Message from Amber Inofuentes, MD, Section Head, General, Geriatric, Palliative & Hospital Medicine

Amber Inofuentes, MD

Amber Inofuentes, MD

And just like that, a full year in my role as section chief has passed! The last twelve months have continued to curiously feel like both an eternity and a blink of an eye. In the parenting of small children, I’ve heard said, “the days are long, but the years are short,” and that rings true for the past year of Hospital Medicine.

I took on this role humbled by the opportunity to lead a fantastic group of faculty who exemplify the best of UVA. And I am grateful for the close mentorship of having two of my predecessors in this role a short walk down the hall. Our group demonstrates excellence in what I view as the ‘triple aim’ of hospital medicine: clinical care, medical education, and quality and patient safety, in addition to having leaders in research, the humanities, and service to our community featured throughout this newsletter. This year has also been another of unprecedented change and disruption as the pandemic persists. I have been amazed by our team’s constant adaptation through innovation across all areas of our mission. This year has been an incredible privilege, and I could not ask for a better team to serve and lead.

In January, I expanded the leadership team of the section to better support our substantial growth trajectory across our academic and clinical missions: Charlie Magee for Clinical Care and Operations and Andrew Parsons for Education. Joined by our Director of Faculty Development, George Hoke, our leadership team has expanded our breadth and increased our depth in various strategic areas.

We have established new models for professional development during the past year, including focused faculty development on improving clinical teaching skills, a recent integrated case conference with our orthopedics nurse practitioner colleagues, and the launch of Hospital Medicine Grand Rounds. In the clinical arena, we have adapted often to changes in COVID care and met the operational needs of volatile patient volumes. More recently, through Dr. Magee’s leadership, we launched an admitter role to evaluate the benefits of an admitter-rounder model for our direct care hospitalist teams. Looking into 2022, we are exploring the addition of APPs to our team and building expertise in point of care ultrasound, all while strengthening our focus on quality patient care through a data-driven hospitalist dashboard for outcomes like readmissions and high-value care.

As you can see from the faculty profiles, the growth in clinical volumes over the past 18 months has resulted in the need for new additional hires within our section. I hope you enjoy reading the profiles of our new colleagues. Many of these outstanding physicians are recruits from our residency program, and we were lucky to entice others from excellent institutions around the country to call Charlottesville home.

We have also grown in other ways. The portfolio of research and quality improvement accomplishments, educational leadership roles, and Department/Health System roles continues to expand. And in case anyone failed to notice, we had our very own pandemic baby boom this spring with six new additions to the extended hospital medicine family!

As a group, we’d like to extend our thanks to the many DOM colleagues who have worked so hard to deliver the best possible care to our patients during busy times, especially to those who jumped into the front lines of direct COVID care during our peak census. We appreciate you!

~ Amber Inofuentes, MD

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