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PAGNY’s Dr. Olutoyin Alabi, MPH, FWACP, has been Interim Chief of Adult Primary Care Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem only since October, but she already knows her main objective: improve patient services at the hospital.

“My goal is to improve patient-centered services and ensure that we have one-stop services for the patient,” says Dr. Alabi, who is also Harlem’s Director of Primary Care Preceptorship and Assistant Clinical Professor by affiliation with Columbia University. “We don’t want patients to have to go to four or five places. We want them to have their appointments, labs and vaccinations in the same place. We don’t want to make them to shop around.”

Dr. Alabi is also working to ensure continuity of care for patients. “If a patient gets to see their own doctor every time they come in, the patient is happy, and there is a greater chance of adherence to medications—with the result they are better able to control their chronic disease conditions,” she says. “They are not bounced around from doctor to doctor.”

She is also working to reduce a patient’s wait time — or Cycle time — when they come to the hospital to visit their doctor. “We want to reduce the time spent in the hospital while visiting a clinician,” she says. “That boosts patient satisfaction.”

Dr. Alabi says she really enjoys her job. “The reason is, I am the sort of person who is committed to what I am doing,” she says. “My mantra is to help people become the best they can be. I love the job I’m doing now because it’s Preventive medicine. As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. I want to see my patients as healthy as they can ever be.”

A native of Nigeria, Dr. Alabi spent her first residency at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Internal Medicine with a specialty in Cardiology. She also worked as an Attending Physician at Lagos Hospital for several years and was also in charge of Adult Emergency Medicine.

She moved to the United States in 2006 with her family and joined Harlem’s staff in 2010 as a Chart Reviewer for the Department of Quality Management. She then became a Clinical Documentation Information Analyst and later joined Harlem Hospital for her second residency in Internal Medicine. Prior to becoming Interim Chief of Medicine, she worked as an Attending Physician at Harlem Hospital.

Dr. Alabi enjoys traveling and she has gone on several medical missions around the world, including to Cambodia, Armenia, South Africa and Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami, where she led the American Mission Team.

She lives in Queens with her husband and likes to read, listen to motivational speakers and exercise. “It’s my way of taking care of stress,” she says.