2022 NES website items 3
Videos from our Irritable Bowel Syndrome event are now available on IFFGD’s Youtube

Missed This Event?

Don’t worry!  You can watch the recorded program by clicking the button below

In collaboration with Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, IFFGD hosted an in-person Norton Education Series (NES): Irritable Bowel Syndrome Edition on April 23, 2022 at Renaissance Chicago Glenview Suites Hotel, 1400 Milwaukee Avenue, Glenview, IL.  

The Nancy and Bill Norton Patient Education Series Event: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Edition was a free 1-day event that featured live educational presentations for patients and others impacted by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

The Nancy and Bill Norton Patient Education Series (NES) is a program created by IFFGD, as a tribute to our founders and their tremendous work for patients and the gastrointestinal (GI) community.

Health and Safety

As we return to in-person events in 2022,  we will closely monitor the CDC regulations in regards to COVID19. We will implement requirements based on the CDC and the event location guidelines during this event. We will keep all registrants informed about these requirements and protocols that we implement for the 2022 in-person NES event. Please do not hesitate to contact our staff at iffgd@iffgd.org with any questions and/or concerns. 

Note: To allow for social distancing and quality interaction between presenters and attendees, seating is limited to the first 75 registrants.

This page is updated regularly.  Check back daily for the latest information.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Session 1: Welcome by Program Chair

Darren M. Brenner, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Event
Dr. Darren Brenner

Dr. Brenner is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery in the Division of Gastroenterology at Northwestern University and serves as Director of the Neurogastromotility, Co-Director of the Integrated Bowel Dysfunction program, and Director of the Motts Tonelli GI Physiology Laboratory. He is also an active Irene D. Pritzker Research Scholar.

Dr. Brenner focuses his clinical and research pursuits on a wide range of motility topics including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, opioid related constipation, fecal incontinence, and scleroderma. He has published more than 150 articles, abstracts, and online materials on these subjects, and has lectured both nationally and internationally in these areas. He acts as a reviewer and editor for multiple gastrointestinal (GI) peer-reviewed journals and is a current associate editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. 

Session 2: The Epidemiology, Symptomology, and Strategy of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Amy Kassebaum-Ledewski, PA-C, RD, MMS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Event
Amy Kassebaum-Ledewski, PA-C

Amy Kassebaum-Ladewski is a physician assistant within the department of digestive health at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. She specializes in functional bowel and neurogastromotility disorders, in addition to managing general GI patients. She currently serves as the Vice President of the national non-profit organization, GHAPP (Gastroenterology & Hepatology Advanced Practice Providers), with a mission to educate and help advance the careers of GI APPs. With a background as a registered dietitian, she prioritizes nutrition counseling with her patients. Amy strives to develop collaborative and trusted relationships with her patient to empower them towards better health and wellness.

Presentation Overview:  Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions seen in primary care and gastroenterology, yet many patients go undiagnosed and are inadequately treated for years. The objective of this presentation on IBS is to empower patients to understand their condition and seek optimal care. Patients will be educated on common IBS symptoms, how IBS is diagnosed, and appropriate treatment therapies, which include pharmacological, behavioral and dietary.

Session 3: Treatment Options for IBS-Mixed and IBS-Constipation

Mona Lalehzari, MD
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Event
Dr. Mona Lalehzari

Dr. Mona Lalehzari is a second-year gastroenterology fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology at Northwestern University. Dr. Lalehzari’s clinical interests include general gastroenterology and the interplay between the gut and the brain in disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Lalehzari is also actively involved in quality improvement initiatives for improving endoscopic training for gastroenterology fellows, as well as research efforts looking at the effects of Covid-19 infection on the digestive tract.

Presentation Overview:
This presentation will review how irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and mixed symptoms (IBS-M) are defined and review relevant treatment options. Several medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as effective for treating abdominal pain and constipation. We will discuss what these medications are and how they work. Additionally, we will briefly review non-pharmacologic approaches to improving IBS symptoms. Patients should work together with their healthcare providers to determine what treatment options are best for them. Our goal is to improve your symptoms and quality of life!

Session 4: Treatment Options for IBS-Diarrhea 

​Joy Liu MD, 3rd year Chief GI Fellow

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Event
Dr. Joy Liu

Dr. Joy Liu is the chief gastroenterology fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology at Northwestern University. Dr. Liu’s clinical interests include disorders of gut-brain interaction such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, and pelvic floor disorders, and she has published on these topics in peer-reviewed journals. She is the current Irene D. Pritzker Research Motility Fellow.

Presentation Overview: 
This presentation will review treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). Several medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as effective for treating abdominal pain and diarrhea. These medications have also been shown to be safe in follow-up analyses. We will discuss what these medications are and how they work. Dr. Liu will briefly discuss the role of dietary counseling and behavioral treatments, which may also be very effective. Patients should work together with their health providers to determine what treatment/treatments are best for their symptoms.

Session 5: Food and IBS – How Can Working with a Dietitian Help?

Bethany Doerfler, MS, RD, Advanced GI Dietitian

Bethany Doerfler, MS, RD, Advanced GI Dietitian
Bethany Doerfler, MS, RD

Bethany Doerfler MS, RDN is a clinical research dietitian with more than 22 years of experience who specializes in lifestyle management of a range of digestive diseases including GERD, motility disorders and eosinophilic digestive diseases. She currently practices as part of a multidisciplinary team of Gastroenterologists, nurses, and psychologists in the Digestive Health Center at Northwestern Medicine.  She is a founding member of the Dietitians in Gastrointestinal Disorders (DIGID) upper esophageal working group. She received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in nutritional epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has lectured throughout the U.S. on digestive health to both public and academic audiences. 

Presentation Overview:
Are you looking to improve your GI symptoms using diet and lifestyle? Perhaps you have tried one or more nutrition approaches to improve your digestive health all ready and are wondering if you could feel better or if your diet is providing you with essential nutrients.

We will look at common nutrition prescriptions for IBS and how to fine tune your diet to feel well and be healthy.

Session 6: Why Should I Work with a Behavioral Therapist?

Anjali Pandit, PhD, Asst. Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Anjali Pandit_PhD_MPH
Dr. Anjali Pandit

Dr. Anjali Pandit is a clinical psychologist specializing in GI health. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine within the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  Her role is primarily clinical, delivering evidence-based interventions to patients with GI conditions and symptoms.  Dr. Pandit is passionate about the mind-body relationship and how we can leverage behavioral and cognitive interventions to improve physical health and wellbeing.

Presentation Overview: 
You may find it odd to be referred to a therapist for your bowel habits!  There is growing evidence that tells us that psychological interventions can be quite important and helpful in managing IBS and other GI conditions.  In this presentation you will learn about the brain-gut connection, how this connection pathway becomes disrupted in IBS, what psychological interventions for IBS are and why they work, and finally how to get started on treatment either by finding a provider or on your own. 

Session 7: Speaker Panel Discussion and Q & A

All Speakers

Post Program Event

IFFGD Hosted: Patient Networking and Social Hour 


An opportunity for patients and guests to socialize, get to know each other, share stories, and resources. 

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders gratefully acknowledges Salix, Ironwood, and Ardelyx for their generous support of the Nancy and Bill Norton Patient Education Series: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Event
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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

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