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      Familiar faces at RGA: Jennifer

      Jennifer Ward

      Jennifer Ward loves getting up every day and going to work as a board-certified Nurse Practitioner at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates (RGA) to help patients navigate their digestive challenges.

      Born and raised in Rockford, Ward received her bachelor's in biology from Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2004. In 2005, she decided nursing was her passion and returned home to pursue that dream. She received her BSN degree from Saint Anthony College of Nursing in 2007.

      Ward joined the RGA team in 2013 after working as a Registered Nurse at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center on the cardiac unit for several years. She earned her master's degree in 2012 from NIU. She was ready to tackle more responsibilities and be more involved in helping patients make decisions about their digestive health.

      Today, Ward spends her time specializing in the care of hospitalized patients with gastroenterological problems and she splits her time between OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and UW Health SwedishAmerican.

      "I always knew I wanted to be in the hospital setting," Ward said. "I like the variety and the fast pace. I conduct new patient consults, set up procedures for acutely ill patients, perform rounds, update charts, arrange patient follow up, and communicate with RGA doctors on patient care and procedures. Each day is different."

      Ward works with patients with a variety of chronic and acute digestive diseases and disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, biliary diseases, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver disease and colon cancer. On average, she sees anywhere from 10-15 patients a day.

      "RGA is a great place to work," Ward said. "I have a large family, so work-life balance is a big deal to me. It's a great family-oriented atmosphere where everyone sees the big picture. I love my job, it's easy to come to work."

      Ward lives in Winnebago with her husband, Jason and four children. Away from work, she enjoys spending time together as a family and with friends especially at their vacation home in northern Wisconsin.

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