In keeping with the emerging national trend, Baystate Franklin Medical Center has recently initiated an innovative Hospital Medicine Program to aid in the care of hospital inpatients. Hospitalists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of seriously ill patients, and because they are based in the hospital they can respond quickly to patients' needs as they arise. They conduct daily rounds and provide patients with full-time supervision while they are in the hospital. Hospitalists also care for patients admitted through the Emergency Department who do not have a primary care physician.
Kathleen (Kat) McGraw, MD, an internist specializing in hospital-based medicine, has joined the medical staff at Baystate Franklin Medical Center as the first hospitalist in BFMC's newly established Hospital Medicine Program. Dr. McGraw provides weekday-daytime coverage for several primary care practices, including Drs. Grandison, Miller, Topolski and Warner from West County and Drs. McGinn and Iverson from Greenfield. By attending to their patients during these hours, she enables the primary care physicians to focus greater time and attention to their office patients during the day.
Dr. McGraw comes to her new position from Baystate Medical Center where she recently completed her residency in internal medicine with a concentration in community health. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. McGraw completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, and then moved east to complete a Master's degree in geography at UMass, Amherst. She spent the next six years working in the employment and training field, where she applied her expertise in industrial geography to projects throughout Massachusetts.
After training to be a physician, she used many of her skills to establish the Community Health Center in Turners Falls, which she served as founding President of the Board. Within the next year, Baystate Franklin Medical Center will add 2-3 additional hospitalists, eventually staffing its Hospital Medicine program 24-hours a day, seven days a week. "The hospitalist-primary care physician model for inpatient care has been growing in popularity across the country, but only recently has it been adopted by smaller hospitals," said Jeffrey Blomstedt, MD, BFMC's Director of Medical Affairs. "It's exciting to bring this type of program to Baystate Franklin Medical Center, with the full support of our medical staff and Baystate. As patients get to know Dr. McGraw and the other hospitalists, they will appreciate the advantages of having an attending physician so readily available to address their questions, adjust treatment plans, and coordinate their inpatient stay with other specialists and services.