Addictions; Internal Medicine
I work full- time in Addiction Medicine. My patient clientele are those with Addiction related issues (Alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, etc) that need Medically Assisted Treatment. I am a Buprenorphine prescriber, and I also work at a Methadone clinic. For patients requesting help, please call the 716 – 247 -5281 number.
Addictions; Family Medicine
Board Certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine Board Certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine
Addictions; Family Medicine
I care for patients admitted to Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) and the Terrace House residence at Horizon Health Services as they withdraw and stabilize from drug and/or alcohol addiction. I also see patients at the UBMD addiction medicine ambulatory care office on Sweet Home Rd. There, I care for patients addicted to prescription opiate medications, alcohol or heroin and for patients with chronic pain syndromes who are addicted to prescription drugs. In addition, I am a consultant at the student health center on the Buffalo State College campus, seeing patients who are referred to me for evaluation of a possible or previously diagnosed substance use disorder. I have an active research portfolio and focus on three main areas of study. I investigate clinical protocols for patients who have a chronic pain disorder that coexists with a prescription drug addiction. I aim to find ways to control pain in these patients while keeping them engaged in treatment for their addiction. In collaboration with the Center for Development of Human Services (CDHS) at Buffalo State College, I investigate clinical management strategies for pregnant women who have a prescription drug addiction. I seek solutions that will help ensure effective treatment—and help ensure these patients stay in treatment—toward the goal of successful newborn deliveries. I also conduct educational research related to the best practices for training physicians on addiction medicine topics, coordinating this work with the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Our objective is to ensure that addiction medicine physicians receive appropriate training, particularly as it relates to their role in preventing alcohol and drug addiction and identifying the beginning stages of substance problems. I teach medical students, family medicine residents and psychiatry and addiction medicine fellows. During the summer, I mentor medical students conducting clinical research. Under a contract with ABAM, I work with UB colleagues to coordinate the national effort to develop addiction medicine fellowship programs and to standardize the curriculum offered in these programs. I conduct training sessions for Buffalo State College nurse practitioners, athletic directors and counselors to help them identify and intervene with students at risk for, or who manifest the early signs of substance use problems.
As a family medicine physician, I provide care to patients of all ages, including procedures such as biopsies, joint injection and laceration suturing, and I offer women’s health care as well. I provide care in settings where my patients need me--during outpatient visits, in urgent care situations and when they are hospitalized, e.g., I see seriously ill patients in the ICU, newborns in the nursery and women during labor and delivery. I also provide volunteer primary care at the Lighthouse Clinic. I feel fortunate to be able to take care of my patients in these different settings and throughout the stages of their lives; it helps me get to know my patients in order to care for them well. I am interested in global health, and I travel to developing nations with medical students and other physicians to render needed medical care. During these trips, we might work in existing local clinics. More often, however, we set up short-term clinics with supplies and medications that we bring with us, in settings as basic as an abandoned building in Uganda or a rural field in Panama. Most recently, I traveled to an Amazon basin in Peru with other physicians and thirteen of our first-year medical students to deliver much-needed clinical care. My students received hands-on experience assisting with procedures and organizing patients’ medications. They also saw patients, under my guidance. In return, we gained valuable insight into Peruvian culture and the country’s health care system and learned about tropical diseases not common in the U.S. I am privileged to care for patients in developing nations. These experiences expand my sensitivity to diverse cultures, both in my practice here and abroad, and they provide me with a greater perspective on health care worldwide—all of which I am able to share with the medical students and residents I teach. I also have an interest in women’s health and obstetrical care. I serve as advisory faculty and course director for the Advanced Life Support Obstetrics course, which we hold annually in Buffalo to train residents and faculty members in emergency care during childbirth. As the residency program director for the family medicine residency program, I work daily with residents. I give lectures, teach procedures and supervise residents and medical students in both the office and the hospital. Working in an academic environment creates an enthusiastic workplace and ensures that I stay current on clinical information. I also work with the Family Medicine Interest Group, mentoring medical students who are interested in becoming primary care physicians.
I am a Board-Certified Preventive Medicine Physician, also Boarded in Addiction Medicine. My work as an Addiction Medicine physician encompasses a multitude of roles. I work in several clinical settings…a methadone treatment program, an outpatient comprehensive Substance Use Disorder (SUD) facility, and an extended stay residential facility. I am involved in training both seasoned providers and medical students in the art and science of Substance Use treatment. I am also the Fellowship Director for, and a graduate from, the University at Buffalo Addiction Medicine Fellowship As an Addiction Medicine Physician, I feel that I have been given a gift in being able to help care for some of the bravest people I have ever known. The life-stories the clients share with me are profound. People who are suffering from Substance Use Disorders suffer not only from the chronic disease of Addiction, but they suffer greatly from the immense burden of social, professional, judicial, and self-imposed stigma. I am devoted to helping change the landscape of Substance Use Disorder identification and treatment for the people I serve. As the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Director, I am part of a team that is crafting an ever-evolving program geared to meeting the needs of the individuals that I am fortunate enough to both guide and learn from. Substance related conditions create the vast majority of the chronic illnesses in our country and are not limited to any age, creed, economic or social class. SUD is an equal-opportunity illness. It is essential that the identification and treatment of the illness is approached with the compassion, respect, and evidence-based care that is afforded to other chronic, devastating illnesses such as diabetes and heart-disease. It is important that we move forward with a “beginner’s mind” when approaching this problem and allow for new perspectives as we forge our way forward. One of the essential aspects of creating a care model that is truly effective lies in coordination of efforts among many disciplines. A good deal of my day-to-day efforts lie in building networks in western New York to provide whole community engagement in the transformation of beliefs, attitudes and knowledge around SUD in order to ensure increased availability and access to services in our area, and to hopefully provide a model for other areas of the country to follow.
I am committed to providing quality medical care to a wide cross section of patients of all ages, with a special focus on preventative care. A unifying theme of my care is patient education and the prevention of disease, and as part of a patient-centered “medical home” that is designated Level 3—the highest level--by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, I am dedicated to empowering patients through education and giving them the tools to make informed decisions about their medical care. I am convinced that educated patients often become engaged patients, and engaged patients often reap the best health benefits due to their increased knowledge and efforts at maintaining optimal health. My patients also benefit from the team-based model of care I practice: in collaboration with other physicians and health care providers, I work to coordinate health plans that are tailored to my patients’ individual needs. I also teach medical students and residents in the Department of Family Medicine, encouraging a team-based approach to patient care. I draw out the knowledge that my trainees have gained over time, and I help them convert that knowledge into daily clinical practice. The patients my trainees care for receive well-thought-out care plans--plans that are crafted after meaningful discussion about the conditions and medical histories of our patients as well as the risks and benefits of testing and/or medical interventions. I foster students’ and residents’ sensitivity to the socioeconomic disparities among patients and equip them to provide the best possible care despite the challenges accompanying these disparities. I believe strongly in making every attempt to remove or address blocks that interfere with quality medical care for our patients, and I work to ensure that my trainees become physicians who will do the same on behalf of their future patients.
My clinical practice has focused on the comprehensive care of seriously mentally ill adults, and individuals with co-occurring disorders in an integrated primary care/behavioral health clinic. I also provide pro bono forensic examinations for refugee and immigrant populations seeking asylum through our UB student run clinic, the Human Rights Initiative. Research projects of our team are related to psychiatry, cultural care and public health. Currently, initiatives focus on clinical outcomes of patients served in the integrated clinic setting, cultural dexterity in behavioral health clinics, and sequelae of torture among asylum seekers in the United States. I enjoy teaching, and I mentor pre-med and medical students. I feel fortunate to have worked as a nurse and in the field of public health before going to medical school. Integrating my nursing, public health and physician experiences broadens my perspectives of how health care professionals affect individuals and communities through our health care system, which helps me prepare students and residents to care for patients in these complex, evolving environments. I am keenly interested in preparing trainees to care for vulnerable populations such as those patients living in poverty, seeking asylum and/or recovering from trauma. With the help of an NIH grant, I collaborated with other professionals in the community to establish a cultural competency program at the medical school. This program aimed to teach students how to care for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds with empathy and respect. The program helped to improve access to preventive and primary services for refugees resettled in Western New York. Working on Buffalo’s Lower West Side with vulnerable and underserved populations has taught me about caring for individuals from diverse cultures within our city, and from around the world. I continue to learn from patients and communities and try to use these in-depth experiences to train the next generation of family medicine physicians and students from other health care professions.
As a family physician, I have always wanted to work where I’m needed most. I enjoy practicing in medically underserved communities both locally and globally. I see patients on Buffalo’s East Side. I also routinely take medical students with me on medical relief trips to impoverished and developing countries. I was born in Kenya, East Africa and am grateful to my parents for giving me an international upbringing and global perspective on life. They were inspiring teachers who had a heart for students and for serving those in need around the world. This contributed to my passion for global health. From delivering babies to caring for those at the end of their lives and all ages in between, I engage in the full spectrum of family health care. I see patients and precept students and residents at ECMC Family Health Center in Buffalo; I perform outpatient procedures as well as visit patients in their homes. Patient education is an important aspect of my care, because I strongly believe that part of my work is to prevent disease. I strive to practice high quality, patient-centered and holistic health care. I address not only the physical wellness of my patients, but also their emotional, social and spiritual needs. Since 2014, I‘ve practiced addiction medicine at UB|MD Family Medicine Specialty Services. I am working towards board certification in this specialty and expect to be board certified by 2017. I love this field of medicine because, over several months, I see lives dramatically change for the better. I enjoy teaching students and residents in various settings, e.g., in classrooms, hospitals, outpatient offices, free clinics—and even farther afield in backdrops such as the Adirondack Mountains and rural Haiti. At times, I hold informal seminars at my home. Seeing trainees progress through the years and develop into outstanding physicians inspires and gratifies me. After completing my residency at UB, my wife, who is also on the medical school’s faculty, and I liked Buffalo so much that we decided to raise our children in Western New York. Being a UB faculty member is a perfect fit for me. It allows me to teach, care for those in need, pursue my research interests and above all, make a difference. I try to live by my personal mission statement: “The purpose of my life is to love and honor God and my family and make a positive and significant difference in the lives of others.” Being a medical faculty member at UB gives me the supportive environment and diverse community to work toward those goals every day.
I am a medical anthropologist with expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research focusing on people with substance use disorder, mental illness and chronic disease. I specialize in the human factors and processes involved with implementing interventions that translate research into practice. Throughout my career, my community-based research has promoted the growth and sustainability of academic-community partnerships and initiatives to improve public health. I am lead evaluator/research principal investigator (PI) on several funded public health initiatives that address the opioid epidemic. These include: the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)-funded Buffalo Treatment Court Opioid Intervention Program (“Opioid Court”); an Office of Women’s Health-funded initiative to implement universal screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment (SBIRT) in community-based OB-GYN practices; and a BJA-funded Opioid Overdose Outreach Enhancement Program to improve first response to opioid overdose and linkage to treatment. In these projects I work closely with the Erie County Department of Health and the New York State Eighth Judicial District. I am PI on a local grant to conduct a qualitative depth interview study of people who have overdosed one or more times on opioids and been revived with naloxone. Results will inform interventions to address barriers to treatment engagement for opioid use disorder. I am an energetic teacher and strive to encourage novice researchers, especially medical students and clinical faculty who have little or no research experience. Students and faculty who work with me are trained in all facets of research design, data collection and dissemination. I am also director/PI of a T32 Fellowship Training Program. Our NRSA T32 program, one of 20 in the United States, trains primary care research fellows in implementation science — how evidence-based practices, strategies and interventions can be deployed in everyday, “real-world“ settings. Our fellows develop the research methods and competency skills to design and conduct pragmatic clinical trials, meta-analyses and projects involving community/practice engagement. They actively submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals, pilot research grant proposals; and work closely with nationally recognized mentors on novel research projects. Through our NRSA training program we are developing the next generation of implementation scientists who will make a significant impact on the nation’s primary care research agenda.
As a licensed clinical psychologist working in a primary care medical office, my clinical practice includes caring for people with a broad range of adult mental health, interpersonal, and behavioral difficulties. I work closely with the primary care team, and am an active member of the multidisciplinary task group working to improve all types of health care in our offices. It is rewarding to work in an academic training environment with faculty physicians, nurses and staff who are dedicated to teaching the next generation of family physicians. In my teaching role with family medicine residents and medical students, I am primarily responsible for curriculum regarding mental health, interviewing skills, relationships, normal psychological development, stress management, behavioral aspects of medical care, and engaging patients in their health care. I also do teaching and in-service training regarding the patient centered medical home. My departmental responsibilities have included co-writing and administering many grants related to training primary care physicians. These grants have allowed us to expand our curriculum into new areas. This currently involves training our primary care residents for a changing medical environment, with emphasis on the patient centered medical home. I have also played a long-term role in clinical database management and evolving technologies.
I practice at UBMD Family Medicine of Amherst, where I provide the full spectrum of family medicine care for my patients: comprehensive, preventive, and urgent. I also provide hospital care for my patients at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on our Family Medicine Inpatient Team. I am a member of the faculty of the Jacobs UB School of Medicine for over 30 years. I teach medical students and residents. I am a seminar leader for the first year medical school course, Clinical Practice of Medicine. I teach Dilemmas in Clinical Medicine (ethics) to all third year medical students. I also give lectures throughout the year to the family medicine residents on topics such as hypertension and ethics. I also coordinate three family medicine grand rounds conferences per year. I have a strong commitment to volunteer and service work. I attend a medical mission trip annually with the Sisters of St. Francis to Palenque, Mexico. I volunteer evenings throughout the year at the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic - a free medical clinic run by the UB Med Students and I also make street rounds with UBHeals, a homeless street outreach program that is run by the UB medical students.
My clinical practice is family medicine. What family physicians do best is provide medical care to individuals within the context of family and community. An examination room filled with family members poses a great opportunity: I believe that patient health can vastly improve if family support augments clinical advice. Most of my patient visits include not only the patient, but family members as well, e.g., a spouse, son, daughter or caregiver. Often, these family members are my patients, too, which allows me to understand the family and provide the best, most appropriate treatment. I have cared for as many as five generations in one family, and multigenerational care gives me great satisfaction. My practice is focused on patients with complex medical conditions and on preventive care. I like to guide patients to embrace healthier lifestyles, and I have learned a great deal from patients who have lived to advanced ages--many in their 90s--who have led healthy and happy lives. They are the role models and inspiration for me as I care for younger patients. In addition to practicing family medicine for nearly 30 years, I have conducted research in medical education. My focus has been creating a clinical skills course for first-year medical students and developing authentic evaluation strategies. I have presented these topics and led discussion on them at many national conferences. More recently, I was an advisor to family physicians practicing in the national health system in Crete, Greece who sought advanced academic skills. I serve as assistant dean for student affairs, providing academic and career counseling for students during their four years of medical school. I work with a team of academic staff to create programs that help students advance through the developmental stages of medical school and prepare them for residency applications. These programs include peer mentoring and tutoring, community physician mentoring, academic guidance and career planning and coaching for students seeking their specialty match. I also meet with students individually when needed, to guide them through the personal and life challenges they might encounter during their medical education. My goal is to support students’ learning and growth within their individual learning styles and their search for fulfilling careers that match their interests and aspirations.
Family Medicine; Geriatric Medicine
I have continuously practiced as a family physician since I graduated from residency in 1977. Since joining the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine at the University at Buffalo in 1980, I have instructed and supervised medical students and residents in the hospital and office. I have served in many administrative roles- medical director of the family medicine center clinical office, residency program director, vice chair of the department, and chief of service for family medicine at Kaleida Health and Millard Fillmore Hospital prior to the merger which created the Kaleida system. In 2002 I was appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer for Millard Fillmore Hospital. In 2005 I served as Interim Chief Medical Officer for the Kaleida Health system, then transitioned to the position of Chief Medical Officer for the Buffalo General Hospital until 2011. In 2012 I began a mentoring program for junior clincal faculty, and most recently, in April 2013 was appointed as interim chair of the Department of Family Medicine and in September 2014 appointed as permanent chair.
In my practice at UBMD Family Medicine, I strive to incorporate six key principles of family medicine: maintain an ongoing patient-doctor relationship, take a comprehensive approach to care, coordinate care with other health care providers, meet community needs, promote health and prevent disease and recognize the role of the family. I review each patient’s medical history before every visit, listen carefully to the patient’s concerns and discuss issues collaboratively so that we can address the ones that are most likely to maintain or improve the patient’s health. If I have suggestions, I educate the patient about them. We then work together to arrive at a plan that allows the patient to make changes at his or her own pace. Practicing in this manner is possible with the support of colleagues at UBMD Family Medicine who also strive to provide excellent patient care guided by the key principles of family medicine. In the area of administrative and scholarly activity, I serve as vice chair for faculty development in the Department of Family Medicine. This role includes promoting interdisciplinary collaboration at the department’s biweekly Faculty Development Workshop and Primary Care Research Forum. I have served as principal investigator for grant-supported faculty development projects on topics such as genetics in primary care, leadership, scholarship, teaching effectiveness and medical education research. I also teach our trainees. In the Clinical Practice of Medicine course, I lead a seminar in which medical students learn how to interview patients, perform physical examinations and engage in effective patient-doctor communication. I provide clinical teaching for medical students and residents in the office and hospital settings. In addition, I mentor medical students and residents who are working on educational projects, on topics such as practicing evidence-based medicine and improving quality of care.
I practice full-spectrum family medicine, which means that I care for patients ranging from newborns to the elderly. I take care of obstetric patients, and I deliver babies. I perform minor dermatological, gynecologic and orthopedic procedures in the UBMD Family Medicine office on Sheridan Dr. I also care for patients in the intensive care unit and on hospital floors at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. I believe that the major role of a physician is to educate. I educate, guide and empower patients to make the best informed health decisions for themselves and their families. I practice medicine as a supportive partner, helping my patients prevent serious illness by coaching them to live healthy lifestyles. I am also a constant companion to my patients in regard to their immunizations and their efforts at weight loss and smoking cessation. My care for patients and their loved ones includes supporting them in end-of-life decisions that will help lead to a dignified death. As a family physician in an academic setting, I help trainees navigate the complex health care world. As the chief resident in UB’s family medicine residency, I had extensive experience teaching and organizing teaching; I bring this expertise to the residents I now teach as a faculty member. I am one of the seminar leaders for the Clinical Practice of Medicine (CPM) curriculum for first-year medical students. I am committed to empowering health care teams—students, residents, experienced physicians, nurses and nursing aides—by sharing my knowledge and fostering the best possible care of patients. I am an American born in South Korea and educated in England. My interests in family medicine grew from volunteering in rural Ghana and Haiti as a medical student, where I learned that fostering strong physician-patient relationships and health education is crucial to improving the overall health of a community. My medical practice and my teaching and mentoring of students and residents reflect the lessons I have learned throughout my international experience.
As a family physician, I am committed to providing comprehensive care to patients ranging from infants to the elderly. I am privileged to serve Western New York and to give back to the community that has given me so much throughout my medical training and beyond. I care for patients in Cleve-Hill Family Health Center, where I completed my residency. At this inner-city health clinic, I care for patients coping with multiple comorbidities in addition to significant socioeconomic challenges. I strive to build trusting relationships with my patients and feel honored when they confide in me. I do my best to understand health-related issues from their perspectives, and often our discussions go beyond health care as they share their family concerns and the challenges in their daily living. I try to help my patients in any way I can to improve the quality of their lives. I am a core faculty member in the family medicine training program. As such, I help train our residents and medical students through mentoring, seminars and lectures. I am committed to seeing that trainees receive the best possible mentoring during their time in UB’s programs. I strive to communicate effectively with them in order to maximize their potential and create an environment where open discussion and inquiry is encouraged. My responsibility as a medical educator is not limited to ensuring that basic terminology and concepts are memorized; it includes as well the ability to instill confidence in my trainees so that they are capable of applying what they learn to their practice of medicine. Developing students and residents into proficient, empathetic doctors is a truly rewarding aspect of my job. I am currently enrolled in the Royal College of Physicians. Through this program I seek ways to advance my skill sets as an educator and communicator. Specifically, I want to fine-tune my ability to help my residents grow through constructive feedback. I also am involved in recruiting and interviewing residency applicants.
I provide outpatient primary care service at Conventus Family Medicine on Main Street in Buffalo, NY. I treat patients with multiple chronic medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol, providing proactive, preventative and compassionate care for these complex cases. My practice emphasizes coordinating care across interdisciplinary teams and helping patients make therapeutic lifestyle changes through diet, exercise and weight loss. I take great pleasure in working with diverse, under served patients, including patients with mental illnesses, helping them understand their disease, overcome barriers to treatment and address the causes of noncompliance. I am passionate about teaching and education. I provide mentoring, teaching and supervision for medical students and the residents at our clinic. My goal is to create great leaders and excellent physicians for the future.
My work focuses on putting patient safety at the heart of medical education and practice. I care for inpatients at the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) as well as in nursing home settings. I conduct research on patient safety and quality of care, focusing especially on the role of system science and information technology in improving safety in primary care. I have served as a co-investigator on grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and as the principal investigator on various other grants, including a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant that examined adopting health information technology in primary care offices and its current and potential impacts on patient safety. I bring together methods from diverse fields, including systems and reliability theory, complexity science and management science to create unique approaches to improving care. I mentor medical students on research projects. I also supervise master’s and doctoral students in UB’s School of Management who are interested in the field of management in health care settings. As vice chair for research in the Department of Family Medicine and director of the Primary Care Research Institute, my goal is to foster high quality health services research aimed at improving patient care and patient health while keeping costs down. My teaching of medical students and residents also focuses on patient safety, including medication safety and medical error disclosure. I teach these topics during clerkship, in lectures and small groups. I also teach clinical skills and supervise medical students in both outpatient and inpatient settings. I supervise family medicine residents on the inpatient service at ECMC and in nursing homes.
I am a member of the Division of General Internal Medicine, which consists of a team of dedicated professionals providing exceptional preventive care, acute care, and chronic disease management for adults across the entire spectrum of health and disease. I work closely with and supervise University at Buffalo students and residents in their care of patients at the Internal Medicine Center at ECMC and in the care of hospitalized patients at ECMC. I am also engaged in research on alcoholism and alcohol-related disease, including the detection and treatment of these commonly encountered conditions in medical settings. Alcohol-related problems are often unrecognized due to a lack of specific diagnostic testing or simply not linking heavy drinking to problems that are not always or not usually alcohol-related (e.g., hypertension). If alcohol is recognized as a problem, tools to treat alcoholism have not typically been adapted for primary care nor have many physicians received specific training in managing alcoholism. With the support of the National Institutes of Health and other organizations, I conduct cutting-edge research on the assessment and treatment of patients with alcohol-related disease using brief counseling methods and medications that are appropriate for primary care practices. I am also heavily involved in studying the use of novel laboratory tests for detecting unhealthy drinking patterns and alcohol-related organ damage. My goal as a clinical researcher is to provide tools that enable physicians to provide care for alcohol-related disorders as they do for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol. This includes the use of laboratory tests to monitor control of the disease, guide the use of medications and brief counseling in busy medical settings, and determine the need for more intensive treatment or referral to addiction specialists.
I am a family physician at UBMD Family Medicine where I provide comprehensive care for children and adults. Health maintenance is a cornerstone of my practice, i.e., assuring that patients receive preventive services such as immunizations, Pap smears, mammograms and colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer. I manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, emphysema, depression and addiction, and I treat acute conditions such as musculoskeletal pain, respiratory infections and skin conditions. I perform office procedures, including skin biopsies and therapeutic joint injections. I also provide prenatal care and deliver babies. At Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, together with a team of resident physicians, I care for adult patients who require hospitalization. I maintain excellent relationships with subspecialists and can coordinate consultation with them when my patients need specialized care. My research is focused on medical education, particularly as it relates to determinants of student choice to pursue careers in primary care. I serve as the vice chair for medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine and have a special interest in teaching students about the central role of family medicine in providing high quality, cost-effective health care. I direct the first-year clinical skills course in the medical school and routinely lecture in that course on the fundamentals of performing a patient interview and physical exam. I am also the family medicine clerkship director. As such, I lead small group discussions on preventive screening, the patient-centered medical home and continuity of care in the primary care setting. I developed an innovative program using standardized patients to simulate a six-month continuity relationship with students rotating through the family medicine clerkship. During simulated visits, students address their patients’ chronic medical concerns (e.g., diabetes, hypertension), acute concerns (e.g., knee injury, chest pain) and lifestyle issues (e.g., smoking cessation, diet, exercise). The simulation allows students to experience the challenges and rewards of developing a continuity relationship with patients. I also developed and implemented a curriculum to teach students to care for patients with disabilities. In addition, medical students participating in their family medicine clerkship and clinical skills course accompany me as I see patients, in order to deepen their understanding of patient care. I also supervise residents at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Teaching students and residents keeps me sharp: it informs my practice of medicine, while my practice of medicine assures that I remain relevant as a teacher.
My research is focused on patients with multiple chronic diseases and has several goals: 1.) to improve care delivery for these patients, 2.) to improve self-management and increase receipt of preventive services and 3.) to reduce the care disparities that exist for this population. I center my research efforts in underserved communities, where challenges are compounded because of limited resources, high levels of chronic disease and elevated risk factors. To address my research goals, I serve as a liaison between UB researchers and our community partners. With 20 years community-based experience, I have a network of collaborators throughout Western New York. I work with primary care practices and their patients to design and implement research, using a mixed-method approach founded on epidemiology and qualitative analysis, to measure outcomes within the context of individuals’ personal experiences. Together, we conduct community education and build and evaluate community programs. I work closely with the the Patient Voices Network (PVN) on interventions to help patients in underserved communities. The PVN is a community of informed patients living with chronic conditions. Members of the PVN are instrumental in designing and implementing these interventions and encouraging others to participate in research projects. In our mammography outreach project, PVN patients identified barriers preventing women in their neighborhoods from getting screened. We partner with a mobile mammography unit so that women can be screened in the comfort of their own primary care office. To ensure that cost is not a deterrent, we also partner with the free Cancer Services Program of Erie County to help enroll women who are uninsured or underinsured. Patient Ambassadors from the PVN work on screening days to offer participants support and encouragement. This project has had community impact in several ways. It supports effective chronic-disease self-management by connecting patients to the right resources; it provides patient-centered care by connecting primary care with community resources; it empowers patients to become more active in their health care and take charge of their own health and it encourages patients to partner with their doctors. Additionally, the project created a sustainable model for preventive screening: the system we put in place is meant to endure, and the service will continue after the grant ends. I also serve as the Director of Community Engagement for UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute. In this role, I strive to create infrastructure for other faculty and trainees to engage community in their research. Undergraduate, graduate and medical students interested in community-based and practice-based research are welcome to conduct research with me.
As a family doctor I care for the family as a whole, and I am committed to serving the Western New York community that I grew up in. My approach is to become part of the family structure and develop meaningful relationships with all members of the family, promote health and wellness for each individual, learn how best to tailor medical care based on my patients’ beliefs and medical history and offer the continuity of care that is so essential to a trusting patient-physician relationship. I feel privileged that my patients share their significant life events with me; in return, I work with compassion and empathy toward my patients as they experience the best and worst moments of life. As assistant dean for graduate medical education, my focus is to design and implement a Residents as Educators initiative and further my work in faculty development. I am a certified educator through the Royal College of Physicians and am currently working with a task force of academic physicians at the university to teach and train faculty as educators. As a faculty member of the medical school, I am committed to my teaching and mentoring responsibilities. I teach medical students and residents in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I also lead seminars, deliver lectures and conduct research alongside my residents. I provide guidance to pre-medical and medical students, and I am a mentor for the Family Medicine Interest Group and the Association of Pre-Medical Students. I want to nurture student and resident interest in family medicine by sharing my joy and passion in this patient-oriented field with them. One of my mentors made an effort to get to know his students as unique individuals. I, too, take the time to become acquainted with my students and residents — to find out their interests and challenges as well as what inspires them — so that I can guide them to becoming excellent and caring family physicians.