New slate of leaders join the DHPA Executive Committee
Washington DC – Dr. Latha Alaparthi has been named president and chair of the board of directors of the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA). Dr. Alaparthi and members of DHPA’s 13-member Executive Committee will lead DHPA’s health policy efforts to promote and preserve accessible, high quality and cost-efficient care in the independent gastroenterological medical practice setting.
Dr. Alaparthi is the first woman president of DHPA and succeeds Dr. James Weber, the founder of Texas Digestive Disease Consultants and CEO of the GI Alliance, who will remain on the DHPA Executive Committee as immediate past president.
Under Dr. Weber’s leadership, DHPA led its membership in navigating the legislative and regulatory landscape during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and worked to ensure that private practices received support from federal government as they cared for patients during the pandemic. DHPA also established a committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion to focus on eliminating health disparities, and increased its support of member practices working to address state health policy issues.
“The support our practices received from DHPA during the COVID-19 pandemic was critical in being able to continue providing care to our patients in the face of rapidly changing rules and regulations,” said Dr. Weber. “Dr. Alaparthi is the perfect person to continue DHPA’s growth and advocacy and I look forward to working with her to expand our efforts in strengthening the GI pipeline and our focus on health equity.”
During Dr. Weber’s presidency, DHPA grew to 105 GI practices in 39 states, representing more than 2,500 physicians who care for more than three million people each year.
“With Dr. Weber at its helm, DHPA further strengthened its position as the voice for independent GI practices and the patients we serve. I am honored to have the opportunity to build upon leadership of prior presidents as the first woman president of DHPA,” said Dr. Alaparthi. “Promoting and protecting independent GI and the care we provide to our patients, must include strengthening the pipeline and focusing on increasing the representation of women and physicians of color in leadership positions. I look forward to working with my DHPA colleagues and our fellow societies to strengthen programs working toward health equity.”
Dr. Alaparthi previously served as vice president of DHPA, Chair of communications and is the director of committee operations at PACT Gastroenterology Center in Hamden, Conn.
A new slate of DHPA Executive Committee members was also appointed. Dr. Naresh Gunaratnam of Huron Gastroenterology has been named vice president; Dr. Sanjay Sandhir of Dayton Gastroenterology has been named secretary; Dr. Jeffry Nestler of Connecticut GI has been named treasurer; Dr. Scott Ketover of MNGI Digestive Health has been named chair of health policy; Dr. Paul Berggreen of Arizona Digestive Health has been named chair of Data Analytics; Dr. Nadeem Baig of Allied Digestive Health has been named chair of communications; Dr. Aja McCutchen of Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates has been named chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and Dr. Pradeep Bekal of Gastro Health Ohio, Dr. Kyle Etzkorn of Borland Groover, and Dr. Raja Taunk of Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates have been named as at-large members. Kevin Harlen continues his service on the DHPA Executive Committee as executive director.