Dr. Lana Vardanian has been named Chair of the new Ambulatory Care Department at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. The appointment reflects the increasing importance of providing for the needs of patients in a more coordinated and comprehensive manner in the outpatient setting.
“Ambulatory medicine’s strength is not only managing acute medical problems, but giving patients a solid plan for a healthy future,” Dr. Vardanian says. “That means managing not only illness but also a patient’s health and life in general.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island’s reorganization of ambulatory care reflects the current trend in medicine to better coordinate patients’ medical and often social needs and improve communication between the patients’ primary care physicians and their specialists. The moves are consistent with the efforts by the NYC Health + Hospitals’ system to reorganize into three distinct functional areas: ambulatory care, inpatient care and long-term/post-acute care.
Coney Island’s Ambulatory Care Department provides a variety of services located at the hospital, including adult and children’s primary care, and many specialty services: from cardiology to hepatology, from infectious diseases to pulmonology, from ophthalmology to dentistry, from dermatology to urology.
“The primary care physician is the captain of the care team, leading the efforts for better health today and a brighter tomorrow,” Dr. Vardanian says. “We have fully implemented a PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home) model at our primary care and pediatric practices. The primary care physician is responsible for coordination of care provided by each and every care team member: nurse, subspecialist, pharmacist, social worker, patient and/or caregiver with one ultimate goal in mind: improving overall health of the patient.”
She says that organizing a patient’s medical care in this way—which involves eliminating “medical silos”—makes medical care more seamless and more efficient, creating a medical home for the patient and the caregiver.
“It’s a holistic approach to a patient’s health and it is a change in the concept from ill care to well care,” she says. “Patients do not come to a physician only when they are ill. They come to plan their future health together with their care team. Working under one umbrella, the Ambulatory Department streamlines communication between providers, creates a unique group practice style and identities with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes as well as the overall patient experience.”
She adds, “I am very fortunate to have a team of exemplary professionals who do a difficult job of providing high quality care to a variety of patients of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, many of whom haven’t been seen by a physician in decades.”
Dr. Vardanian came to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island in 2013 as Medical Director of Ambulatory Care Services after serving as an Attending Physician and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California at Davis. A native of Armenia, she completed her residency at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens before moving to California. She lives in Queens and is a big fan of opera and the arts in general.