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|Get to Know Your AAHCM Leaders|
Get to Know Kristofer L. Smith, MD
Senior Vice President, Office of Population Health Management, Northwell Health; Medical Director, Health Solutions; Chief Medical Officer, CareConnect; Associate Professor, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
Dr. Smith’s focus is health policy and healthcare reform. He received his Medical Degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He also received degrees from both Princeton University and Harvard University, JFK School of Government. As Senior Vice President in the Office of Population Health Management, Dr. Smith provides clinical leadership for all Northwell’s population health activities. He is the Medical Director for Health Solutions, Northwell’s care management organization and is the Chief Medical Officer for CareConnect, Northwell’s insurance company. Dr. Smith maintains an active clinical practice as a house call physician in Northwell’s nationally recognized home-based primary care program. He has published numerous papers on advanced care models for the frail elderly and has been a co-investigator on a number of grants investigating the outcomes of high-intensity primary care programs. Dr. Smith speaks nationally and regionally on health policy, the frail elderly and the intersection of payment reform and clinical redesign. He was honored as the 2015 House Call Educator of the Year by AAHCM.
Dr. Smith served on the Nominating Committee in 2017. Currently, he is Co-chair of the AAHCM 2018 Annual Meeting Planning Committee and is a member of the Public Policy Work Group: Model Design.
We recently spoke with Dr. Smith.
What attracted you to the field of homecare medicine?
I was fortunate to be introduced to exceptional home care medicine leaders early in my career. Jeremy Boal, Theresa Soriano, Linda DeCherrie. The work was clearly meaningful and impactful and those who were in the field were exceptional leaders and clinicians. I did and still do feel fortunate to be able to take care of patients in need in a community of dedicated clinicians.
How has working in this field impacted your practice? What keeps you in the field?
My practice since finishing residency a decade ago has only been in home care medicine. I have learned so much about understanding patient’s goals and figuring out how to support them in their journey. I enjoy the challenge and independence of practicing without the safety net of sub specialists and advanced diagnostics. I love the variety of clinical scenarios. I love my team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and nurses who contribute to the care of my patients and families. I love the fact that my highest goal is to keep patients safely and comfortably at home.
Why AAHCM? What drives your involvement?
Almost 15 years ago I was working on a Masters thesis in health policy. I was fortunate to work on one of the early efforts around quality metrics in home-based medicine. In leading a consensus project, I was fortunate to work with some of our fields luminaries, Peter Boling, Tom Cornwall, Eric DeJonge. It was clear that these and other individuals were the best medicine had to offer; committed, passionate, smart, and patient centered. Over the years I have continued to meet wonderful leaders at the academy and continue to resonate with the mission to bring this model of care to a larger number of patients and families in need.
How did you start? What advice can you offer to a person considering volunteering with AAHCM?
I would offer to members that volunteering with this organization brings together wonderful clinicians and administrators dedicated to doing good and that as a volunteer for the Academy brings one into this fellowship. I was asked by AAHCM leaders I knew and respected to become part of this fellowship and I am very happy I took the plunge.
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