House Call Provider of the Year Award 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Glazier, MD, Selected as House Call Doctor of
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.
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".
Benneth Husted, DO, Selected as House Call Doctor of the
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
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
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."
Ronald Primas, MD, Named 2002 "House Call Doctor of
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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
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
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