Center to Bring Holistic Approach to Treatment of Acid-Related Disease

 SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY – Physicians from Phelps’ departments of otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat or ENT) and gastroenterology (GI) have joined together to establish the Phelps Hospital Reflux Center. At the Center, the physicians work together to coordinate care of patients who suffer from acid reflux and its related symptoms. The team is led by Craig H. Zalvan, MD, FACS, a laryngologist and Medical Director of the Institute for Voice and Swallowing Disorders; Diana Winston-Comartin, MD, MPH, a gastroenterologist who specializes in women’s health as related to GI and motility; and Peter H. Stein, MD, MBA, Director Of Advanced Endoscopywho specializes in advanced and therapeutic endoscopy, the procedure commonly used to examine the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first portion of small bowel).

Acid reflux, which occurs when acidic stomach contents rises up into the esophagus, can cause symptoms in both the esophagus and upper digestive tract as far as the vocal cords.  A gastroenterologist treats patients who are affected by the reoccurrence of acidic stomach contents. An ENT treats patients experiencing symptoms from acidic stomach contents advancing further upward. Heartburn, regurgitation, cough, a hoarse voice, and the sensation of something stuck in the throat could all be symptoms of acid-related disease. ENT and GI physicians normally work separately and often refer patients to each other when appropriate. The benefit of the Phelps Reflux Center is that the GIs and ENTs work together to quickly identify and treat the cause of the reflux symptoms.

One treatment focus for patients at the Reflux Center will be diet, which directly impacts the stomach and digestive systems. Dr. Zalvan recently released a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed a plant-based diet can reduce the reliance on PPIs – proton pump inhibitors – which are commonly prescribed to treat reflux. One PPI, Nexium, is the second most prescribed medication in the United States. That means that for all medical conditions for which medications are prescribed in the country, there is only one drug prescribed more often than Nexium.  The possible long-term side effects for these types of medications remain unclear; however, potentially they can include infections of the GI tract, pneumonia, stomach infections, osteoporosis, kidney disease and dementia.  They may also increase the risk of stroke.

The goal of the new center is to get patients off medicines traditionally used to treat reflux through diet and lifestyle-based approaches.  “The more that is learned about this class of meds, the more it is becoming evident that there are potentially some serious long-term, harmful side effects ,”said Dr. Stein. “We want to change the standard approach to reflux.” 

The center is located at 777 N. Broadway on the Phelps campus where the two departments are already office neighbors.

Patients interested in making an appointment can call 1-833-XREFLUX or 1-833-973-3589

About Phelps Hospital

Phelps Hospital, part of Northwell Health, is a full-service 238-bed acute care community hospital located in Sleepy Hollow, NY. With more than 1,700 employees and 500 medical staff members representing 60 medical specialties, Phelps offers one of the broadest ranges of community hospital services in Westchester County. Patients benefit from distinguished physicians, many of whom are pioneers in their field, offering the most advanced procedures using the latest technology. Phelps’ primary and specialty care medical group, Phelps Medical Associates, has nearly 20 practices located on the hospital campus and in the surrounding communities.

About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, about 750 outpatient facilities and more than 13,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 68,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Press Contact

Contact:  Margaret Plofchan, Director of Marketing Phelps Hospital