November 14, 2020 Healthy Living

Frontline Hero: Dr. Douglas Finch, Ellis Medicine

The People’s Choice Awards.

Nominated by their patients and peers, these individuals are being recognized for showing compassion, care, and concern in the midst of a global pandemic.

Dr. Douglas Finch

Dr. Douglas Finch was working at James J. Peters VA Medical Center in New York City when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. Interestingly, he says his experience with the COVID-19 crisis has been quite similar.  

“Many people – myself included – experienced the same level of trauma. There were parts of this that were actually worse than 9/11.”

Finch, who now serves as the head of infectious disease at Ellis Medicine, says there were many unknowns with coronavirus, which has led to anxiety for many.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, a kid whose school was closed, or parent who lost their job, these are scary times.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, a kid whose school was closed, or parent who lost their job, these are scary times

Dr. Douglas Finch
Ellis Medicine

Despite fear and uncertainty, Finch was impressed with the level of ingenuity that came from the pandemic, particularly the increased use of telemedicine. “We could have done this years ago, but we never had a reason to. Everybody learned how to do it quickly and it’s working great!” Finch says telehealth has been great for his rural patients, many of whom travel an hour or more to see him.

Dr. Douglas Finch

Congratulations to our Frontline Heroes award winners!

View the other Frontline Heroes

Despite the progress made since the pandemic began, Dr. Finch’s job is far from done. He says we’ve learned a lot from the virus, but there’s much more to be accomplished. He thinks the virus will teach us a tremendous amount about the human body, and its response to diseases, like COVID and influenza. 

“I think we missed a real opportunity with influenza. We’ve known about it since 1918. It does similar things to the body as coronavirus, but a bell never went off. Despite all the medicine and science, some people still get sick and die. The same can be said for COVID. It’s like we’re fighting a new war.”

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About Author

Dr. Bennett was named president and CEO of CDPHP in 2008, after serving as chairman of the board since 2003, vice chairman since 1999, and board member since 1996. Prior to working at CDPHP, Dr. Bennett served as chief of the division of cardiology at Albany Memorial Hospital, was a member of Northeast Health Systems’ board of directors, and chaired the department of medicine. Dr. Bennett also served as CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PPLC, where he practiced cardiology with Albany Associates in Cardiology. Dr. Bennett chairs the board of directors for the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Healthcare Information Xchange of New York (Hixny). In addition, he is a member of the boards of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Colonie Senior Service Centers, the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York, the Center for Economic Growth, New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), and the Palace Theatre. Dr. Bennett earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He completed his residency in internal medicine as well as a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. Currently, he is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Dr. 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.

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