Dr. Christopher Foltz Moving to Cedars-Sinai in L.A.
After five years of providing culturally competent care for patients at DAP Health, Dr. Christopher Foltz is joining the Infectious Disease Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Los Angeles. He will be remembered for opening the COVID Clinic and for inspiring many to thrive with HIV in the Coachella Valley.
At Cedars-Sinai, he will provide outpatient infectious disease care. He will also work part-time in the hospital seeing patients with complicated infectious diseases, specifically working with organ transplant patients. Additionally, he will teach Residents and Fellows in the Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease programs. This move is effective February 1.
Dr. Foltz spearheaded opening DAP Health’s COVID Clinic and COVID Hotline as soon as the pandemic emerged in March 2020. He inspired a team of healthcare professionals to join him as frontline responders at a time when little was known about how to protect oneself. He also managed validation testing for the antibody test, an important step in those days to establish reliability, as clinicians everywhere grappled with unproven testing products.
“I honestly feel like he made that clinic,” says Kimmie Miller, LVN and Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist at DAP Health. “He needed the rest of us, but he was the brains behind it.”
Created to alleviate overcrowding at area emergency rooms, the DAP Health COVID Clinic offered care and advice at a time when little was understood about the COVID virus; supplies were scarce, and fear ran high everywhere, even with DAP Health staff.
“He taught us a new way to think, and he made sure that we were as up to date as possible,” Kimmie says. “He made sure that we were trained properly and would do a daily rundown of what happened and how we could do it better the next day.”
As always, the proof was in the community feedback.
“The patients were so appreciative and attentive to what he was telling them,” She says. “We got many calls about how much they wanted to thank him for all his caring and dedication.”
Dr. Foltz believes the uniqueness of the Coachella Valley, known for its charity and sense of community, had a lot to do with the clinic’s success.
“The outpouring of help from the community was something I never expected,” he says. “From the donations to just every day “thanks” we received; it was very rewarding.”
Opening the COVID Clinic was in line with the Infectious Disease training he has devoted his life to. It also groomed him for this next chapter in an already impressive career.
“All the expertise I was able to provide during the early COVID period really gave me the thirst to diversify what type of medicine I am able to practice,” he says. “This new position will allow me to see more Infectious Disease patients, both in and out of the hospital.”
He wants his DAP Health patients to retain their focus on staying healthy in the time of COVID.
“Stay engaged in your health,” he says. “As always, you are your own best advocate.”
Dr. Foltz has a reputation for asking his patients questions and getting to know them, rather than just talking “at” them during care.
“A patient-clinician relationship is just that—a relationship,” he says. “It takes time to build the trust to allow someone into your life to manage your healthcare.”
“I always try to approach it with communication and understanding.”
That is exactly how it has been for Pete, an established patient of Dr. Foltz.
“He took the time to try and figure me out, and I could tell he actually cared,” says Pete. “He always took anything I said into account.”
This encouraged Pete to ask questions about his care, and together they would explore different approaches.
“This made me feel safe,” Pete says. “And it made me realize that I can really be healthy.”
For Dr. Foltz, this is part of his strategy for helping patients thrive.
“I strive to educate my patients with as much information as appropriate so they can ultimately make the best decisions in their own healthcare,” Dr. Foltz says. “I also try to do my best to provide a safe and respectful atmosphere where they feel listened to, and their concerns acknowledged.” “I hope to always remain part of the DAP Health family,” he says.
To read more about Dr. Foltz’s training in the Midwest and opening the COVID Clinic, visit: https://www.daphealth.org/greater-kansas-city-or-coachella-valley-dr-foltz-lives-to-heal-his-community/