Get to Know Theresa Soriano, MD MPH
Regional Chief Health Officer, Cityblock Health
Dr. Soriano is a board-certified general internist and palliative medicine physician who serves as regional chief health officer for Cityblock Health, a company providing team-based, home- and office-based care to medically and socially complex, mostly low-income communities.
Dr. Soriano’s work addressing the social and medical needs of vulnerable populations stems from prior leadership roles at the Mount Sinai Health System, including the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program, Mount Sinai Health Homes, and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, a hospital serving Manhattan’s Harlem and Morningside Heights neighborhoods.
Dr. Soriano is nationally recognized in the field of home-based primary and palliative care clinical practice, quality, and leadership. President-elect of AAHCM, she was named AAHCM’s House Call Physician of the Year in 2009 and earned the Hastings Center-Cunniff Dixon Physician Award for Excellence in Palliative Medicine in 2012.
Dr. Soriano lives in New York, NY, where she spends most of her free time raising two sons with her husband and her “village” of family and loved ones.
What attracted you to the field of home care medicine?
After my residency training in internal medicine and briefly entertaining further training in critical care medicine, I accepted a position as a full-time provider with the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors program, having applied to pursue primary care in a teaching environment.I always tell people that I initially saw the job as a “good first job” thinking I would move on to something else a couple of years later. Today, almost fifteen years later, I continue to see patients with the same practice, and have built my career around the clinical and leadership lessons I learned (and continue to learn!) providing home-based primary and palliative care.
How has working in this field impacted your practice? What keeps you in the field?
I got into medicine initially because I wanted to help patients improve their health by addressing both their social and medical needs.I now see that we who practice home-based medical care and have access to different disciplines including social services to support the medical care, have a unique and important opportunity to do just that - in a person and family- centered way.I have had the good fortune of working with many colleagues who do magnificent work in ambulatory, emergency room, and inpatient medicine. However, the growing evidence base of home-based medical care’s efficacy and increasing involvement in areas of policy and practice shows the exciting potential and promise for this field’s “day in the sun.” It is an exciting and rewarding time to be part of that work.
Why AAHCM? What drives your involvement?
My initial mentors in home-based primary care (HBPC) were active in AAHCM and encouraged us to join. I met several incredibly impressive and dedicated HBPC leaders from throughout the country. They were motivated to put the field on the map and through education, member support and advocacy, help HBPC providers support their diverse types of practices to navigate the clinical, regulatory and operational waters to promote success and longevity. It was and still is inspiring to serve with and get to know AAHCM leadership but also to do the same with new and established members – I love meeting and networking with like-minded people of many disciplines who know EXACTLY what I do for a living when I tell them!
How did you start? What advice can you offer to a person considering volunteering with AAHCM?
I started with AAHCM by attending the annual meeting and becoming a volunteer committee member early on in my career.I would advise anyone interested in getting involved to do the same: attend our annual meeting to get to know what the AAHCM is doing, introduce yourself to leaders and fellow colleagues, and volunteer for committees or task forces that interest you! It is because of committed members and leaders that AAHCM has come this far, and it is exciting to see how continued service and leadership from all of us can keep strengthening AAHCM and the field.
To learn more about getting involved with the AAHCM, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.