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 10, 2011

TSPMG Announces New Specialty Department Physician Directors

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group is pleased to announce the appointment of new Physician Directors for Surgical Specialties, Procedural Specialties and Medical Specialties. These new roles are part of changes to the Specialty Care department that will better position us to take advantage of our continuing internalization and geographic expansion.

 

James Lucarini, MD, Chief of ENT, has been named Physician Director for Surgical Specialties. He joined TSPMG in 2000 after several years in academic and private practice and has served as Chief of ENT since 2008.  Under Dr. Lucarini’s leadership, the department of Otolaryngology expanded to offer hearing aids and embraced change, becoming our first adopters of open access and referral overhaul/chart review. He received his medical degree from Yale University and completed an internship in surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospitals and his residency training in Otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In this new role, he will be responsible for the following departments:

  • Otolaryngology/Audiology
  • Pain Management
  • General Surgery/Podiatry
  • Urology
  • Future departments (Plastic Surgery, Vascular Surgery)

John Strickler, MD is our new Physician Director for Procedural Specialties. As the Chief of Dermatology, he has overseen an expansion of one of our highest volume specialty departments. Dr. Strickler completed his medical degree and internship at Tulane University School of Medicine and his residency at the Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine. He joined TSPMG in 2001 and was named Chief of Dermatology in 2005. Under Dr. Strickler’s leadership, the dermatology department has flourished as an innovative, high-functioning, high-quality department. As Physician Director for Procedural Specialties, he will be responsible for the following departments:

  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Women’s Services
  • Dermatology
  • Pulmonology

 

Stan Jagielski, MD has been named Physician Director for Medical Specialties. Dr. Jagielski has served as Managing Physician of our Crescent Medical Center since 1996. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his Obstetrics & Gynecology internship and residency at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Jagielski is a strong advocate for Permanente medicine and has played a key role in advocating our medical group to the community and potential customers.  In this new role, he will be responsible for the following departments:

  • Neurology
  • Nephrology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Endocrinology

 

The changes we are making move more decision making to the front-line level, and we are certain that the strong leadership of Dr. Lucarini, Dr. Strickler and Dr. Jagielski will continue to improve patient care and department efficiency. Please join us in welcoming them to their new positions.


 

May 11, 2011

Scott Pugel, MD Named TSPMG Physician Director of Ambulatory Resource Stewardship

Scott Pugel, MD, has joined the Department of Resource Stewardship as the Physician Director of Ambulatory Resource Stewardship for The Southeast Permanente Medical Group. In his new role he will identify over-, under- and inappropriate utilization of lab, radiology, pharmacy, provider and other resources in all of our ambulatory settings. He will also help develop systems to make it easier for all of our health care teams to do the right thing for every patient, every time.

Dr. Pugel received his medical degree from Creighton University and completed his pediatric training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He joined TSPMG in 1989, was named Managing Physician at the Gwinnett Medical Office in 1993, and served as Chief of After Hours for several years. Scott has been involved in numerous medical group projects and successfully guided our Gwinnett office through tremendous changes as we have expanded our presence in response to the growth in the county. He is also active in community service activities, including a recent medical mission to Haiti. He is the proud father of four beautiful daughters.

 


 

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.


 

Hipkens and Rahimi join TSPMG Department of Quality and Patient Safety

Jim Hipkens, MD
Ali Rahimi, MD

Linda Christmann, MD, AMD for Quality and Patient Safety, recently announced the appointment of two new members of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group Department of Quality and Patient Safety. Jim Hipkens, MD, has accepted the position of Physician Program Director for Quality and Metrics, and Ali Rahimi, MD, is the new Physician Program Director for Cardiovascular Quality.

Dr. Hipkens, an internist at our Gwinnett Medical Center, joined TSPMG in 1996 and is an elected member of the Board of Directors. As Physician Program Director for Quality and Metrics, he will focus on diabetes and cancer care. We are exploring initiatives which have been used successfully in other regions of Kaiser Permanente, and he brings a wealth of experience to this work.

Dr. Hipkens received his medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency at Emory University Hospital. He also holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in Experimental Therapeutics/Cancer Research from SUNY at Buffalo. Prior to joining TSPMG, he was on faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine and served as Medical Director for the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Since joining TSPMG in 2010, Dr. Rahimi has been involved in the internalization of cardiology and several valuable initiatives, including beta blockers after acute MI and reducing readmissions in patients with CHF. In his new role he will work with our internal constituency and other KP regions to improve our outpatient and inpatient cardiovascular quality metrics. After our metrics have improved and stabilized, Dr. Rahimi plans to lead research initiatives around cardiovascular performance and outcomes, with a focus on population care.

Dr. Rahimi received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and an MPH in Health Policy and Management from Emory University. He completed his residency at Yale and a fellowship in Cardiology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

 


 

 

TSPMG Physicians Among Atlanta's "Top Doctors"

Seven doctors from The Southeast Permanente Medical Group were recently named as “Top Doctors” in Atlanta Magazine.

The TSPMG physicians who made the list are:

 

  • Richard B. Abrohams, MD - Kaiser Permanente Medical Center at Gwinnett
  • Kathleen S. Butt, MD - Kaiser Permanente Glenlake Medical Center
  • Richard S. Ellin, MD - Kaiser Permanente Alpharetta Medical Center
  • Patrice T. Gapsard, MD - Kaiser Permanente East Cobb Medical Office
  • James H. Hipkens, MD - Kaiser Permanente Medical Center at Gwinnett
  • Sean T. Murphy, MD - Kaiser Permanente Sugar Hill-Buford Medical Office
  • Sharon D. Smith, MD - Kaiser Permanente Alpharetta Medical Center

 

Each year, independent health care research firm Castle Connolly asks physicians across metro Atlanta to nominate doctors they feel exhibit exceptional clinical skills and commitment to patient care. The results are compiled in the annual "Top Doctors" list, which is featured in the July edition of Atlanta Magazine.

Dr. Abrohams specializes in geriatric medicine and is a member of the palliative care team, which provides end-of-life care for patients who are homebound. The team addresses the physical and social needs of patients with life-threatening illnesses. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Abrohams has practiced at TSPMG since 1998.

Dr. Butt, who joined TSPMG in 1988, specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, she is recognized for her expertise in gynecologic surgery.

Dr. Ellin, who has practiced with TSPMG since 1985, specializes in internal medicine. A graduate of Emory University School of Medicine, he is recognized for his expertise in preventive care.

Dr. Gaspard, who joined TSPMG in 1997, specializes in pediatrics and pediatric surgery. A graduate of the Tulane University School of Medicine, she is recognized for her expertise in adolescent and preventive medicine.

Dr. Hipkens, a graduate of Emory University School of Medicine, is recognized for his expertise in complex diagnoses. In recent years, he has concentrated his work on diabetes and hypertension prevention. Hipkens has been with TSPMG since 1996.

Dr. Murphy specializes in family medicine and is passionate about preventive care. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Murphy joined TSPMG in 1992.

Dr. Smith specializes in obstetrics/gynecology and is also a strong proponent of preventive care. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, she joined TSPMG in 1993.

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group provides care exclusively for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia members.