By Ashley Benkarski
NASHVILLE, TN — Aladraine Sands, MD, is Nashville General Hospital’s new medical director of the new Medical Director of the new Nashville Healthcare Center at Bordeaux, the organization announced.
Dr. Sands specializes in Primary Care and Internal Medicine and provides a range of preventative and prescriptive services such as well-woman exams, COPD treatment, and more.
She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and was a research assistant at The Johns Hopkins Medical School and National Institute of Health Gerontology Research Center; she completed her educational career at Michigan State College of Human Medicine.
For Dr. Sands, it’s important to convey genuine concern and compassion for patients. “I always try to make patients feel very comfortable in our conversations and have an honest conversation with them,” she said, and part of her philosophy is to be a partner with patients in the interest of their well-being. Rather than taking a paternalistic approach, Dr. Sands said she prefers to lay out the options to patients and help them make an informed decision about their health that’s best for them. “I try to allow them to set the agenda for the visit in conjunction with the things that are important to their well-being,” she explained.
She wants patients to consider their goals in life and what being healthier could help them achieve. For that, it’s important that patients be educated on their personal health. One of the first steps in that process is an investment in the relationship between patients and primary care providers (PCPs), who are in the best position to guide patients on their wellness journey.
PCPs can address the concerns and anxieties of patients while assessing risk factors for certain conditions, such as diabetes. “Patients should not just use their primary care doctor to address current symptoms but to get the full spectrum of primary care,” she said, adding primary care was invented to be the first stop, not the only stop.
Patients need to think of themselves as a consumer, she said. “As a consumer, you’re buying a product and that’s health care, and so you do have options … You want to get value for your healthcare dollars … You have to have your needs met. That’s the purpose of your doctor.”
“There are a lot of resources to help you identify what your options are and then to finally connect with the services that you need,” Dr. Sands continued. “I hope that our office, the Nashville Healthcare Center at Bordeaux, is going to be a good resource for patients to do so.”
She added that the Bordeaux center will feature an integrated healthcare model consisting of specialists in a variety of disciplines at the facility and therefore more accessible; patients will not have to travel outside the center if they don’t want to or can’t. Dr. Sands likened it to “a one-stop shop” that minimizes inconvenience and increases accessibility for patients.
She also said that while she was proud of the work she did at her private practice she felt the impact she was having was limited.
“Because I’ve been in the area so long, I’ve watched from a distance as this hospital has served this community so compassionately and diligently for many, many years and their mission and vision is real. They really want to improve the health of the community by making quality healthcare accessible to everybody … I just thought it was a great mission for me to connect my values and my talents to and I wanted to keep my talent local.” For Dr. Sands, that meant serving the underserved community, providing quality healthcare, and a focus on evidence-based medicine.
“It’s a model I can get behind and share my philosophy of practice in,” she added.
“I have to really applaud our leader, Dr. Joseph Webb, for his vision for the Bordeaux area and the big economic investment that the hospital is making into the area by having a center located there, and then allowing providers to come and serve that area.
Without good health you can’t complete your purpose in life. You can’t fulfill all of the dreams that you have because you need good health to do that. It’s the basis for everything else people want to build their life on,” she stated.
Regarding a distrust in the medical community, Dr. Sands said that any relationship that’s been fractured needs time to build back trust and foster opportunities for good communication.
She’d like to take part in community events for people to get to know her as a person, not just a doctor, and she welcomes any invitations to do so. “This is my community,” she said.
She wants people to think about what meaningful thing they want to do that improving their conditions will allow them to do. She said she’d like to be part of helping people achieve better health and wellbeing so they go on to accomplish great things in their life.
“We all have a responsibility to increase and improve the healthcare of our community but it takes the whole team working toward the same goal,” she said.