2019 SCHA Awards
Outstanding Physician

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Keyvan Esmaeili Keyvan Esmaeili

Keyvan Esmaeili

Position: Medical Director

Organization: Hoag Hospital


List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Dr. Esmaeili is the Medical Director at the Fudge Family Acute Rehabilitation Center. He started his health care journey as an ER Tech, then a Registered Nurse and later a Board Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician. From 2002 -2018 he served as Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Institute at Palomar Health in San Diego county, CA. His decision to specialize in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation is a result of his medical rotation on a Spinal Cord Injury unit. Dr. Esmaeili grew up admiring Albert Schweitzer who was a missionary physician, humanitarian, theologian and Noble Peace Prize winner. One of Albert Schweitzer’s quotes reflects Dr. Esmaeili thinking: “Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
An important aspect of Dr. Esmaeili’s leadership is the understanding of the team, and supporting nursing, therapy, social work and support staff to achieve quality patient care. He understands the challenges and contributions of every discipline in a rehabilitation team. He works with staff members to influence and enhance their skills and knowledge, supporting them to work at their full potential. Dr. Esmaeili believes every patient has the potential to improve and move closer to functional and cognitive independence. Dr. Esmaeili believes in this concept so much that he lives through it each and every day. An example of this is a brain injury patient that he advocated to admit at Hoag because he believed in the ability of him and his team to make a positive impact and rehabilitate the patient to a higher quality of life. He is routinely involved in all aspects of care on his unit. Dedicating countless hours to orchestrating the rehabilitative process, assisting with long-term planning, and always looking to the future for ways to improve processes and patient outcomes. Unlike many other professionals, Dr. Esmaeili sees patients 7 days a week and is incredibly dedicated to the work of his team. Dr. Esmaeili is compassionate, dedicated, generous and a true advocate and hero to the patients that he serves.