Dr. Douglas Clements, an ophthalmology specialist with a respected 38-year history of caring for patients in Fallbrook will open a new primary care medical group, Fallbrook Healthcare Partners, to serve local residents on Dec. 9. Clements, who will continue to maintain his part-time practice at Inland Eye Associates, is both owner and medical director of the new corporation and an independent member of the medical staff at Fallbrook Hospital.
“This is a positive thing for the community, especially seniors,” said Clements. “My goal is to keep healthcare in Fallbrook, keep Fallbrook Hospital, and thereby support the community. Over the last several years, the delivery of healthcare has been changing and a lot of my older patients are being outsourced out-of-town. I’m at that age too, and we need to keep people’s healthcare here, make it convenient for them.”
Clements said physicians in the new group will focus on being “caring, diligent, and compassionate.” The element of “trust” is vital, he said.
“We are putting together a group of qualified physicians that are dedicated to this community; the doctor-patient relationship is very important and if a patient feels well cared for, that is a big part of the therapeutic process,” he said. “Doctors need to be teachers and communicate well with their patients; and be advocates for them.”
Kapua Conley, CEO of Fallbrook Hospital sees the new primary care medical group as a positive addition to the community.
“I appreciate and thank Dr. Clements for his initiative and determination in forming Fallbrook Healthcare Partners medical group to realize his vision – which is in tandem with our goal,” said Conley. “Dr. Clements is a leader and well-respected member of the medical community. In principle and practice, he is committed to sustaining and growing the capacity and preference for local healthcare services.”
When Fallbrook Healthcare Partners opens Dec. 9, internal medicine specialist Dr. Richard Reynolds, who also treats pulmonary patients, will be seeing patients.
“Dr. Reynolds has been treating patients in Fallbrook for 10 years and I respect him greatly,” said Clements. “He is my own personal physician.”
In January, Clements is adding two more physicians to the group – Dr. Alexander Delgadillo, board certified in internal medicine with additional training in pulmonology, and Dr. Christopher Toupin Jr., family medicine.
“These physicians are very competent and have good resumes,” said Clements, adding that Delgadillo is bilingual (Spanish). “They share my philosophy – they want to provide compassionate care to patients.”
Clements said Fallbrook Healthcare Partners will grow from there. “We plan to add a walk-in clinic and have extended and weekend hours in the future.” At the beginning, it will be open traditional hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
When patients require referrals to specialists, Clements said, “We want to support the specialists that are here and as time goes on, bring in sub-specialties on a rotating basis that don’t currently exist in Fallbrook. We need to meet the needs of this community.”
“For instance, we currently don’t have a wound care specialist here,” he explained.
“We look forward to working with [Dr. Clements] and as the practice grows, the increasing number of physicians in the group and the rotating specialists. As with all the physicians on our medical staff, we plan to work with them in a collaborative, balanced approach to advance quality, safe care for patients.”
With the topic of conversation in society revolving around the Affordable Care Act, Clements said doctors must learn to work effectively within the guidelines.
“We will have to work within this system, but we will still do what’s best,” he said. “Physicians have to be efficient, but also compassionate.”
Fallbrook Healthcare Partners is being set up to handle “most insurance plans,” Clements said, including Medicare, PPOs, and HMOs. With most insurance companies, a patient’s primary care medical group/physician can be changed with a 30- to 45-day notice.
The office will be located across the street from Fallbrook Hospital at 591 East Elder Street, Suite C, where Graybill Medical Group previously operated an internal medicine office.
For more information on Fallbrook Healthcare Partners, visit fallbrookhealthcarepartners.com/ or call (760) 731-8989 on or after Dec. 9.