After 27 years, Michael Lambert, MD, medical director of Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center (SJPHC), is transitioning out of that role to resume practicing full-time as an internist.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work with wonderful people,” he said. “They are all at SJPHC because they are devoted to serving the community, and they believe in the mission of public health.”
Lambert began his time with SJPHC 32 years ago as the only full-time internist. Several years later, he took on the role of medical director. With his and others’ guidance, SJPHC grew from a modest health center focusing on primary care and operating out of a small storefront to a robust, busy center with 13 primary care physicians and more than 12,000 patients.
A leader in the patient-centered medical home model, SJPHC also offers pediatric care, women’s health, mental health, cardiology, podiatry, renal and nutrition services. Also, its Health Promotion Center offers a number of programs for youth and adults, as well as resources for the community.
“This place has changed dramatically,” said Lambert, who received his medical degree at the University of Buffalo. “It has been inspiring to see the center’s transformation and growth into a successful community health center.”
Each year, SJPHC holds a staff appreciation lunch, and this year, it was held in honor of Lambert’s success. At the celebration, Lambert was honored with an award in his name—the Michael A. Lambert Award—developed by SJPHC’s Community Advisory Board, which is composed primarily of patients. Going forward, the annual award will be given to a past or present SJPHC employee who has made, or makes, a lasting contribution to the center, its patients, staff and community. Lambert was honored as the first recipient.
“Dr. Lambert is first and foremost an excellent doctor, who loves his work and makes a difference in the lives of his patients every day, and we’re thrilled that he is staying on in that role,” said Tom Kieffer, MPH, SJPHC’s executive director. “As medical director, he has been a strong leader and someone who combines a vision of the future with a lot of common sense. As SJPHC has grown and added new programs and a focus on community health, he has kept great patient care at the center of what we do.”
Of receiving the award, Lambert said: “It was very touching. The award has made me think about all of my work at the center and how working with patients has always been my first love.”
Lambert plans to continue practicing as an internist at SJPHC. Juan Jaime de Zengotita, MD, who has practiced at SJPHC for 10 years, will assume the role of medical director. Lambert said DeZengotita will be a terrific fit for the position.