AbbVie Inc. Helps BWH Fight Inflammatory Bowel Disease

More than 1.5 million Americans battle inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition causing chronic or recurring inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Since the most common forms of IBD—Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—are typically diagnosed in individuals when they hit their teens or early 20s, treatment and management of IBD can be challenging. The disease must be continually monitored, because acute episodes can be incapacitating and affect work, school, and family life.

With help from a generous grant of more than $820,000 from AbbVie Inc., Joshua Korzenik, MD, director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and his colleagues are establishing the IBD Center of the Future at BWH. A pharmaceutical research and development company, AbbVie’s contribution will fuel Korzenik’s plan to create an innovative model of integrated and comprehensive patient-centered health services for people with IBD.

“AbbVie is committed to making a remarkable impact in the lives of the patients we serve,” says Tracie Haas, vice president, AbbVie Corporate Responsibility. “We believe the new IBD Center of the Future at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will serve as a model for innovative patient-centric care and will provide greater access to care for patients living with IBD.”

Korzenik seeks to empower IBD patients to participate in all aspects of their well-being, including shared decision-making, medication adherence, and lifestyle changes, through the center’s health and nutrition coaching, educational programs, mental health counseling, and stress management training. Korzenik’s vision is that providing patients with behavior-management skills will increase length of remission, reduce IBD symptoms, decrease emergency department visits, and ultimately minimize healthcare costs.

“Our aim is to develop a new model of care for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which encompasses a broader set of patients’ needs and interests. Along with the development of this model is the goal to study whether this will produce better outcomes and an optimal care experience while reducing costs,” says Korzenik. “We feel extremely fortunate that AbbVie is supporting this effort.”