Share your name, position, and CHC: My name is Matt Hogge, and my full title is devoted father, loving husband, doctor of nursing practice and the medical director of the La Clinica Wellness Center.

Matt Hogge is a devoted father, loving husband, doctor of nursing practice and the medical director of the La Clinica Wellness Center. He’s also a 2019-20 OPCA Annual Award Winner.

What does this award mean to you? Being recognized for my innovation, leadership and creativity is both humbling and surreal. Every day I get to use my creative outlets to help people improve their lives, I love what I do, and I have a received an award for my efforts.  That’s a trifecta of winning in my book.

Why do you think your work earned an Annual Award of Excellence? I work really hard and love to dream big. Only a fraction of my dreams actually make it to fruition, but when I am passionate about something I put my heart and soul into making my dreams becoming a reality. I believe that primary care can be improved and constantly question our hegemonic beliefs of what primary care should look like.

What are the important things people should know about your work? From Day One at La Clinica, I was taught that we always put our patients first. I have kept that in the back of my mind with every program and decision I have made throughout the years, and I truly believe that is what has helped me to succeed.

How does the work you do impact your community? While I love teaching classes on cooking, nutrition, exercise, and substance abuse, I believe that the most important asset my patients walk away with from any class is a sense of community. At the Wellness Center, we have an ongoing joke that we are not treating hypertension, diabetes, or obesity, we treat loneliness. People will retain some of what they learn week after week, but the friendships that are built, and the sense of community that people feel when regularly gathering is inspiring.

How has your work changed since COVID-19? How do you think it will change going forward? I am a grass is greener type of guy, and I embrace change. COVID has posed many challenges, but I also feel it has opened opportunities. I have started teaching my cooking class Prescription Kitchen from my house and involving my family to help me make the recipes. I have also been able to host buprenorphine groups virtually, and patients are excited about the opportunity to continue to meet with their peers even if it is virtually. Going forward I believe that the opportunity for more groups and classes will present itself. I think some people really like the virtual filter, and the ability to engage, while maintaining some autonomy.

Anyone you want to thank for your award? There are many people that deserve to be mentioned in the thank-you section of this award, but two people stand out. Justin Adams, La Clinica’s Chief Medical officer, has believed in me since Day One. He entrusted me with the reigns of his baby, the Wellness Center, and has been supportive of the development, programs, and direction I have chosen.  I can also confidently say that Jillian Robinette has been the single biggest catalyst to my achievements. As the better half of our Wellness Center dyad, her support, creativity, and tenacity to get things done has been the perfect compliment to my creative dreams.

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