Physician Receives AGA's Highest Honor | News | Loyola Medicine

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Loyola Medicine Physician Receives American Gastroenterological Association’s Highest Honor

Gail Hecht, MD, MS, AGAF

Maywood, IL — The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has announced the 2020 recipients of the annual recognition prizes, given in honor of outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology.

AGA bequeaths its highest honor, the Julius Friedenwald Medal, to Loyola Medicine gastroenterologist Gail Hecht, MD, MS, AGAF, for her substantial contributions to the field of gastroenterology and the AGA. The Julius Friedenwald Medal, presented annually since 1941, recognizes a physician for lifelong contributions to the field of gastroenterology.

“AGA recognition awards allow members to honor their colleagues and peers for outstanding contributions to the field of gastroenterology," said Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, MPH, AGAF, president of the AGA Institute. “The 2020 AGA recognition winners are just a few of the distinguished and talented members who help make AGA such an accomplished organization. We are honored that such esteemed individuals are representatives of AGA."

Dr. Hecht is internationally renowned for her pivotal contributions to the understanding of the important diarrheal pathogen, enteropathogenic E. coli. She is also a passionate advocate for the science and practice of gastroenterology, including serving as AGA Institute President. Dr. Hecht’s collegial and generous spirit, her past and continued leadership roles in AGA, her passion for and contributions to science and clinical medicine, and her dedication to both her patients and trainees have strengthened the specialty of gastroenterology, and also inspired and shaped the next generation of investigators and gastroenterologists. Dr. Hecht is currently Assistant Dean, Medical Student Research and Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and a staff physician at Edwards Hines Jr., VA Hospital in Hines, IL.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.