The Family Medicine Education Consortium awarded Bayhealth Family Medicine Physician and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Family Medicine Residency Program Director Brintha Vasagar, MD, MPH, FAAFP, with a Mid-Career Faculty Achievement Award.
This national award annually recognizes a single graduate medical education faculty who has demonstrated significant contributions to family medicine and primary care and was presented at the Family Medicine Education Consortium 2023 annual meeting in October in Providence, Rhode Island.
Bayhealth has been a teaching hospital since 2021 when it welcomed its first class of family medicine and internal medicine residents.
Dr. Vasagar is the founding director of the program and has been instrumental in launching Graduate Medical Education at Bayhealth and a robust family medicine residency.
She co-led the successful application for a large Health Resources and Services Administration grant to support startup of new residencies that support rural communities. The family medicine residency program is comprised of three classes and a total of 21 resident doctors who are receiving advanced, hands-on training to be the best physicians they can be.
In the letter nominating Dr. Vasagar for this faculty achievement award, she was described as a rising star in family medicine nationally.
“Dr. Vasagar has changed the landscape of medical education in the state of Delaware. As one of only four states in the country without a medical school, Delaware struggles with recruiting physicians to practice in the state. The residency program and practice she has built are serving a critical need in our region,” said her nominator.Dr. Vasagar applied her extensive public health background and residency leadership experience in creating a program here in Delaware that empowers physicians to be leaders and advocates for their patients and cultivates innovation in improving health.
This included creation of the Bayhealth Family Medicine, Dover practice where the residents see patients and offer an additional 30,000 primary care visits to our community each year. It integrates elements that she considers vital to our community’s health, including addressing social determinants of health, addiction and mental health. A mental health counselor was embedded in the practice with the goal of decreasing the stigma of seeking mental healthcare. The residency also provides addiction medicine training, including medication assisted therapy, to prepare young physicians to address the opioid crisis.
“Dr. Vasagar has been a tremendous leader for the Bayhealth Family Medicine residency since its inception. Her creative and dedicated approach to teaching has greatly benefited our first three classes of residents,” said Bayhealth Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and GME Designated Institutional Official
Gary Siegelman, MD, MSc. “Together with Dr. Vasagar and her faculty we look forward to recruiting several of the family medicine graduates each year to remain in our area and serve as established physicians for the residents of Kent and Sussex counties.”