If you believe that the most fragile, neglected people in San Diego are entitled to lives of dignity and well-being, then you’re in the right place at SMA. 2017 was SMA’s 11th year in practice, and it was a year marked by getting back to our core, learning to walk more in step with one another, and doing more of what we do best.
SMA exists to bring sustainable, quality health care to under-served populations in San Diego. The first step we took was to improve the standard of care for the frailest elderly in the city at long term care facilities, where we deliver medicine and mental health services coupled to innovative clinical leadership. Over the past few years, we broadened our scope to address clinical challenges at outpatient community clinics serving the most severe mentally ill patients in town. Our patient, family and stakeholder satisfaction, as well as our population health outcomes, have been remarkable in 2017. For these reasons, San Diego is turning toward our SMA team to continue to be the positive force of change our community has needed for a long time.
In 2017, we saw that the more mindful we are about our core values as a team, the more effectively we bring well-being and dignity to sensitive populations in San Diego. The following are some specific SMA highlights, organized around our core values, CARES.
To motivate all of us to remain mindful about these values, we developed a strong SMA CARES community sustainability program to highlight our core values and to share updates of how we continue to live up to them.
Each month this program provides a chance for each of you to earn a $200 SMA donation in your honor to the charity of your choice, be it global poverty, your child’s school foundation, local religious organizations or whatever else moves you.
To enter, all you have to do is submit a short paragraph by email describing an example of someone you notice at SMA carrying out any of our values in a notable way. Make it stand out with an attached photo or link if you can. Send your contributions to our practice administrator email@example.com, and one submission will be chosen each month to win the prize for that person'as selected charity. Check out the News page for some existing examples. We will aim to share some of our favorite submissions on this blog. Please be specific and feel free to be creative; we value your individual perspectives.
Here are a few items I’ve noticed from the year:
Patient families, nurses, and administrative staff continue to send us feedback on how impressed they are with our dedicated caring team, who go above and beyond every day spending time educating patients, families & staff, and pouring our hearts into the care we deliver every day.
Together, our long-term care division performed over 30,000 visits, spread across more than 50 facilities across the county. Because of the efforts of Dr Teja Singh, we earned a contract to be the providers for another sensitive population, the Care 1st HMO patients in long-term care in San Diego. At the same time, our outpatient psychiatry division grew from 2 community clinic sites to 5 sites and is likely to expand to 9 sites within a few months. This growth has continued to happen with help from the innovative and dedicated leadership of Hossein Samadi, MD and the support of David Tweedy, PhD. In particular, our outpatient psychiatry effectiveness has grown with a big boost in leadership from Gabrielle Cerda, MD. Dr Cerda was Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego and Chief of Staff at Rady Children’s hospital before joining SMA. She recently was promoted to Medical Director of ACT Psychiatry at SMA, where she helps us set up and maintain thoughtful teams and successful programs. Read more about Dr. Cerda here: Achievement in Assertive Psychiatry .
At the core of what we do are all the wheels and cogs that keep SMA moving. One of the biggest changes for me personally this year has been bringing on Wade Duckett as our practice administrator. Wade came to us from Atlanta, where he managed a large medical practice. Since joining us this past summer, he has very quickly taken the reins of SMA with his friendly demeanor and can-do attitude. Wade has reliably been there for our team to keep us organized, keep us compliant with new regulations, and keep us all connected as a team.
There have been dozens of examples from many of you of clinically excellent, consistent, evidence based care over the past year. And we want to hear about more of them, those would be easy blog post entries so please send them over!
Another new step SMA took in 2017 was starting a wound care service for our long-term patients, led by Drs. Kimberly and Matthew Dickson. The Dickson’s previously ran a national top 10 wound care center in Arizona. They are joined by KellyAnn Knight, NP in staffing the wound center at Paradise Valley Hospital. Together these providers bring a high level of clinical excellence in wound care to our patients around the County.
Support for our community and our colleagues is another core value at SMA. Standing at our SMA celebration, it was powerful for me to notice the pillars of support that come from our families to keep us all steady on our challenging mission together at SMA.
Within SMA, David Tweedy, PhD has immense confidence in the spirit and values of SMA. He continues to help us find our groove at the executive level, and he continues to support our psychology providers at a clinical level. And on a community level, Dr. Tweedy carried the SMA name with him through service as Tri-City Hospital Foundation Chairman last year and led us to donate toward breast cancer research. You can read more about Dr. Tweedy on our blog; Dr. Tweedy and Drs. Dickson are also further featured here: About .
Thank you all for your ongoing contributions to our team, and especially all of you whose efforts I’ve not had the chance to already highlight today. And thank you for the many wonderful steps you take to better the lives of our patients everyday.