Bayhealth Family Medicine Program Director Dr. Brintha Vasagar

Beyond the Accolades: Dr. Brintha Vasagar’s Drive for Community Health

Thursday, April 1, 2021 | Awards & Recognitions
Bayhealth Family Medicine Program Director Brintha Vasagar, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is driven to lead her team in building a distinctive residency program that will create a pipeline of talented, young physicians and healthier communities. Over the past year, her work with Bayhealth’s GME Program has attracted media attention and she has been recognized with numerous honors. She received a Minority Business Leader award from Philadelphia Business Journal Philadelphia Business Journal 2021 40 Under Forty Honoree, was named among Business Times’ DBT40 for statewide achievers and innovators under the age of 40, and was featured in Women in Business in Delaware Today’s December issue. Most recently, she was named one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty honorees for 2021.

Just one of these recognitions alone would be commendable, but the fact Dr. Vasagar earned all four speaks to her leadership and passion for improving healthcare as well as the dedication of the entire Bayhealth GME team. She is humbled by the accolades and considers these honors “a testament to the unique and innovative work we are doing to address physician shortages locally and strengthen population health.” 

Dr. Vasagar explained that what makes her most proud is to build a residency program in a community that is underserved but at the same time truly values its doctors. Equally rewarding to her has been to create a new family medicine outpatient practice that better addresses community health, on top of that one-on-one patient experience. “We didn’t want to create something that existed everywhere else, and I think it’s drawn so much attention because we incorporated new ideas,” she said.  

Mental health and addiction became the pillar programs among the family medicine practice due to the dire needs in Delaware. All their providers will be trained to treat addiction, and they have a mental health counselor embedded in the practice, which she describes as “a gold standard of care that isn’t achievable in many places.” She added, “Our patients just love it. It’s already made all the difference in the world in them being able to achieve their health goals.”

Dr. Vasagar cited the fundraising success around the Bayhealth GME program as further validation of the team efforts. Over a million dollars in grant funding has been raised to date. “This shows that our community partners also see the value and the impact the program will have on healthcare outcomes.” 
In developing a strong family medicine residency program at Bayhealth, the inclusion of alternative perspectives has been an important ingredient and something Dr. Vasagar has taken to heart in her own experiences. “There have been plenty of times in my career that I’ve been the youngest person, or the only woman, or the only person of color in the room, and I’ve been fortunate to have mentors and colleagues that included and guided me,” she said. “There is so much value in having diverse voices at the table. Including diverse voices on our team is uniquely shaping how we will train residents to best serve our community.”
Beyond her program director role, Dr. Vasagar currently sees patients at Bayhealth Family Medicine, Dover. She said that while her GME work is very gratifying, her favorite part of the week is still when she can connect with a patient one-on-one. “I really enjoy my leadership time and the administrative parts of my job. And with my public health background, it’s very apparent that I want to fix healthcare systems and the way we think about it as a whole,” she said, “But I hope I never stop seeing patients because they root me back to why we’re doing this, why it matters to me and why I got into this field.”

Bayhealth Family Medicine, Dover provides a full range of primary care services as well as OB-GYN care and is accepting new patients of all ages. To make an appointment, call 302-725-3200. Visit BayhealthGME.org to learn more about Bayhealth’s family medicine residency program.