Bridging Providers and the ACO
MaineHealth ACO Physician Liaisons
Julie Grosvenor, MD; Michael Clark, MD; Joel Wirth, MD; Tom Pulling, MDMore than 1,500 health care providers – physicians, advance practice providers, specialists, primary care – make up the MaineHealth ACO network. These providers are at the core of the ACO’s mission. They participate in the value-based agreements that drive the ACO’s work and contribute to meeting the quality and utilization goals that define success. So, keeping this large and diverse group of providers informed and engaged is a top priority. But it’s not easy. Since most providers spend their long and busy days seeing patients and documenting care, they have little time for typical corporate communications delivered through email, memos, phone calls and webinars. So, how to reach them?
Listening to providers
Joel Wirth, MD and Julie Grosvenor, MD with Heidi Henninger, MD at a quarterly physician listening dinnerIn 2017, ACO leaders worked with the Physician Engagement and Accountability Committee (PEAC) to develop a new communications and engagement channel just for providers: real people who are just like them. Known as physician liaisons, these particular real people are four practicing physicians who participate in the ACO and represent diverse regions, specialties and entities. The physician liaisons have quickly become a vital conduit of two-way communication and engagement. In their short tenure, they’ve already hosted three regional listening dinners for ACO providers, made multiple in-person presentations to provider groups and surveyed hundreds of providers to gauge their current understanding of the ACO and its goals.
Meet the Physician Liaisons
Michael Clark, MD, is a family medicine physician and the owner and lead provider at Lifespan Family Healthcare in Newcastle. He is a board member of the MaineHealth ACO as well as chair of Provider Engagement and Accountability Committee (PEAC). Mike focuses on serving independent primary care providers and those affiliated with Coastal Health Alliance and Lincoln Health. Mike grew up in Maine, ventured to California for medical training, served as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and returned home to practice community-based medicine in the place he knows and loves the best.
Julie Grosvenor, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon with Southern Maine Health Care as well as its associate CMO and quality safety officer for orthopedics. Julie works most closely with independent specialists and providers affiliated with Southern Maine Medical Center and Memorial Hospital. Julie is passionate about finding efficient and satisfying ways for physicians to communicate and connect in our increasingly siloed practice environments. Her training as a physician leader – from both the MaineHealth Physician Development Fellowship Program and the Hanley Center’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute Advanced Program – is a powerful asset for the ACO and our participants.
Tom Pulling, MD, practices family medicine and sports medicine at Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington. A native Minnesotan, Tom began his career as an Air Force aerospace engineer responsible for the improvement of safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness of a fleet of 500 aircraft. He first practiced primary care in a large multi-specialty practice in Minneapolis before coming to Maine Medical Center to do a fellowship in Sports Medicine. In addition to his clinical role, Tom serves as physician leader for implementation of the Epic EHR at 13 practice sites. Tom will work with providers affiliated with Franklin, Western Maine and St. Mary’s.
Joel Wirth, MD, is a pulmonary and critical care physician with a practice at Chest Medicine Associates. He also serves as the director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Maine Medical Center. Joel is an energetic member of the MaineHealth COPD Working Group, a Maine Medical Center Research Institute faculty member and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University Medical School. Joel is a forceful advocate for a more active role of patients in health care, including jointly designing care services and actively self-managing their own care. Joel will be the lead liaison for providers at Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Partners and Mid Coast Hospital.