By Michele DeLuca
Niagara Gazette — The new medical director of Niagara Falls Memorial Primary Care Center, is working in a job she believes she was born to do.
Dr. Amarpreet Grewal Bath has always wanted to be a doctor. “I come from a medical family,” she said, noting that her father is a doctor of pain management, and her brother is also a doctor. “There’s really nothing else I wanted to do.”
Born in London, raised in California, Bath says she knew she wanted to go into family medicine after rotating through the different hospital departments when she did her residency. “I found I really connected well with the patients,” she said.
After working at the Cleveland Clinic and a U.S. military airbase in San Diego, she moved to the Niagara region after her marriage to NFMMC radiologist, Dr. Shelly Bath. The 2-year-old clinic she now heads, located in the offices on the top floors of the parking ramp, was one of four created by the hospital to meet the need for family care in the region.
“We created the clinics to accomodate the public health emergency that occurred when Dr. Metha’s office was closed,” explained hospital spokesperson Patrick Bradley, recalling the several thousand patients who were left without a medical provider when the former Falls physician, Pravin Mehta, was arrested and accused of being at the center of a massive illegal prescription drug distribution operation. The hospital has opened four family care offices since then, including the clinic at the 10th Street hospital.
“This is a medically underserved community,” Bradley said. “But, we’ve gone from zero primary care facilities to four.” The hospital has also opened family care facilities in Grand Island, Wheatfield and North Tonawanda.
The clinics provide those in the region the opportunity to build a relationship with a doctor, which helps patients to take care of small medical problems before they grow into larger problems and reduced expensive emergency room visits and hospital stays, according to the doctor.
“I think preventative care is absolutely paramount,” Bath said. “I like to encourage routine annual visits and preventative care such as mammograms, colonoscopies and annual blood work and vaccinations.”
Patients can have all their medical needs met at the clinic, from physical to psychological, including mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, the doctor said.
Bath is determined that patients who come to her clinic feel welcomed and listened to. “I want to make myself more available to these patients,” she said. “They can have all their health care needs met by a physician who really cares about them.
Contact Features Editor Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext. 2263.