Our Physician & Staff

Gastroenterologist in Bluffton, SC

The brief descriptions below are designed to familiarize you with our staff's training, professional credentials and work experience.

Louis D. Bell, M.D., F.A.C.G

Dr. Louis D. Bell is board certified in Gastroenterology and has more than 29 years of experience. He performs about 1500 procedures yearly and has achieved “Master” status, having performed over 25,000 colonoscopies.

Dr. Bell is a graduate of Temple University and the Temple University Medical School. His fellowship training was in gastroenterology at the Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, PA.

Dr. Bell has earned a reputation for providing quality and compassionate care in the Low Country. He believes that every patient should always be embraced with personal kindness, respect, attention, and understanding. Dr. Bell strives to provide care in a timely fashion, from the first contact through follow-up. By listening to the patient's needs and concerns, Dr. Bell communicates in an understandable manner to determine the need for treatment and treatment progress.

Dr. Bell also enjoys teaching and he has held faculty appointments as a Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and a Clinical Associate in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Bell has served on the Board of the Hilton Head Medical Center. He is currently President of the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association. He is also a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Catherine E. Bushnell DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Catherine E. Bushnell joined Coastal Gastroenterology in June 2023. At Coastal Gastroenterology, Catherine works to promote patients’ digestive health through clinical assessment and diagnostic evaluation. Prior experience, Catherine worked as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner where she enhanced her diagnostic and clinical skills, directing her to specialize in Gastroenterology. Her former nursing profession encompasses adolescent psychiatric, hospice/palliative care, pediatric and adult medical care, and emergency room, and trauma. She furthered her education by obtaining her Bachelors’ of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina concentrating in Family Medicine. She is an ANCC board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a holder of multiple professional certifications; Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, AANP member and mentor and the American Nurses' Association.

Catherine enjoys volunteering with military organizations as she is a former United States Marine.

Maria L. Bell, RN, MBA

Maria Bell is a senior management consultant with 30 years of experience in the health-care industry and small businesses. Her expertise includes strategic business planning and expansion; product packaging and introduction; marketing planning and execution, managed care contracting, business management and “start-up” operations for a broad scope of health-care providers.

She has held leadership positions in strategic planning and marketing and has served on the Board of the Golden Cradle Adoption Agency, Co-Chair of Special Projects with The Palmetto Hall Plantation, the Finance Committee of the Literacy Volunteers of the Low Country, and Vice President of the SCHEMA/MGMA.

Maria received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at West Chester University, a Master of Business Administration in Health Administration and Medical Services from Widener University, and a Master of Business Administration in Technology and E-Commerce from West Chester University and is a Graduate of the Hilton Head/ Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program.

Stacey Ahern

Stacey Ahern, as the Medical Office Support, manages the scheduling of periodic procedures and outstanding financial matters. Stacey is a native of New York and New Jersey and had achieved managerial roles in the aerospace and power industries. She moved to Bluffton in 2005 and worked for a local medical billing company. Stacey’s role is to contact patients to remind them it is time to schedule follow up procedures. Personally knowing the importance of continued follow up medical care, being a cancer survivor, Stacey is successful in facilitating patients to do so as well. Stacey is CPR certified. Additionally, Stacey assists patients with overdue balances. Knowing personally what it is like to have medical bills add up, she works with patients to structure payment plans so patients can pay their balances in a non-stressful way. You will enjoy talking with Stacey, as she often shares a laugh over mutual experiences of living in New York and New Jersey or maybe reminiscing about a good meatball recipe or where to find a real bagel in Bluffton.

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Bluffton Office Hours

Monday - Thursday:

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Friday - Sunday: