The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital Now Open, Accepting Patients


The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital is now open.

Many people don’t think much about heartburn until after eating a loaded sub or some pizza with the works.

And for most, chewing on a couple of antacid tablets will “cure” the heartburn problem.

But for nearly one-third of heartburn sufferers in America, these troublesome heartburn symptoms cannot be eliminated that easily and represent a significant life-altering condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or “GERD.”

Fortunately, relief for people suffering from GERD in the Tuscarawas Valley is now available at Union Hospital.

The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital is now open and gives area residents and their physicians a specialized center right inside the hospital that focuses on the accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art therapies to address all types of GERD cases and conditions.

New patients are being accepted right now and a doctor’s referral is not necessary for an evaluation. For a free consultation, appointments and other information, contact Denise Smith, nurse coordinator at The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital, at (330) 308-3595.

A complete diagnostic evaluation is followed by development of a treatment plan tailored for each individual patient. Multiple treatment options are available through the Center, including medical therapies as well as minimally invasive surgical options. All patients with GERD can be offered relief.

The Center includes a team of hospital physicians who have received special training to provide individual treatment strategies as needed. At The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital, the physician team includes:

  • Blair T. Holder, M.D., of Tuscarawas County Medical Specialties
  • Marcus Cox, M.D., of UPS Regional Surgical Specialists
  • Jack E. Kehl III, M.D., of UPS Regional Surgical Specialists
  • Robert M. Levitt, M.D., of UPS Regional Surgical Specialists
  • Joseph N. Zemis, M.D., of UPS Regional Surgical Specialists

The Center is being developed in collaboration with Legato Medical Systems, which specializes in the multi-disciplinary therapy of GERD and utilizes a proven disease management process focused on clinical excellence and patient service. Legato’s program coordinates diagnostic and treatment services so that patients efficiently are offered all appropriate options in resolving their reflux symptoms.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, with other symptoms including regurgitation, chronic cough, hoarseness and chest pain. It is caused by the “backup” of stomach acid into the esophagus (or swallowing tube), resulting in irritation of the fragile lining of the esophagus.

More than 30 percent of Americans suffer from GERD symptoms, and most can be treated effectively with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Once you have GERD, you have it for life and treatment choices must be considered with this in mind.

In addition, many years of heartburn clearly has been associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the esophagus. A cancer risk assessment is part of the evaluation conducted at The Heartburn Treatment Center at Union Hospital and is very important for all chronic GERD sufferers.

Details also are available at

Information about Union Hospital and all of its services available to the community is available on the hospital website at, and on the hospital’s pages on Facebook and Twitter (@Union_Hospital).


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