‘What a special place’ I couldn’t help but think to myself, as I pulled in the back entrance onto Lambeth drive, and wove my way up the hill through gardens, friendly waves, and the croquet course on my first day on my new job as Medical Director. I can’t help but reflect on those first impressions when asked to write about my new position and the relationship between MAHEC and Deerfield because each subsequent day has only reinforced what a remarkable community it is in which I work. About that work: as Medical Director, I bring another clinical voice to the already strong administrative team that works to keep you healthy when well and care for you when sick. Part of that job is keeping up with the administrative tasks that stem from a complex regulatory environment, but another part is working with the team trying to think innovatively about the same things that matter most to me as a physician—ensuring you are getting the most effective, highest quality care while providing as comfortable of a patient experience as possible. I also am quite excited to be providing direct patient care in both the Independent/Assisted Living Clinic and in the Skilled Nursing facility.
MAHEC (or Mountain Area Health Education Center), my employer, has been working with Deerfield to provide care to Deerfield Residents since 2006. MAHEC is one of several AHEC sites around the state, created by the legislature in the 70’s, to help train more health care professionals to practice in rural areas. The organization has grown dramatically since then, now not only offering primary care and OB-GYN services for thousands of patients in Western North Carolina, but also offering robust, well-regarded Family Medicine and OB-GYN residency training programs, a western hub for the UNC Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, new Psychiatry and General Surgery residencies, not to mention a key center for continuing medical education in Western North Carolina and the Southeast. Our relationship with Deerfield in particular has been a boon for educating our Family Medicine residents, who rotate through the Simonds Skilled Nursing facility, on the vitally important care of older adults. In turn, my goal is that, regardless of your provider, you are receiving the most evidence based, up-to-date medical care possible, while remaining grounded in the relationship with your doctor or nurse practitioner.
I also hope to further engage in the community, and am exploring ways to do this through educational and social events. Until then, I look forward to running into you in the halls or the clinic!