News and Events

Bob Climko, MD, Named Senior Physician Director of Acute Care

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG) is delighted to announce that Bob Climko, MD will assume the position of Senior Physician Director of Acute Care, effective January 2015. In his new role, Dr. Climko will provide leadership for our hospitalists, ACC, CDU and urgent care providers, the ECM hub, the physician lead for the call center, and the QRM department. He replaces Peter King, MD, who is transitioning towards retirement by moving into a full time clinical role.

Dr. Climko has done a fantastic job since joining TSPMG in 2011 as Chief of Behavioral Health, building a very high performing department.  We will begin the search for a new Chief of Behavioral Health as Bob transitions to his new role.

Prior to joining our medical group, Bob had a very diverse career with extensive leadership experience in a variety of roles including medical director, consultant, chief medical officer, utilization management and academic medicine.  In addition to his medical degree, he also holds an MBA from the Keller School of Management.

We are confident that his leadership will further enhance our Acute Care Services.




Punam Sachdev, MD named Lead Physician for Southwood ACC

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group is pleased to announce that Punam Sachdev, MD has been appointed Lead Physician for the Kaiser Permanente of Georgia Southwood ACC. The Southwood ACC, which opened in February, has had a significant impact on the care received by members with emergent conditions. Dr. Sachdev has been an important part of our success and we are confident in her ability to lead the team in providing a high quality alternative to traditional ER services.

Dr. Sachdev joined TSPMG this year as a member of our Emergency Medicine department. She received her medical degree and a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and completed her residency at Emory University.

In addition to Dr. Sachdev’s new role, Christy Hewling, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine will continue to serve as lead for the TownPark ACC.

Please join us in wishing Dr. Sachdev much success in her new role.




Kelly DeGraffenreid, MD Named TSPMG Physician Program Director of Systems and Quality

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group pleased to announce that Kelly DeGraffenreid, MD, has been named the Physician Program Director of Systems and Quality for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia.

As the Physician Program Director of Systems and Quality, Dr. DeGraffenreid is responsible for Adult Medicine department interfaces with the leaders and work of coding, informatics, quality and safety, professional development, and process improvement. She will identify programs, process improvement, quality/safety, and pilot opportunities for the department. She will develop these opportunities and work with operations to implement when ready. Duties include:

  • Education/proficiency/compliance – board certification and recertification, PI-CME, compliance training, credentialing, student rotations
  • Informatics – best use of technology to support clinicians and patients
  • Coding – working with the Chief of Coding on processes and training that affect AM
  • Quality – HEDIS (e.g. eldercare, depression, flu, CVD, DM, prevention, well women’s workgroup initiatives), safety, guidelines
  • Medicare – eldercare - Total Health Assessment, Annual Wellness Visit, osteoporosis, HRME
  • Current initiatives – group visits, shared decision making, Behavioral Health integration into primary care, Choosing Wisely, weight management, opioid prescribing, medication reconciliation, transitions in care, P4P, process improvement, assessment of clinical processes, MC3 – team resource optimization

In 2003, Dr. DeGraffenreid joined The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (TSPMG), which provides care exclusively for Kaiser Permanente members in Georgia. She quickly became a respected physician and leader. In 2005, DeGraffenreid was named Team Player of the Year for TSPMG. She was also honored as the Glaxo-Wellcome Resident Scholar for leadership at Emory University. She most recently achieved Bridges to Excellence recognition.

DeGraffenreid completed her undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at Purdue University, earned her medical degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed her family practice residency at Emory University.



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Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is growing. We are located in more than 30 metro Atlanta facilities and associated hospitals. Kaiser Permanente will make a significant investment over the next five years to considerably increase the number of facilities, services and specialty care throughout Atlanta.

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