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Ronnie Swift

As the Chief of Psychiatry for PAGNY at NYC Health + Hospital/ Metropolitan, I am proud to provide excellent care to a population with unique and profound needs. We care for a number of patients with significant psycho-social stressors-many of whom are homeless or lack basic funding for their medical care. For this group, how we provide care makes a profound difference to their quality of life.

For instance, we make each appointment as comprehensive as possible, understanding that our patients don’t have as many opportunities to have their needs evaluated as the general population might. We also have interdisciplinary teams-breaking traditional roles- to bring the care to the patient instead of having the patient go to multiple places to receive care. This means we can provide care for depression in the primary care clinics, or provide substance abuse treatment to patients while hospitalized on medical or other inpatient services. No opportunity to deliver comprehensive care is wasted.

For me, transforming the patient experience for a group that has traditionally been shortchanged by the healthcare system is a truly motivating opportunity. The fact that PAGNY is a mission-driven physician-run organization is, I believe, what makes this challenging task possible. We approach change at our facilities with a practitioner’s eye, and simultaneously advocate for healthcare providers and patients. I can see that our unique approach is really affecting our patients’ lives for the better, which is deeply gratifying and motivating.