Health & Family

Leadership changes at Mecklenburg health care group

Dr. John Baker, center, is retiring as medical director of Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg. He’ll be succeeded by Dr. Janice Huff, right. At left is Dr. Karen Melendez, who will continue her role as a network psychiatrist.
Dr. John Baker, center, is retiring as medical director of Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg. He’ll be succeeded by Dr. Janice Huff, right. At left is Dr. Karen Melendez, who will continue her role as a network psychiatrist.

Dr. John Baker, who has served as medical director of Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg since its inception in 2002, has announced his retirement. He will be replaced by Dr. Janice Huff, who has served as assistant medical director since 2012.

The Mecklenburg agency is the local arm of Community Care of North Carolina, a statewide organization that has been touted as one of the nation’s best organizations for making sure Medicaid patients get the care they need in the best and least costly settings. The program employs nurses and social workers who check in with patients – and even visit them at home – after they leave the hospital to make sure patients have all their medicines and doctors’ appointments so they don’t end up in emergency rooms unnecessarily.

During Baker’s tenure, CCPGM has grown from seven employees, 26 physician practices and 21,000 patients to more than 100 employees, 200 practices and 175,000 patients.

Huff, a former president of the North Carolina Medical Board, is a faculty member of the family medicine residency program at Carolinas Medical Center and also practices at Novant Urgent Care.

Baker, who got his residency training at CMC (then Charlotte Memorial), subsequently started the hospital’s residency program in emergency medicine and became the first chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine in 1977.

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