Funder: Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit
May 2013 |
An expert in gastroenterology, Dr. Sanjeev Arora has used his experience providing specialty care to underserved patients in New Mexico to develop a new way to disseminate clinical knowledge from resource-rich areas to rural communities that lack specialist providers — and his model is now benefiting individuals across the country.
Having worked at the University of New Mexico (UNM) hospital for 19 years, Dr. Sanjeev Arora has seen many patients with complex needs, but his professional interests germinated many years earlier. Growing up in India with a father who worked to eradicate small pox and a mother who worked as an ob/gyn with disadvantaged populations, Dr. Arora witnessed from a young age the impact of bringing good health care to underserved communities. Following completion of medical school in India, and clinical training in the U.S., Dr. Arora focused his efforts on the prevention of gastrointestinal cancers and hepatitis C.
In 1993, Dr. Arora began working as section chief of gastroenterology and associate professor of medicine at UNM, where he provided care to many low-income patients with chronic conditions. A large number of these patients were diagnosed with hepatitis C, and faced numerous barriers that made regular care nearly impossible – including an eight-month wait for an appointment, the location of the hospital hundreds of miles from rural communities, and having to make as many as 12-18 visits during one course of treatment.
Profiles in Innovation are a product of the Center for Health Care Strategies’ Complex Care Innovation Lab, made possible by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, which is bringing together leading innovators working to improve care for vulnerable populations with complex medical and social needs. These profiles highlight Innovation Lab participants and examine their pioneering work.