Get to Know Your AAHCM Leaders
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Get to Know Sophia Chang, MD MPH


Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, Clover Health
UCSF Faculty, San Francisco General Hospital

Dr. Chang’s passion comes from her early experiences of community-based care before palliative care become a movement in the U.S. As Chief Clinical Informatics Officer at Clover Health, she is responsible for setting the company's clinical strategy and integrating clinical perspectives into Clover's technology platform to improve care delivery and patient outcomes.  She continues to practice general internal medicine at San Francisco General Hospital as a UCSF faculty member. Dr. Chang holds a BA from Amherst College; an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley; and an MD from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Prior to joining Clover, Dr. Chang was Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at CareMore Health Plan, where she focused on using technology to scale direct care for high-cost Medicare members and translate the model to Medicaid. Prior experience also includes: Vice President of Programs at the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), Vice President and Medical Director of population health solutions at Accretive Health, Director of the Veterans Health Administration's Center for Quality Management in Public Health, Medical Director of the San Francisco Health Plan, and Director of AIDS Health Services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  She has also served on the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which oversees Healthy Families (the state's Children's Health Insurance Program) and California's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.  

Dr. Chang joined the AAHCM Board of Directors in October 2018.

We recently spoke with Dr. Chang about her experiences.
 

How did you become involved with the field of home care medicine?

I am a less common case of someone who is not a practicing home care medicine physician but has a long history in teaching primary care and promoting the best practices in managing complex patients. Having worked in brick and mortar clinical environments, I’ve come to believe strongly in the house calls model as an important means of promoting true patient-centered care. Specifically, care that fully incorporates member wishes and preferences and helping them achieve their care goals.  I have had the opportunity to work with patient self-management programs, caregiver support programs, and community-based care models, which has strengthened my belief that this is an important movement to help us address spiraling care costs and inappropriately aggressive care, especially for our elderly populations.  My world view is colored by my early HIV/AIDS epidemic experience, where we provided community-based care which was actually palliative care before this become a movement in the US. I believe it’s the most humane way to care for our elderly, and if you see how most physicians approach their own care, is closer to how they guide their own care—why shouldn’t all Americans have this privilege?  

How has working in this field impacted your practice? What keeps you in the field?

The tech and economic drivers in health care are aligning in ways that can potentially scale home-based care models. And, rather than just be virtual (i.e. telemedicine), I believe we have an important job to demonstrate the importance of whole person care and how to deliver it most humanely--how to support the meaningful healing human relationships between health care provider and patient. While challenging, it is a very exciting time to be in healthcare and I strongly believe that we have the opportunity to go ‘back to the future’ with tech-enabled house calls. 


Why AAHCM?  What drives your involvement?

AAHCM has been the leader in creating the clinical community required to support the highest levels of professionalism and help inform/develop the standards of care that we believe will both achieve the best outcomes for our patients as well as provide a framework to inform policymakers and payers. I believe strongly that these recommendations should come from the front-line, so that the context of patients and their families, and the things that are most important to them, are not lost in translation. 

 

How did you start?  What advice can you offer to a person considering volunteering with AAHCM?

I have been familiar with AAHCM for many years and have seen it grow from a nascent interest group to one with an active policy and advocacy voice which is grounded in the realities of clinical practice.  I have been impressed by the focus and commitment of AAHCM’s leaders and felt privileged to be asked to help move this important organizational and policy agenda forward.  There are so many ways to contribute, the Board and its many activities are open to participation. A key focus will be to further support networking and emerging leaders in 2019.  Come join us at the national meeting this year, let us know your interests and we’ll help you be a part of AAHCM’s activities. There is so much to do!

 

 

To learn more about getting involved with the AAHCM, please email us at info@aahcm.org.