Founded in 2004 by Dr. Houssam Al Kharrat, West Texas Digestive Disease Center has been essential in providing Gastroenterology services to West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.
Dr. Houssam Al Kharrat
Dr. Steven Block
At the beginning of his career, Dr. Kharrat served as a research associate in the Dept. of Pathology and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He was able to publish multiple papers on catecholamine. With a dedication to take care of people, he pursued further training and certification by the Board of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Kharrat is a board-certified gastroenterologist by the American Board of Internal Medicine after completing his GI fellowship at Bridgeport Hospital-Yale New Haven Health System in Bridgeport, CT. Dr. Kharrat then moved to West Texas to join his family and has been providing gastroenterology care ever since.
With a passion for teaching, Dr. Kharrat joined Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as an associate clinical professor. He has trained gastroenterology fellows in mastering the art of procedures and caring for patients with digestive diseases. He currently works with Texas Tech medical students by mentoring and educating on the ever challenging and expanding care of patients with digestive disease.
He is a member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Medical Association and the American Gastroenterological Association.
Through his career he has received numerous awards. These awards include the Holden Award for outstanding resident research at Bon Secours Hospital, recognition for Scholarly Activity in Telemedicine at Yale New Haven Health System, recognition by the American Cancer Society for performing colon cancer screening on the underserved population in Bridgeport, recognition by the American Cancer Society for establishing and running community free colon cancer screening program for the underserved population in Lubbock county, and Covenant Health System Service Award.
Dr. Kharrat has also collaborated with colleagues to write multiple medical articles that has been published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.
At WTDDC our team of providers includes board certified gastroenterologist, two experienced nurse practitioners, and a large supporting staff. WTDDC is affiliated with Covenant Medical Center, Grace surgical Center, Lubbock Heart & Surgical Hospital, Covenant High Plains Surgery Center, and NorthStar Surgical Center. It is also partnering with InformDx, Reverse Mind and Body, and Cataract and Surgical Center of Lubbock.
With a passion for chronic liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease, a partnership with leading pharmaceutical companies has allowed WTDDC to expand its services to include access to new medication in IBD. This access to new medication is through Caprock Gastro Research with the aim to offer top of the line medical treatment for West Texans. With the help of our affiliates, we also provide infusion, weight loss program, imaging and multiple affordable endoscopic procedures.
Dr. Steven Block has been in private practice in Gastroenterology in Lubbock, TX since 1994 and is now proudly continuing his practice with the West Texas Digestive Disease Center. He is a native West Texan who grew up in Muleshoe, TX and graduated from Muleshoe High School in 1974.
He and his wife, Melba, have three beautiful children, two sons and a daughter. Their family has grown to include two lovely daughter-in-laws and one wonderful, very busy granddaughter.
His hobbies include activities with his family such as thru-hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing and traveling. Some of the more notable family activities he has had have included hunting for caribou in Alaska and completing a three-week thru-hike with his sons on the John Muir Trail in California.
His additional education includes graduating from medical school in 1982 from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. After graduating from medical school he completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology Fellowship training with the Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
He is also board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In the Air Force he was stationed overseas twice, in the Philippines at Clark Air Force Base and at Wiesbaden Air Force Base in Germany. As an Air Force veteran he served in the Air Force as a medical officer for over ten years and was honorably discharged from the Air Force with the rank of major.
Other medical accomplishments he has achieved include being a physician inventor. He invented a peripheral vascular clotting stent called a vascular occluding bridged selfexpanding metal stent (VOBSEMS). He holds the patent on the VOBSEMS, patent number 10,265,076 B2 with the date of issue on the patent being April 23, 2019.
Finally, he believes as T.S. Eliot once wrote, "We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring, Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time."