Congratulations To Our 2021 Benchmark Director Spotlight of the Quarter!Our BH Director Spotlight of the Quarter is Ako Walther, MD!
Med School: Dokkyo Medical University – MD
Residency: Tokyo Teishin Hospital – General surgery residency
Residency: Highland Hospital Oakland – Internal medicine residency
Dr. Ako Walther was born and raised in Akita, Japan, where she obtained her Japanese medical license in 1999. Today, Dr. Walther serves as the Director of Hospital Medicine at Sonoma Valley Hospital.
As a child of two orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Walther says she grew up in a unique environment: “One day, my father called me to the OR where he was performing a Below Knee Amputation of a diabetic patient's foot. After the BKA, he handed me a heavy plastic bag. I opened the bag to discover the amputated foot. Far from revulsion, I was immediately fascinated by its weight and realization that the human body functions from so many parts working in concert. On that day, I decided to become a doctor.”
March 2020 ushered in a challenging period for us all, Dr. Walther says. “I am so proud and appreciative of how Benchmark and SVH came together to pivot quickly to address the coming surge in COVID-19 cases. Through the crucible of COVID-19, BH and SVH have cemented a deeper relationship that is laser-focused on providing the highest quality patient care possible.”
Dr. Walther’s team has focused on implementing systematic inpatient Advanced Care Plan consultation and documentation. “Through BH's leadership and the hard work of the extended SVH team, our inpatient service now exceeds a 90% ACP compliance rate,” she says.
Dr. Walther has been using her spare time to focus on educating the Japanese society about COVID-19. She started by collaborating with a group of Japanese doctors to create a Japanese language YouTube channel. Since March 2020, Dr. Walther has appeared regularly on Japanese network news programs. “I’m humbled by the positive feedback."
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