By Shawn Dhanak
As a child, Dr. Sue Chung remembers her mother working the graveyard shift as a nurse in order to support the family. At times, her mother would undergo the 12-hour shift five days per week to help make ends meet.
As grueling as it was, her mother never complained about work but instead would come home “fulfilled enough to share stories about her patients and feel satisfaction with the connection,” Dr. Chung recalls. “That was very motivating for me.”
Early on in her life, Dr. Chung knew she wanted pursue a similar career, something to do with direct patient care like her mother. She attended medical school at UCLA and ultimately became a rheumatologist.
She eventually landed at Facey Medical Group, a team of over 160 physicians with deep roots in the San Fernando Valley that go back some 90 years. It has been a great fit for both Dr. Chung and Facey Medical Group.
For Dr. Chung, she found a health care provider that fosters an experience much like her mother’s was. More specifically, Facey provides care in a way that Dr. Chung truly values: full-scope, coordinated care for individuals and families in a community-based setting that’s close to home.
Particularly for seniors, who make up a bulk of Dr. Chung’s patients, “it’s important to access care close to home and access that care easily. And no matter what their needs, we address that with them as a team,” she says.
In return, Facey Medical Group found a tireless patient advocate in Dr. Chung. In addition to being a full-time rheumatologist, as she has been for the last six years since joining the group, Dr. Chung has taken on new leadership roles within the organization. As Vice Chair of Medicine, she says she focuses on “creating a care team, even beyond Facey, that’s providing patients with a lot more care points.”
She also has risen to lead her peers as Chief of Rheumatology, in which she guides staff and connects with her counterparts around the country. “We try to bring together our experiences and learn from each other. It’s about wielding the expertise of everyone,” she says.
Facey Medical Group boasts a roster of nearly 70 subspecialists and at least as many primary care physicians among its 10 offices in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Simi Valleys. And if there is a specialist that Facey doesn’t have on staff, Dr. Chung says, “We like to promote specialists and physicians in the community itself. We partner with them, we contract with them, we hold hands with them and our patients are able to get care close to home.”
Asked what she’s most excited about going forward with Facey, Dr. Chung exclaims, “I’ve started working with key people to expand orthopedic sports medicine and rheumatology. Together, we’re really promoting healthy joint care, before damage happens.” She adds that she is also “trying to pull together key specialists to provide patients with a bundle of quality care that isn’t isolated. Seeing, listening and talking to one another is critical to providing our patients with better care.”
Facey Medical Group is located at 191 S Buena Vista St. in Burbank. Visit them online at Facey.com/burbank or call (818) 869-7600.