October 26, 2004 > Jacob Eapen, MD Candidate for Washington Township Healthcare District Board 2 Year Seat
Jacob Eapen, MD Candidate for Washington Township Healthcare District Board 2 Year Seat
TCV: Briefly, what is your background and how does this relate to determining board policies?
Eapen: I have over 26 years of experience in Healthcare as an administrator, researcher and academic. My International experience includes working in East and West Africa and for the United Nations in the Philippines as a Health Advisor. I am presently a Pediatrician with the Alameda County Health Services and have worked in all the cities of the Washington Hospital district. I have served as the Medical Director of Tiburzio Vasques Health Center in Union City and have also volunteered at the Rotacare homeless clinic in Fremont.
Currently, I am in the Public Health Commission of Alameda County and have also served on the advisory board of "Every Child Counts" and as a technical advisor for "Head Start". I earned my Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley and completed my residency program at Stanford Medical College. I was selected as one of the 40 outstanding alumni of Stanford of the last 60 years. This year I was the first recipient of the Physician Recognition award from the California Medical Board.
I have embraced public health services in an explicit attempt to foster more appropriate and effective policies and practice that benefit the poor and underserved patients. I have devoted my time and energy in working in the county health system to improve public health.
TCV: Why are you running for the board?
Eapen: As a leader, educator and practitioner in Public Health in Alameda County I am deeply aware of the community health needs of the Tri-city area. With my national and international experience in the field of medicine and technology I will usher in a new sensitivity to the medical needs of the diverse population in this community.
TCV: What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
Eapen: My top three priorities as a board member are; to minimize barriers to access in terms of logistics, insurance coverage and patient waiting times; improve investment in community health preventive programs including School Health Clinics; and to communicate the Hospital's mission by prioritizing open communications and enhancing the image of the hospital as a community hospital.
As a Board member of Washington Hospital, I will collaborate with my colleagues to provide access to high quality, cost-effective health services.
TCV: What are the primary challenges currently facing the board and what skills do you have that will help meet these challenges?
Eapen: The board faces numerous challenges in enabling the growth and expansion of Washington Hospital. One crucial challenge is in prioritizing the areas of investment in the hospital. On a near term basis, the board has to address the issue of acceptance of all major insurance plans and the relationship with CALPERS. Healthcare costs and insurance premiums are skyrocketing making it extremely difficult for businesses and individuals to get optimal medical coverage. Since Washington Hospital is a community- funded hospital, there is an opportunity for innovative programs that are focused on both preventive healthcare and basic/essential healthcare for all residents and businesses in the Washington Township area while being profitable.
My experience in healthcare in the Hospital's district has given me a strong and sound understanding of the needs of the community in terms of healthcare. Further, my experience as an administrator of health centers and as a founder of "Stop Aids Worldwide" and as a current member of the board of "International Childhood Disease Research Foundation" enables me to represent issues effectively.
TCV: Do you have a unique perspective or idea that you will advance on the board, if elected?
Eapen: Healthcare costs continue to escalate and there is no simple way to normalize the cost of healthcare with the cost of living. One viable approach is to "apply brakes" and seriously invest in preventive healthcare. The majority of patients who show up at an ER today are either preventable or non-critical care cases. I believe that a proactive approach in preventive healthcare will reduce healthcare costs in the long run while facilitating affordable and accessible healthcare for all. My first hand experience in working in the Tri-city area in public health services gives me a unique perspective that will augment the board. As a board member, I will strive to investigate and implement programs that address these challenges.
For more information please visit www.jacobeapen.com.