Four doctors fighting for better health care

Community Health Choice - MD quartet, April 30, 2018. Left to right: Dr. Karen J. Gray, Dr. Lisa R. Fuller, Dr. Karen E. Hill, Dr. Valerie T. Bahar

By COMMUNITY HEALTH CHOICE

Your income level shouldn’t determine whether you have access to quality health care. But for many people, a lack of insurance means health conditions often go undiagnosed – and untreated. Even those withhealth insurance can fall through the cracks.

Four dynamic doctors are out to change that reality. Together, they lead the Medical Affairs team at Community Health Choice, a Houston-based non-profit health plan that opens doors to affordable, high-quality, coordinated health care for underserved people.

Drs. Valerie T. Bahar, Karen J. Gray, Lisa R. Fuller, and Karen E. Hill were drawn to Community because they are passionate about improving the way health care works. Joining forces on Community’s Medical Affairs team, they can accomplish even more.

A guiding hand

The Medical Affairs team builds strong relationships with community members and helps them navigate the healthcare system. This team of doctors provides extra support to people with chronic conditions, offers case management, addresses complaints, and makes sure members are getting the care they need from the right resource at the right time.

The team’s commitment to improving community health extends beyond the doors of Community Health Choice to local non-profits on a similar mission.

The chance to do more

Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology with an MBA in healthcare management, Dr. Bahar said she joined Community because, “It affords me the opportunity to impact the health of individuals on a larger scale than private practice.” 

Dr. Bahar, who was born and raised in Houston, appreciates being able to give residents a voice through the relationships Community has with non-profit organizations and her own volunteer work. From collaborating with the March of Dimes to reduce pre-term births to mentoring disadvantaged high school girls at Rare Pearls, Inc. to empowering women through the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, as well as Metamorphosis Global Missions, Dr. Bahar is helping make the world safer and healthier for women of all ages. 

All about access and impact

Dr. Gray joined Community earlier this year. With a primary focus on internal medicine, she works tirelessly to promote health and wellness and to ensure access to high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services for all. 

 “By working in managed care,” Dr. Gray said, “I am better able to affect population health through devising and implementing policies that can make a profound impact on the health of the members of this community.” 

She believes in treating patients like family and views each day at Community as a new opportunity to provide the best, most cost-effective services. Dr. Gray is an active volunteer for a number of professional organizations and non-profits, including the Houston Medical Forum, Mary Susan Moore Medical Society, the Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League of The Woodlands. She has been recognized as a 2018 Role Model by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce “Women in the Fast Lane of S.T.E.A.M.”

An early calling

When Dr. Hill was in kindergarten, she already knew she wanted to be a doctor –even though many people at the time thought women who wanted to enter the health profession should become nurses. She followed through on her childhood dream and now practices internal medicine and pediatrics at Community. She also earned her MBA.

Dr. Hill said she joined Community because, “I have a real sense of pride fighting for good health care for those who need it most.”

She also believes in giving back to the community. She’s chairperson of the scholarship committee for the Houston chapter of The Links, Inc., a volunteer service organization for women who are dedicated to ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans.

Driven to help others

“Community’s mission of caring for the underserved in our community is in line with the driving mission of my career in medicine,” said Dr. Fuller, who specializes in pediatrics.

A native of New Orleans and the daughter of public school educators, she joined Community three years ago and is already deeply invested in the local community. “As a part of Community’s family, I am blessed and honored to use my medical training and passion for improving health care to impact our entire membership.”

Dr. Fuller volunteers at her church and with her daughters at the Christian Community Service Center’s Sunshine Resale Shop, where their work helps to raise much-needed funds for the faith-based non-profit. 

Together, one dynamic foursome

These phenomenal doctors are passionate about improving the health, wellness, and well-being of underserved communities across Southeast Texas. Through their work on the Medical Affairs team at Community Health Choice, they are making the world a healthier, happier place.