Tamar Taddei, MD, has assumed the role of chief of gastroenterology at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System. Taddei is professor of medicine (digestive diseases) at Yale School of Medicine (YSM) and director of the Liver Cancer Program at VA Connecticut. She is taking over from Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, MD, professor of medicine (digestive diseases), who has held the position since 2007.
Taddei has had a particular interest in working with veterans since 1998, when she started her clinical rotations at Georgetown University Hospital; she joined the Yale faculty in 2007. Her research is focused on outcomes in liver diseases, specifically cirrhosis and liver cancer, both of which are prevalent in the VA population.
“Alcohol use disorder and hepatitis C affect veterans disproportionally, and these are leading causes of liver disease in the nation,” she said. “Cirrhosis is the primary risk factor for the development of liver cancer. So, the VA is really a phenomenal place to do my research.”
Taddei worked with Garcia-Tsao for 13 years. When Garcia-Tsao announced that she was stepping down, Taddei was selected by Daniel Federman, MD, chief of medicine at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, to replace her.
“I gladly accepted,” said Taddei. “The VA is a great place in which to not only practice medicine and do research, but also to work nationally because it is a national health system. By being both a clinician and a researcher at the VA, I've been able to collaborate with people all over the country on everything from clinical best practices to multidisciplinary clinical trials.”
The position will allow her to focus on her program-building skills and her dedication to educating, mentoring, and sponsoring the next generation as well. In addition to directing the Liver Cancer Program, she oversees a multidisciplinary VA regional tumor program, managing patients with liver cancer from all over Southern New England who come to West Haven for their care.
“We have wonderful hepatologists, interventional radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, palliative care specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse coordinators who aim to provide care for patients who may not have care locally,” said Taddei.
Her goal is to build on the hospital’s strong foundation and expand its services to create a bigger presence, potentially across the country, to help parts of the nation that may not have specialty care. The VA is also expanding telemedicine trying to reach more rural areas or areas that are resource-poor in terms of GI and hepatology. “I think that patients and other regions of the country can benefit from our expertise.”
Another passion of Taddei’s is overseeing career development among faculty and trainees. She is vice chief of faculty development for digestive diseases, and associate program director of the Medical Scientist Training (MD-PhD) Program at YSM.
Her goal “is to develop robust programs where faculty feel supported in whatever endeavor they choose, and to help them get enough sponsorship, mentorship, and visibility so that they can advance their careers and their particular interests in the way they see fit,” she said. “I feel very strongly that we need to ensure a strong pipeline of physician-scientists.”
Taddei’s colleagues have every confidence that she will flourish in her new position.
“Tamar Taddei is an outstanding clinician, clinical researcher, and educator with a long record of service to VA Connecticut and Yale School of Medicine,” said Loren Laine, MD, professor of medicine (digestive diseases) and chief of the Section of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at YSM. “I’m confident that she will provide exceptional leadership for the Section of Digestive Diseases at VA Connecticut, continuing the proud tradition of our section in enhancing the digestive health of veterans.”
Since forming one of the nation’s first sections of hepatology and then gastroenterology over 50 years ago, Yale’s Section of Digestive Diseases has had an enduring impact on research and clinical care in gastrointestinal and liver disorders. To learn more about their work, visit Digestive Diseases.