September 26, 2019

My Experiences as the Inaugural Fellow in Population Health at Partners Healthcare

Partners Population Health Perspectives blog aims to share the opinions and ideas of our leadership team on health care topics related to population health management. In this post, Salina Bakshi, M.D., shares her thoughts on her first year as the inaugural Partners Population Medical Fellow.

Following my medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2018, I was offered the opportunity to be the inaugural fellow in Population Health at Partners Healthcare. It has been a truly rewarding experience. I started my fellowship last fall, and as the one-year anniversary approaches I wanted to reflect on what I have learned about population health and how I bring that knowledge and experience to my other role as a primary care doctor.

Within my time in the fellowship, I have worked on three bodies of work – programming within the Medicaid ACO, a payer-provider integration strategy between Partners and AllWays, and the Partners Advanced Primary Care strategy.

In our Advanced Primary Care Strategy, I have had the opportunity to work closely with medical directors and administrative leaders to help design a reporting, measurement, and implementation strategy for Partners’ new primary care delivery framework. This is an exciting body of work, since it advances the groundwork laid by the early Patient Centered Medical Home implementation and optimizes it for continued success moving forward. Additionally, I have been able to work alongside clinical and administrative leaders at both Partners and AllWays to identify and develop an integrated product offering around population health management. The Partners Population Health team has only just begun thinking about how our work can influence our employees’ health, and it’s been great to watch this nascent work grow while collaborating with an internal payor.

Through our Medicaid ACO, I have gotten to work alongside medical directors to lead our ED Navigator Program, Community Partners Program, and our Community Health Worker Collaborative. These programs interest me as a clinician as they were designed not to be medical interventions, but rather as interventions to address the social determinants of health in a clinical setting. It has been powerful to see how identifying and addressing health-related social needs have been woven into the fabric of the clinic. For example, addressing housing and food insecurity, or transportation issues, things not traditionally addressed by our medical system, have been identified and highlighted as cornerstones of many of the above programs.

As a primary care physician, one of the most rewarding aspects of this work is to be able to work on these population health management programs at a systems level, and then to be able to see the impact of these programs as a clinician caring for patients. The opportunity to share these perspectives with and learn from the front-line staff, clinicians, leaders at our hospitals and medical centers, and at MassHealth has been so meaningful. Additionally, from a content perspective – the content and operational knowledge I have gained around health policy, population health management, and value-based care (to just name a few things!) has been invaluable.

I look forward to another wonderful year ahead, and to continue learning from and working alongside truly amazing leaders in this field.

Interested in the Partners Population Health Fellowship? Click Here for more information. 

Salina Bakshi, M.D., is a Fellow at Partners Population Health and an Assistant Medical Director for Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In her roles, she leads efforts around primary care strategy, programming within the Partners Medicaid Accountable Care Organization, and implementation of an integrated payer-provider approach to population health at Partners.

Dr. Bakshi is a practicing internal medicine physician in the Partners HealthCare system and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is currently finishing a Masters in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Bakshi received her BA from Columbia University and her MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She performed her training in internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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