Doctor or Nurse Practitioner? At CHP-Lee Family Practice, New Patients Invited to Choose Physician OR Nurse Practitioners for Primary Care

Great Barrington, Mass. (April 7, 2016) – With national studies showing that nurse practitioners stand toe-to-toe with physicians in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, Community Health Programs Lee Family Practice is expanding efforts to raise awareness about its nurse practitioners as front-line, go-to providers of primary care – along with CHP family medicine physician Dr. Robert Holub.

At CHP Lee Family Practice, family nurse practitioner Ann T. Hummel, RN, FNP-BC, and Adult Nurse Practitioner Karyn Farevaag, RN, ANP-BC, are taking new patients, as is Dr. Holub. Although insurance companies typically require that patients name a physician as their “PCP,” a patient’s “usual provider” can easily be a nurse practitioner.

A 2013 peer-reviewed article in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners reported that patient satisfaction, health status, emergency department visits and hospitalizations, blood glucose, blood pressure, and mortality are similar for patients of nurse practitioners and physicians.

“Nurse practitioners are frequently as effective as physicians in meeting patients’ health needs” said Dr. Thomas Irwin, interim chief medical officer at CHP. “With their professional foundation as front-line care providers in most all health care settings, nurse practitioners tend to be quite holistic and comprehensive in how they evaluate patients.”

State laws regarding nurse practitioners’ level of autonomy differ from state to state, with varying levels of physician supervision required. Massachusetts nurse practitioners are gradually gaining more independent practice.

Holub webHolub explained that CHP uses a “team-based” model, meaning that at each site the doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and medical assistants work together caring for shared panels of patients. “Team-based care makes it easier for patients to get an appointment with someone they know and who knows them,” said Dr. Holub. “It combines the perspective and knowledge base of several providers toward the overall care of the patient.” A typical full-time CHP provider – doctor or nurse practitioner – ideally carries a patient panel of around 1,200 patients, seeing about 16-20 per day.

Holub received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and went on to complete his medical degree at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Virginia.  He is board-certified in family medicine, allowing him to treat newborns through geriatrics and perform many procedures. He leads CHP Lee Family Practice’s “Reach Out and Read” program providing free books to young children at each regular checkup and is the medical director for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s summer program. He joined CHP 18 months ago.

Hummel, Ann webHummel has more than 25 years of critical care, emergency and transport nursing, and has been with CHP for 10 years.  She received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Russell Sage College and went on to receive a Master of Public Administration and a second Master of Science in Nursing degree at Sage.  She also served as emergency services director for the Albany Fire Department and as a certified flight nurse on Albany MedFLIGHT. With a particular interest in nutrition and women’s health, she also leads CHP’s program, a medically-supervised weight loss program, First Line Therapy.

Farevaag, Karyn web2Farevaag has an associate degree in nursing from Berkshire Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Charter Oak College, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Sage Graduate School. Her experience includes work with cardiac, surgical, neurological, respiratory and psychiatric patients.

For an appointment with Lee Family Practice, call (413) 243-0536.