Dawn Harbatkin Named Executive Director of Lyon-Martin Health Services

Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Historic Community Clinic Continues to Rebuild

SAN FRANCISCO — May 8, 2012 ­­— In a unanimous vote at their May meeting, the Board of Directors of Lyon-Martin Health Services named Dawn Harbatkin, MD, as the incoming Executive Director. Harbatkin has been performing dual roles, as both the Medical Director and the Interim Executive Director, since July 2011.

Marj Plumb, President of Lyon-Martin’s Board of Directors, said, “We are thrilled to announce Dawn as the Executive Director. She has shown great leadership in her time at the clinic, and the Board has confidence that she can continue to lead Lyon-Martin during this time of transformation.” Harbatkin’s demonstrated commitment to the clinic’s mission and patients as well as her exemplary performance prompted the board to forego an extensive Executive Director search. “In the best interest of the clinic, we are certain that the most prudent use of resources is to formalize Dawn’s role as Executive Director, a role she has proven she is capable of excelling in, and forge ahead with our search for a new Medical Director,” said Plumb.

Harbatkin joined Lyon-Martin as Medical Director in January 2006, and has since been an influential voice for innovation and the provision of comprehensive, quality health care. During her tenure as Medical Director, Harbatkin helped Lyon-Martin become the first community clinic in the city to make same-day appointments available to existing patients; implemented disease registries that improved care for diabetes and depression; increased patient follow-through on breast cancer screening and diagnostic referrals; and helped spearhead new programs such as integrated behavioral health. Harbatkin also transformed ad hoc care for transgender patients into a formal transgender primary care program. In 2008, she partnered with theTransgenderLawCenterto launch Project HEALTH (Harnessing Education, Advocacy and Leadership for Transgender Health), an ongoing initiative to train other clinics and providers in trans care and promote trans health advocacy.

John Gressman, President and CEO of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, said, “Lyon-Martin needs strong leadership right now, and Dawn is the best choice. When the clinic was threatened with closure last year, Dawn worked quickly and decisively to ensure that patient care was not negatively affected. We look forward to a continued partnership with her and Lyon-Martin.” Lyon-Martin is a partner clinic of the Community Clinic Consortium, which works to increase access to community-based primary care for all San Franciscans, targeting the uninsured and underserved. 

“I am genuinely honored to be given this opportunity,” said Harbatkin. “While Lyon-Martin is a model clinic, it’s also more than that. It’s a place where people feel safe and welcome; it’s a symbol of hope for some of the most vulnerable in our community. San Francisco would not be the same without it. Much work remains to be done, and I am extremely grateful to be supported by a talented staff, passionate volunteers, and an extraordinary board.”

Before joining Lyon-Martin, Harbatkin was the Medical Director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and was a member of the Coalition of LGBT Health Concerns. Harbatkin received her undergraduate degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Most recently she completed a two-year healthcare leadership fellowship sponsored by the California Health Care Foundation.

Recently, Lyon-Martin announced the search for a new Medical Director. Harbatkin will continue to act as both Executive and Medical Director until a new Medical Director is named.