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Sharp Health News

A quarterback for your health care team

April 20, 2018

A quarterback for your health care team

Dr. Joseph Aquilina is a family medicine doctor and chief medical officer of SharpCare Medical Group.

You see your cardiologist for heart care, your orthopedist for joint care, your dentist for dental care and your therapist for mental health care — but who is coordinating all of this care, to ensure your needs are met?

According to Dr. Joseph Aquilina, a family medicine doctor and chief medical officer of SharpCare Medical Group, it should be your primary care doctor.

“A lot of times, the gaps in health care are in the transitions,” he says. “We’re here to promote wellness, treat disease and coordinate with our specialty colleagues. I may not be able to perform your knee surgery, but I can quarterback the care and work closely with the surgeon and other specialists as the main conduit of information to decrease fragmentation of care and keep the complete patient in mind.”

That comprehensive approach to care is a hallmark of SharpCare Medical Group, an all-primary care practice with three locations in San Diego County, including a clinic in Kearny Mesa and one in Coronado. They recently opened an office near Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and will open a location in Eastlake in May 2018.

All clinics will be certified as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a national nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that patients are happier and healthier, as measured by objective standards of care.

“I’m so happy that SharpCare is aligned with this kind of practice,” says Dr. Aquilina, who oversaw the implementation of the first NCQA-certified U.S. Navy health clinics on the West Coast during his time as director of outpatient clinics and chief of ambulatory medicine for Naval Medical Center San Diego. During his tenure, he helped write the Surgeon General’s instruction on regulating medical homes and worked with the Navy Inspector General to inspect them.

After a 22-year medical career, Aquilina is glad to be retired from service, living in San Diego and helping serve the health needs of his community. He hopes that his experience working with service members and veterans — and their families — can inform the way SharpCare works with their care colleagues in the region.

“A unique part of military service is access to excellent health care. If those who have served choose SharpCare, in addition to the care they receive from the VA or Balboa, we will need to work together closely to ensure we are coordinating and not duplicating care,” he says.

“No matter what happens in health policy or government decisions, people in medicine and patients agree that medicine is better when it is personalized; quality primary care focused on the patient with decreased fragmentation, smooth coordination and an increased importance on the needs of the patient,” says Dr. Aquilina.

For the news media: To talk with Dr. Aquilina for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at erica.carlson@sharp.com.

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