DBT40 Honoree: Brintha Vasagar
Position: Family Medicine Residency Program Director
As a family medicine physician, Brintha Vasagar seeks to care for the whole person, the whole family, and the whole community. In addition to treating patients, Vasagar is also the director of Bayhealth’s Family Medicine Residency program, where she trains medical students and residents to be advocates for their patients, especially those from underserved groups.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for people working in health care, Vasagar also sees the opportunities it has created for creative problem-solving. Among them has been the chance to expand patients’ access to care by implementing telemedicine, which Vasagar hopes to continue to offer after the pandemic. Vasagar has also had to strategize virtual teaching efforts to make sure that current medical students are developing their clinical skills to become physicians in a few years.
Vasagar has created two new residency programs, including the first medical residency in Kent and Sussex counties.
She is now leading the development of a new family practice in Dover, which will add more than 30,000 primary care visits each year. The practice will have an embedded mental health counselor to decrease the stigma of seeking mental health care. It will also provide addiction medicine training, including medication-assisted therapy, to prepare young physicians to address the opioid crisis.
Vasagar developed an after-hours clinic at the Smith Free Clinic. She also volunteers with charitable organizations, such as the American Heart Association’s Go Red, Bayhealth Cancer Survivorship Program, and the Hope Medical Free Clinic.
Vasagar has developed a reputation as a “disaster magnet” after she was in Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami and was seated at the finish line of the 2013 Boston marathon when it was attacked in the terrorist bombing. She has also met every currently living U.S. president. Once travel resumes, she hopes to visit Antarctica.