Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH,
Chief Medical Officer and Associate Chief Executive Officer
Q What type of patient education do you provide?
We currently provide educational groups in stress management, chronic pain, living with diabetes, safety (from trauma or substance abuse), healthy eating on a budget, coping with neonatal death, and pregnancy nutrition. Because
groups are not for everyone, we also offer one-on-one education.
All of the programs are led by Clinics staff and many are offered in both English and Spanish. Our Walking Groups are part of the program, as are our weekly Health Hubs, which provide free, nutritious food, health education, and screenings.
Q Why does the Marin Community Clinics have a Patient Education Program?
We are big believers in the value of health education. The group programs, which are ongoing, give patients more time to engage with our providers, learn about their conditions, and how to stay healthy. Plus, patients learn from each other, which is very powerful. They share what motivates them and what has been successful, and they can absorb information at their own pace. Light bulbs go off!
For many patients, increased self-awareness and motivation can lead to the adoption of healthier lifestyles. The end result: health can be restored or even improved. Patient education is particularly beneficial to those with chronic conditions like diabetes that require a lot of self-care.
Q Which programs have been most successful?
We’ve seen overwhelming success with the Stress Management group. Many of our patients have significant life stressors, such as financial and housing challenges. They report that these groups are helping them find ways to cope and they benefit from learning that they are not alone. We’re also seeing great results from the diabetes, pregnancy nutrition, and chronic pain groups.
Q How do patients learn about the programs? Is there a cost?
Any Clinics patient can participate and some programs are open to community members. A few programs require a referral from the patient’s primary care physician, but most are self-referred. Group programs are reimbursed by insurers, but if the patient doesn’t have health insurance, we charge a modest fee ($5 – $15).
For our Patient Education Program calendar, visit: