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U-M gastroenterologists earn nation’s top awards for care, leadership

AGA presents Chung Owyang, M.D., with its highest honor, Grace H. Elta, M.D., is distinguished clinician

ANN ARBOR, Mich. –Each year, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recognizes several individuals for their outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology through its esteemed recognition awards.

On Sunday, the AGA's highest honor was awarded to Chung Owyang, M.D., chief of the University of Michigan Division of Gastroenterology, and Grace H. Elta, M.D., earned a Distinguished Clinician Award for her leadership of the U-M endoscopy unit that has become a model for the nation.

"Through their dedication, knowledge and influence, these individuals have bettered gastroenterology practice, research and education, and have also provided outstanding service to the AGA," says Loren Laine, MD, AGAF, president of the AGA Institute.

Dr. Chung Owyang

Owyang was presented the Julius Friedenwald Medal, which has been given annually since 1941, to recognize a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology.

Owyang has dedicated his distinguished, 34-year career to the field of gastroenterology and to the service of the AGA and its membership.

His impressive career includes overseeing and building one of the truly elite GI programs in the U.S. at the University of Michigan, while making many important discoveries through his own research program that have advanced our understanding of the physiology of pancreatic secretion and gastrointestinal motility.

Owyang has been an active AGA member throughout his renowned career, serving on numerous committees and as chair of the AGA International Committee from 2003 to 2006.

Dr. Grace H. Elta

The distinguished clinician award for clinical academic practice went to Elta, a highly acclaimed, sought-after gastroenterologist who has served for more than 10 years as the medical director of the University of Michigan’s medical procedures unit (MPU) and associate chief of clinical programs.

Under her leadership, the MPU is considered by many as a model for all endoscopy units in the nation today, largely due to her vision for providing care that is seamless, thoughtful and comprehensive. In recognition of her enormous contribution to clinical gastroenterology at the University of Michigan, she was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Clinician Award in 2010.

Elta has achieved local and national recognition for her patient care and clinical research activities, particularly in the area of pancreatic and biliary disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

About the American Gastroenterological Association

The American Gastroenterological (AGA) Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the American Gastroenterological Association has grown to include close to 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.

To learn more about the U-M award recipients go to the AGA Website.


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