New clinical chief will expand services in digestive diseases

His expertise includes quality management on a national level

alt textJohn L. Allen, MD
John L. Allen, MD

John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, a specialist in colon cancer and the genetics of colon cancer, has joined Yale Medical Group as clinical chief of gastroenterology and hepatology, and professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Allen arrived in New Haven in April from Minnesota, where he was quality advisor for Minnesota Gastroenterology in the Twin Cities of Minn., and quality chair at Minneapolis-based Allina Health System. He is also currently president-elect of the American Gastroenterological Association.

After 21 years in private practice, Dr. Allen accepted the position at Yale partly because he wanted to “see how we can develop a much larger delivery footprint in digestive diseases at an academic medical center.

“Yale is a phenomenal research institution,” he said. But academic institutions have not been at the forefront of health care delivery and that needs to change in digestive diseases, he added. One strategy will be to encourage community gastroenterologists to partner closely with the “Yale family” and to expand in Connecticut with a wider network of clinics and surgical centers, Dr. Allen said. “I think we have innate strength, we will expand and this will be a destination center for digestive diseases.”

Dr. Allen graduated from the University of New Mexico Medical School in 1977, and completed his internship, residency and gastroenterology specialty training at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He then spent 10 years as faculty in the Department of Medicine in Minnesota. In 1991, he became the associate medical director of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and joined Minnesota Gastroenterology. He helped build Minnesota Gastroenterology into a single specialty gastroenterology practice with more than 60 physicians in the Twin Cities, and developed their nationally known quality improvement program.

In 2007, Dr. Allen was selected to chair the Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee of the American Gastroenterological Association. He has worked with other medical societies to develop clinical quality measures for gastroenterology. He chaired or co-chaired task forces that developed many of the measures currently in the Physician Quality Reporting System of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in gastroenterology.

Department of Internal Medicine Chair Jack Elias, MD, said, "We are thrilled that Dr Allen has joined us and are looking forward to working with him to continue to improve health care delivery in digestive diseases."