Charulata Ramaprasad, MD
COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE
“Our pandemic response in KP Northern California is the result of a tremendous group of physicians and staff coming together with a sense of common purpose. It’s been an honor to witness their resilience, bravery, and strength.”
Just a few months into her tenure as chair of infectious diseases in The Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Ramaprasad faced what would become the greatest public health challenge of the past century: the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Exceptional times like these reveal our deepest capabilities and capacities, and Dr. Ramaprasad has risen to meet the moment with compassion, integrity, and visionary leadership at every turn,” says Ravi Waldron, MD, infectious disease physician at Kaiser Permanente San Jose.
As soon as reports of a novel coronavirus emerged from Wuhan, China, in December 2019, Dr. Ramaprasad worked with other physician leaders and experts and spent countless hours to ensure KP facilities were prepared to safely recognize and treat patients with COVID-19.
Within days of California’s first community cases, she organized a COVID triage call line to answer questions about COVID testing and adapt to constantly evolving guidelines. She collaborated with KP drive-through testing centers and helped create teams to deliver test results, provide clinical guidance, and ensure outpatients were appropriately isolated and quarantined.
Hearing the voices of physicians across the organization and spreading best practices was critical to success. She worked with colleagues in emergency management and other specialties to collate, distill, and decipher evidence from studies on COVID-19 to create dozens of algorithms and care pathways for COVID patients, and adapted recommendations as new data emerged.
But she didn’t stop there. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Ramaprasad has partnered with fellow physician leaders to conduct hundreds of educational town halls, webcasts, case conferences, and open forums for physicians from every medical specialty. She recognized that with a new disease, medical practice could not remain the same, and provided leadership and direction every step of the way.
“Dr. Ramaprasad’s contributions have touched the lives of thousands of physicians, and in doing so, tens of thousands of patients and the community at large,” says Efren Rosas, MD, physician-in-chief at KP San Jose. “What she’s been able to accomplish is nothing short of extraordinary.”