Thrive by IU Health

February 28, 2022

High-volume ERCP puts IU Health on many maps

IU Health University Hospital

High-volume ERCP puts IU Health on many maps

A map on the wall outside the Advanced Endoscopy unit at Indiana University Health University Hospital shows vividly why the unit can claim to be a destination for care. An array of pins pricks the map in 48 states and 12 countries to highlight the points of origin for patients who have come seeking the team’s expertise.

Originally known as ERCP (for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Program), it was renamed the Advanced Endoscopy Program to better reflect its growing list of services and activities. It’s an impressive list—filled with terms like “radiofrequency ablation” and “extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy”—built on expertise in leading edge endoscopy.

Asked why the Advanced Endoscopy Program draws patients from far and wide, IU Health Program Director Stuart Sherman, MD, said simply, “Our personalized approach to patient care and commitment to excellence.”

IU Health Program Director Stuart Sherman, MD

Dr. Sherman notes that the program’s nine physicians (all fellowship trained in advanced endoscopy) and support staff of nearly 30 medical professionals perform endoscopic procedures that are not available anywhere else in Indiana, surrounding states or most countries. Furthermore, the team provides consultations on a 24/7 basis, and it emphasizes open communication channels with referring physicians, patients and families.

This approach has created an advanced endoscopy powerhouse. Operating from the Lehman, Bucksot and Sherman ERCP Suite—named through a $1 million endowment in honor of ERCP founder Glen Lehman, MD, longtime ERCP charge nurse Lois Bucksot, RN, and Dr. Sherman—the program is the largest-volume ERCP in North America. Even in the midst of the pandemic, it has been busier than ever, performing some 3,000 ERCP procedures and 2,000 additional procedures.

Dr. Sherman credits philanthropy with being a key to the program’s explosive growth, making it possible for the team to engage in independent research, hire top-flight medical professionals, purchase high-tech equipment and find the time for the kind of critical thinking and writing that pushes science forward … and puts more pins in the map.

“Where we are now is where I always wanted us to be,” he said, “but I never thought we’d get there. Philanthropy got us here.”

If you’d like to support the Advanced Endoscopy Program, contact IU Health Foundation Senior Development Officer Ashley Pleasant at 317.264.9438 or astrickland1@iuhealth.org.