PCP Spotlight: Dr. Clarissa Kripke helps people with disabilities live more independently

— at home and in the world

Longtime HPSM network provider Dr. Clarissa Kripke is a highly respected primary care physician (PCP) and Professor of Family Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). However, she spends much less time in a traditional primary care clinic than she does working with people in their homes and out in the community — including by attending major public events. Dr. Clarissa Kripke - captioned

For example, a recent National Public Radio (NPR) article described how Dr. Kripke brought one patient who has cerebral palsy to a World Wrestling Entertainment match at San Jose’s SAP Center arena. Sitting in his wheelchair, he cheered on the athletes along with 15,000 fellow sports fans. Dr. Kripke said this outing was important because “Health care is about helping people to participate fully in their lives, not just about curing disease.” 

As NPR journalist Dan Gorenstein wrote, this is part of how “Over the last two decades, in collaboration with partners like the advocacy organization, The Arc San Francisco and the Health Plan of San Mateo, a county-run health insurer, Kripke has gradually reshaped care for adults with complex disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.” The article also linked to HPSM’s Resources and Programs for People with Disabilities webpage, which describes how we partner with community organizations to provide programs for our members with disabilities.

NPR’s article was informed by a March 21st episode of “Tradeoffs,” the influential healthcare policy podcast. Senior reporter Leslie Walker called Dr. Kripke “one of the country’s leading innovators and experts on how to deliver high-quality primary care to people...with complex disabilities” like Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy. The half-hour episode explored how Dr. Kripke helps people with disabilities enjoy more independent, fulfilling lives and her vision for transforming the healthcare system to better serve their needs. 

We’re proud of the work that all our providers do, so we were thrilled that Dr. Kripke’s efforts got some well-deserved major media coverage. She’s an inspiring example of how our commitment to healthy is for everyone directly improves both our members’ lives and community. We’re honored to partner with such a caring, compassionate and pioneering physician.