Richard L. Kalish, MD, Joins Lahey Clinic as Chair of the New Division of Primary Care

New division poised to meet the highest standards of patient-centered medical care via the medical home model: “Will go beyond just the ‘visit’”

August 20, 2012 – Lahey Clinic recently appointed Richard L. Kalish, MD, MPH, MS, as chair of the new Division of Primary Care at Lahey. This new division includes the departments of General Internal Medicine at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington and Lahey Clinic Medical Center, North Shore in Peabody, as well as a dozen community group practices.

Dr. Kalish’s experience in the contemporary delivery of primary care services will help launch the new division, which was created to ensure successful and seamless delivery of the new medical home model to patients.
“The patient-centered medical home model is first and foremost a team-based approach to care,” says Dr. Kalish. “The idea is to move beyond an emphasis on just the patient “visit,” to an emphasis on ongoing care between visits. For the healthy patient, this may mean lifestyle modification by getting more exercise and eating better. For patients considered higher risk, the approach will be more personalized and leverage the power of the team—one led by a patient’s primary care physician and potentially consisting of nurses, care managers, health coaches, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, specialists and other selected types of providers and support staff.”

Lahey currently has three medical home pilot sites: one at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington; one at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, North Shore in Peabody; and another at the Lahey Ipswich, a Lahey Community Group Practice. Care managers, or nurses who coordinate care for selected patients, have been hired at these sites and a registry for all patients with diabetes has been created so that these patients receive the care and attention required to best manage this chronic condition. These types of registries will continue to be created for patients with other medical conditions.

“We know that the medical home model works,” says Dr. Kalish. “Those organizations who have implemented it successfully have been shown to have more satisfied patients as well as healthier patients according to patient satisfaction and outcomes measures. By reducing emergency room visits, readmissions and preventable admissions before they happen, the model also keeps health care costs down.”

For the past 12 years, Dr. Kalish was medical director of Boston HealthNet, a network affiliation of Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine and 15 community health centers in Boston and Quincy. For the last two years, he was also senior medical director for the Boston Medical Center HealthNet plan, a not-for-profit managed care organization serving more than 240,000 members across Massachusetts. Previously, Dr. Kalish was medical director for the South Boston Community Health Center, where he also cared for patients as a primary care physician since 1996.

Dr. Kalish earned his medical degree as well as a Master of Science in Preventive Medicine from Ohio State University. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University. He completed an internal medicine residency at Boston City Hospital and a Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

“Dr. Kalish is the ideal person to lead our medical home initiative,” said CEO and President of Lahey Clinic Howard Grant, JD, MD. “He has a unique background as a long-term primary care practitioner who has successfully implemented medical home. More importantly, I know he shares our vision for making Lahey a most appealing choice for patients seeking primary care services, and for primary care providers to practice their profession.”

About Lahey Clinic
Lahey Clinic, a physician-led, nonprofit group practice, is world-renowned for innovative technology, pioneering medical treatment, and leading-edge research. A teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, the Clinic provides quality health care in virtually every specialty and subspecialty, from primary care to cancer diagnosis and treatment to kidney and liver transplantation. Lahey Clinic nurses also earned Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a recognition only achieved by five percent of American hospitals. For more information please visit our website at www.Lahey.org.