Faculty Excellence Awards – 2010
MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award
In 1984, Dr. Peter Boling completed primary care internal medicine residency at VCU and started work as a faculty member, spending mornings in the general medicine clinic and making house calls in the afternoons. Seeing an unmet need, he focused his career on home based care and in 1986 obtained hospital support to expand the VCUHS House Calls program. He found himself increasingly engaged in enhancing geriatric clinical services and geriatric education for medical students, residents, faculty, and other health care team members at VCUHS and in the community. In 1990 he received a certificate of added qualifications in Geriatric Medicine reflecting dual expertise as a generalist and geriatrician. He has spoken and written extensively about home care and in 1997, he published a single author text, “The Physician’s Role in Home Health Care.” In 2000 he received the Nascher-Manning Award from the American Geriatrics Society for career-long accomplishments in improving geriatric care. In 2010 he received the David Markham award for excellence in general internal medicine at VCU.
Dr. Boling’s roots in geriatrics stem from House Calls which is a unique, Joint Commission accredited community program, providing longitudinal primary care for home-bound, frail adults. VCU House Calls has served more than 5,000 people, and provides an evidence-based setting for teaching 300 learners per year, including all VCU medical students. Dr. Boling has helped plan and start several other clinical service innovations, including: the Commonwealth Care of Virginia IPA in the early 1990’s, once 180 physicians strong; the VCUHS Nursing Home Practice in 1996, now serving nearly 400 patients throughout metro Richmond; the post-hospital Transitional Care program in 2000; the inpatient geriatric consult service in 2002; and in 2009 a partnership with Riverside Health System at their Richmond sites for the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE. Each of the geriatric teams is working toward a true continuum of care.
In 2001, Dr. Boling led the VCU effort to obtain a 1.8 million dollar grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which increased geriatric education for thousands of medical students, residents and practicing professionals, always with the goal of improving geriatric care. Since 2001, the MCV Campus Geriatrics Section has also grown from three to eight physicians working with eight nurse practitioners and five support staff.
Seeking a national house calls renaissance, Dr. Boling was instrumental in doubling the Medicare fee schedule for house calls in 1998 and more recently he worked tirelessly with a small group of colleagues and members of U.S. Congress to design and pass the Independence at Home Act of 2009. This law amends title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide frail high cost Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions access to in-home, coordinated, primary care medical through an interdisciplinary team, while lowering Medicare costs. This truly patient-centered medical home model is a demonstration pilot in the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March, 2010. During 2009 Dr. Boling’s work drew national media attention to VCU, including the NBC Nightly News, “Making a Difference” segment, and late in 2010 he will also be honored by the Virginia Alzheimer’s Association as Advocate of the Year.
Currently, Dr. Boling leads the 52-member Division of General Medicine and the VCUHS Geriatric Medicine program and devotes 30 percent of his time to team-based clinical practice of several hundred patients. Some patients have seen him for more than a quarter century. His work includes office-based primary care and geriatric consulting, nursing home care at several facilities with one medical director role, leading the House Calls team, being a back-up for inpatient geriatric consults, and serving as teaching medicine ward attending one month per year.
Dr. Boling has dedicated his career to creating and championing high quality, compassionate, and cost-effective care to older adults. He works each day to ensure that the next generation of clinicians and other health care providers are trained to provide such care. His dedication to excellence in clinical service makes him most deserving of the MCVP Distinguished Clinician Award.