Collaboration is Key at the Lakewood Medical Offices

Lakewood Medical Offices

Nestled between Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains lays the suburb of Lakewood. A bustling city of nearly 150,000, it’s home to a diverse population that includes a significant number of Hispanic, geriatric and pediatric residents, as well as Kaiser Permanente’s Lakewood Medical Offices.

“Because we’re one of the larger medical offices in the area, we sort of act like a hub,” explains Dr. Heidi Chang, chief of internal medicine. “Rather than the mixed-model approach, where internal and family medicine are grouped together under primary care, we keep those as separate departments. For instance, I’m an internist and geriatrician who also specializes in the management of chronic diseases, so I, and the internal medicine department in general, see an older, sicker population, while family medicine sees the younger, healthier patients.  This makes a lot of sense in terms of Lakewood as a community. You have a mix of older, longtime residents and newer families.

Strength in Resources

As one of the larger offices, Lakewood is home to a multispecialty group of physicians that provides everything from obstetrics and gynecology to optometry. It is also the site of the groundbreaking RADAR acute care service. The RADAR unit, or Regional Acute Diagnostic and Referral, is designed to diagnose and treat acutely ill, but non-emergent patients who require more care or diagnostic services than can typically be found in a medical office setting. That means physicians can refer their patients to onsite emergency services like urgent consultations, lab work and imaging, without the intensity – or cost – of going to an emergency room.

“The fun part of working at a large, multispecialty office is being able to collaborate and solve problems together,” says Dr. Stacey Mason, family medicine physician. “It’s a place where you can ask questions and bounce ideas off of each other. As a physician, it helps me stay up-to-date with my patients and care options to have that big group of people who are really good at what they do close at hand to talk to.”

“Lakewood was the pilot site for the RADAR program,” explains Mason. “And it ended up being a huge benefit to our patients, so much so that the concept has been adapted to another location, as well as my practice. Not only is it a great service to be able to offer my patients, but it’s a different group of professionals with a unique set of knowledge that I can draw from.”

Working As One

Collegiality is one of the core tenants of the Lakewood culture. Organization-wide, CPMG physicians consult one another in order to deliver the best, most efficient patient care possible. Lakewood, as one of the larger, multispecialty offices, offers significant resources a physician may access right on site.

“Because we have so many resources available to us, our size is definitely a strength,” says Mason. “When you’re working at a smaller office, you really feel it if you’re down a physician because there are fewer people to divide the extra work among. You can always have a virtual consultation with a specialist, but you may not be able to walk down the hallway to speak with them face-to-face. There are extra hurdles to make sure your patients clear before you can present treatment options, like setting up an appointment with a specialist at another office, making sure they go to that appointment, and discussing a course of action with that specialist. CPMG does a great job of using technology to mitigate these issues, but they’ll always be present to some degree. At Lakewood, by virtue of our size and the different departments and different specialties, it’s less of an issue.”

“I think the physicians who tend to thrive here are the ones who embrace that collegiality,” adds Chang. “It’s a hard-working, friendly group of people. They’re really good doctors who practice really good medicine, so there’s a lot of trust in their recommendations. And they’re always willing to lend a hand – whether that’s taking spillover from Urgent Care, covering so you can finish up with a patient, or even letting you shift your schedule so you can get in a midday run. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for a long time or if you’re fresh out of residency. Everyone is committed to the same goal: We do whatever we have to do to do right by our patients.”

Learn how CPMG has helped Dr. Heidi Chang grow as a physician and develop as a leader. 

To find job openings at the Lakewood Medical Offices and other CPMG locations, visit our Career Opportunities section.