Keyan Matinpour, M.D., director of the Eisenhower Dermatology and Mohs Center.
While deploying its range of services to neighborhoods from one end of the Coachella Valley to the other, Eisenhower Health has simultaneously consolidated doctors to expand its network of care through specialty clinics. Six years ago, for example, the nonprofit organization invited private-practice urologists to join as Eisenhower Medical Associates staff.
“There was a vision to have all the urologists in one place,” recounts Michael Sanford, M.D., one of four full-time physicians at Eisenhower Urology Specialty Clinic on the hospital campus. He notes the ease of access to state-of-the-art equipment and outpatient operating rooms within walking distance. “We are able to take care of pretty much the gamut of urology cases,” he says.
“From the standpoint of [primary-care] referrals, it’s nice to be in the Eisenhower system. And being in one place with my associates has been great, because we all have our own niches in urology,” attests John Faulkner, M.D., noting the flow of consultations allowed in one setting.
“When patients have urgent needs, they can get in to see the first-available urologist,” Sanford adds.
Some days, the clinic sees upwards of 100 patients, primarily insured by Medicare but as young as 18 years of age.
“We are ready to expand,” says Kevin Shandera, M.D. “We have a beautiful office that we moved into in 2019 and have almost outgrown it.”
In 2020, the group welcomed Geraldine Klein, M.D., whom Shandera mentions as subspecializing in robotic urology.
“Eisenhower having three robotic systems [for urological surgery use] is vital for developing our clinic. The combination of experienced clinic doctors and robotic surgery systems is very valuable for physician recruitment,” says Klein, who came aboard after completing a fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“I don’t think we would have the robots without philanthropy,” Faulkner notes. “A lot of things we see around campus are related to donations. We don’t have a plaque for everything, but we know where we have benefited for sure.”
“Part of the annual-giving campaign involves new equipment,” Sanford says. “Our being together in one practice is one of the reasons we have current technology to benefit our patients.”
(From left) Eisenhower Urology Specialty Clinic physicians Kevin Shandera, William Page, John Faulkner, Geraldine Klein, and Michael Sanford.
Keyan Matinpour, M.D., joined Eisenhower’s staff in 2016 before it had a clinic in his specialty.
“Prior to my coming on board, there wasn’t an Eisenhower dermatology clinic,” says Matinpour, who completed a fellowship in dermatologic oncology and Mohs micrographic surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Our mutual goal for my practice was a medically based dermatology center specializing in skin-cancer diagnosis and treatment. My clinic doesn’t have any cosmetic dermatology aspect to it. That appealed to Eisenhower and to me. We opened the doors in September 2016 and have been busy since then.
“Our clinic’s success is based on the fact that Eisenhower has created a network in the Coachella Valley for primary-care physicians,” he continues. “Those physicians send referrals to whatever specialists their patients need, and one of them is mine. About 80 percent of my patients come from an Eisenhower primary-care center.”
Patient capacity reached Matinpour’s limits within one year of his clinic opening, forcing him to temporarily stop accepting new patients. In the past two-and-a-half years, he has welcomed two physician assistants at the Eisenhower Dermatology and Mohs Center in the Mike and Jan Salta Health Center on the hospital campus.
“There is a community of fabulous dermatologists, but they are not doing medical dermatology solely. Someone concerned with a medical issue doesn’t also want to hear about Botox and fillers,” Matinpour states. “There’s nothing wrong with cosmetic dermatology. We need people to do it. But in our clinic, we are all about treating cancer.”
One of the greatest benefits for patients in the Eisenhower primary-care network, Matinpour attests, is the relationship they have with specialists on Eisenhower’s medical staff. Although his is the only dermatology clinic, other specialty care can be “a little more tailored,” he says.
“Primary-care doctors know the specialists to whom they are referring their patients,” Matinpour says. “There is an ease of communication between doctors just by them knowing each other.
“The other aspect is that their medical records are in one electronic file. By opening their chart, I can see their appointments with other doctors. And vice versa, the primary-care doctors can review notes from the specialists.”
As for services in his own clinic, Matinpour includes Mohs surgery, which differs from other skin-cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and complete microscopic examination of cancerous tissue so that all roots and extensions can be eliminated. He notes that his Mohs lab bears The Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which he says is “the highest level of standards for a lab.”