Contact Us

Bashar Attar, M.D., Ph.D., System Chair

1900 W. Polk St.
14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60612


The Division of Gastroenterology at Cook County Health and Hospitals System, has a long and distinguished history in both the academic and clinical arenas.

It is the birth-place of the American Association for the Study of Liver diseases (AASLD).

In 1950, our hepatologist Dr. Fenton Schaffner and our pathologist Dr. Hans Popper met with Dr. Leon Schiff and  Dame Sheila Sherlock  at Cook County Hospital and founded the most prestigious  academic liver association in the world!  Since then, the liver meeting had been held annually in Chicago for 50 consecutive years.  On December 12, 2002, it was the time to  move to a state-of-the art  facility “the New Cook County Hospital” which was renamed for John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in honor of the President of Cook County Board of Commissioners.

The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients with gastrointestinal , pancreatic, liver, or biliary disorders.  We aim to provide the highest quality medical care  in a convenient, friendly, and compassionate setting. We serve patients from many different backgrounds which is mirrored in the diversity of our staff.  We strive to improve communications with our patients and providing them with the education needed regarding their gastrointestinal conditions and procedures. The skills of our board-certified physicians and dedicated team approach from specially trained staff has enabled us to achieve this level of clinical excellence. Our attending  gastroenterologists  offer particular expertise in the treatment of challenging gastrointestinal and liver diseases as well as  other common gastrointestinal disorders such as  inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, GI/colon  cancer, gallstones, esophageal motility,  hepatitis B &C, cirrhosis and other liver diseases,  pancreatic & biliary disorders, chronic diarrhea and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

The division provides both outpatient and inpatient  procedures  in the management of gastrointestinal, hepatic, and nutritional disorders.  Our Gastroenterology staff perform a wide variety of endoscopic and biopsy procedures. These include upper endoscopy (gastroduodenoscopy), colonoscopy, endoscopic removal of polyps from the colon and stomach,  percutaneous  gastrostomy tube placement (PEG), esophageal dilatation and retrograde pancreato- cholangiography (ERCP), sphincterotomy and removal of gallstones in the bile duct , endoscopic placement of esophageal, and  bile duct stents. Tests performed include high resolution esophageal motility, gastroesophageal reflux (24-hour esophageal pH measurement), esophageal impedence studies, gastric and pancreatic function, as well as liver and small bowel biopsy. We have state -of- the art high defintion-narrow band imaging scopes, video capsule endoscopy imaging, and Balloon-Assisted Enteroscopy. We also have the most advance equipment  for Endoscopic Ultrasound with fine needle aspiration (EUS with FNA). Other procedures such as arteriography, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography with stent placement, arterial embolization, placement of wires for radiation therapy and various isotope scans are carried out in conjunction with the Department of Radiology.