LAFP is very proud to recognize Chris Van Hise, MD as our September member of the month. Dr. Van Hise is in his second year of residency at the East Jefferson Family Medicine Residency Program. He is from New City, NY, a suburb of NYC. He studied at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, completed a post-baccalaureate at Columbia University and then went to med school at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He came to Louisiana as part of the UQ-Ochsner Clinical School.
Dr. Van Hise has been in New Orleans for nearly four years now. It's become home for him, and he has started to set roots down. He states, “I first came down to New Orleans in college during a post-Katrina service project. Ever since, it was always in the back of my mind to return, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.” He continues, explaining about applying for residency programs. He states, “When it came time to apply to residency, it was an easy decision. I love the food, the music, the culture, and most importantly the people of New Orleans. More than ever, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida you see how everyone in New Orleans comes together to help their neighbors out.” Dr. Van Hise recognizes the need for affordable, accessible health care in Louisiana. He feels that he can ultimately make a difference in Louisiana.
When asked how he chose family medicine. He states, “I knew family medicine was a perfect fit after working down in the family medicine clinic in Raceland, LA. Drs. Duplantis, Hartman, Heidenreich, and Marcello, showed me a model of true full-spectrum family medicine. There I learned the art of medicine and saw what it meant to truly serve a community.” He continues by saying, “I love the challenge of mastering such a broad knowledge base and applying it to serve my patients. I’ve always felt that family physicians make the biggest impact on the health of our communities. Because of our role on the frontlines of the healthcare system, we have the best understanding of the needs of the population, which positions us to be very effective leaders in healthcare.”
We asked what was something that he wished he knew as a medical student. He answered, “It’s never too early to get involved in leadership within the LAFP, AAFP, and other medical organizations. You become an agent for change, even early on in your career. You bring an important perspective as a representative of the next generation of family docs.” Dr. Van Hise has been very involved in the LAFP since being a member of the Family Medicine Interest Group at UQ-Ochsner Clinical School. He is also a member of the Resident Student Leadership Committee and the Legislative and Advocacy Committee. He is currently serving as Resident Delegate to the LAFP Board of Directors and to the LAFP General Assembly.
Dr. Van Hise is very interested in health policy and advocacy. Through his efforts as Resident Delegate to the LAFP General Assembly, he has gained important leadership skills. He has taken a very active role as delegate by crafting and putting forth resolutions at the LAFP General Assembly that focus on healthcare for all. He states, “I view healthcare from both a personal and systemic lens. I don’t think I could do without the personal connection with my individual patients. At the same time, I often find myself frustrated by structural barriers to their care. When I hit the end of the road with what I can do as a clinician, it seems just natural to carry on advocating for better access to quality and affordable care. I think I’ve modeled a lot of that off my mom – she is a college professor and works tirelessly advocating for her students most in need.” He continues, “Our healthcare system functions the way it was designed to work. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of people on the outside looking in. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work in refugee health, with rural and urban underserved patients, and with many other groups who each face barriers to access. That’s what drives me in advocacy – it’s trying to give a voice to vulnerable and disenfranchised populations and create a more equitable and affordable system.”