Anita Afzali, MD is an internationally renowned, board-certified gastroenterologist whose focus is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Dr. Afzali received her medical degree, completed her internal medicine residency and completed her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Washington. Her subspecialty training includes a one-year advanced IBD fellowship at the University of Washington, as well as a master’s in public health (MPH) from the University of Washington and a master’s in healthcare management (MHCM) from Harvard.
IBD (which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) has been Dr. Afzali’s focus area since her initial training, as during this time she quickly learned that IBD is a chronic and debilitating disease which significantly impacts the lives of individuals.
“Recognizing that I could potentially play a role in patient advocacy, empowerment, education and healing in each patients’ disease is what sparked my initial interest a long time ago and that’s what I’ve dedicated my clinical and research effort—for treatment and management of inflammatory bowel disease,” says Dr. Afzali.
Dr. Afzali fully embraces a patient centric, multidisciplinary, collaborative approach when it comes to patient care—her philosophy being to always recognize that no two patients are the same and that a treatment or approach that works for one, may not work for another.
In addition to her role as a practicing board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Afzali is currently leading several roles at UC Health and the UC College of Medicine, including associate chief medical officer at UC Health, executive vice-chair for clinical operations in the Department of Internal Medicine and professor in the division of digestive diseases at the UC College of Medicine.
Previously, Dr. Afzali served as the Abercrombie and Fitch Endowed Chair and medical director at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, of which she was the founder.
As an accomplished healthcare executive, she has conducted extensive clinical research as global principal investigator in novel therapy and diagnostic trials. She is a respected innovator and expert in program development and healthcare operations, creating national programs, strategic multidisciplinary partnerships, community engagement and entrepreneurship.