New Hospitalist Group Join FCHC

Three new providers have joined the FCHC Medical staff as Hospitalists for the Health Center. The Hospitalists provide medical management to inpatients that do not have a primary care provider or who have a provider who does not treat hospitalized patients.

The Lead Physician

Brian Perkins, MD, serves as the lead physician in the new Hospitalist group and cares for inpatients Monday through Friday during the day. Amber Araiz, APRN-CNP and Nicole McLennan, FNP, a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, provide Hospitalist coverage on the weekends.

“Patients can be admitted to the hospital for a variety of illnesses such as COPD, pneumonia, heart attack, or an infectious disease like COVID,” says Dr. Perkins. “As Hospitalists, we function like your family doctor in the hospital setting. Our role is to serve as the quarterback of the team of providers, and we’ll take care of you from the time you are admitted to when you are released. So, we’ll determine which physician specialists to call in if needed. We’ll also order the necessary lab and radiology tests. What’s more, our holistic approach means we’ll consider both your medical condition and the social aspect of how and when you are discharged from the hospital and what you and your caregiver we’ll need to do when you go home.”

Dr. Perkins says he uses a very personalized approach with each patient. “I was trained as a family medicine physician, so my philosophy is to sit down with each patient and their family to discuss their disease or medical condition. I want to know their concerns and to make sure they fully understand the treatment options we’ll provide. I also communicate in person or on the phone with any physician specialists who may get involved.” Dr. Perkins says if a patient has a primary care provider, the Hospitalists make sure to email the discharge summary to that provider for follow up care.

Dr. Perkins is a Board-Certified American Board of Family Medicine physician with a variety of medical experiences to offer patients. His experience includes Lead Hospitalist Physician at Toledo Flower Hospital and Wildwood Orthopedic and Spine Hospital in Toledo; ProMedica Physician Hospitalist Medical Director; and Vice President of Medical Operations for ProMedica Acute Care at Home. Dr. Perkins received his medical degree from the  American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. He holds a Master’s degree in Biology from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Indiana University.

“I was born and raised in Indianapolis, so I am a Hoosier through and through,” says Dr. Perkins. “But despite being from a large city, I feel I really fit in better in a smaller community. This was a great career move for me to come to FCHC.”

On a personal note, Dr. Perkins is a huge sports fan, particularly Indiana basketball but also the Indianapolis Colts (season ticket holder). Dr. Perkins has two children in college. He and his wife love to travel (they’re going to watch the Colts play in Germany this fall), as well as hike, ride ATVs, and kayak.

Two Additional Hospitalists

Amber Araiz, APRN-CNP, has provided patient care across the lifespan of patients in both the hospital and outpatient setting as a Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse. She holds a Master’s of Science Nursing FNP degree as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She cares for FCHC inpatients on weekends.

Nicole McLennan, FNP, a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner, has 18 years of nursing experience. This includes eight years of practice within the Hospitalist field. Prior to joining FCHC, McLennan worked in a variety of nursing capacities at The Toledo Hospital and Flower Hospital and served as a Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Practitioner, and Charge Nurse. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing Family Practice Practitioner and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She also sees FCHC inpatients on weekends.

The History of Hospitalists in Health Care

FCHC has had hospitalists on staff since 2013, but the field is relatively new. Twenty years ago, the term Hospitalist didn’t even exist. In 1996, the New England Journal of Medicine first identified the role of the Hospitalist. The Hospitalist specialty grew out of a need for family practice physicians to spend more time with patients on an outpatient basis. This made it increasingly difficult for them to manage both outpatient and inpatient responsibilities.

The Hospitalist practice has grown across the nation to include physicians, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants dedicated to the care of hospitalized patients.