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    Patients rate Walter Reed providers high

    Patients rate Walter Reed providers high

    Courtesy Photo | Then Navy Capt. (Dr.) Joseph Pasternak performs eye surgery at Walter Reed National...... read more read more

    By Bernard Little
    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    Four Walter Reed specialty care providers are listed among the Military Health System’s (MHS) Joint Outpatient Experience Survey’s (JOES) Best of the Best in its 2023 fourth-quarter report (October to December) recently released by MHS officials.

    To enhance the patient experience, the MHS asks beneficiaries to rate their care and patient experience, and responses are reported quarterly and annually in the JOES’s Best of the Best reports containing the top-performing clinics, providers, clerks, and receptionists, each broken out by primary care and specialty care.

    Dr. Joseph Pasternak, Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Rachel Lieberman, Dr. Cathy Franklin and Dr. Margretta Diemer performed at the top tier in the JOES survey, with each rating 100 percent in satisfaction among specialty care providers.

    “The 100 Percent Satisfaction reports are updated quarterly and list all the clinics, providers, and clerks and receptionists that received at least 10 responses with 100 percent satisfaction,” shared Dr. Kimberley Marshall-Aiyelawo, chief of the Patient Experience Measurement Analytics and Evaluation Division at the Defense Health Agency (DHA).

    ‘An outstanding professional’

    An ophthalmologist, Lieberman is the director of the National Capital Consortium Ophthalmology Residency Program. Some of her patients said about her, “[She] treated me with respect and courtesy. She truly cares for her patients!” “[She] is an outstanding professional who completely and comprehensively provided me care.” “[She] was professional, knowledgeable, and met all of my medical needs during this visit. She is truly an asset to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.” “Top-notch ophthalmologist.” “Superb, professional, efficient, knowledgeable. Outstanding physician.” “She is extremely knowledgeable, extremely personable and kind. I feel so grateful to have her care for me.” “Dr. Lieberman is totally professional, poised and dedicated. She is extremely knowledgeable and appears to be industrious and resourceful. In addition, enthusiastic with a take-charge attitude.”

    For her part, Lieberman, who hails from Rhode Island, stated, “I find it’s important to identify what the patient actually needs, not what you think they need. For example, if I recommend an eyedrop, I also need to know if the patient has the time and ability to travel to the pharmacy. If the patient needs a listening ear or support from a family member, then their agenda needs to take precedence over the one that I brought to their visit.”

    “I was inspired to pursue ophthalmology because of my love for surgery and the elderly, and the opportunity to operate while sitting down,” Lieberman added with a smile.

    In addition to caring for patients, as the program director of the NCC Ophthalmology Residency Program, Lieberman oversees the training of Army and Navy military ophthalmology residents, ensuring they’re ready to graduate and practice medicine and surgery independently.

    “As a member of the Air Force, I have enjoyed working with the Army and Navy here at Walter Reed more than I can say,” Lieberman shared. “It’s truly a tri-service environment and I have been grateful to experience such camaraderie, good humor and support among my colleagues.”

    ‘A solid professional’

    One of those colleagues is Pasternak, who served more than 30 years in the U.S. Navy retiring as a captain. He currently works at Walter Reed’s Ophthalmology, specializing in cataract, refractive and corneal surgery. Beneficiaries stated about Pasternak, “A solid professional, [he] was very considerate and helpful.” “A true professional who is exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of his profession and is an exceptional teacher.” “I have been treated by this provider on several occasions and I have always been treated cordially and professionally. I have always been provided with outstanding care by this provider.” “[He] is a true professional who is exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of his profession and is an exceptional teacher!” “I always have a pleasant experience with Dr. Pasternak.” “Very knowledgeable, professional, efficient, caring! The ideal.” “I am blessed to have such a learned and experienced provider.” “Dr. Pasternak went above and beyond in looking into my issues and explaining things to me. He took complex issues and made them understandable. I am most appreciative of the detail he went into and treating me.” “Dr. Pasternak is knowledgeable, professional, empathetic, and I am grateful to be his patient.”

    ‘I enjoy seeing my patients grow…’

    Franklin works in the Cardiology Clinic at Walter Reed. Those she cared for shared the following about her: “Ms. Cathy is the primary reason for my good health now since she diagnosed me that I needed a pacemaker. She explained thoroughly to me and my family the reasons that I needed a pacemaker implanted in me right away. She knows my history and makes constant follow-up with my health condition. I am very happy with the care that I received from her and WRNMMC altogether.” “Dr. Franklin is a true professional. She is always concerned about my health, and she provides good, sound advice and instructions. I love having her as my provider.” “Dr. Franklin was exceptional, courteous, and seems very knowledgeable and caring about her patients.” “She is caring,
    knowledgeable, professional about the heart and made me feel confident about my heart health!” “Dr. Franklin is very caring and treats me like a member of her own family.” “Dr. Franklin made herself available on short notice to accommodate my medical needs and provide excellent care!” “I am very fortunate to be Cathy Franklin’s patient – anyone would be!”
    Diemer, a retired U.S. Army Medical Corps officer, works in the Internal Medicine Clinic at Walter Reed, serving as a patient-centered medical home provider and on the core faculty of the WRNMMC Internal Medicine Residency Program. She worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center prior to 2011, and she came to Bethesda when WRAMC integrated with the National Naval Medical Center in 2011 to form WRNMMC.

    “I am part of a multi-disciplinary team which plans and teaches a weekly evidence-based medicine curriculum to WRNMMC internal medicine residents. It has been a privilege to supervise interns and residents for years. Working with these motivated and intelligent physicians has helped me stay current in internal medicine advances. I am passionate about making evidence-based application of medical studies to clinical practice more accessible to internal medicine residents,” Diemer added.

    “I enjoy seeing my patients grow in ability to improve their health,” Diemer continued. “On rare occasions, I have had the privilege of intervening in an acute health condition which would have been life-threatening if had not been recognized.”

    Diemer’s patients stated about her: “Excellent provider, would not change her for another.” “Love Dr. Diemer and the compassion she displays for patients and families.” “I am very fortunate to have Dr. Diemer as my PCM for over 20 years.” “Dr. Diemer is knowledgeable, honest, open and informative. She always listens to my questions, offers options, lets me know how she feels about these options for me. I know I have a limited amount of time with her, but I never feel rushed. I always get my questions answered and she keeps us on time.” “Shows true compassion towards the health and well being of her patients!” “Dr. Diemer took her time with me. Listened well and made the recommendations that were best for me. Thanks!” “Have always and continue to appreciate the time that my PCM takes to ensure I have a good understanding as to what is going on with my health.” “Dr. Diemer is a superb health-care provider with a clear sense of empathy, caring, and kind spirit.”

    “This excerpt from Oath of Maimonides describes my approach to the patients I serve,” Diemer shared. “The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all times; may neither avarice or miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; may I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain. Grant me the strength, time and opportunity always to correct what I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich itself daily with new requirements.”



    Date Taken: 12.21.2023
    Date Posted: 12.21.2023 10:02
    Story ID: 460556
    Location: US

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