October 24, 2018 Healthy Living

Meet the Capital Region’s Top Primary Care Doctor

Dr. Kathleen Catalano’s career path has been anything but traditional, which is perhaps why her approach to medicine is anything but conventional. The schoolteacher- turned-family-physician was teaching special education at a school in Texas when she decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.

“I came into medicine later in life,” said Catalano, who spent the first few years of her medical career working for hospitals. “It was important for me to take my time with patients, which is why I decided to open my own practice,” she added.

In 2001, Catalano opened the doors to a private practice in Johnstown, NY, where she practices a mind-body approach to medicine. “I realized very early on how important the mind is in creating our reality. If we have an attitude that we are sick, we will be sick.”

Mind-body medicine focuses on the interactions between the brain, body, and spirit, and a person’s ability to stay healthy and cope with chronic disease.

“Some patients can take you down the rabbit hole. When they walk into the office, they think they know what’s wrong. They’ve done the research and they request the tests. When possible, I try to focus on wellness and spirituality.”

Her approach to medicine recently hit a roadblock when Catalano began suffering “note bloat,” a common frustration among medical professionals required to meet heavy reporting requirements.

A sole practitioner with a staff of just three employees, Catalano was having a difficult time keeping up with her practice’s back office needs. It was about that time that she joined the CDPHP Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program, a patient-centered medical home model that provides financial incentives for doctors who are successful at improving quality of care, efficiency of services, and patient satisfaction. Catalano has used the program’s enhanced reimbursements and bonus dollars to staff a full-time employee, responsible for most of her back office needs.

“If it wasn’t for CDPHP, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Catalano, who says the financial support she receives from CDPHP has been critical to keeping her practice open.

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.

4 Responses to “Meet the Capital Region’s Top Primary Care Doctor”

  1. Linda Andrews

    Kathlene Catalano is a control freak and a bully. She was abusive when I questioned her about the self-help books she insisted that I buy, refused to give me the results of my blood tests and and kept up such a constant stream of ridicule and and sarcasm at my last (and it was my last) appointment that I left in tears. She is a major reason why I no longer have as PCP and no longer take prescription meds. Both my health and my disposition have greatly improved as a result. So has my financial condition. And she’s your top doctor! I still carry CDPHP but rarely use it. I consider it dues for living.

  2. Robert E And Theresa E Dugan

    Dr Catalano is magnificent! She spends so much time with each of us individually, we feel guilty. Bob swears he is her favorite patient, but likely everyone does!

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