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Kraft Fellow Profile

Audrey Provenzano, MD

 
 

Audrey Provenzano

 

 

 

Fast Facts

 

 

Hometown: Westport, Connecticut

 

 

Undergraduate: Wellesley College

 

 

 

Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine

 

 

 

Residency: Brigham and Women's Hospital

 

Specialty: Internal Medicine

  

 

Community Health Center: The Dimock Center

 

 

Community: Roxbury, MA

 

  

 

 

Kraft Center Project Focus:

Enhancing health care and services for senior patients at Dimock. Dr. Provenzano's project centered on identifying the needs of seniors served by The Dimock Center and creating and agenda and priorities for the redesign of their care. Fall risk emerged as a significant concern, and a key outcome of Dr. Provenzano's work was the development of a fall risk assesssment tool that was successfully incorporated into Dimock's EMR and is now being utilized by clinicians throughout the health center. The project required Dr. Provenzano to lead collaboration between Dimock clinicians, IT team, and QI staff. The fall risk assessment tool has already had a positive impact within the health center, and is expected to help bring sustainable improvements in patient care and well being over the long term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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The Kraft Fellowship in Community Health Leadership is a competitive two-year post-residency program dedicated to preparing a new generation of physician-leaders to foster new models of collaboration between academic medicine and community health centers.


Kraft Fellows are selected on the basis of academic achievement, leadership ability, and demonstrated commitment to caring for underserved patients. Each one of them brings a unique set of experiences and perspectives to the program - and so we thought you might enjoy getting to know each Kraft Fellow a little bit better. 

We will be introducing you to the remarkable young physicians who comprise the Kraft Fellowship in Community Health Leadership's second class as we count down the days to their graduation. To that end, we are pleased to present this profile of Dr. Audrey Provenzano "in her own words." We do hope you like it!

  

 

Why Community Health?

My mother shaped much of how I see the world, and one of her greatest lessons to me was one of social justice. So, I approached a career in medicine through that lens, with the desire to work for vulnerable and underserved patients. When I was in medical school, I fell in love with community health through HAVEN, the student-run free clinic at Yale, which was run out of Fair Haven Community Health Center. I loved that the clinic approached health with a broad point of view, and attemped to address the social determinants of health that so deeply impact health outcomes for their patient population. I knew that was the environment in which I waned to practice in the future.

 

Why the Kraft Fellowship?

The Kraft offers a mixture of clinical experience, skill building through work at the Harvard School of Public Health, and leadership training that is truly unique. The fellowship has definitely helped me grow as a leader and better understand the world of community health.

 

What have you learned from the Kraft Fellowship's clinical practice component?

I've become acquainted with how challenging primary care really is. It's a great honor and privilege to be part of this profession, to be sure, but the day-to-day work in a system that is truly broken is very challenging. It has helped me understand that while exciting programs like HAVEN at Yale and the Kraft Fellowship here in Boston are essential for getting more talent into primary care and community health, emerging leaders like myself also need to work to change the day-to-day realities of practicing in primary care, because the current system can make it an unsustainable career choice for many clinicians.

 

 

What surprised you about your work at The Dimock Center?

How fully and readily the Dimock community embraced me. All of the patients and staff have been incredibly loving and warm and welcoming. Dimock truly is a community health center in every sense of the word.

 

A Patient who Stays with You -

I saw a young healthy woman for a school phsyical. As she was healthy, she rarely came to the clinic and her insurance had lapsed. To get it restored, she had to call a few numbers and fill out some documents. She sighed and rolled her eyes and said to me: "Every time I go tot he doctor, the paperwork is so paingful." I'll never forget it. Here is a totally healthy person, who interacts very rarely with the healthcare system - and yet every time she does, it is a huge ordeal. It encapsulated for me how far we are from a patient-centered system. Right now our systems is centered on payers and caregivers rather than being centered on patients.

 

What Happens Next?

I am very excited to be joining the Adult Medicine Department at The Dimock Center full-time, and taking on the role of Director of Quality. I am looking forward to continuing care for patients I have had the privilege to get to know over the last two years and working more closely with my inspiring Dimock colleagues.

 

What Happens Later?

I envision myself in the clinic, caring for patients. This is where our healthcare system must become more centered, and where I think the solutions for our most pressing problems will be found. I also see myself at the table with policy-makers, payers, and researchers, looking for strategies to improve health outcomes among underserved patients and developing innovative programs to address the social determinants of health.

 

What would you like to accomplish over the course of your career?

I would like to become a consummate primary care doctor, which takes many years of practice to achieve the depth and breadth of knowledge required.

 

I would like to become an effective advocate for underserved patients.

 

I would like to continue to work clinically with medical students and residents and promote primary care community health as exciting and challenging career choices.

 

I would like to become a leader in community healht and primary care and work closely with policymakers and payers to think about alternative payment structures and delivery models to promote more patient-centered care and address social determinants of health.

 

 

How have your experiences during the Kraft Fellowship made you a better, more insightful, clinician and leader?

I remain idealistic and optimistic about changing our healthcare system - but my ideas and plans are now grounded in meaningful experience with patients and with the broken healthcare system.

 

Favorite Kraft Center Memory -

One of my favorite parts of the Kraft Fellowship has been the opportunity to get to know my co-fellows and the practitioners in my class. They are all incredible community clinicians in a wide range of primary care disciplines who are dedicated to caring for the underserved. It's very rare that we are caregivers have the opportunity to gather and reflect together and also learn from one another. My hope is to stay connected with them in the coming years and continue to call on their wisdom and experience as I navigate the challenges ahead. And I hope they will call upon me as well.

 

 

Kraft Center for Community Health  

25 New Chardon Street, Suite 300

Boston, MA 02114