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      RGA welcomes Illinois physician to medical team

      Dr. Stier

      Dr. Matthew Stier recently joined the team at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates (RGA), bringing with him a passion for patient care and endoscopic procedures, as well as a research background involving Barrett’s esophagus and colon cancer screening.

      Dr. Stier was born and raised in Normal and attended Purdue University, where he earned his degree in pharmaceutical science. Wanting to be more hands-on with patient care, he switched his focus to medicine and graduated with honors from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

      After medical school, Dr. Stier began his training across town at the University of Chicago, where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He served as chief fellow during his training there from 2017 to 2018.

      Dr. Stier was drawn to care for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders after seeing some family members live with digestive diseases. He also enjoyed the mix of patient care, procedural work and addressing the breadth of conditions that affect the entire digestive system.

      "It’s a well-rounded field," he noted. "I really liked the people in GI who I met, and you see how much people can be affected by these conditions. Quality of life is impacted tremendously when you can’t eat or you’re not going to the bathroom effectively."

      RGA was a great fit in part because Dr. Stier’s wife, Dr. Jessica Stier, is from Sycamore. They wanted to be close to family and friends, and he said RGA’s collaborative nature appealed to him when he was considering where to work. One of his program directors at the University of Chicago was also familiar with the practice.

      "The whole system here is designed to care for patients in the most effective way possible," he said. "The physicians and nurse practitioners work together so well with the rest of the team to provide comprehensive treatment. One of my program directors told me, 'They’re outstanding people who are in it for the right reasons.'"

      He also liked that all the RGA physicians teach and mentor medical students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford. Academic research was a big part of his fellowship training, and he participated in clinical research on the endoscopic management of Barrett’s esophagus, which is a change in the normal lining of the esophagus that results from chronic acid reflux. These patients are regularly monitored by their doctors for any changes in their condition, as it can lead to the development of esophageal cancer in some individuals.

      Dr. Stier treats a variety of GI conditions at RGA and has a special interest in liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

      Away from work, Drs. Matt and Jessica Stier enjoy attending outdoor concerts, checking out new and favorite restaurants, and traveling. They relocated to Rockford and have enjoyed exploring the city.

      Even though he’s only been at RGA for a few weeks, he said the environment is "exactly as promised."

      "RGA is a private practice that is nationally known, which is remarkable," he said. "Everyone has been welcoming as I learn the systems and processes here, and I’m excited to grow as part of this group."