Gupta Aims to Make Children’s a “Destination of Choice” for Gastroenterology

Dr. Sandeep Gupta joined Children’s of Alabama as chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in April 2023.

Ask Sandeep Gupta, M.D., Children’s of Alabama’s new chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, about his goals, and he answers immediately: “To drive positive change and empower people to rise. At the end of the day, their success is our collective success.”

To that end, he said, he wants to bring “positive energy and collaborative change so as to make everyone a winner.” Without that, he said, the department can’t do its most important job: serving patients.

Gupta came to Children’s of Alabama in April after nearly 30 years at Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. He brings leadership experience to Children’s, including roles as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and the vice-chair of the Pediatric Growth and Development Biology Section of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute. He’s also the co-director of the training core and chair of the publications committee of the Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases Researchers (CEGIR). Since his arrival, he’s been impressed by the team at Children’s.

“The beauty of GI at Children’s of Alabama/the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is the fantastic people in the division,” he said. “People are our most valuable resource. Our people are here for the right reason, they have their heart in the right place, and they want to do the right thing.”

He wants to make their jobs easier and more efficient with stronger infrastructure and support systems, so, as he said, “We are working at the top of our license and being effective, rather than just busy.” That means ensuring goals and synergies are aligned. He also wants to drive the academic mission in addition to patient care. “We want to take care of all patients—from simple to complex—and serve the missions of Children’s and of UAB,” he said.

Gupta wants to make Children’s a destination of choice, not just of need, by patients. He envisions Children’s as a preeminent center of excellence, not only in Alabama, but also in surrounding areas regionally and nationally. His vision encompasses four As: access for patients, ambitions and aspirations for GI personnel and academic work.

Gupta’s special areas of focus are in eosinophilic GI diseases, nutrition, pediatric obesity and pediatric endoscopy. “What I love about this field is there is so much innovation happening, plus a strong national and international community,” he said. “Yes, we do procedures, but we also use our analytical skills because we are seeing patients in clinic and in the hospital and delivering exemplary care. GI provides an enviable mix of critical thinking and procedural skills.”

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