At Your Service
Dr. Ashish Sitapara of Signature Medicine Center for Wellness & Healthy Living offers concierge medicine to patients seeking personalized medical care
by Leigh Stuart

Patient Michael Stumpf and his wife, Shurley, know firsthand the importance of having an attentive, knowledgeable and accessible health care provider. Michael first met Ashish Sitapara, M.D., in a completely non-medical capacity—through his work in the marketing industry. After just a few meetings, however, Michael knew Dr. Sitapara was the doctor for him.

Michael had had less than positive experience with doctors in the past. Shurley had a stroke several years ago, and Michael says their family doctor missed some major warning signs. They dismissed the family doctor after Shurley’s stroke, but this left Michael adrift, struggling to juggle a slew of new doctors and specialists.

“What I had gone through, with my wife, was about eight doctors of all types, three or four physical therapists, so I was coordinating 10 or 12 people,” Michael says.

Thankfully, this chaos ended when Michael began bringing his wife to Dr. Sitapara. The doctor works with a wide network of specialists in areas ranging from surgery to alternative therapies such as acupuncture. “One person became the hub of the wheel,” Michael explains. “I no longer had to coordinate everyone.”

Suffice to say, this took quite a load off Michael’s mind. Another service of Dr. Sitapara’s that eased the burden for Michael and Shurley was the “patient portal” technology that allows patients to remotely access their medical history. The program can be downloaded to a computer or a mobile phone and can be used to keep track of and manage patients’ office visits, test results and prescriptions. This way, when a patient is visiting a specialist outside of Dr. Sitapara’s office, all the patient needs to do is tap a few commands into their device of choice and have their medical history at their fingertips.

Michael, who is 66, notes that his wife, who just turned 75, lost her peripheral vision as a result of her stroke. Miraculously, however, Shurley’s vision returned under Dr. Sitapara’s care.

“Ashish believes that everyone should have a great quality of life,” Michael says, “and should do everything they can to ensure they’re taking good care of themselves.”

Dr. Sitapara, who completed a fellowship at Boston University and received his undergraduate degree from nearby La Salle University, didn’t always think he’d be a doctor; he initially pursued studies in electronic engineering. This all changed when he took over caretaking duties for his grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Experiencing a patient’s struggles through the eyes of his grandfather inspired him to utilize his talent for fixing things in another area: medicine. His time caring for his grandfather didn’t just spur Dr. Sitapara’s choice of career; it also had a great impact on the type of practice he wished to run.

“My grandfather would go to see his local doctor, the neurologist, and it was just kind of a big mess,” he recalls. “Basically I would take him to all his appointments, and we spent more time in the waiting room than with the doctor. I saw a massive, unmet need for [medical professionals] that could deal with complex patients.

“Concierge medicine is kind of ‘Old World,’” he continues. “For example, we don’t really have waiting rooms; we have greeting areas. This is because all of our appointments start on time.”

The doctor goes on to spend each 30- or 40-minute appointment with the patient, one on one, answering patients’ health questions and managing any medical issues they may have.

“I started this practice seven years ago, always realizing this is how I want to take care of people,” he says, explaining that patients who are members of his practice can access him 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through text, phone or e-mail. “If a patient sees a mole they think has changed, they can send a photo. Patients who get sick but have to catch a flight the next day have no problem getting in to see me. We do whatever needs to be done.”

Even if a patient is overseas, Dr. Sitapara is there to help. One such case arose with a patient who initially contacted Dr. Sitapara for a case of bronchitis. That patient travelled to Israel shortly after receiving treatment for this but fell ill again while abroad. The frightened patient hurried to a nearby emergency room where doctors suggested the patient might be suffering from a serious kidney issue. The patient wisely consulted Dr. Sitapara—at roughly 3 a.m. EST—and, knowing the patient’s history inside and out, the doctor advised his overseas counterparts that the symptoms the patient was exhibiting were nothing to panic about. The patient ended up avoiding an unnecessary overnight hospital stay and was able to conduct business and come back to the states without incident.

In conjunction with such personalized medical care is Dr. Sitapara’s specialized approach to how each patient in his practice can live their healthiest life. “As opposed to just applying a Band-Aid or giving a pill, we spend a lot of time on lifestyle counseling,” he says.

The doctor makes time to work with patients on matters of nutrition, healthy eating, organic cooking, healthy aging, reverse aging and more. He advises patients on means by which they can work to prevent diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. He even holds regular talks for patients that focus on healthy living topics.

“There is a whole lifestyle aspect, as opposed to just treating disease,” he says. As an added bonus, patients who follow Dr. Sitapara’s healthy living advice tend to lose 15 to 20 pounds of excess body weight.

“I have no doubt that if something came up, Ashish would be ruthless in getting to the bottom of it. He is always exploring how to best take care of patients,” Michael says. “He’s a great guy with a great sense of humor and, at the end of an appointment, he asks, ‘What else is on your mind?’ There’s a lot of comfort, and a lot of respect on both sides.”

Michael adds, “He truly is one of a kind.”

Signature Medicine Center for Wellness & Healthy Living
770 Newtown Yardley Road, Suite 220a
Newtown, PA 18940

* Signature Medicine works in conjunction with Signature Practice Management LLC, where the yearly fees pay for enhancements not covered by insurance.

Photograph by Allure West Studios