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House Call Provider of the Year Award Winners
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House Call Provider of the Year Award Winners

2016 Winners

Dr. Cameron Hernandez - 2016 House Call Physician of the Year

Dr. Cameron R. Hernandez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and the Division of General Internal Medicine at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Manhattan.  He then completed his fellowship in Geriatrics at The Mount Sinai Medical Center.  Dr. Hernandez joined the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program, the largest academic home based primary care program in the country, after his fellowship and became the Associate Director of the program five years later. During his tenure with the program he helped develop, implement and manage multiple programs including the Nurse Practitioner Comanagement model, a team based primary care model and recently the Mobile Acute Care Team better known as hospital-at-home.  In 2015 he was asked to take a much larger role at Mount Sinai as the Medical Director of Ambulatory Care.  He now oversees 49 clinics from primary care to surgical subspecialty all while still remaining as the Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program.

Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto - House Call Educator of the Year

Dr. Carla Perissinotto is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Carla is dedicated to working in both community and academic settings; she divides her clinical activities between a community health setting at the Over60 Health Center in Berkeley and in working with UCSF Care at Home--which provides medical care to home bound older adults.

Carla received her medical school training at Tufts University and completed both her Internal Medicine and Geriatrics training at UCSF. In addition, she holds a Masters in Health Science from Johns Hopkins University, from the Department of Population and Family Health.

Carla's interests are in working with diverse communities and improving the training of internal medicine residents and all learners in the care of elderly patients with a particular focus on care in the home. Carla is also a recipient of the HRSA Geriatric Academic Career Award 2010-2015, with which she is developing curricula to teach a wide range of learners on the care of elderly patients in diverse settings. Carla has also gained national and international recognition for her research on the effects of loneliness on the health of older adults. 

Helena Ross, LCSW-R - House Call Clinician of the Year

Helena Ross, LCSW is the Florence Roswell Social Work Program Coordinator of the Visiting Doctors Program, (MSVD) and the Mobile Acute Care Team (MACT) Project at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Ms. Ross is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social work, and has over twenty years of social work experience in a variety of settings including health care, mental health, and community advocacy.

Since joining the MSVD staff in 2006, she has fostered the growth of social work staffing from two to nine. Ms. Ross has developed many innovative processes that have helped expand the role and influence of the home visit social workers at Mount Sinai. This includes: clinical skills for the treatment of complex home bound patients, short-cutting sharing resources, focused advocacy, end of life and advanced care planning as well as founding an annual Interfaith Memorial Program. She has spoken about various aspects of the role of social work in house call medicine at both national and international meetings. Ms. Ross is co-author of a 2014 article, “The Critical Role of Social Work in Home Based Primary Care.

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2015 Winners

Dr. Sumir Sahgal - 2015 House Call Doctor of the Year
The 2015 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year was awarded to Dr. Sumir Sahgal, EssenMed House Calls. Dr. Sumir Sahgal exudes compassion, humanity, innovation and courage as a house call provider. Over the past 10 years, he has established a successful house call practice, EssenMed House Calls, that currently provides state-of-the–art medical care to nearly 4,000 elderly and homebound patients in all five boroughs in New York City. Through regular physician home visits, medication management, in-home diagnostic testing, and home care coordination, Dr. Sahgal has worked to improve the health and quality of life of homebound patients while also providing relief and support to caregivers and family members. At the core of it all, Dr. Sahgal genuinely cares for his patients, having navigated various barriers in order to utilize medical and social services to improve the overall well-being of the city’s most underserved and frequently neglected populations. Said Anderson Torres, CEO of Regional Aid for Interim Needs Inc. (RAIN) “ Dr. Sahgal exemplifies true compassion for the community in which he serves. It is wonderful to see this leader engaged at all levels of health care and always willing to lend a helping hand…What started off as seeing a few patients in their own homes – in the roughest, most impoverished and underserved neighborhoods of the Bronx – has transformed into a successful program that is now in all five boroughs of New York City.” It is our honor to award Dr. Sumir Sahgal the 2015 House Call Doctor of the Year.

Pamela Eaton, CRNP-A, MSN, MA - 2015 House Call Clinician of the Year
The 2015 House Call Clinician of the Year was awarded to Ms. Pamela Eaton. 
Pamela Eaton is the owner and operator of Caring Hands of Frederick, LLC in Monrovia, Maryland.  While attending a Nurse Practitioner Association Annual convention in 2001 Pam met a Nurse Practitioner from North Carolina with a house call practice. Pam recognized the opportunity and the benefit to the citizens of Fredrick County, Maryland. With her bedside and business knowledge she started Caring Hands of Frederick. She is the only Frederick County primary care clinician providing home-based services to the chronically ill and disabled for the long haul. Said nominator Meg Motter “Where would the middle-aged, homebound disabled gentleman have landed when his elderly mother was unexpectedly hospitalized and was unable to care for her son while she was in a local nursing facility, had Pam not stepped up to the plate? While other agencies were balking at providing him services without a full-time caregiver being present, Pam stepped in. The gentleman and his mother were desperate to keep him in the home during her recovery and it happened largely because of Pam’s efforts and commitment to honor their wishes.” It is our honor to award Pamela Eaton the 2015 House Call Clinician of the Year.    

Kristofer Smith, MD, MPP - 2015 House Call Educator of the Year
The 2015 House Call Educator of the Year was awarded to Dr. Kristofer Smith. 
Dr. Kristofer Smith has practiced medicine with the intention to improve the access and quality of care to the most fragile of populations. Dr. Smith's career has been and continues to be centered around, not just the homebound patient, but all those that are vulnerable to the complexity of medical coordination and transition. He began this drive and assertion to deliver a community approach to the homebound population directly after training. Within a relatively short period of time Dr. Smith developed the House Calls program as it exists today at the North Shore Long Island Jewish health system. His drive and determination brought him great recognition from both the community as a physician and the health system as a leader. He currently oversees a larger entity of the health system known as Care Solutions. Even in his current role he continues to encourage and shape the delivery of home based care within the region of the NSLIJ health system. Dr. Smith was an Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai before moving to NSLIJ and he has published a number of papers on advanced care models for the frail elderly. He has been a co-investigator on a number of grants investigating the outcomes of high-intensity primary care programs.  He has been invited to give regional and national talks on health policy, the frail elderly, and the intersection of payment reform and clinical redesign.  He has worked with regional and national associations such as the Greater New York Hospital Association, the American College of Physicians, the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, and the American Academy of Home Care Medicine on health care reform. It is our honor to award Dr. Kristofer Smith the 2015 House Call Educator of the Year. 

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2014 Winners


Dr. Thomas Lally - 2014 House Call Doctor of the Year
The 2014 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year was awarded to Dr. Thomas Lally, Physician Housecalls. Dr. Thomas Lally is the owner and founder of Physician Housecalls in Denver, Colorado. During his time as Chief Resident at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Lally and his team were tasked with implementing a housecall program for the veterans at the university. After his chief resident year, Dr. Lally joined a Chicago housecall practice and spent the next year immersing himself in the world of housecalls. Once his time in Chicago came to an end, he moved to Denver, Colorado to establish his own practice, Physician Housecalls. Over the past 10+ years Dr. Lally has slowly and methodically built a practice that has cared for thousands of patients in every zip code in the greater Denver area. His practice includes six physicians, eight nurse practitioners, and an ever growing team of support staff; they are a true reflection of his ideals. He makes himself available to every team member of Physician Housecalls and they in turn provide the incredible customer service that Dr. Lally feels every one of his patients deserves. Physician Housecalls team members commit themselves to delivering quality care with integrity and dignity. Every member of the team respects that patients have a voice and deserve to be heard. Dr. Lally has sacrificed thousands of hours of his time educating staff members at assisted living communities, giving his time to various community organizations for the betterment of his patients, and educating countless nursing, md, and pharmacology students. Dr. Lally, despite the myriad of demands on his time, always finds time to personally precept students. He has created a culture within his practice whereby other providers, too, consistently help with the clinical education of students. Said one University of Colorado Associate Professor and admirer, “Dr. Lally is a gift to the older adults he serves as well as to the students and clinicians he mentors.”  It is our honor to award Dr. Lally the 2014 House Call Doctor of the Year. 


R. Jeffrey Hulley, MS, DFAAPA, PA-C - 2014 House Call Clinician of the Year
The 2014 House Call Clinician of the Year was awarded to Physician Assistant Jeffrey Hulley. Jeffrey Hulley is the President and Managing Partner of House Calls Express in Stuart, FL. He is a PA pioneer in the field of home care medicine. While working in the ER, he recognized that many patients were coming in because they lacked ready access to medical care in their assisted living facilities. Minor illnesses became more life-threatening and Jeff thought that taking the care to the retirees would avoid many unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations. Together with a physician colleague he founded House Calls Express 14 years ago in a semi-rural retirement community, and has never looked back. His program now serves residents in four counties. A family member of one of Jeff’s patients said “I moved my mother to Florida from Tennessee after she had a stroke. I was having trouble finding a doctor we liked and it was becoming impossible to get my mother into the car to go the doctor's office. Then Housecalls Express came into our lives. What a god send!  Jeff Hulley has been there for my mother day or night showing the same compassion that we have for her.  He is like a family member in our home." Not content with simply running a busy practice, Jeff also volunteers as a preceptor for PA and other health professional students. He is also an active member of the AAHCM Membership and Annual Meeting Planning Committees. It is our honor to award Jeff the 2014 House Call Clinician of the Year. 


Namirah Jamshed, MD - 2014 House Call Educator of the Year
The 2014 House Call Educator of the Year was awarded to Namirah Jamshed, MD. 
Dr.Namirah Jamshed joined the MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s House Call Program in 2008. Over that time she has created and implemented training programs for students, residents, fellows and team colleagues. She does all of this while maintaining a full house call patient care load and performing hospital on-call duties. She has implemented a home care medicine curriculum for over 150 internal medicine residents, as well as training in hospice, hospital geriatrics, and rehabilitation. In 2013, she received a national competitive grant to create and implement a two-day training in Geriatrics for 35 Chief Residents in the MedStar health system. She has created a weekly session at the WHC House Call Program team meetings in which different disciplines, including rotating residents, present on a relative geriatric topic. She has also implemented a quarterly morbidity, mortality, and improvement (MMI) conference for the WHC House Call team to identify cases with suboptimal outcomes and rigorously examine how to improve care. Dr. George Taler has called her the “"go to” person to organize a rotation in geriatrics with experiences in all settings: home-based primary care, hospital medicine, and nursing home/hospice care.” This past year, she was awarded a Chief-Residents Intensive Training (CRIT) Grant to expose residency leaders to geriatric clinical pearls and teaching strategies for chief residents in all specialties at all the hospitals within MedStar. It is our honor to award Dr. Jamshed the 2014 House Call Educator of the Year.  

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2013 Winners

Dr. Cynthia Pinson - 2013 House Call Doctor of the Year
The 2013 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year was awarded to Dr. Cynthia Pinson, Travel MD. Dr. Cynthia Pinson founded Travel MD in 2005 with a mission to build the best medical practice that provided compassionate and competent care to the frail population in the Tri-State areas of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Since 2005, Travel MD has grown to eight providers covering nine nursing homes, 20 assisted living facilities, five personal care homes, and providing an additional 400 house calls per month. Dr. Pinson left a lucrative position at a local hospital to start Travel MD. She sacrificed financially and did moonlighting jobs to support her family while the house call practice grew. She worked 80 hour weeks for many years, making herself available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for her patients. One of Dr. Pinson's residency attendings and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine said: "She has exhibited a degree of compassion and giving that I have seldom encountered in my 42 years of medical practice...she is a true embodiment of generosity and servitude." Dr. Pinson has a special impact on those that work with her, bringing out positive attitudes and maximizing everyone's potential. She is equally loved and admired by her patients and colleagues. Kendra Hannahs, Vice President of Travel MD wrote that "Dr. Pinson goes above and beyond the call of duty, day or night, to take care of the needs of her patients, always with a smile and a warm hug." It is out honor to award Dr. Cynthia Pinson the 2013 House Call Doctor of the Year.

Barbara Sutton, RN, MS, ANP-BC, ACHPN - 2013 House Call Clinician of the Year
The 2013 House Call Clinician of the Year was awarded to Nurse Practitioner Barbara Sutton. Ms. Sutton received her APN degree at North Park University in Chicago while at the same time caring for her 2 year old son, 4 year old daughter and working in a hospital. A coworker suggested some part time work with a VNA which started Ms. Sutton's home care career. This led to her working part-time as a nurse for the St. Francis Hospital house call program. Ms. Sutton said she became "hooked" on house calls and quickly went full-time. Just as she received her APN degree the house call program shut down leaving 360 patients without care. Rather than give up, she found a hospice willing to support a house call program so she and others could continue caring for the patients. Working with hospice increased Ms. Sutton's interest and skills in palliative care. She was one of the early APNs to become board certified in hospice and palliative care. After eight years Ms. Sutton moved to another county where in 2009 she developed a palliative care house call program working with a local nonprofit. The program started with 30 patients but quickly expanded to include 5 APNs, 2 part-time physicians and more than 330 patients. In her nomination Ms. Sutton's collaborative physician Dr. Tracey Hashemi wrote, "Barb is an innovator and pioneer. She is pioneering partnerships with our hospital and physician partners to establish new and innovative programs to help our partners keep their patients healthy and out of the hospital." Another Colleague Jane Hansen wrote "Barb continually inspires and motivates our palliative care team and is an inspiration to us all." It is our honor to award Barbara Sutton the 2013 House Call Clinician of the Year.

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2012 Winners

Dr. Linda DeCherrie - 2012 House Call Doctor of the Year
The 2012 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year was awarded to Dr. Linda DeCherrie, Associate Director and Primary Care Residency Program Director at Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program. As former Director of Education at the Visiting Doctors Program, Dr. DeCherrie embodies the multi-faceted vision of a person who both provides direct care and works to create a generation of medical students, residents and fellows who will appreciate and provide community based care to vulnerable populations. She has integrated home visits and interdisciplinary care into the curriculum in all three years of primary care resident training and has increased the interest in geriatrics and home-based primary care. The development of a stronger interdisciplinary primary care presence both in the hospital and community is a timely and needed development to improve healthcare in our country, and Dr. DeCherrie actively makes this happen at Mount Sinai. In her role as Associate Director, Dr. DeCherrie works with program leadership to bring systems of care coordination and population management of vulnerable groups to an institutional level. An outstanding member of the house call profession, she represents excellence in her hands-on work as a physician and a role model in leading the integration of home based primary care into the education of many levels of medical trainees and other disciplines.

Nancy Reyes, RN, APN-C - House Call Clinician of the Year
The 2012 House Call Clinician of the Year was awarded to Nurse Practitioner Nancy Reyes. Ms. Reyes qualified as a Nurse Practitioner in 2003 after realizing, as a visiting home nurse, that her frail, home-limited older patients were not receiving the primary care they needed in the home. She encouraged her physician collaborator to start a house call program, now called Community Housecall Physicians, based in Hudson County, New Jersey. The program has grown from a few patients to over 600, cared for by a team of nurse practitioners. As part of the geriatrics curriculum at Jersey City Medical Center, she takes medical residents into the home, teaching them the value and need for house calls. Internal Medicine residents rank this experience as one of the best and most valuable rotations in their three years of Internal Medicine residency training. Ms. Reyes also mentors Nurse Practitioner students from Seton Hall University during their primary care rotations and encourages fellow NPs to specialize in geriatrics and home care medicine. Her work has been presented in numerous articles and at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. In 2007, she was invited to present the house call concept to the Agency of Health Care Research and Quality in Washington, D.C. Whether coordinating care with local agencies or advocating for quality end of life care, Ms. Reyes is a Nurse Practitioner that goes above and beyond, not stopping until her patients have the services they need. She is described by both her colleagues and the people of Hudson County as a role model and miracle worker with a heart of gold.

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2011 Winners

Dr. Stephanie Bruce - 2011 House Call Doctor of the Year
Dr. Stephanie Bruce is a devoted house call physician andthe Medical Director of the Medical House Call program at Washington Hospital Center. Since 2006, she has led the successful implementation of the program's mobile electronic health record, a wireless real-time EHR that has elevated the quality of their clinical services. She leads a team of 16 house call staff that make over 8,000 annual house calls in Washington, D.C., and is on the leading edge ofmobile technology and clinical care for ill elders.

Since 2004, Dr. Bruce has devoted her career to home care medicine. Colleagues describe her as an extraordinary physician, wise leader, remarkable teacher and honorable person. She inspires her teammates with her wise judgment, compassion, strong work ethic and professionalism. Besides making daily house calls, she manages a daily panel of hospital patients, and leads a home hospice service and inpatient geriatrics service. Dr. Bruce epitomizes the rare physician leader who respects and defersto her NP, social work and support staff colleagues. She is an expert on mobile EHR implementationand has helped the 600 patients and 16 staffof the Medical House Call program move to an advanced clinical and health IT operation.

Dr. Bruce is also a renowned educator and receives raves reviews from both residents andHouse Call staff. Despite her remarkable set of clinical, technical and leadership skills, sheserves with humility and without self-promotion, nurturing the dignity and well being of patients and their families without fail. Under Dr. Bruce'sleadership, the Medical House Callprogram at Washington HospitalCenter has thrived, and is one of the leading models of home based primary care in the U.S.

Nurse Practitioner Kathryn Corbet, 2011 House Call Clinician of the Year
Kathyrn Corbet has over 20 years of nursing and healthcare experience and has served as a Nurse Practitioner with Visiting Physician Services for the past 9 years, treating elderly and homebound patients in Ocean County, New Jersey. Prior to joining Visiting Physician,herpositions included Nurse Practitioner at the Veteran's Affairs Administration and Kimball Corporate Care, and Adjunct Instructor of Nursing and Clinical Instructor of Nursing at Ocean County College.

In 2006, Kathryn successfully passed the AAHCM home care examination, demonstrating her commitment and passion to home care medicine. She holds certification in wound care from the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board and provides wound care in-service training to other Visiting Physician clinicians. She completed the Certificate Program in Bioethics, and introduced the Out of Hospital DNR form, which is now used in the Visiting Physician Services practice.

Kathryn also serves as a preceptor, taking nurse practitioner students "on the road" exposing them to the world of home care medicine. She has been instrumental infurthering the reintroduction of the house call medical model, and her impact on the lives of frail and ill homebound elderly is invaluable. She is highly regarded by her colleagues, and is describedby patients as kind, patient, competent and wonderful. Whether it's providing compassionate home care, instructing otherson wound care, or lending an ear to a concerned caregiver, she truly possesses the extraordinary qualities of an outstanding nurse professional.

2010 Winners

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Jennifer Hayashi, MDNamed 2010Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year
Dr. Jennifer Hayashi assumed leadership of the respected Johns Hopkins Elder House Call Program in 2004 just after finishing her geriatric fellowship. Says Dr. Bruce Leff, Director of the program from whom Dr. Hayashi took over, "She set out to completely invigorate, revitalize and formalize many of the practices of the program in the clinical, educational and research realms. In her role, she has done an amazing job of taking the program to the next level with a strong focus on educating medical trainees at all levels in the Johns Hopkins system." Dr. Hayashi’s impact has gone far beyond Johns Hopkins. The program has since expanded to include medical residents from Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and Dr. Hayashi developed a house calls curriculum to teach internal medicine residents. Her data has been published in theJournal of the American Geriatrics Society, and she was lead author on home and community-based care in the latest edition of theHazard Textbook of Geriatric Medicine. Praised for her outstanding clinical skills, compassion, teamwork and integrity, colleagues describe her as a consummate clinician, exceptional teacher and capable researcher who represents "the best in our profession” and in her daily activities, inspires us all.

Dr. Hayashi has truly advanced the art and science of house call medicine by providing direct patient care to homebound individuals in our community, teaching house calls to a new generation of medical professionals and serving as a vital role model. An absolute credit to the mission of the Academy, Dr. Hayashi is the 2010 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year.

Silvia Chavez, NP, MSN, ANP-BC named 2010 House Call Clinician of the Year
For over ten years, Silvia Chavez has shown clinical expertise, leadership, advocacy and true dedication to her work in the care of Manhattan’s elderly and homebound. In 2002, she was hired by Cabrini Medical Center to provide medical services to an underserved and largely impoverished Latino community in New York City. She developed collaborative relationships with the New York Housing Authority and social service agencies to provide needed medical and other services such as health counseling, blood pressure screening, a small home visits program, mental health program, diabetes care and breast cancer awareness.

In 2005, she created the Cabrini Visiting Doctors Program in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program. The program quickly began providing home visits to approximately 150 homebound patients. Ms. Chavez was also instrumental in developing a geriatrics curriculum and grand rounds for medical students and residents at Cabrini Medical Center. A few short years later, she learned that the hospital was closing, and with less than one month to find providers for the house call program, Ms. Chavez overcame significant challenges and was able to start a small house call program at New York Downtown Hospital in 2008. Later that year, she joined the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program where she led office-based nurses and nurse practitioner colleagues in expanding much needed services to the homebound. Her work in assessing patient satisfaction led to a program allowing quicker response to acute problems, reducing unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations. She is currently working on a grant-funded project using an interdisciplinary team approach to expand the program’s capacity and breadth of services.

For her dedication, compassionate care and tireless advocacy on behalf of vulnerable homebound patients, Silvia Chavez is the 2010 House Call Clinician of the Year.

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2009 Winner

Theresa A. Soriano, MD Selected as Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year
Dr. Theresa Soriano joined the respected Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program in 2004. Colleagues say, "From the outset, it was clear she embodied fresh perspectives, academic rigor and an untainted idealism in the care of vulnerable populations. She showed an enthusiasm for her work that was infectious." After two years, she assumed the role of Program Director. Under her leadership, there was an expansion of research with publications in peer-reviewed journals, augmentation of social work, increase in palliative care training, an increase in resident and medical student teaching, development of a nurse practitioner hospital-liaison model to improve care of homebound patients in the hospital and effective and efficient transition back to home, and an enhancement in philanthropic and foundation support.

Dr. Soriano is a strong advocate for house call medicine and an outstanding, caring clinician. A letter of support for her nomination from the New York State Office for the Aging praised Dr. Soriano for her advocacy work and for helping to develop medical training curriculum and evaluation methodology for home visit programs. Despite extensive administrative responsibilities, she is persistently in the trenches, delivering much of her care to the homebound in East Harlem and Washington Heights in some of the most impoverished and dilapidated locations in New York City. In 2007, she was given the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program Resident Teaching Award.

For her academic leadership in house call medicine, her advocacy work and incredible care of homebound patients, Dr. Theresa Soriano is the 2009 House Call Doctor of the Year.

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2008 Winners

This year, the Academy awarded two members our highest honor. For the second year in a row, the awards were presented in association with the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative, a research and educational program committed to the study and enhancement of the patient-physician relationship in the U.S. and around the world.

Robin A. Beck, MD Selected as Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year
Dr. Beck joined the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine in June 1999. Just two months later, she started the House Calls for Seniors program, which is the only health system-sponsored house call program in Indiana. For the first five years of the program, she was the only physician routinely performing home visits. Under Dr. Beck's leadership, the program has expanded to include one other physician, two nurse practitioners, two social workers, a triage nurse and patient services assistant. The house call program serves mostly a low income, inner city population. Dr. Beck also trains medical students, internal medicine residents and geriatric medicine fellows and gives lectures on house call medicine.

Dr. Beck is praised by both colleagues and patients alike, who say that she exemplifies spirit, skill, dedication and commitment to her patients and the House Calls team. Her patient satisfaction ratings are among the highest in her practice. The House Calls for Seniors program at Wishard Health Services was recently selected as the winner of the Indianapolis Business Journal Health Care Heroes Award in the category of Community Achievement in Health Care.

Ancy Zacharia, RN, MSN, GNP Awarded House Call Clinician of the Year
Ms. Zacharia received her Geriatric Nurse Practitioner degree at Rush University Medical Center in 1999. While earning her degree, she was honored as the geriatric nurse of the year. She began her house call career with HomeCare Physicians in December 1999, and has made over 10,000 house calls. Ms. Zacharia's clinical skills are frequently recognized, but it is her bedside manner that is constantly praised by patients and families.

Equally notable is her advocacy work on behalf of house calls and their impact on the care of the frail elderly. She has served on her County's Elder Abuse and Neglect Multidisciplinary team for the past four years. She was also selected by the Illinois Nurses Association, representing 6,000 nurses, and the Chicago Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Association to represent them on the State of Illinois' Older Adult Services Advisory Committee.

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2007 Winners

This year, the Academy awarded three members our highest honor. The awards were presented in association with the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative, a research and educational program committed to the study and enhancement of the patient-physician relationship in the U.S. and around the world.

Andrew Lyons, MD, Selected as House Call Doctor of the Year
The 2007 Eric Baron House Call Doctor of the Year was awarded to Dr. Andrew Lyons. An internist, former hospitalist and ER attending, Dr. Lyons began making home care visits over seven years ago and has maintained a solo practice centered around home visits for homebound elderly patients since 2000. In service of the sickest, most frail elderly patients in New York City, Dr. Lyons has developed strong collaboration and support from leading organizations such as Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and also serves as Medical Director for The 80th Street Residence, a unique facility that cares for elderly patients with cognitive impairment. Dr. Lyons maintains admitting privileges at Lenox Hill Hospital where he completed his training in Primary Care Internal Medicine. In addition to mentoring several nurse practitioners and residents, he is an active member of the steering committee for the Metropolitan New York Consortium on House Call Medicine.

Deborah Bryant, RN, MSN, NP-C, Awarded House Call Clinician of the Year
After first developing and running a successful home health agency in Woodbury, Tennessee, Ms. Bryant managed the medical practice of her husband. Following his tragic death, she returned to school while raising three children and graduated summa cum laude as a nurse practitioner. In 2003, she established Countryside Medical Clinic, offering care in the home to patients in four counties in mid-Tennessee. Known for literally "going the extra mile" for her patients, Ms. Bryant often drives 100 miles per day and spends 12 hours providing care, plus remains available by phone. Her patients love the level of care that she provides, and colleagues who nominated her for the award say, "She exemplifies the best in home medical provision."

Scharmaine Lawson, APRN, FNP-C, Awarded House Call Clinician of the Year
When Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005, Ms. Lawson lost the house call practice she had begun in March of that same year. Gone were her building, her medical records and her patients. Ms. Lawson returned in October to restart her practice, which grew rapidly due to the lack of medical care in the wake of Katrina. She saw patients in severely damaged homes, at FEMA shelters, even on rooftops. She now goes to some of the most dangerous and poorest areas of New Orleans, often serving as a social worker to help patients navigate relief agency paperwork and get what they need. She has used her own money to help patients purchase trailer ramps, blankets and clothes. Ms. Lawson now serves over 400 homebound patients, is enrolled in a Doctor of Nursing program and has recently formed Geriatric Initiatives, a foundation whose purpose is to purchase and renovate affordable housing for the elderly and disabled.

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2006 Winner

Elizabeth Glazier, MD, Selected as House Call Doctor of the Year
This year, the Board of the Academy decided to give a permanent name to the House Call Doctor of the Year Award and named it for someone who has given so much to the AAHCM and to the field of home care medicine, Eric Baron. Dr. Baron built what was one of the earliest large house call practices, based in Southfield, Michigan, and has contributed to AAHCM as a Board member financially and on the subjects of quality, ethics and technology. Past award winner Dr. Tom Cornwell awarded the 2006 Doctor of the Year Award to Dr. Elizabeth Glazier. Dr. Glazier, from Washington, DC, was lauded for her compassion and commitment, for her work to advance both the art and particularly the "science" of home care medicine. Said Dr. Cornwell, "Her story is inspiring. She has built a remarkable house call practice over the last three years for some of the poorest of the poor in Anacostia, DC. She works with the National Health Service Corps in some of the riskiest neighborhoods in DC. She is a shining example of courage, passion, and extraordinary clinical skills."

George Taler, MD, Given Award for Special Achievement
Next came a surprise award, this time to Dr. George Taler who was given an award for Special Achievement. Emphasizing that many Board members deserve special recognition, but that the Board policy prohibits nominations for House Call Provider of the Year, the committee had decided on this award for special service. Lauding Dr. Taler’s personal strength, many accomplishments, and extraordinary vision which have advanced the cause of house call clinicians and patients for over twenty-five years, Dr. Cornwell particularly noted Dr. Taler’s 2005 leadership in bringing the Domiciliary Care payments to a par with house call payments, making access to care for assisted living and congregate care patients a financial possibility.

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2005 Winner

Bruce Grau, GNP from Indianapolis, Indiana, won the House Call Clinician of the Year Award this year.
Dr. Bayne introduced him at the AAHCM Annual Scientific Meeting by quoting Dr. Robin Beck who nominated him. Dr. Beck had commended the nominee for his role in developing the house call program, but more than that for his excellence as a nurse practitioner dedicated to frail elder adults and to house calls. He said, "Bruce has been a great partner and I know I can trust him to make the right decisions for our patients." Dr. Lori Reaves from southern New Jersey won the House Call Doctor of the Year Award. Dr. Bayne introduced her by quoting from her nominator's description of her care and concern for patients, and her success in building a large house call program despite many obstacles. Dr. Reaves then spoke and thanked the Academy for the honor and pointed out that she couldn't have done it without her incredible team. Bruce Grau spoke as well and echoed Dr. Reaves' comments regarding the true team effort that this work entails. He also thanked Dr. Robin Beck for "taking the team where no one has gone before".

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2004 Winners

Benneth Husted, DO, Selected as House Call Doctor of the Year
In 1992, Dr. Husted was led by her faith to start making house calls her full-time mission. The first few years, she worked alone out of her dining room and was on call 24/7. With selfless determination, she provided this service before reimbursement made the practice financially feasible. Starting a non-profit in 1995 so that she could accept grants and donations, she has always had a policy of seeing all homebound patients regardless of their ability to pay. While her practice has now grown to four physicians, eleven nurse practitioners, and 8,000 visits per year, she also educates other health care providers regarding the value of house calls. Winner of other awards, she is also president-elect of the Oregon Geriatrics Society/Oregon Medical Director's Association. For her sacrifice, perseverance, care and love of her patients and spreading the mission of house calls, Dr. Husted was selected for this year's AAHCM award. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Husted cautioned the attendees about the perils of "sainthood," and urged them not to give up because of all of the problems. "The tide is turning...Medicare is...slower to catch on, but I believe they will." She also urged attendees to remember that there is strength in numbers and to support the AAHCM, to never abandon the high touch for the high tech, to learn the tools of palliative medicine and end-of-life care, and to share in her vision of a future in which every elder is valued, every disabled person is treated with dignity and respect, and every dying person is attended with compassion.

Whitney Doiron, CNP, GNP, ANP Selected as House Call Clinician of the Year
Nurse practitioner Whitney Doiron provides house call services in poor rural and urban Mississippi. She was recognized by the Academy for her pioneering work in starting and growing a practice, convincing both patients and the medical community of the value of house calls and the role of the nurse practitioner. Twice in the first year, her practice was forced to close, but rather than give up, Doiron educated area physicians and the Mississippi Board of Nursing. They eventually agreed on her model of practice and she was able to re-start her practice. She has also worked with the Louisiana Board of Nursing to have house calls officially approved for nurse practitioners in that state, where she herself hopes to make house calls. Called "an angel" by one of her patients, Doiron is also interested in fostering research on house call issues and barriers to health care. Citing her faith, inspiration from her mother who was a nurse, and colleagues, Doiron accepted this first-ever award to a nurse practitioner with her family in the audience.

Larry W. Irvin, MD, Selected for Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award
Larry Irvin was the much-beloved head of the house call program at the Parkland Hospital, Dallas Texas. In 1999, after a mid-career geriatric fellowship, he began the Parkland Senior Housecall Program that cares for the county's homebound, indigent elderly. He inspired a whole generation of house staff and fellows on geriatric rotations. In 2001, his description of the impact of the Parkland program on hospital admissions and emergency room visits won him the AAHCM Best Poster Award. The Housecalls program staff nominated him for this service award as a role model, faculty member, and clinician, even during his last, and sadly, terminal illness. His wife, Kaye Irvin, accepted the award on Dr. Irvin's behalf, speaking of his commitment and dedication to his patients and students.

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2003 Winners

For the first time, the Academy's prestigious "House Call Doctor of the Year" Award was presented to two individuals. The selection committee comprised of previous award winners Drs. Tom Cornwell, Jon Salisbury, Gresham Bayne, and Ronald Primas. They unanimously felt that two candidates were deserving of the award this year and the AAHCM executive committee agreed and named an East and West winner. Below is an abbreviated version of the remarks given by Tom Cornwell, MD, during the lunch-time presentation ceremony at the AAHCM Annual Meeting.

Leslee Cochrane, MD
Dr. Leslee Cochrane started making house calls in Riverside, California three years ago and quickly spread his operation to a second site in San Bernadino. The practice was soon making 500 house calls per month with Dr. Cochrane himself making 120-150 of them while managing the busy practice. Things were going well until Medicare did a focus audit of forty charts and downcoded 39 of them, refusing payments altogether on 35. On appeal, Dr. Cochrane had 37 of the 39 downcoded opinions reversed by the Medicare carrier's medical director. Despite this, Medicare reviewed an additional 100 charts with similar negative findings.

Medicare then accidentally made duplicate payments to Dr. Cochrane because of his two sites of practice and this led to a restitution nightmare. Without notice, Medicare placed his practice on prepayment chart submission; this completely stopped cash flow. After two months the practice was out of cash. Dr. Cochrane and his wife took out a loan in order to pay his doctors and staff and he continued to make make house calls for free.

Dr. Cochrane finally decided he would have to close his practice on August 26, 2002, but not before his parent company notified the local press. An article critical of the way he was being handled by his Medicare carrier and detailing how a well-meaning doctor could be destroyed by the federal system came out in the San Bernadino Sun on August 23. That same afternoon a fax came from Medicare informing Dr. Cochrane that electronic payments would be restored and that Medicare's four-month evaluation had found essentially nothing wrong. Dr. Bayne, who nominated Dr. Cochrane, wrote, "In the promotion of the 'art, science and practice of medicine in the home' the Academy could not imagine a more honest proponent of the ideals of professionalism, integrity and simple hard work than Leslee Cochrane."

Eric DeJonge, MD
Dr. Eric De Jonge, named "East" House Call Doctor of the Year, was nominated by Dr. Bruce Leff who wrote, "As a geriatrics fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Eric demonstrated exceptional interest in and extraordinary dedication to the care of homebound older persons in his work in our Elder Housecall Program." In 1999, Dr. DeJonge left Hopkins to become the Section Director of Geriatrics at Washington Hospital Center. There, in partnership with Dr. George Taler, he developed the Medical Housecall Program. The program provides hi-touch care with hi-tech capability to the homebound in an eight zip code area around the hospital and also provides services to large Washington, D.C. senior public housing sites. They have enrolled over 750 patients who are cared for both at home and in the hospital as needed.

In addition to the wonderful care he provides, Dr. DeJonge works hard to demonstrate the clinical and economic effectiveness of a hospital-based house call program for frail elders. He gives talks educating physicians on the value of house calls and has done poster presentations at several national meetings. His house call program receives a variety of grants and donations and this support reflects a very strong commitment from the community and government.

Dr. DeJonge's program has done outcomes based research and has demonstrated a reduction in hospital length of stay of house call patients from a mean of 8.3 to 5.9 days as well as a reduction in emergency department visits by means of providing urgent house calls. Dr. DeJonge and his group have also sought to help others replicate their model around the country and provide ongoing consultative services. Dr. Leff ended his nomination stating, "Eric is a wonderful person who exemplifies all that is best in Medicine. He is the personification of everything the Academy has hoped to achieve in all its work. I can think of no other more deserving candidate."

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2002 Winner

Ronald Primas, MD, Named 2002 "House Call Doctor of the Year"
Dr. Ronald A. Primas was awarded the prestigious "House Call Doctor of theYear Award" by Gresham Bayne, MD, himself a former recipient of the award, at a ceremony at the annual meeting. In his remarks, Dr. Bayne emphasized the care and concern shown by Dr. Primas and read from comments made by patients of Dr. Primas. He also cited Dr. Primas' long length of service to his New York area clients, including travelers to New York City and those in private residences, especially the homebound elderly.

Dr. Primas is a board-certified internist and travel medicine specialist who, with his group, provides care. He also is on the faculty of Mount SinaiHospital and trains residents.

Dr. Primas' e-mail address is: nyhums@pol.net and his website address is: www.nyhoteldoc.com.

Dr. Primas was selected by a committee of previous award winners including Drs. Bayne, Thomas Cornwell, and Jon Salisbury.

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2001 Winner

On May 10, The American Academy of Home Care Physicians presented Jon P. Salisbury, MD, of Leonardo, NJ, with the 2001 House Call Doctor of the Year Award at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific meeting in Chicago.

A New Jersey native, Dr. Salisbury grew up in Hawthorne where, as an active child, he spent many hours in the ER and this experience aroused his curiosity about medicine. His interest was further heightened as he saw his grandmother, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and required frequent home care, abttle with her chronic, debilitating illness.

After graduating from St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, Dr. Salisbury returned to New Jersey, performing his family practice residency at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, where he was Chief resident in 1986-1987. From there he worked in traditional practice settings, including serving as Director of Clinical Research for an urgent care facility in Monmouth County.

While seeing patients and conducting research studies, Dr. Salisbury received requests for house call visits and recognized that elderly and hombound patients were not receiving the medical attention they needed. In 1994, he started making house calls on a part-time basis working out of his care. Word of his unconventional career path spread and the demand for his services grew. After a year-and-a half, he left the urgent care facility and opened a full-time house call practice, his house doubling as his back-office where he did his own scheduling and billing.

Today, Dr. Salisbury's practice, Visiting Physician Services P.C., includes a second physician, five nurse practitioners, and twp physician assistants, and makes over 800 house calls a month. The team covers a 30 mile by 60 mile area, seeing patients in Monmouth, Ocean, Union, and Misslesex counties. As family member and physicians from the surrounding areas continue to request that Dr. Salisbury see their relatives and homebound patients, visiting Physician continues to grow.

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2000 Winner

Dr. George Rosenthal of Boston University was presented with the Year 2000 Housecall Doctor of the Year Award. Nominator AAHCM member Dr. Sharon Levine cited Dr. Rosenthal's 29 years of making house calls four days per week in the ethnically diverse service area of the home care program. Known as a role model and favorite teacher, Dr. Rosenthal had trained an estimated 4,500 residents and fellows in hoe to make house calls in his 30 years experience.

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1999 Winner

Dr. Gresham Bayne was awarded this year's Housecall Doctor of the Year Award.

Dr. Taler read from the nomination submitted by Academy member Dr. Thomas Cornwell: "Gresham Bayne is a true visionary who saw a huge gap in the care for the homebound and dedicated his life to helping fill the gap. His ingenuity, compassion and dedication has led to literally thousands of homebound patients being cared for from coast to coast. he has fought tirelessly at all levels of Medicare and the government to promote the value of house calls and to seek fair compensation. This allows those of us that follow his footsteps to have it a little easier. The miracles i see on a weekly basis in caring for my homebound patients are a direct result of Gresham's vision."

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1998 Winner

Thomas Cornwell, MD, member of the Academy from Illinois, received the first-ever "Housecall Doctor of the Year Award" at the Annual Meeting. In remarks made during the awarding of the plaque, Dr. George Taler, President-Elect of the Academy told why Dr. Cornwell was considered so deserving of this award.

Said Dr. Taler, "Tom Cornwell, like many young doctors, has tried to make it doing the right thing, making housecalls the center of his practice, but almost not making it financially. But Tom did not give up. He consulted with Academy members (Drs. Bayne, Taler and others) and talked to the community. After AAHCM consultation, he got support from his hospital system, and the University of Illinois to support his practice and research."

In April, 1998, Dr. Cornwell completed his 6,000th housecall; his housecall practice which now includes others did its 2,000th. He teaches residents and nurses, taking them along with him as he does his practice and has raised grant money. his contributions to the Academy have included picture demonstrations used in explaining housecalls to regulatory and reimbursement panels and an article contributed to the Newsletter. He also has taken the AAHCM Medical Director's training sequence and is working with several home care agencies.

 

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