Dr. Fred Rachman’s influence extends beyond the high quality of care he delivers to his pediatric patients at Erie. A true Erie “veteran”, Dr. Rachman arrived at Erie in 1985 with an impressive background and a commitment to Erie’s mission to providing high quality care to patients in need. It was his personal mission to catalyze community health centers and systematically use data to drive quality and improve public health that have set him apart and made him a thought leader in the field.
Dr. Rachman received his bachelor of arts in biology from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland before attending medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and went on to enroll in post-graduate courses in ethics, economics, and health care management at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.
He states he was attracted to Erie because it was “integrated with the community and had a broader view of health.” In addition to his devotion to his Erie patients, Dr. Rachman is an attending physician at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
His leadership can be witnessed in his role as co-founder and CEO of the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services, where he has been since the Alliance’s inception in 1997. Erie Family Health Center, along with Heartland Health Outreach, Howard Brown Health Center, and Near North Health Service Corporation, are founding members of the Alliance, which has grown to include more than 25 community health centers around the country. The Alliance promotes the thoughtful use of Health Information Technology in the safety net sector to promote access, improve quality and increase efficiency of health care services.
During his time with the Alliance, Dr. Rachman has overseen the successful execution of an electronic health record system (EHRS) that serves as a platform for community health centers nationwide to manage patient information and better drive quality outcomes. In fact, Erie’s use of its EHRS to track patient health outcomes and monitor quality has led Erie to receive national recognition as a Health Center Quality Leader, and improved the health – and lives – of countless patients.
Driven by his vision of a data-driven, quality-focused approach to public health, he has undertaken a wide range of innovative research projects. For example, he collaborated with the Chicago Department of Public Health funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a pilot program that provides instant alerts to physicians if a patient’s symptoms match a disease profile. This measure allows public health alerts to be issued early, which could contain outbreaks of contagious diseases or foodborne illnesses. “This type of rapid dissemination of relevant, up-to-the-minute information to clinicians demonstrates how public health oriented clinical decision support could enable us to manage disease,” said Dr. Rachman.
He was also part of advancing EHRS capabilities to help improve quality of care and patient outcomes at Erie. For example, Erie can now generate a list of patients who haven’t been seen in over a year or who are overdue for screening and testing. We then personally follow-up with these patients, address any challenges to accessing care and schedule an appointment with the patient’s primary care provider. This has helped ensure our diabetic patients are not missing appointments, women are receiving recommended mammograms, and much more.
Dr. Rachman has been a vital member of our team here at Erie Family Health Center. He has demonstrated devotion to his patients, leadership in the health information management field and commitment to clinical research that has benefited not just Erie, but community health centers – and communities – across the nation.