MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF 2016
Ashish Bhatt, M.D.
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER (CMO)
Dr. Ashish “Ash” Bhatt joined Sovereign Health in August of this year. Dr. Bhatt is responsible for continued development of Sovereign’s clinical vision and for medical leadership and oversight of the company’s medical services at both the corporate and individual facility level. Dr. Bhatt is board certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Dr. Bhatt earned his medical doctorate (M.D.) from Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic. We spoke with Dr. Bhatt at his office at Sovereign Health, Pompano Beach, Florida.
The prejudice and stigma that individuals with substance abuse and mental illness face is what motivated me to enter the field of behavioral health. Early on in my professional life, I developed an assisted-living facility, where I witnessed the hopelessness of severely mentally ill patients as they gradually filtered down the social ladder. All too often they were often misunderstood and mistreated by everyone from their own families to the community at large. This socially constructed bias is our biggest hurdle. You and I are here to change this image.
The Sovereign Way – Learning & Building
During my four months at Sovereign so far, I’ve focused on understanding what Sovereign stands for; what we are working toward and where our strengths and challenges lie. As the chief medical officer, I aim to develop footholds that provide organizational structure to our team that translate into the highest level of patient care.
Patient Centered Treatment
It is never about a patient being a good fit for us. What’s most important is us being the best fit for the patient. We have to be perfectly sure that we can fully accept responsibility of our patients and become part of the treatment that they need.
My treatment philosophy summarized in five words is simply “take nothing at face value.” We cannot operate on assumptions and past diagnosis. I want to ensure that we never compromise on taking the time for appropriate diagnostic evaluation and for our assessment of the multiple domains of our patients’ lives necessary for a well-rounded recovery.
Unfortunately, the mind is an intangible entity that constrains diagnosing issues and ultimately treating them. Hence, a patients’ future is fully dependent on how much time and attention they receive from you. You have to earn their trust, take interest and be sincere. Your patient deserves the best you can offer.
Expertise, Commitment & Passion – Your Efforts Are Appreciated
Family is very important to me. I come from a culture that places loyalty, unity and pride above all. Where families take a sense of pride in everything they do together. This translates into my philosophy at work. This organization is my professional family. I want to spend time with, be loyal to and feel proud of my professional family too.
As CMO, I’m not here to lead my team by telling them what to do; I lead by example and collaboration. A leader’s confidence comes from his ability to delegate and allow every team member to learn, gain ownership and develop his or her own unique skill set. This is how a company builds itself, just like a family does.
Sovereign’s biggest strength is its vision and continued striving for excellence in clinical care. Amidst this expansion, Sovereign is going through an important and exciting phase. At this time, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the entire Sovereign team for your continued hard work and valuable time that you invest in us and our patients every day.
As the holidays approach, I want us to remember that our greatest gift is our patients’ well-being and to see them have a fulfilling holiday. Let’s start 2016 with the priority to provide the best possible clinical treatment our patients deserve.