ELKINS, W.Va. – There are many healthcare heroes around the Mountain State who are working to ensure the safety of patients and the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Catherine Chua, the Chief Medical Officer of Davis Health Systems, is one of those heroes. She served as a Physician Champion for a population health program, with preventative medicine being one of her major focuses throughout her career. Dr. Chua did not want to be a doctor growing up. She wanted to be a psychologist when she graduated college but she changed her mind to attend medical school.
“The need to care for people goes back to even my grandmother. My grandmother was what some would consider a faith healer, and she took care of people. My mother was a nurse; she took care of people. So, I think that need to care for people has run throughout my family,” Dr. Chua said.
A lot of what keeps Dr. Chua going is hearing the stories from patients. She said she enjoys sitting with them and learning about their lives. She also loves being able to take care of families across generations.
“Importantly also, I think improving the health of the community, when you see those initiatives and population health start to really manifest and grow, it’s so rewarding,” said Dr. Chua.
Davis Health System has instituted an incident command team for emergency management, of which Dr. Chua is the Emergency Commander. She explained that her day-to-day operations have changed drastically in just responding to all of the changing needs related to COVID-19.
“This community here at Davis Health Center, Davis Health System has come together so well that, yes, our day-to-day operations have changed, but the flexibility of our staff and our manager, and the ability to adapt has just been absolutely tremendous,” Dr. Chua said. “So, it has changed a lot, but it changed in a way that we can manage. And, with all of the teamwork, and the transparency and flexibility, we’ve been able to handle it, I think, better than a lot of other systems have.”
Dr. Chua said the best part of her job as a doctor caring for her patients, is listening to them and hearing about who they are. She said the best part of her job as an administrator is that she can bring a clinical voice to the administration table, with decisions being made having the patients’ voices at the table too.