by Johnny Smith Jr., MA, vice president of marketing services for Encompass Health

Dr. Lisa Charbonneau, Encompass Health’s chief medical officer, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives. The national publication highlights clinicians working in the healthcare industry who are deemed by their peers and an expert panel to be the most influential in terms of demonstrating leadership and impact.

Charbonneau is a true advocate for Encompass Health’s thought leadership strategy through speaking opportunities, social media engagements and serving on many national industry committees.

A cornerstone of Encompass Health’s leadership

As chief medical officer, Charbonneau oversees the medical operations for 136 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals across 39 states and Puerto Rico. She has worked to implement programs and training at Encompass Health that have reduced hospital readmissions through patient data trends, reduced opioid usage in favor of customized physical therapy programs, and improved quality standards.

Charbonneau has been affiliated with Encompass Health for 28 years. She was named chief medical officer of Encompass Health in June 2015, having previously served as the company’s vice president of medical services. From 2001 to early 2015, she was the medical director at New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland, a joint venture of Maine Medical Center and Encompass Health, where she held a staff physician role since 1992.

An advocate for patient and employee safety, especially during a global pandemic 

Charbonneau has been instrumental in developing Encompass Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing the enhanced infection control practices in Encompass Health rehabilitation hospitals based on the protocol she helped to establish long before the virus began impacting the world.

To create an infection control model specifically intended for rehabilitation hospitals, an interdisciplinary task force of Encompass Health clinicians, led partly by Dr. Charbonneau, developed a white paper. Through an evidence-based, setting-specific infection prevention and control model, the white paper provides guidelines for addressing infectious disease issues in our hospitals.

Additionally, Dr. Charbonneau has been a key player in implementing refresher training on use of personal protective equipment, proper hand washing hygiene and sterilization of equipment for use by patients and Encompass Health employees. At the time of publishing, strict visitor restrictions have been put in place, and all staff and visitors in our hospitals are screened for exposure, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the facility. These practices, along with Encompass Health’s enforcement of a universal masking policy, are the result of Charbonneau’s commitment to patient safety, employee health and improved processes in the inpatient rehabilitation field. 

A background in clinical excellence

Charbonneau received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master’s degree in natural sciences/epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She is board certified by both the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Osteopathic Board of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Her dedication to the rehabilitation industry and her commitment to making sure our patients get the best care extends beyond the walls of Encompass Health hospitals. She is the voice for our clinicians and patients through her involvement on several national committees, which include, but are not limited to, the American Hospital Association Physician Alliance, American Academy of PM&R NeuroRehabilitation Registry Subcommittee,  National Quality Forum’s Patient Safety Committee and The Joint Commission’s Chief Medical Officer Council.

She has made it her mission to challenge Encompass Health’s physicians, nurses, therapists and other clinicians to strive for improvement in all quality metrics. Her contributions to our Company cannot be understated. 

Congratulations, Dr. Charbonneau! 

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