Trip Gardner, MD, Receives PCHC’s Dr. Robert P. Allen Quality Award

Trip Gardner, MD, Chief Psychiatric Officer and Medical Director for Homeless Healthcare Services, was awarded the Dr. Robert P. Allen Quality Award at PCHC’s Annual Meeting, held April 22, 2019, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor.  Dr. Gardner was recognized for being singularly responsible for the initiation and implementation of PCHC’s integrated care model, for its growth and expansion, as well as for its impact on PCHC’s patients.

Noah Nesin, MD, FAAFP, Chief Medical Officer, wrote:

The single most enduring and distinguishing characteristic that sets PCHC apart from other models of primary care is the extent to which we are “integrated”.  But what does that mean?  The AHRQ’s National Integration Advisory Council defines it as “blending care in one setting for medical conditions and related behavioral health factors that affect health and well-being”.  SAMHSA refers to the “systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare”.  Both fall short of the reality of PCHC’s model.  It is in our DNA to approach care in a holistic context, with intentional consideration of a person’s traditionally understood medical health, behavioral health, mental health and social/spiritual health as a singular whole, without arbitrary distinctions and best served by an inter-professional team continually collaborating in providing that care.  Because of Trip Gardner’s careful stewardship of this radical concept, it has become the ordinary for us at PCHC –  something we refer to simply as “primary care”.

Trip is singularly responsible for the initiation and implementation of this model, for its growth and expansion, for its ambition and for its impact.  Since his arrival at PCHC in 2004 Trip has built, nurtured, grown, adapted and sustained this model of primary care, through financial ups and downs, through shifting goals and priorities, through changes in PCHC leadership, and through challenging and sustained public policy vacuums.

The import of the model is readily apparent to those who practice it most fully, and to the people who benefit from it.  The principles that underpin integration and the values that it engenders have also enabled the inclusion of innovations like Care Management, Clinical and Primary Care Pharmacists, High Utilizers Group committee, and Controlled Substance Stewardship in our model.  All of this helps us to meet the pressing needs of our community and our state more nimbly and more robustly than any other health system in Maine.  The strength of Trip’s commitment to this model in the service of care to our patients has inspired us, and his personal kindness, humility, and generosity of spirit has sustained us as we have undertaken this profoundly important work together.  For that, we are deeply grateful, and we are pleased to recognize Dr. Trip Gardner with the Dr. Robert P. Allen Quality Award.

To hear additional comments and accolades about Dr. Gardner’s significant contribution to integrated care at PCHC, please watch the video below: