Rockford Gastroenterology Associates - Story
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      Twenty-year veteran RGA doctor passionate about procedures and patient care

      Dr. Ikenberry

      Dr. Steven Ikenberry will soon celebrate his 20th year with Rockford Gastroenterology Associates (RGA), where he is passionate about diagnosing and caring for patients with a range of digestive health conditions.

      Dr. Ikenberry was born in West Virginia and grew up in Pennsylvania. When he was 16, his family moved to Urbana, Illinois, that’s where he graduated high school.

      From Urbana, he completed his undergraduate degree at Indiana University (IU) and then graduated from the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, where he was classmates with RGA’s Dr. John DeGuide. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology back at IU and remained there as a faculty member for a few years.

      Dr. Ikenberry knew at a young age he wanted to be a doctor. His grandfather was a general surgeon and helped foster this goal. His training at Indiana University medical center allowed him exposure to the gastrointestinal (GI) department that was internationally recognized. He was grateful for the opportunity to obtain a very high level of training there.

      "One of the most interesting things about GI is that it’s one of the broadest subspeciality areas," he explained. "It’s the esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas, liver and more. It’s a fairly broad range of diseases that we help manage and diagnose, and it offers a great mix of procedures and interventions, as well as caring for chronic patients in need of long-term care."

      Joining RGA

      Dr. Ikenberry had been working in Peoria when he heard about the opportunity to join RGA’s team, which he did in 2000. At RGA, he cares for patients with general digestive health issues and has developed a subspeciality of treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

      He said there is increased demand for GI care today, which is largely a reflection of recent advances made in treatment and technology for diagnosing conditions. He said RGA is a very well-run practice with a national reputation and high-quality physicians who actively participate in research to stay current on the latest GI care.

      "We provide top-notch medical care, and we have a system set up that is family-centered, particularly for young physicians to raise kids in this community," he said. "This has been a great community to raise our families."

      With his advanced training, he also enjoys the procedure side of GI care and is passionate about colon cancer screening and prevention. Dr. Ikenberry said a common misconception among people is that the procedures (such as colonoscopies) are painful.

      "A vast majority of patients are quite comfortable for their procedures, and they come away with a high level of satisfaction," he said. "We are all well above national guidelines on quality measures, and every day, we seek to do the highest-quality procedures.

      "Take colonoscopies. The ultimate goal and the beautiful thing is when do we our job right, there is less colon cancer in the world. That means someone doesn’t have to through the heartache of a diagnosis or treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation."

      With IBD, Dr. Ikenberry said patients often suffer for years without a diagnosis. Newer therapies allow patients to live "normal lives" much of the time.

      Outside of RGA

      In addition to his role at RGA, Dr. Ikenberry has been involved with American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, where he served on the Standards of Practice Committee. He was Director of the GI Lab at SwedishAmerican Hospital for many years, and he currently serves as President of the Medical Staff at the hospital. Dr. Ikenberry also serves as a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford and was recently recognized in the Top 3 for best gastroenterologists by the Rockford Register Star’s What Rocks contest.

      Away from work, Dr. Ikenberry lives in Rockford with his wife, Anne. They have three grown children, and the couple enjoys traveling. Dr. Ikenberry also enjoys riding bikes and delving into photography as a hobby.

      As RGA prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, Dr. Ikenberry said he tries every day to embody the principles the organization’s founders started.

      "Rockford Gastro is truly a special place," he noted. "I am proud to of be part of it. I try to carry on in the fashion that our founding members started and to continue to help RGA keep its course. It speaks to why I came here. I was an Eagle Scout, and they teach you to leave things better than you found them. This is such a good place – I don’t know if I can leave it better, but I will try my best."

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