beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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About Us

Hospital-Based Primary Care Teaching Practice

HCA is our hospital-based primary care teaching practice. It provides care to over 41,500 patients accounting for over 100,000 visits annually to HCA. The appointments are scheduled through the Call Center, which takes over 1,600 calls per day, and took over 410,000 calls in 2014. It is the dominant ambulatory teaching venue for medical housestaff. Clinical providers staffing each of the four HCA suites include 65 faculty physicians, 145 rotating medical housestaff, 6 nurse practitioners, 15 clinical triage nurses, 6 LPNs, 6 clinical social workers, and supporting staff. 

HCA Leadership

  • Blair Bisher, MHA  is the Director of Ambulatory Operations for General Medicine & Primary Care 
  • Whitney Griesbach is the Practice Manager
  • Jeffrey Vale is the Call Center Manager
  • Marc L. Cohen, MD is Medical Director
  • James Heckman, MD and Julia Lindenberg, MD serve as Assistant Medical Diectors
  • Elizabeth Norian, MD  is Director of the Resident Practice at Healthcare Associates
  • Nisha Basu, MD, is the Director of Population Management.

Mental Health Services

HCA is unique among Boston's academic primary care practices in its integration of mental health services-MSW counseling and psychiatric care. To schedule an appointment with one of our social workers, you must be a patient with HCA.

HIV Program

Within HCA, we provide care to approximately 500 HIV-infected people using a primary care model with social services support dedicated to the special needs of these patients. Howard Libman, MD, MPH, leads our primary care  HIV Program and education efforts.

Innovative Patient Care and Teaching

HCA is a leading site for innovation in patient care and teaching:

  • We use an elegant and responsive Web-based electronic record, the Online Medical Record (OMR).
  • Many HCA providers use  PatientSite, a secure Internet resource that allows patients to communicate through encrypted email with their physicians, request appointments and prescription renewals online, and review portions of their medical records.

Quality and Safety Improvement

HCA focuses on service, safety, and quality improvement. Highlights include:

  • A pilot program to increase and improve deployment of support staff to enhance the experience for both patients and providers. This pilot led to improvements in staff morale and productivity, and will be expanded to the entire practice.
  • An electronic diabetes registry allows more focused attention to the detailed care needs of approximately 4,000 patients with diabetes.
  • We have partnered with the Joslin Clinic to obtain digital retinal photos onsite in HCA to assess the presence of diabetic retinopathy or other eye pathology. These photos are evaluated by trained readers within 24 hours, or instantly if indicated.

Additional information about HCA's commitment to quality can be found on our quality improvement activities page by clicking here.

Contact Information

Healthcare Associates
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Carl J. Shapiro Clinical Center, 6th Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215