Obici’s Dr. Hall named president of state academy of physicians

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 29, 2004

Staff report

Dena Hall, MD, a family medicine specialist and a member of the Obici Hospital Medical Staff, is the new president of the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians (VAFP).

As president of the largest medical specialty society in the Commonwealth, she will lead a membership of more than 2,500 family physicians, family practice residents, and medical students.

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Dr. Hall says she has been active on unpaid VAFP committees and its board of directors because the organization’s members are &uot;very strong patient advocates&uot; and because she grew up in a rural area where volunteerism was vital to quality of life.

In fact, she says, family physicians tend to be advocates because so many practice in underserved communities where patients need not just medical care, but the attention of policymakers.

She says while volunteering is a way to give back to her community, her involvement with VAFP also &uot;gives me energy.&uot;

Dr. Hall’s small-town upbringing – in Clinton, Arkansas – contributed to her choice of profession and specialty. Her grandfather and father were physicians in what then was called &uot;general practice,&uot; a forerunner of today’s family practice.

&uot;There were a lot of people that my father cared for that had been delivered by my grandfather,&uot; says Dr. Hall. &uot;It’s a nice gift to have had that example and a wonderful thing to give my patients that sense of continuity over time.&uot;

Family physicians’ training stresses &uot;cradle to grave&uot; care, but within that framework, their role has evolved, Dr. Hall says. &uot;We help coordinate care if a patient has more than one physician and we participate in the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes. We interpret information patients bring to us from a variety of sources.&uot;

Family physicians &uot;look at the whole patient and are often personally familiar with the patient’s medical history. So we can be both efficient and personal during appointments,&uot; she says.

As a resident, Dr. Hall served on the board of directors of the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians. She was on the faculty of Eastern Virginia Medical School for eight years. So she has a keen interest in furthering the education and professional development of family physicians. She says during her one-year term as president she will encourage more colleagues to embrace information technology such as electronic health records.

Dr. Hall is in private practice with Family Medicine Associates in Suffolk. She received her undergraduate degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She received her medical doctorate from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in Little Rock and completed her residency at the Little Rock Family Practice Residency Program. She has been practicing in the Tidewater area since 1990.

Independently owned Obici Hospital and its parent, Obici Health System, offer the people of western Tidewater and northeastern North Carolina the latest in health care close to home. In a stunning and soothing building with every square inch devoted to healing, the Suffolk, Va. facility continues to honor the legacy of Amedeo Obici, who founded the hospital in memory of his wife, Louise.

As part of that legacy, in 2001, Obici became the first hospital in Hampton Roads to affiliate with a prestigious national network of holistic health-care providers called Planetree. Belonging to Planetree, in effect, formalizes Obici’s long tradition of caring for patients physically, emotionally and spiritually.

A 138-bed community hospital, Obici is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient treatment and services.

Obici Health System’s mission is &uot;To provide health services that improve the quality of health in our community.&uot;

The system’s Planetree motto is, &uot;Everyone who works for Obici Health System is a caregiver. Our care is guided by viewing everything we do through the eyes of the patient.&uot;