The National Leader in Pediatric Gastroenterology

U.S. News Ranks Our Program No. 1 in the Nation

To look at 3-year-old Sawyer Bailey now is to see a feisty little ball of attitude, a boy so active he barely pauses for a kiss.

But reaching this day required the world-class liver care expertise found here at Cincinnati Children’s and a remarkably personal gift from Sawyer’s foster mom.

Sawyer was diagnosed shortly after birth by doctors in West Virginia with biliary atresia, a condition that causes bile to build up in the liver and damage it. He was referred to Cincinnati Children’s, a four-hour drive away, where he eventually was placed on a transplant wait list.

Sawyer received a partial-liver transplant from a living donor. In most cases, such donors are parents, siblings or other close relatives. But in Sawyer’s case, his foster mom Carissa Bailey was a tissue match.

“At the time, we didn’t know how long we would have him. We didn't know if he was going to be adoptable, or if they were going to help his birth family learn how to care for him and then reunite him, but we just knew that we wanted to help him in any way we could while we had him,” Carissa said.

Since the transplant, Carissa and Darla Bailey have officially adopted Sawyer and his big brother, and Sawyer is doing “unbelievably well for all that he’s gone through and being so sick, so early and young in life,” says his pediatric gastroenterologist, Amy Taylor, MD.

Sawyer’s story is one of thousands of success stories involving children served by our Gastroenterology program, now ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 2018-19 list of Best Children’s Hospitals published by U.S. News & World Report.

Our gastroenterologists provide care to more than 13,000 children each year, some with relatively common conditions such as abdominal pain and inflammatory bowel disease, and others with very rare diseases, such as Alagille syndrome, eosinophilic esophagitis, and familial pancreatitis.

“We bring together an outstanding team of physicians, surgeons, nurses and nutritionists who are dedicated to helping children no matter how complex their condition may be,” says Jorge Bezerra, MD, Director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s.

Why We Stand Out:

  • We provide one of the largest Pediatric Liver Transplant Programs in North America. We also are leaders at managing acute and chronic liver diseases at our Liver Care Center so that transplants do not become necessary.
  • Our Pancreas Care Center is one of only two pediatric programs nationwide noted by the National Pancreas Foundation as a center of excellence.
  • Our Center for Eosinophilic Disorders is the most comprehensive clinic of its kind. Recent research conducted here has revealed vital clues about the genetic underpinnings of these conditions, including recent breakthroughs that may lead to new treatments.
  • Researchers supporting the care provided through our Schubert-Martin Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center are developing new biomarkers that can predict the severity of disease and help guide treatment for children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • In collaboration with our colorectal team, our rapidly growing Motility Disorders Program treats Hirschsprung’s disease, severe chronic constipation, and other complex conditions.
  • We meet the unique needs of children with swallowing and feeding disorders at our Interdisciplinary Feeding Team Clinic.
  • Children with liver complications related to obesity receive the latest treatment approaches at our Steatohepatitis Center.
  • Our Colorectal Center is one of the most comprehensive programs in the world. We have treated children from 88 countries and all 50 states for a wide range of conditions.
  • Our Intestinal Care Center provides comprehensive care for children with intestinal failure, including innovative approaches for weaning patients off total parenteral nutrition and intestinal transplantation when needed.

Our Scorecard

Gastroenterology & GI Surgery.
U.S. News & World Report scored our gastroenterology program on outcomes & experience; numbers of patients & procedures; key programs, services & staff; professional recognition; quality improvement efforts; and patient support. See details