SMH Opens New Digestive Health Center, Expands Gastroenterology Practice

SMH Opens New Digestive Health Center, Expands Gastroenterology Practice

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System opened a new outpatient care center today with a state-of-the-art endoscopy suite and expanding specialty practice dedicated to early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and other digestive diseases and disorders.

Sarasota Memorial relocated business and support services staff last year and transformed a 3-story, 23,000-square-foot building it owns at 1852 Hillview St. into a center for digestive health. Located adjacent to the main hospital campus, the first floor of the new Health Care Center at Hillview houses Sarasota Memorial’s first outpatient endoscopy center, with 3 procedure rooms equipped with the latest endoscopic testing and treatment technology. The second floor comprises administrative and medical office space, and the third floor is now home to First Physicians Group’s growing gastroenterology specialty practice. First Physicians Group (FPG) is a network of primary and specialty care physicians employed by Sarasota Memorial to help fill the gaps caused by a shortage of physicians in the region. 

First Floor: Endoscopy Center at Hillview

The Endoscopy Center at Hillview is Sarasota Memorial’s first outpatient facility for endoscopic procedures and can accommodate more than 1,500 patients its first year. The center will help reduce the months-long wait some people encounter when trying to schedule screening colonoscopies and other upper and lower endoscopies outside the hospital setting.

Stephen Kucera“Regular and timely screenings are the key to protect our overall health and our best defense to catch cancer at the earliest, most treatable stage,” said Stephen Kucera, MD, who serves as medical director of gastroenterology and endoscopic oncology at Sarasota Memorial. “Opening an outpatient endoscopy center will allow more people to schedule routine screenings and diagnostic services outside the hospital, while increasing our capacity to treat acute, complex cases inside the hospital.”

The outpatient endoscopy center is designed to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders involving the esophagus, stomach, colon, intestines, liver, pancreas and biliary tree. With 3 state-of-the-art procedure rooms, physicians will perform a range of services, from routine diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy to advanced endoscopic interventions. 

Services include

  • Colonoscopy 
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Ablation of Barrett’s esophagus
  • Small Bowel Enteroscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy

Health Care Center at HillviewThird Floor: FPG Gastroenterology Specialty Practice

Led by Dr. Kucera, FPG’s experienced team of gastroenterologists offers screenings, evaluations and coordinated care for a range of GI conditions, including: Barrett’s esophagus, celiac disease, chronic liver disease, diverticular disease, esophageal motility disorders (including achalasia), gallstones/gallbladder disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), GI cancers (including colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer), hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, pancreaticobiliary disorders and peptic ulcer disease.


People should schedule their first colonoscopy by age 50, or earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer. For information, appointments or referrals, call 941-262-0400.


About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System 
Sarasota Memorial is a regional medical center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 839-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. For more information, visit