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Staff profile: Dr. Sarfraz Khan

Aug 27

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Saturday, August 27, 2011  RssIcon

In a 22-year medical career, Dr. Sarfraz Khan has been a trauma physician in emergency rooms, a primary care doctor and a psychiatrist. He now directs medical care at Meridian Services, including both psychiatric and physical care.

The combination of services provided through the Meridian MD program have made a huge impact on the overall health of patients, Khan says.

The original reason behind the program was to ensure that mental health patients also had their physical health needs addressed. The Meridian staff knew that people with mental illnesses often neglect their other health issues and don’t always communicate well with primary care physicians. By putting both types of care under one roof, Meridian could lessen that problem.

But there was a surprise. “It turned out to be the other way around” as well, Khan said. People came for physical care and were more comfortable mentioning to the doctors, “I’ve been depressed” or “I have anxiety.”

Dr. Khan is also on a mission to get people to think of mental health issues as no more shameful than physical issues. “We are a few years away from taking the stigma of mental health,” he said, “but we have already gone a long way.”

The Fun Fair is part of that effort. People learn about the services available to them and know “if they need help, we are there.”

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