Featured photo: Dr. Robert Carlisle & Dr. Thomas Quattlebaum.
Written by Marybeth Kotrodimos
Photos by Vina Cristobal
This is truly an exciting time for UHP’s Family Medicine clinic. Besides moving from their long time home at the Physician Center at Mililani to their beautiful new location at Pali Momi Outpatient Center, they are welcoming two new physicians to their team. These two doctors come from very different places, each bringing important and relevant clinical skills and experience in education and community services to the clinic.
Dr.Thomas Quattlebaum comes to us from the Northern Navajo Medical Center in New Mexico, where, as a primary care physician, he delivered full spectrum care to the largely underserved population living on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. There, he provided inpatient and obstetric services, including assessing, identifying and treating issues related to addiction, nutrition, and dietary access for low-income families. Dr. Quattlebaum was also responsible for leading a multidisciplinary team in developing local chronic pain management policies which resulted in a 50% decrease in opioid prescriptions. His extensive community work includes assisting in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi, as well as developing services, conducting research, and delivering care to underserved populations in Ghana, Dominican Republic, and Lesotho, Africa.
This year we have all been faced with large sweeping changes that affected our work and lives, but it is fair to say that Dr. Quattlebaum has faced more of it than most. He describes the past six months as “quite a time of transition” since he and his wife welcomed their first child in December.
“Then we moved with our 3-month-old baby to Oahu on March 2nd just days before Hawaii had its first COVID case and a few weeks before the stay at home order. And then I started the new job with UHP on April 1st that seemed to be right in the middle of when all clinical operations were rapidly changing. So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least.”
Also, Dr. Quattlebaum’s new job with UHP is, as he says, “vastly different” from his last one in New Mexico, since he’s now in a supervising and teaching role. “I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” he says. “It has been academically stimulating and invigorating to work with the residents who have been so welcoming to me.”
He says that he and his wife have been “very happy overall to be here” especially since his wife is from Waipahu and is now close to family members. “We’ve also been so happy to see Hawaii’s response to the pandemic,” he adds, saying that they feel that Hawaii is probably the best place to be at this time.
Dr. Robert Thomas Carlisle didn’t need to travel so far to join the team at our Family Medicine clinic. Dr. Carlisle has been serving as a family medicine physician with Tripler Army Medical Center’s Department of Family Medicine since 2010. His background includes education, with over ten years of experience teaching residents and MD, DO, PA, and NP students in settings which include outpatient clinic, procedures, inpatient care, obstetric labor and delivery, and nursing home care. He has also served as Residency Program Director at The West Virginia University Department of Family Medicine, and as Primary Care Service Line Director and as Medical Director at Tripler.
Coming from Tripler, Dr. Carlisle also brings with him years of experience in telemedicine, which as a mode of delivering care has been put into practice at Family Medicine, as well as other UHP practice sites, during the pandemic. “The Department of Defense,” he tells us, “has been able to do virtual care for some time, so when the pandemic came, it wasn’t such a heavy lift.”
Dr. Carlisle said that UHP’s Family Medicine move to Pali Momi went “phenomenally well. The staff had a well-designed system.” In fact, he said, “The move could not have gone more smoothly.”
About our Family Medicine Department, he said, “Everyone has admirable motivations. They are quite inspiring to work with.”