Source: Ryan Alves, The News-Enterprise
It’s been a busy few months for Dr. Krishnan Challappa, a cardiologist with Hardin Memorial Health.
And it will be an even busier next two years as Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown faces plenty of growth.
Challappa, who has practiced 21 years in Hardin County, said he is up to the challenge as the health group’s new chief of staff.
“It’s been excellent (so far),” Challappa said. “I enjoy administrative roles. So far, so good.”
As chief of staff, Challappa works closely with health groups of more than 300 physicians for a two-year term.
“I’m a liaison between physicians, administration and the board. You make sure things are functioning smoothly with all things physicians and patient care,” Challappa said of his post. “The whole goal is doing everything best for the patient. Whatever the physician is doing, he’s maintaining the quality of care in our hospital.”
That means if a patient has an issue with his or her time at the hospital, it eventually will make its way to Challappa, he said.
Challappa, a self-described “people person,’’ has been chief of staff since Jan. 1. The position is voted on by HMH’s physicians.
Challappa graduated medical school in 1985 from Bangalore Medical College in India and earned his doctorate three years later.
In 1991, Challappa made the move to the United States where he did his residency in New York’s Maimonides Medical Center. He continued his fellowship at Maimonides from July of 1993 to June of 1996.
A month later, Challappa moved to Elizabethtown where he’s been since working as a cardiologist at the hospital and with his private practice, Central Cardiology Associates.
“I did my training in New York, but I chose to come here,” Challappa said. “And for that matter, I won’t go anywhere else as long as I practice. Mainly because of the people. The people are wonderful here. I have thousands of patients that I wouldn’t give up for anything in the world.”
Challappa said his patients are what make him get out of bed each day, which is something that legislators in Washington, D.C., won’t know anything about, he added.
“I’m not saying health care is perfect, but there isn’t enough positivity about the profession,” Challappa said. “If you come to my office with chest pain, we’re going to try and help you. Forget about insurance, we don’t look at anything. We just want to help you.
“If you come to the hospital with a heart attack, you will get the best care equal to any in the world,” he added.
Building a relationship with the community is key, Challappa said. He said it’s something that Hardin Memorial Health will focus on in the near future.
February is heart month and as a part of that, Challappa and HMH will hold a health fair focusing on heart health at 5 p.m. Thursday at the hospital.
Hospital staff will be on hand for health screenings such as blood pressure checks and height and weight measurements to help residents figure out their ideal body mass index.
From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Challappa will present basic information to improve overall health or help residents start living on a healthier life.
“I’ll focus on things such as smoking, overeating, portion size,” Challappa said.
To register for the event, go to hmh.net or call 270-706-1247.
“My goal is that even if 10 people take home 10 percent of what they hear and do that, it will make a big difference in our community,” Challappa said.
Ryan Alves can be reached at 270-505-1747 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.