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.

Kaiser Permanente TownPark ACC/CDU Garners Rave Reviews

The Kaiser Permanente TownPark Advanced Care Center / Clinical Decision Unit (ACC/CDU) in Kennesaw is garnering rave reviews from members across the Atlanta area.

Since it opened on May 1, more than 2,700 Kaiser Permanente members have been treated in the ACC. Approximately 170 were transferred to the CDU for additional treatment or testing and 3.3% were moved to other facilities.

The center has seen a wide variety of conditions, from low acuity cuts and scratches to more serious conditions such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrythmia, stroke, pneumonia, and specialty cases including ENT, gynecology and others.

“The ACC/CDU is filling the niche it was designed to address – conditions that are a little too much for an Urgent Care center, but that don’t need a full emergency room,” said Peter King, MD, Physician Director of Acute Care Services. “Also, being able to treat members in our CDU has prevented hospital admission for about 20 patients each week.”

According to the ACC/CDU staff, Kaiser Permanente members appreciate that they receive such fast, high-quality care from KP clinicians and staff. Members who previously visited an outside ER say they are most impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the TownPark team.

One member was especially impressed that the ACC staff could access their full medical record in KP HealthConnect.

“Normally, I would have spent many hours waiting in the ER, just to see a doctor who doesn’t know anything about me. Here, they know who I am because all of my records are online, and they treat me like family.”

The ability to quickly access patient records for members who visit the ACC is a significant benefit for the health care team.

“Having their information in KP HealthConnect helps us improve patient care,” said Larry Bartel, MD, lead CDU physician. “Patients appreciate not having to repeat all of their information and fill out forms, and they are diagnosed more accurately and treated faster than if they were in a non-KP facility. It makes a real difference in their overall experience.”

Members of the TownPark staff, most of whom joined KP after extensive experience in Kaiser Permanente urgent care operations and outside Emergency Rooms, say that the facility exceeds their expectations. According to Dr. King and Alison Wiebe, senior director of the ACC/CDU, workforce satisfaction is very high in spite of the predicted stresses of opening a new unit.  As word spreads in the medical community, nurses and physicians are inquiring about employment opportunities.

“It’s such a wonderful facility, clearly designed to assist us in delivering high-quality care,” said Wendy Cox, RN ACC/CDU supervisor. “It’s so bright and open and welcoming, unlike many emergency rooms or urgent care centers. The environment makes such a difference in how patients feel about their care, and this is a home run.”

Dr. Abrohams Dr. Butt Dr. Ellin Dr. Gapsard Dr. Hipkens
Dr. Iravanian Dr. Murphy Dr. Pitre Dr. Smith

TSPMG Physicians Among Atlanta's "Top Doctors"


Atlanta magazine has once again honored a group of physicians from The Southeast Permanente Medical Group as “Top Doctors” for 2012. This year a total of nine TSPMG doctors were recognized in the July issue.

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
  • Shahriar Iravanian, MD - Kaiser Permanente Glenlake Medical Center
  • Sean T. Murphy, MD - Kaiser Permanente Sugar Hill-Buford Medical Office
  • Reed Pitre, MD - Kaiser Permanente Medical Center at Gwinnett
  • 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.

“The broad physician community in metro-Atlanta repeatedly acknowledges the high quality care and collaborative culture within The Southeast Permanente Medical Group,” said Rob Schreiner, MD, TSPMG executive medical director. “Accolades such as ‘Atlanta magazine’s Top Docs’ accentuate our profile and relevance to Georgians.”

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. Iravanian specializes in Cardiac Electrophysiology. He completed his residency and fellowship at the Emory University School of Medicine and is board-certified in Internal Medicine (Cardiovascular Disease).

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. Pitre joined TSPMG in 2004 and specializes in Psychiatry. He is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Emory University School of Medicine.

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.

NCQA Names Kaiser Permanente Georgia Top-Ranked Health Plan in the State

Atlanta, GA (September 25, 2012) — Kaiser Permanente Georgia has been named the highest ranked commercial health plan in the state for the eighth consecutive year, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Kaiser Permanente Georgia ranked 36th among 474 plans nationwide, climbing 16 spots in the past year.

NCQA, managed care’s major accrediting body, evaluates health plans based on customer satisfaction, treatment and prevention. The data is analyzed and converted to scores from zero to 100. Kaiser Permanente Georgia scored 86.8, ranking the plan 161 spots above any other private health plan in the state.

The national rankings are based upon three categories of performance: prevention and treatment, consumer satisfaction and NCQA accreditation. On a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia earned a 5 in prevention, a 4 in treatment, and a 4 in consumer satisfaction. Top scores were received in the following preventive care categories:

  • Adolescent immunizations
  • Body Mass Index percentile assessment
  • Nutrition and physical activity counseling
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Counseling on nutrition
  • Adult BMI assessment
  • Chlamydia screening

“NCQA is the gold standard in measuring care and service,” said Kerry W.  Kohnen, president of Kaiser Permanente Georgia. "This ranking shows that we are setting the pace for high quality health care in Georgia. The real winners are our members and the communities we serve.”

“Our ranking reflects the success of Kaiser Permanente’s coordinated care model, which is enhanced by our electronic medical record system,” said Rob Schreiner, MD, executive medical director for Kaiser Permanente Georgia. “It provides our health care teams with a complete medical history of our patients, enabling them to deliver the best care possible.”

“NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2012–2013” appears online at The rankings will also be published in a leading consumer magazine next month.

About the National Committee for Quality Assurance

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers. For more information, visit

About Kaiser Permanente Georgia

Kaiser Permanente is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, serving the health care needs of metro Atlanta and Athens-Clarke County residents. The health plan currently provides comprehensive health care services to more than 235,000 members through 29 medical facilities and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. For more information, visit

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia Now Offering Sports Medicine Services

Kaiser Permanente is pleased to announce that we have added Sports Medicine to the growing list of services that we now offer our metro Atlanta members.

Michael Bakheet, MD, will see patients at the Kaiser Permanente Gwinnett Medical Office on Mondays and Fridays beginning September 7. The initial focus of the department is on sports-related injuries, physicals, and nutrition consultations and procedures.

In the future, Dr. Bakheet’s scope of practice will expand and he will see members at additional medical centers.

Dr. Bakheet received his medical degree from The University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Medical College of Georgia and his fellowship in primary care/sports care at Toledo Hospital in Toledo, OH. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Bakheet has served as team physician for numerous college and high school teams and other sporting events.

Kaiser Permanente members can schedule an appointment with Dr. Bakheet by contacting the Call Center at 404-365-0966 and requesting a sports medicine appointment. The copay for a sports medicine appointment is the same as a primary care visit.

For pediatric appointments (5 years and older), members should schedule the visit with the Gwinnett Internal Medicine department and request a sports medicine appointment.


TSPMG Internalizes Vascular Surgery

The Southeast Permanente Medical Group is happy to announce that Bashar Ghosheh, MD has joined the medical group to provide Vascular Surgery care to Kaiser Permanente of Georgia members. He will see patients at the Glenlake Medical Office for consults and minor outpatient procedures. Services will focus on diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular conditions, such as open and endovascular treatment of carotid, aortic, and upper/lower extremity vascular conditions and varicose vein treatment. We expect to expand Vascular Surgery to the Southwood Medical Office in the near future.

Dr. Ghosheh received his medical degree from the University of Cairo (Cairo, Egypt). He completed his residency in General Surgery at The University of Mississippi and a fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He is Board certified in General Surgery.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ghosheh to TSPMG.