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Yuba City doctor lands $2 million grant
Phone calls came from Florida, Texas and Virginia when the $2 million federal grant was announced, Dr. Venu Kondle of Yuba City said.
"Sometimes good things happen where it is needed," Kondle said of the Affordable Care Act funds that are the only such award made in California and led to calls from health care providers from around the country.
The money will help cut health-care costs by assisting Medicare patients to address such issues as obesity, said Silas Ting, executive vice president of Golden Life Accountable Care Organization. Kondle is president and CEO of Golden Life, which was awarded the federal funds this summer.
A lot of medical treatment is episodic and reacts to severe problems, Ting said. All the advances in medicine in the United States come amid a population that can benefit from preventive care and healthier lifestyles.
"We don't really take care of our health very well," he said, citing medical problems that occur because of obesity.
Smoking prevention, hospice and asthma care — before the problem requires emergency room hospital visits — are among programs involving the federal funds. Physicians will follow up education for Medicare patients about healthy lifestyles to reinforce that message, the men said.
Kondle, 42, said medical costs continue to climb at an unsustainable rate, and that federal funds are intended to help "bend the cost curve." The grant involves Golden LIfe's health care operations in Northern California, he said, and was awarded in part because the organization showed it has a system to succeed.
"It is not about the size of the grant," Kondle said. "It is about the innovation in medicine.
"What about the opportunity?" he added. "That is the beauty of this program."
He and his wife Sabita have a 16-year-old daughter, Sumana, and a 9-year-old son, Soham.
Ting said of Kondle, "It's really refreshing to have such an individual — a person who is not afraid of change."
Darin Gale, economic development director for Yuba City, said only 15 of the federal grants were awarded nationwide.
"It's exciting to think that one of our local doctors went out and applied," Gale added. "This really helps out our community."
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.