Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcoming New Physicians Who Will Help Move Us Closer To Our Vision

Delivering the kind of care we want for our own loved ones starts with adding the most passionate and dedicated healthcare providers to our system. Over the next several months, GBMC will be welcoming a great group of new physicians, both employed physicians and private practice doctors, who have such a drive for superior care. From stellar surgeons to family practitioners, we’re fortunate to have some of the best doctors joining the GBMC family.

Dr. Jillian Verby
Just this month, a new family physician, Jillian Verby, MD, hit the ground running in our Primary Care Associates practice. Dr. Verby completed her residency training at Montana Family Medicine where they already have the patient centered medical home model. She knows the importance of collaborating with case managers and nurses and understands how well this model of care works for the overall well-being of patients.

Before joining GBMC, Dr. Verby worked as a rural general practice physician in Oxford, New Zealand and she has some incredible insights on primary care medicine from different cultural and regional experiences that she brings to GBMC. She’s very motivated to further incorporate this patient centered medical home perspective into our practices and tells me:

“The patient centered medical home model is really about relationship-based, coordinated  care and paying attention to each individual’s needs instead of just treating a general diagnosis. It’s a really exciting  concept and that’s why I’m in family medicine – to develop these lifelong relationships and to get to know the patient as a whole person.”

“During my residency training at Montana Family Medicine, we initiated the patient centered medical home model. Every patient was greeted and evaluated by a team, from the front desk person, medical assistants, nurses and care managers to the physicians. We were all a team working on behalf of an individual patient. And, if we needed to involve other healthcare professionals in a patient’s care, we had case managers, behavioral health specialists, and clinical pharmacists available as needed, which allowed us to provide a coordinated, comprehensive care experience.” 

“We also initiated the concept of accessible care by offering extended evening hours and providing continuity of care in the hospital. We offered more same day visits for acute concerns through physicians or nurse practitioners so that we could make care accessible. These are all things we are doing here at GBMC, which is great.” 

“I’m very excited about the future of the patient centered medical home here at GBMC. Ultimately we’ll see better access to care for patients and a big focus on preventative screenings. One major study in 2007 found that people have higher quality care with less racial and ethnic disparities in the medical home model. I’m optimistic we’ll see better patient oriented outcomes in the future once we have fully initiated this model. It takes a lot of adaptation on the provider side, but in the end, all patients will have continuity of care, build a lifelong relationship with their provider and be in a system where everyone contributes to a person’s overall care and well-being.”

Dr. Elizabeth Dovec
Similarly, we welcome a new bariatric surgeon, Elizabeth Dovec, MD, who has such passion for her work and the development of a truly comprehensive bariatric program that accounts for the health of the whole person. Dr. Dovec completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery and says that being a bariatric surgeon enables her to combine her love for surgery, nutrition and helping patients achieve overall health through weight loss surgery. She doesn't just stop at being a truly skilled surgeon;  she has a vision for bariatric care that, as she shares with me, “Will take complete control of the entire well-being of the bariatric patient.”

Dr. Dovec is out to beat morbid obesity. She understands that weight loss surgery has many important components and that preparing patients for life before and after surgery can make a tremendous difference in a patient’s long term health. Here’s what she had to say about her vision for the future of GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program:

“Becoming a part of the GBMC team was a perfect opportunity for me. GBMC already has the outstanding Comprehensive Obesity Management Program and this is an opportunity to focus all my energy on bariatrics. My vision is to add an exercise therapist to help in our office, as well as add a psychologist, and a primary care physician with a special interest in treating bariatric patients. We will continue providing excellent nutritional services and really take complete control of the entire well-being of the bariatric patient. I have always loved all aspects of bariatric care – the surgery as well as incorporating the psychological, nutritional and exercise components of the surgery.”

“This type of comprehensive program is so important as obesity is a national crisis. At some point, just diet and exercise alone doesn't work for these patients. I’m very empathetic to this fact. I understand that it takes a lot of courage to make the decision to have this surgery. The road is not easy for bariatric patients and creating a supportive environment is just as important as the surgery itself.”

I am confident that physicians such as Dr. Verby and Dr. Dovec and all of those joining our system will continue to move us closer to our vision: To every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones.  Please join me in welcoming all of our new providers to the GBMC Healthcare system family.


  1. The "patient centered medical home" model sounds exactly like what Kaiser Permanente has already perfected. Is GBMC partnering with KP on this so we can avoid re-inventing the wheel? P.S. Welcome to Drs. Verby and Dovec!

    1. Thanks, Anonymous. We are delighted to have a close partnership with Kaiser Permanente. You are correct that the Permanente Medical Group has been doing population based care for a long time.

      We are working with a number of advisors to create our Patient-centered medical homes. Most notably among them is TransforMed, a subsidiary company of the American Academy of Family Physicians. You are correct that it is wasteful to start from scratch when others have already built a successful model. This is true for anything that we do.

  2. Dr. Dovec and I have been friends for 14 years. I've witnessed the hard work and dedication she has put in starting freshman year of college up until the very last days of her fellowship at Vanderbilt. I am so proud to see her goals and dreams of providing a holistic approach to obesity management finally coming to fruition!

  3. Hi I am Mala James RN,Apart from being a most sought-after branch of surgery(given to the fact that every other person is obese,atleast one out of 5 is Morbidly obese,Dr.Dovec's foresight in to this crucial matter is most welcome.Can she start with our staff (bedside staff) to take initiative and be models for lifestyle modifications and motivate out patients and families?I had a pt last week who weighed 400 lbs and her 10 year old daughter weighs the same.My heart went out to them,even though i talked to them about eating healthy and start walking for 30 mts everyday 5 days a week giving company to each other,It would be more beneficial and accepted when it comes from the Barriatric special surgeon.Imagine If I am obese and give education which would make them chuckle"see who is talking!


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