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VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

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Suffoletto 2018 VAPHS Outstanding Physician

Dr. Jo-Anne Suffoletto

Dr. Jo-Anne Suffoletto, VA Pittsburgh’s 2018 Outstanding Physician, specializes in internal medicine with an area of interest in women’s health. She also oversees patient and staff education as the health care system’s associate chief of staff for education and innovative learning.

By Sheila Tunney
Monday, April 30, 2018

Dr. Jo-Anne Suffoletto is one of those rare VA physicians whose patient load has more women than men, an oddity in a health care system where men outnumber women nearly 20 to 1.

“My primary care panel is unique in that I see 75 percent women and 25 percent men, which is the exact opposite of most providers within VA,” Suffoletto said.

Suffoletto was recently named VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s 2018 Outstanding Physician. She shared the honor with Dr. Sandra Blakowski, who leads the system’s palliative care program.

Suffoletto’s self-described specialty, “internal medicine with an area of interest in women’s health,” obviously informs her caseload. The training behind that specialty, an internal medicine residency with a women’s health concentration at UPMC, is what first connected her with Veterans at VA Pittsburgh. 

“I love working with our Veterans here at VA Pittsburgh. I find our patients to be extraordinarily resilient and kind people. I am humbled by how appreciative they are for the care that they receive,” Suffoletto said. “And I love being a part of their health care community, especially when I see the way our Veterans care for each other in the hospital and in the outpatient clinics.”

Suffoletto’s affection for Veterans is clear, but she is also quick to credit VA physicians, providers and staff under her “care” as the associate chief of staff for education and innovative learning.

“The residents and fellows that come to VA Pittsburgh are top-notch trainees who expand valuable access to subspecialized care that our facility is able to provide to Veterans from our VISN – and beyond,” Suffoletto said. “VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is a large academic center with more than 200 academic affiliations.”

VA has 18 VISNs, or Veterans Integrated Service Networks. VA Pittsburgh is in VISN 4.

Suffoletto’s department reimburses UPMC about $7 million to $8 million annually for clinical care provided to Veterans by more than 1,500 residents and fellows, all of whom are under VA Pittsburgh clinical faculty supervision. Another $500,000 goes to continuing education for staff pursuing new skills or degrees. Her staff manages workforce and leadership development, patient education, simulation courses, local and regional training management system (TMS) support, along with operating a medical library at each hospital.

“I’m extremely proud of the quantity and quality of the work coming out of our education department,” Suffoletto said.

Suffoletto was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Boston College before completing medical school at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She is married with three children and enjoys family hikes, tennis, gardening and vermicomposting (that’s with worms, folks).


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