CenCal Health nominated pediatric specialist for his decades of service on Central Coast
SANTA BARBARA, Calif – August 14, 2020 – Dr. Himat Tank, pediatric physician in Santa Maria, is being recognized as a Champion in Health Care. This week, Pacific Coast Business Times published its annual list of front line medical workers, first responders, and volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to providing quality care. Nominated by local Medi-Cal managed care plan CenCal Health, Tank is honored in the Treating the Underserved category, as he has been the doctor of choice for parents of many CenCal Health members since the agency was founded in 1983.
Today, Tank continues to uphold the same medical philosophy of more than 40 years – strive to provide patients with the best medical care possible. The rigorous safety measures that he has implemented in his practice during the COVID-19 pandemic are one example of such dedication. Tank and his staff are practicing curbside check-ins, triaging patients and parents for COVID-19 symptoms, methodically cleaning offices and exam rooms, and providing face coverings to patients if needed during appointments, among other protocols.
“Providing high-quality health care to our low-income residents requires commitment and dedication that is illustrated by every office visit, diagnosis, prescription and follow-up for every patient,” said CenCal Health CEO Bob Freeman. “Dr. Tank has been providing that level of service to CenCal Health members for decades. It’s been said that no one gets rich from Medi-Cal reimbursement. Providers like Dr. Tank are doing this important work because they really care about their individual patients and their community.”
This year’s Champions in Health Care issue pays special tribute to professionals who have notably exercised their knowledge and skills during this time of global crisis. Along with Tank, Pacific Coast Business Times recognized nine other professionals including David Kerr, Sansum Research Institute for his COVID-19 research; Lynn Jeffers and Kevin Ferguson, Dignity Health Central Coast for COVID 19 testing and treatment; and Marjorie Newman, Sansum Clinic in the Medicine category.
In addition to his latest recognition, Tank has received numerous awards in the past. Among these is the Primary Care Providers (PCP) Incentive Top Performer Award, which CenCal Health presented in 2018. The health plan consistently monitors provider performance through monthly reports to ensure that providers like Tank continue to offer quality services and in turn manage costs. The data included in these reports is not only valuable to CenCal Health, but also considered a key resource for practices looking to improve their quality of care.
Tank has been practicing in Santa Maria since moving from New York City in 1981. Born in India, his first career choice was to be a teacher like his father. Nonetheless, he reconsidered and enrolled in medical school instead. Tank completed his pediatric residency at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in 1979.
About CenCal Health
CenCal Health is a community-accountable health plan that partners with over 1,500 local physicians, hospitals and other providers in delivering patient care to more than 180,000 members – about one in four residents of Santa Barbara County and one in five residents of San Luis Obispo County. A public agency, the health plan contributes approximately $50 million a month into the local economy, primarily through payments to healthcare providers who serve its membership. Established in 1983, it is the oldest managed care Medicaid plan of its kind in the nation.