All in the Family

Dr. Karyn Entrop Governale agrees.

“I love the fact that we care for all ages,” she said. “We have patients from 2 days old to 92 days old. We have the populations that are underserved, but we also have all the young professionals coming in. I do women’s health, adolescent health…if one family member likes you, the next step is the whole family coming.”

The doctors rotate staffing weekend hours, which all agreed can keep regular patients out of hospital emergency rooms as a means of finding care off-hours.

“We realize our patients have jobs and kids other than us,” Dr. Viviana Ionescu-Tiba said. “We really feel strongly about that.”

Dr. James Cheverie, a former teacher who became a doctor after starting medical school later in his career, said the practice strives for personal relationships with patients.

Some of the doctors are even doing home visits.

“That service can be unique to a family practice,” Bath said. “It just seems to flow naturally from taking care of people from cradle to grave.”

Dr. Viviana Ionescu-Tiba said another benefit to the practice’s location is their proximity to the VNA upstairs.

“They the eyes and ears when we can’t be there to see patients,” she said.

The facility is equipped with nine exam rooms, and all of the area is handicapped accessible, with beds that can accommodate a larger range of weights and body sizes than older exam tables. The waiting room has a separate kids play area to keep younger patients occupied and non-disruptive among older patients waiting for their appointments.

There is also a computer in each room, which makes for electronic record keeping and faster transmission of prescriptions so patients don’t have to wait in line at a pharmacy for medicine when ill.

“The beauty of it is saving a trip to the pharmacy when you’re sick,” Ionescu-Tiba said.

The staff works with four medical assistants, one for each doctor. Eventually, medical students will rotate through. Already the staff is offering conversation skills in several different languages, and the facility is accessible by public transportation.

But the staff said the greatest advantage the center can offer is the sense of camaraderie and teamwork among its specially selected staff, all who have chosen to specialize in family practice.

“We really respect each other as professional people and we take ownership in our work, and patients see it,” Cheverie said. “You end up with a good feeling, and it’s a trickle-down thing.”

For more information on the center, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org/maldenfamilyhealthcenter.

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