising with other organizations to collect data being used as a metric for success as well as playing an active role on the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress organizing committee.

“Dr. Chen provides outstanding leadership to the REACH-IBD committee. She is known among members and Foundation staff for providing a sincere sense of camaraderie, which enhances the collaboration among the group and the success of its programs.” -Orna Ehrlich, Senior Director, Professional Education & Innovative Programs

russell cohen, md, facg, agaf

Russell D. Cohen, MD, FACG, AGAF
Professor of Medicine, Pritzker School of Medicine
Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
Co-Director, Advanced IBD Fellowship Program
The University of Chicago Medicine

Dr. Cohen serves the Foundation in both national and local leadership roles. Nationally, he is a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress organizing committee, taking a leading role in the development of the session “Case-Based Learning to Optimize Treatment." Dr. Cohen is an enthusiastic force ensuring that the education delivered is meaningful and of value to clinicians. Locally, Dr. Cohen serves on the Illinois Carol Fisher chapter board and is co-chair of the Chapter Medical Advisory Committee; and has served as course director of the Chicago Patient and Professional Symposium for many years, setting a standard for the Foundation’s live education programs across the country.

"Dr. Cohen’s enthusiasm comes through in everything he does – not only in applying his expertise to developing education programs, but his interactions with everyone. A father recently shared with Foundation staff that Dr. Cohen was the only person to get a 17-year-old patient to smile in a year!” – Becky Johnson-Rescola, Senior Director, Field Education & Camp Oasis

Michael Kappelman, MD, MPH

Michael D. Kappelman, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Dr. Kappelman is a pioneer in the field of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). As the Co-PI of the IBD Partners patient-powered research network he has been bringing together IBD patients and researchers in a revolutionary partnership to optimize treatment and care since 2011. In addition, through his funding from the Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute he has been instrumental in elevating PCOR to be recognized on a national scale. He has been an important partner to the Foundation for over 13 years, having led a number of Foundation research initiatives.

Dr. Kappelman has served on the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee in leadership roles on the Pediatric Affairs Committee and Patient Education Committee. He is also the Associate Chief of Patient-Powered Research for the Foundation’s national-scale research data platform, IBD Plexus, and the Co-PI for the CDC-funded INPUT study designed to evaluate the impact of diversity within the incidence, prevalence, treatment, and outcomes in patients with IBD.

“One of the Foundation’s core values is to put the patient first, and Dr. Kappelman is the true embodiment of that value. An avid fan and season ticket holder for UNC basketball, he doesn’t miss a game, unless there’s an IBD Partners Patient Governance Committee meeting.” – Angela Dobes, Vice President, IBD Plexus

Sandra Kim, MD

Sandra C. Kim, MD
Director, IBD Center Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
UPMC Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Kim has been active with the Foundation for over 13 years. She currently sits on the National Scientific Advisory committee and is chair of the Government & Industry Affairs Committee. Previously she was chair of the Pediatric Affairs Committee and has been an active supporter of the Camp Oasis program. In addition to her national engagement, Dr. Kim has served on the Chapter Medical Advisory Committees and chapter board in Pittsburgh, where she is actively engaged in working with the local medical community and presenting at patient and professional education programs.

“Dr. Kim possesses a formidable policy background, a strong drive to ensure her patients can access the treatments they need, and a passion for social justice, which make her a powerful ally in the movement to improve healthcare in the nation.” - Sarah Buchanan, Director of Advocacy

Laura Raffals, MD, MS

Laura E. Raffals, MD, MS
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Raffals is committed to advancing the Foundation’s mission and is actively involved across multiple initiatives. She is Co-PI of the Foundation’s SPARC-IBD cohort and is co-chair of the Clinical Research Grants Review Committee. As the inaugural chair of the Women in IBD Task Force, Dr. Raffals has used creativity and leadership to develop initiatives that will help provide women healthcare providers in IBD more opportunities for advancement. She has been the leading force in collecting metrics, developing resources, and implementing a new website to promote women as speakers.

She is well-known for her warmth and support for patients, along with a keen intellect that allows her to develop paths for accomplishing activities that will make a difference in the careers of women in IBD.

“We could not have asked for a better first chair of the Women in IBD Task Force. Dr. Raffals has brought innovative and decisive leadership to the group, which has created the cornerstone to build initiatives the Foundation will be proud of for many years.” - Lisa Axisa, Manager, Professional Membership and staff liaison to the Women in Task Force

Michele Rubin

Michele Rubin, MSN, APRN, CNS-BC, CGRN
University of Chicago Medicine

Michele Rubin is a visionary leader of the Nurse and Advanced Practice Provider Committee on the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee. In 2010 Michele was instrumental in creating the framework and initial National Scientific Advisory Committee Nurse Task Force. Through her service and leadership, the task force became a standing committee and has served to ensure professional education and IBD resources are developed to meet the needs of the IBD nursing and advanced practice provider community. In addition, Michele has served on the planning committee and as a featured speaker for the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress.

“Michele is a vocal and supportive champion for this community and her patients. As an educator, she provides guidance around the unique needs of the nursing and advance practice provider communities, and is great at identifying individual strengths and tailoring projects to those strengths to let others shine.” - Laura Wingate, Senior Vice President, Education, Support, & Advocacy

Dr. Frank Scott, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Frank I. Scott, MD, MSCE 
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Scott has shown great commitment to the Foundation and IBD community. He is the driving force of the Research Collaborative of the Foundation’s REACH-IBD (Rising Educators Academics and Clinicians Helping IBD) program, which is a collaborative of junior investigators participating in REACH-IBD working together on a competitively selected clinical research study. In addition, he made significant contributions to the Challenges in IBD publication, as well as to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) review of ulcerative colitis treatments.

“Dr. Scott’s commitment to the Foundation knows no bounds. He steps up to deliver on every request. Even when we asked him to play DJ at an event reception!” – Orna Ehrlich, Senior Director, Professional Education & Innovative Programs

Gary Wu, MD

Gary D. Wu, MD 
Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology
Director, Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine
Co-Director, PennCHOP Microbiome Program
Co-Director, Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Wu’s commitment to IBD expands beyond the boundaries of his laboratory and across a number of Foundation research initiatives. He is a longstanding member of the Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee as reviewer and chair of several Foundation’s grant review committee and currently serves of the Research Strategy Executive Council. He also actively participated in the Foundation’s research prioritization process known as Challenges in IBD as a member of the executive committee and co-chair of the Environmental Triggers working group.

“As principal investigator of the Foundation’s FARMM study, Dr. Wu’s work represented a groundbreaking approach to understand the effects of diet on microbial diversity and related metabolites. In addition, as Co-PI of the Foundation’s microbiome initiative he pioneered work related to the role of gut microbiome on host metabolism and how this knowledge could be leveraged to discover new out of the box therapeutic approaches for the treatment of IBD.” – Andres Hurtado-Lorenzo, Vice President, Translational Research

Participating IBD Qorus sites

Thank you to all the physicians and staff at the IBD Qorus sites for your support and participation in the quality of care program.

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

Gastroenterology Associates, Inc.

Dr. Samir Shah and colleagues at Gastroenterology Associates (Providence, Rhode Island) have been engaged collaborators in IBD Qorus since 2015. Over the course of five years, the team has evaluated their processes for care delivery and actively made changes leading to significant improvements within their practice. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is proud of the Gastroenterology Associates team and grateful for their continued efforts dedicated to improving care for IBD patients.


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

Oregon Clinic

Dr. Donald Lum and team at the Oregon Clinic (Portland, Oregon) have been committed to participating in IBD Qorus since 2015. As engaged collaborators in the program, the Oregon Clinic has made significant improvements in the way they deliver care to IBD patients, and these learnings have been shared to other participating sites. The Foundation is grateful to the Oregon Clinic team for their steadfast dedication to collectively help improve the quality of care delivered to IBD patients.



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

Saratoga-Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates

Dr. Arthur Ostrov and Qorus team members at the Saratoga-Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates (Saratoga Springs, NY) have been a part of IBD Qorus since 2016. Through their team's relentless process improvement efforts, Saratoga-Schenectady has made an impact in patient outcomes that matter. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation looks forward to the continued partnership with Saratoga and sharing their Improvement learnings with other IBD practices across the nation.


Past Award Recipients


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