Digestive Diseases & Nutrition

The Division of Digestive Disease and Nutrition at the University of Kentucky is a growing division within the Department of Medicine with over 15 faculty and 12 Advanced Practice Providers (APPs).  Our mission is to deliver the absolute highest level of patient care supported by state-of-the-art research in gastrointestinal disorders. The division was recently ranked in the USA News and World Report as “High Performing” (top 10% nationally). The division is highly diverse with strengths in general gastroenterology as well as areas of excellence within inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), interventional gastroenterology, viral hepatitis, and transplant hepatology. 

The recent growth of the division was prompted by an expansion of outpatient endoscopy resources that allowed an increase in the capacity to perform screening colonoscopies and recruitment of general gastroenterologists.  This growth adds significantly to the ability of the division to deliver outstanding clinical care both in the outpatient as well as inpatient arenas at Chandler and Good Samaritan hospitals, as well as the Lexington VA Medical Center. 

An important feature of the division has been its commitment to outpatient care of patients as a means for expanding endoscopic activities.  This strategy has resulted in a 30% growth of RVUs over the last five years.  The training environment includes both clinical and research fellows. The research activities of the division are largely focused on inflammatory bowel disease, viral hepatitis, and pancreaticobiliary disease and are funded through several national grants as well as pharmaceutical trial support. Future growth areas include IBD and interventional gastroenterology. 

The future of the division will see an expansion in basic science research in inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and Barrett’s esophagus. We have exciting new collaborations within the NCI-recognized University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center to develop new therapies for colon cancer. Our clinical research program focuses on the delivery of care to rural populations with attention to social and economic hindrances to medical treatment. 

Terrence Barrett, MD, FACP

Professor and Chief
Division of Digestive Health and Nutrition
University of Kentucky