The Southeast Permanente Medical Group

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group is an integral part of Kaiser Permanente. Our physicians can coordinate virtually every aspect of patient care - from referrals to laboratory tests to medications. With everything under one umbrella, our patients receive the highest continuity of care.

May 13, 2011

New Members of the TSPMG Department of Quality and Patient Safety

Rahul Nayak, MD

Linda Christmann, MD, TSPMG AMD for Quality and Patient Safety, recently announced the appointment of two new members of the TSPMG Department of Quality and Patient Safety. Rahul Nayak, MD, is the new Physician Program Director for Safety, and Sonya Piano, who currently works for the Health Plan, will join TSPMG as the Manager for Performance Improvement.

Dr. Nayak, a gastroenterologist, served as an apprentice with Dr. Bob van der Meer over the past 10 months. During that time he worked on several initiatives which he will continue in his new leadership role, including:

  • Communicating with Care
  • Loss Prevention
  • Patient Safety initiatives, such as Standardizing Emergency Response

As Physician Program Director for Safety, he will work with our internal constituency and other KP regions to improve our Peer Review Process and continue his work with the Risk Department on incident reporting through the HERO system. Dr. Nayak will also work with all parts of KPGA to develop a "Just Culture" approach in KPGA and ensure that Root Cause Analysis can be used appropriately by everyone in the organization.

Dr. Nayak received his medical degree and an MBA from Vanderbilt University and completed his residency at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He joined TSPMG in 2009.

In her new role, Sonya Piano will be an important collaborator and resource for the Quality and Patient Safety department, focusing on the most pressing workflow issues that impact quality in our organization. As an expert in the use of Lean and Six Sigma, she will facilitate understanding and use of these tools to improve quality, safety, and employee and member satisfaction. Sonya holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and MBAs from Queen's University of Ontario and Cornell University.