October 20, 2021 Business Resources

2021 Top Doctors People’s Choice Award Winner: Dr. Patricia Rae Kennedy, Saratoga Hospital

The People’s Choice Awards.

Choosing the right doctor is an important decision. That is why we created CDPHP Top Doctors, a comprehensive list of the Capital Region’s most trusted and top-performing primary care practices. Now in its fifth year, Top Doctors provides you and your loved ones with the information you need to make the most informed decisions about your care.

New this year, CDPHP celebrates local specialty medicine providers with the Top Doctors People’s Choice awards. Nominated by their patients and peers, the People’s Choice award winners have devoted their lives and careers to helping others.

I dream about my patients a lot.

To say that Patricia Rae Kennedy, MD, is devoted to her work as a breast surgeon would be an understatement. In the early part of her career, she would often go to the hospital in the early morning hours so she could be there to change her patients’ surgical dressing for the first time.

“I wanted to be there with them, in a quiet room, as they’re waking up for the first time.”

Kennedy, who now leads a team at Saratoga Hospital Center for Breast Care, says a lot has changed since then, including a more collaborative, team-based approach to care, as well as procedures that are often performed in an outpatient setting. Still, she remains immersed in her work, so much so that she often thinks about her patients while she’s asleep.

“I dream about my patients a lot. If I have a surgery the next day, I will usually dream about it the night before.”

Kennedy entered the field after completing her general surgery training on Long Island, where there is higher incidence of breast cancer. She was inspired by the work and went on to complete a fellowship at the Faulkner Breast Center.

“I never looked back. It’s such a rewarding field because it’s more than just surgery. You don’t discharge patients after cancer surgery. You develop relationships. It’s an honor to go on that journey with them.”

Kennedy worries about the impact that COVID-19 crisis has had on patients. She says a lot of women have delayed mammograms and doctor’s visits as a result of the pandemic. “Unfortunately, we have seen patients who have skipped screenings and are now presenting with more advanced disease.”

Even before the pandemic, Kennedy says it broke her heart to see patients who felt a lump and did not seek treatment because they feared the worst.

“The first thing I would say is not all lumps are cancer. Second, it’s also important to know that most of my patients are survivors, and the sooner we can treat, the better the outcome.”

Patricia Rae Kennedy, MD, FACS

Congratulations to our Top Doctors – People’s Choice award winners!

View the other People’s Choice winners
John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About the Author

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP, is president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP), an award-winning, physician aligned, not-for-profit health plan based in Albany, NY. Bennett has held the position since 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member for CDPHP. During his tenure, CDPHP has been ranked among the top-performing health plans in New York and the nation, most recently named #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the 2023 J.D. Power Member Health Plan Study. Under his leadership, CDPHP has also become known as a model employer regionally and nationally and was recently named among the top five Best Companies to Work for in New York by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2022. Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice to a 100-physician multi-specialty group. Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is currently board chair for the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber, and vice chair for the Palace Theatre. Bennett also serves on the boards of the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Russell Sage Colleges. Bennett is a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council where he helps shape decisions related to New York State's public health and health care delivery system. Well-known locally and nationally for advancing health care innovation, Bennett was recently named to Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable in Health Care, as well as the Albany Business Review’s Power 50 list.

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