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Internationally-trained GI doc among latest additions to LHP

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan.17, 2019) – Lutheran Health Physicians continues to make significant enhancements to its practice of advanced endoscopy. Delivery of this specialized care is being bolstered by the addition of Ashish Sharma, MD, who joins Douglas Weissman, MD, as recent additions to the LHP GI/Endoscopy team. As a result, area patients now have access to endoscopic services that are among the most advanced available today. They include a bile duct disorder treatment commonly referred to as ERCP, which stands for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS. These techniques expand LHP’s ability to diagnose and manage complex diseases of the liver, biliary tract, and pancreas.

Dr. Sharma has also trained in advanced endoscopic surgery and brings world-class expertise to northeastern Indiana. He and three other new providers are now practicing medicine with LHP.

Dr. Sharma is a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist who treats patients with digestive disorders that can have a drastic effect on quality of life. His area of expertise is in advanced endoscopy and treatment of early cancers of the digestive track.

Dr. Sharma is skilled in performing advanced endoscopic procedures such as endoscopic ultrasound, a minimally invasive procedure to assess digestive and lung diseases; bile duct disorder treatment; and removal of early tumors of the digestive track through endoscopic submucosal dissection.

Before joining LHP, he served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and more recently, established a center of excellence in advanced endoscopy at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Sacramento, California.

Dr. Sharma earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India. In 1999, he completed an internal medicine residency at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. He completed his general gastroenterology fellowship at University of Massachusetts, followed by an advanced endoscopy fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. More recently, he completed an advanced endoscopy and microsurgical fellowship in Tokyo with professor Haru Inoue, a world-renowned surgeon and pioneer in advanced endoscopy and surgery.

He is among a handful of American gastroenterologists trained in Japan in peroral endoscopic myotomy and endoscopic submucosal dissection. He was also a visiting fellow at the prestigious National Cancer Center in Tokyo.

Dr. Sharma is board certified in gastroenterology and is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. His office is located in Suite 201 of Medical Office Building One, 7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., on the Lutheran Hospital campus.

Jodi Grover, FNP-C, and Delaney Kaiser, FNP-C, are urgent care nurse practitioners with RediMed, treating patients with ailments including cold and flu, sprains, headaches, abdominal pain, cuts and rashes.

Grover previously worked in Fort Wayne as an orthopedic nurse, where she provided care to patients recovering from joint replacement or spinal surgery. She also has experience working in a surgical trauma intensive care unit, a fast-paced environment where care is provided to patients with critical and life-threating injuries.

Grover graduated from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, earning both a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2012 and a master’s degree in nursing in 2018. A member of the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses of Indiana and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Grover possess clinical experience in advanced health assessment, adult care, pediatrics and women’s health.

Grover is dedicated to community service and has volunteered for multiple causes including the Muscular Dystrophy Camp at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana, the Bereavement Camp in Maria Stein, Ohio, and the HandiCapable Camp at Bradford Woods.

Prior to joining RediMed as a nurse practitioner, Kaiser worked at Lutheran Hospital as a registered nurse beginning in 2014. During her time at Lutheran, she provided care in the labor and delivery unit and the cardiovascular ICU, where she supported patients with complex diagnoses and comorbidities.

Kaiser earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, in 2014, and a master’s degree in nursing, family nurse practitioner, from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, in 2018. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Sara Westfall, PA-C, recently joined the advanced heart failure team of Lutheran Health Physicians after serving as a physician assistant at Lutheran Hospital since 2016. Westfall provides care for patients with advanced heart failure including those who qualify for ventricular assist devises and cardiac transplants.

Westfall previously served as a physician assistant who provided inpatient care in a level one trauma setting. She has also worked as a patient care technician in medical surgical intensive care and progressive care units.

A 2006 graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where she garnered a bachelor’s degree in biology, Westfall went on to earn a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Saint Francis in 2016.

Westfall is a member of the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants and has actively participated in community service with the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne and Matthew 25. Her office is located in Suite 102 of Medical Office Building Two, 7910 W. Jefferson Blvd., on the Lutheran Hospital campus.

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