Kumara Sidhartha, MD, MPH, named medical director of CCHC PHO and employee health plan
(Hyannis, August 30, 2018) – Kumara Sidhartha, MD, MPH, has been named medical director of the Cape Cod Healthcare Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) and Cape Cod Healthcare Accountable Care Organization (ACO). In addition, he has been appointed medical director of the CCHC employee health plan.
Dr. Sidhartha, an internal medicine physician with Emerald Physicians for the last 16 years, has been medical director of Emerald since 2016. He will leave his private practice to assume the new roles at CCHC on Sept. 11.
In his medical practice, Dr. Sidhartha advocates for patient-centered care that is driven by listening to patients’ needs and focusing on education and informed decision-making. Dr. Sidhartha has promoted and advocated for patients to take active roles in managing their health through evidence-based healthy lifestyle approaches.
As a proponent of scientific innovations, during 2016 and 2017, he led the FLAVORx clinical research (a randomized controlled trial) studying the public health principle of access to healthy food and its effect on eating behavior and long-term disease management. The results of this research informed the Massachusetts State Plan’s Food is Medicine health policy. Dr. Sidhartha continues to represent Cape Cod Healthcare in the planning council for this state-wide policy being developed by the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation team at Harvard Law School.
“I am very excited to have the chance to take successful lessons from my experience into a larger arena,” said Dr. Sidhartha.
Dr. Sidhartha believes the key to success is getting to that “sweet spot” where the following three elements can come together:
- Accessible and patient-centered service designed to satisfy patient needs, delivered by healthy medical professionals delivering care with job satisfaction.
- A system that continues to serve our community by adapting to a changing healthcare environment to maintain high quality prevention and wellness.
- Treatment services delivered through a team-based approach with seamless coordination.
“I look forward to working with the fine physicians in the PHO and ACO, and to identify ways for our employees to improve their health,” he said.
While serving as the medical director of Emerald Physicians, Dr. Sidhartha collaborated with the Behavioral Health Services of CCHC. This initiative aims to integrate primary care and behavioral health services so the patients can benefit from more simplified and efficient communication between their primary care doctor and behavioral health specialist.
He also leads Emerald’s successful Wellness Trails public education program and championed the Shared Medical Appointments at Emerald Physicians, in which a group of patients meets regularly with the primary care physician and/or a nurse practitioner trained in lifestyle medicine techniques. Shared medical appointments are a follow-up to annual physicals to educate and support patients in managing diabetes and maintaining healthy body weight.
In his new roles with CCHC, Dr. Sidhartha will now have an opportunity to build off his successes from his private practice, public health training and policy work - and bring innovative programs and solutions to a wider audience and enhance the successful efforts of the CCHC PHO.
“Dr. Sidhartha has led Emerald Physicians with distinction and has been a trailblazer for innovative medical care, which we believe can serve as a model for improved access and outcomes in primary care and beyond,” said Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. “I look forward to the exciting programs and initiatives that lie ahead, as a result of his leadership in these three important areas.”
As medical director of the CCHC ACO, Dr. Sidhartha will lead a program that oversees more than 20,000 MassHealth patients on Cape Cod, in an effort to better coordinate care and improve outcomes. The ACO was launched in March 2018 and is a partnership between CCHC and its most closely affiliated physicians.
The CCHC employee health plan covers 7,820 employees and their family members. Dr. Sidhartha will help create programs and initiatives that will lead to better use of the plan and result in improved health among its members.
Dr. Sidhartha’s new leadership role was announced to his existing patients in a letter informing them that they will be contacted by a member of Emerald Physicians scheduling department to help them transition to a new primary care physician. For more information, patients can call Emerald Physicians at 508-778-4777.