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Steven Strongwater, MD Named 2018 Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts “Physician of the Year”

Atrius Health President & CEO recognized for his organization’s innovative approach to home health and hospice services, resulting in improved healthcare quality and lower costs for patients

Steven Strongwater, MD, President & CEO of Atrius Health, has been named the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts 2018 Physician of the Year. Dr. Strongwater received one of the Alliance’s top Home Care Star Awards in recognition of his organization’s innovative approach to integrating home health and hospice services into Atrius Health’s physician practices, resulting in improved quality outcomes while lowering overall healthcare costs for many patients. This honor is awarded to a physician or nurse practitioner who has demonstrated active involvement in the home health field.

“Collaborating with Dr. Strongwater, who as a physician understands the value of home health and the role it plays in providing patients with comfortable and convenient care, has enormously strengthened our organization,” said Holly Chaffee, BSN, MSN, RN, President & CEO of VNA Care, Atrius Health’s home health and hospice subsidiary. “Dr. Strongwater is a national voice on the importance of home health and hospice to physician practices and a champion for the vital work that agencies do on behalf of patients and in reducing overall healthcare costs.”

Over the past two years, Dr. Strongwater has led the development and implementation of a strategic plan that has driven critical integration of Atrius Health with VNA Care, and the development of innovative programs that best meet the needs of patients in their homes while reducing total medical expense. These programs include:

  • An award-winning program in which VNA Care nurses pre-assess patients and then support them to recover from total joint replacement surgery in the comfort of their homes rather than staying in a skilled nursing facility.

  • Care in Place, an initiative which sends home health nurses from VNA Care to provide urgent care for frail elders who cannot make it to the doctor’s office. This program has saved $1.9 million since its inception in 2016, and has helped over a third of program participants avoid the wait and anxiety of an emergency department visit.

  • A hospital at home program with Medically Home Group and VNA Care that has been successfully treating patients through acute and post-acute issues, and will be a model for scaling to a national program that meets patients’ needs and lowers the cost of care compared to an inpatient visit.

Dr. Strongwater has also championed greater use of palliative care and hospice across Atrius Health, supported training on serious illness conversation and advance care planning. In addition, he helped drive growth of a practice-wide palliative care program which provides patient and family-centered care at both ambulatory clinics in Atrius Health’s practices as well as VNA Care’s community-based palliative care program in the home setting.

“I am so grateful to be honored by an outstanding group of leaders and advocates who work tirelessly to ensure that patients across the Commonwealth can access the high-quality home care they want and deserve,” said Dr. Strongwater. “In addition to the Home Care Alliance, I would like to thank our terrific teams of clinicians and staff at Atrius Health and VNA Care for their tremendous work to deliver innovative care that keeps patients healthy in their homes and out of the hospital.”

Dr. Strongwater completed his undergraduate medical education at Upstate Medical Center and a research fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Michigan. He is a member of AOA and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. He is a resident of Natick, MA.

About Atrius Health:

Atrius Health, an innovative nonprofit healthcare leader, delivers an effective system of connected care for more than 720,000 adult and pediatric patients in eastern and central Massachusetts. Atrius Health’s 32 medical practices, with more than 50 specialties and 825 physicians, work together with the home health and hospice services of its VNA Care subsidiary and in close collaboration with hospital partners, community specialists and skilled nursing facilities. Atrius Health provides high-quality, patient-centered, coordinated care to every patient it serves. Establishing a solid foundation of knowledge, understanding and trust with each of its patients, Atrius Health enhances their health and enriches their lives. Learn more about Atrius Health at www.atriushealth.org.