Dr. Michael Hopper
High school Spanish classes came in handy for Dr. Michael Hopper during his residency at LA County Hospital. And now, as a pediatrician with a practice in Alexandria, he finds again that speaking Spanish is a critical skill. As part of Pediatric Associates of Alexandria, Hopper began participating in MCCP three years ago, taking on approximately 250 MCCP children, nearly all of whom are Spanish-speaking. With an office in the Franconia area of Fairfax County, Hopper says that many of the MCCP children he sees live in the Route 1 corridor and Falls Church. “These are kids who wouldn’t get coverage otherwise,” states Dr. Hopper. “Somebody has to take care of them.”
To serve their clients more effectively, Pediatric Associates has also hired more office staff members who are fluent in Spanish. Along with Hopper, one other pediatrician and one nurse practitioner in the group speak Spanish.
Dr. Hopper, a native of Connecticut, graduated from Georgetown Medical School. He is married and the father of two boys, ages 3 and 6.
Dr. Leslie Ellwood
Dr. Leslie Ellwood has been caring for MCCP children since joining Kaiser Permanente as a pediatrician in 1987. Currently working out of the Kaiser Fair Oaks office, Dr. Ellwood describes a very positive experience with MCCP, in large part due to the case management model. “Case managers are a real plus for MCCP,” says Ellwood, who finds MCCP patients are often more compliant because of this added assistance. “Case managers help patients navigate the system,” he says, meaning that doctors have fewer no-shows and patients have assistance with treatment plans. Other issues such as language and transportation can be readily addressed without taking up too much of the physician’s time. “MCCP takes care of it,” he says.
Personally and professionally, Dr. Ellwood says that MCCP fulfills his obligation to help those less fortunate. And, as MCCP families are often in transition, he is pleased when he sees some parents and children returning to Kaiser with their own employer-sponsored health insurance.