Hutcheson Announces New Hospitatlist Medicine Program

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hutcheson Medical Center announced the formation of its new hospitalist medicine program, led by Larry Rigsby, MD, FACP, FHM.  The program is comprised of six physicians who will provide round-the-clock medical care to hospitalized patients.

“These days, it is common for primary care physicians to focus primarily on their outpatient practices and not see patients in the hospital,” said Dr.

Rigsby, medical director for the program and Fellow of Society of Hospital Medicine.   “The goal of hospitalist medicine is to provide quality inpatient medical care while keeping the primary care physician involved with his or her hospitalized patient.  We view our hospitalist program as an extension of the physician’s practice in that we collaborate with the patient’s physician for the best possible medical care.”

Dr. Rigsby stated that communication with the patient’s primary physician is the cornerstone to Hutcheson’s hospitalist program. “We notify the primary care physician when a patient is admitted to the hospital from the Emergency Department.  We let them know we are treating their patient and gather as much information from the physician as possible, such as recent illnesses or medication changes.  And the physician is notified with a detailed accounting of the hospitalization once the patient is released.  Seamless communication between the hospitalists and the patient’s primary care physician eliminates any confusion, reduces medical errors, eliminates duplicate testing, and overall is in the best interest of the patient.”

“I am delighted to have Dr. Rigsby and our new hospitalist group here at Hutcheson,” said Roger Forgey, Hutcheson CEO and President.  “The ability for them to work hand-in-hand with our community physicians in the best interest of our patients is a key component to providing quality healthcare in the community.”

The new hospitalist team is comprised of Larry Rigsby, MD, FACP, FHM; Sylvanus Fiakapornoo, MD; Tricia Scheuneman, MD;  Seth Wagner, DO; and Sunny Onuigbo, MD.

Larry Rigsby, M.D., FACP, FHM completed his undergraduate and medical degree at University of Alabama in Birmingham and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Duke University.  He has worked in both private practice and as a hospitalist, most recently with Memorial Health System in Chattanooga prior to joining Hutcheson as the hospital’s Medical Director of Hospitalist Medicine.  Dr. Rigsby is a Fellow in the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Sylvanus Fiakapornoo, MD is a graduate of The University of Ghana Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Fiakapornoo has served as a hospitalist with St. Michael’s Hospital in Wisconsin and at Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, GA.

Tricia Scheuneman, MD is a graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency at Kaiser Permanente in California and received her undergraduate from Andrews University in Michigan.  Dr. Scheuneman has served as a hospitalist with ParkRidge Medical Center and most recently at Hamilton Medical Center. 


Seth Wagner, DO received his undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his medical degree from the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He completed both his internal medicine internship and residency at UTCOM, Chattanooga.

Sunny Onuigbo, MD received both his Bachelors of Science in Nursing and premedical certification from the University of Massachusetts.  He obtained his Doctorate in Internal Medicine at the Ross University of Medicine and completed his residency at Stanford Hospital/Columbia College of Medicine. 

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