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We employ Canine Assistants to comfort & cheer our patients... Their special contribution to your better health & well-being is subtle, but enormous!

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Our Trained Staff Will Have You Jumping For Joy.

Our Team

Orlando Magazine Top Doctor 2013
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Ira Shafran

Ira Shafran, M.D., P.A.

Meet Dr. Ira Shafran Video

As a Board Certified Gastroenterologist practicing in the Orlando area since 1979, Dr. Shafran completed his Internal Medicine & GI training at Ohio State University Medical School.

Early in his career, Dr. Shafran discovered a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis, and over the past 35 years this interest has evolved into a passion to find the “Cause and Cure” for IBD. He is proud to be the top clinical IBD researcher in Central Florida, and has developed an exceptional Clinical Research Program, & IBD Center-of-Excellence offering all qualified patients access to therapies and treatments they may not otherwise be able to receive. They are the first and only IBD Center-of-Excellence in Florida with the American Gastroenterological Association’s “Bridges-to-Excellence” recognition and 1 of 17 nationally

Dr. Shafran is acknowledged as one of America's “Top” Gastroenterologist in the Guide to Top Doctors '99, and in the 2006 through this year's Guide to Top Physicians. He is considered among the "Top 70 Doctors" in Central Florida according to his peers and featured in the Orlando Magazine's issues annually. Frequently, he can be seen on TV for newsworthy GI developments on America's Health Network and PBS HealthWeek and Dr. G Medical Examiner. As a leader in his field, Dr. Shafran lectures locally, nationally & internationally. He was featured in Saturday Evening Post’s May-June 2004 article, Reducing the Risk of Crohn’s Disease,. The Orlando Sentinel highlighted his ongoing work with Crohn’s and a bacterial etiology in an article on the front page of their Sunday, December 2, 2007 issue, Antibiotics offer hope for Crohn’s. Throughout his career, he has been an outspoken patient advocate & supporter of Patient Rights.

At the Shafran Gastroenterology Center, our associates & staff take great pride in providing our patients with the highest quality medical care in a warm & friendly way, tailoring treatment to meet each patient’s specific needs.

Renee M. DePanicis, R.N.

Renee M. DePanicis, R.N.

Renee graduated from St. Mary's Community College in Minneapolis, MN in 1974 with an Associate's Degree in Nursing. She worked as an RN in Med-Surg for 5 years before moving to Salt Lake City, where she spent the next 10 years in the Critical Care/ICU. She relocated to Orlando in 1984 and has since amassed over 20 years of experience in the GI endoscopy arena, many of which working along-side Dr. Shafran assisting with endoscopic procedures at MNH Surgical Center. In 2008, she formally joined the Shafran Research Team as a Clinical Research Coordinator, where she exhibits steadfast dedication and unwavering commitment to both patients & advancement of the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Kara L. Fitch, R.N., C.C.R.C.

Kara L. Fitch, R.N., C.C.R.C.

Kara graduated from Valencia Community College in 2004 with an Associate's Degree in Nursing. She began her career at Florida Hospital in Cardiac Care as a floor nurse in the cardiac step down and chest pain units. In 2006, her nursing career shifted to private practice at Orlando Heart Center as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She obtained professional research certification (C.C. R.C.) in 2008, and has overseen numerous clinical trials. We were thrilled to have Kara join our practice in January 2012 as our Regulatory Coordinator and Infusion Nurse. In addition to the busy demands of our growing research practice, Kara is also attending UCF part time seeking her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing.

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