Donald Saelinger MD

About Dr. Saelinger

Dr. Donald Saelinger is a physician group consultant and board certified Gastroenterologist. .  His goal is to help physician groups become high quality provider organizations with excellent clinical and financial performance, through improved governance, management and leadership. Additionally, he is also a practicing, gastroenterologist. 


Dr Saelinger started Patient First Physicians Group (PFPG) in 1975 as an Internist and Gastroenterologist in Northern Kentucky, currently a community with a population of 500,000 residents in the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan service area. He founded and lead the physician group (PFPG) for 37 years. He expanded the group to 80 physicians working in 16 sites in Northern Kentucky. Additionally, the group owned an imaging center with X-ray, CT and MRI capability, a Diabetes and Endocrinology center, a full service laboratory, physical therapy facilities, a sleep lab, and a large surgicenter. PFPG was the largest independent, multi-specialty physician group in the Cincinnati metropolitan service area until it was  sold to St Elizabeth Healthcare in 2009. Dr Saelinger subsequently retired from the organization in Jan of 2010. PFPG and its survivor, St. Elizabeth Physicians  was the highest performing medical group in the region from a quality perspective as reflected by 3 of the 4 major health plans in the market. Additionally it was a financially successful organization. PFPG joined with St. Elizabeth in 2009 to form the basis for an integrated delivery system in Northern Kentucky, called St Elizabeth Healthcare.

After leaving St Elizabeth Healthcare and St Elizabeth Physicians (successor organization to Patient First Physicians Group) , Dr Saelinger has been involved in various consulting roles for Healthcare business and policy. He has also been involved with various locum tenens positions in Gastroenterology. He recently retired as Gastroenterology section chief and medical subspecialty division chief at Straub Medical Center and Hawaii Pacific Health in Honolulu Hawaii and has returned to locum tenens roles in Gastroenterology and healthcare business consulting.


1960 – 1964    Covington Latin School, Covington, Kentucky.

1964 – 1967    Thomas More College, Covington Ky.Bachelor Arts, Biology

1967 – 1969    University of Cincinnati, Master Science, Microbiology

1969 – 1973    University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky MD, With     Highest Honors  Ranked first in Class of 91

1979    Xavier University, Business Administration 


1974 National Board of Medical Examiners

1977 American Board of Internal Medicine (certified for life) Meets MOC

2016 American Board of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology

Medical Licensure

1. Ohio

2. Kentucky

3. Indiana (locum tenens)

4. Hawaii 

5. Penn   (locum tenens)

6. Maine (Locum tenens) 

Honors and Awards

1968    NDEA Fellowship Microbiology

1969    Sigma Xi Honor Society

1971    Mosby Award, outstanding performance, Science

1971    Hoffman La Roche Award

1972     Alpha Omega Alpha  Honor Medical Society

1973    Phi Kappa Phi Honor Medical Society

1973    Deans Award, highest academic performance Class 1973, 

University of Louisville ShoolofMedicine  Ranked first in class of 91.

1974    Upjohn “Intern of the Year” Award  University of Cincinnati Hospital

1997    Outstanding Community Leadership Award, St Luke Hospital Board      of Directors

2002    Cincinnati Business Courier “Healthcare Heros Award”

2004    Consumers Research Council… “America’s Top Physicians” Award

2007    Patient First Physicians Group: Distinguished leadership award.

2016  Top Doctor Award, Top Gastroenterologist in Hawaii

2017 Strode Award, Hawaii Pacific Health. Highest patient satisfaction score


1981 -1988  Medical Personal Pool, Board of Advisors

1983- 1989  American Heart Association, Board of Directors     Kentucky Affiliate Vice President Northern KY Chapter 1985

1983- 1995  Carmel Manor Nursing Home, Board of Directors

1983 -1987  Covington Latin School, Board of Directors

1980 -1996  St Charles Nursing Home, Medical Advisory Board, Board Chairman 1989

1988- 1997  Northern Kentucky District Health Board, Chairman of Board, 1994-1995

1986 -2006  St Luke Hospital Board of Trustees

1995 -2002  Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

1990 -1998  Choice Care, Board of Directors (Health Plan)

 Vice Chairman of Board 1994 – 1999

 Chairman of Board 1999

 Chairman Medical Committee of Board 1993 – 1999

1989 -1990  Northern Kentucky Committee for Uncompensated Care Board

1988 -1989  University of Cinti Health Plan Board of Directors.

1993 –2010 Citizens Bank of Campbell County, Board of Directors

1990 – present Funded the “Saelinger Family” scholarship fund, Thomas More College. 

2006 – 2011 Quality Measurement and Improvement committee of the Kentucky Medical Association.

2005 – 2016. Claims and Underwriting Committee, Pronational Insurance Corporation

2007 – 2010 Farmers Capital Bank Corporation (NASDAQ: FFKT) Board of Directors

2007 – 2012 Greater Cincinnati Airport Board of Directors

2006 – 2011 Kentucky e-health IT adoption committee 

2006 – 2013 DMAT  team Northern Kentucky

2005 – 2013 Northern Ky. Medical Reserve Corp. (MRC)

2000- 2009  Northern Ky Chamber: Health Policy Committee

2008- 2010  Northern Ky vision 2015: health care committee. 

1990 - 2010  Served on several Federal Health care advisory groups (health care advisory  group for US Senate Finance Committee and physician advisory board to HHS) during both the Bush and Clinton administrations.


1968 - 1969 National Institute of Health Grant: To study the biosynthesis of

Nucleic acid in tissue cultured cells.

1979 - 1980 G. D. Searle Company, A double blind comparison of   Metamucil and placebo in the treatment of patients with

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Professional Organization

1. Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

2. American College of Physicians

3. American Medical Association

4. American Society for Internal Medicine`

5. Southwest Ohio Gastroenterology Society

6. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

7. American Gastroenterology Association

8. Northern Kentucky Medical Society President of medical society 1986

9. Southern Medical Association

10. National Association of Managed Care Physicians

11. American College of Physician Executives

12. Crohns and Colitis Foundation

13. Cincinnati Academy of Medicine

14. Hawaii Gastroenterology Society 

Hospital Staff Appointment

University of Cincinnati Medical Center Hospital, (1977 to 1990)

St Luke Hospital(East and West) (St Luke now part of St Elizabeth 2009)

Senior attending staff

President Medical Staff 1983

Chief of Medicine, 1982 and 1988

Chief Gastroenterology Lab. 1979 to April 2010

Board of Trustees, St Luke, 1986 to 2006

St Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood Kentucky (1974 to 2011)

Senior Attending Staff

Chief Medicine, 1984 and 1985

Sr. Vice President Medical Center (2006 to 2010)

Indiana University Health Arnett  (2010)

Susquehnna Health Systems, Williamsport Penn (locum tenens 2011)

St Joseph Hospital, Maine, 2012

Hawaii Pacific Health, Straub Medical Center (2012 to 2018) 

Chief Gastroenterology Section

Chairman Medical Subspecialty Division


1. Saelinger, Donald A., 1969, Masters Thesis.  Control Of Aspartic

Transcarbamylase in normal and in Infectious Bovine Rhinotrachiiti Virus

infected Cells: Department of Microbiology, University of Cincinnati College of  Medicine

2.  Saelinger, Donald A., Hoffman, Jerald L.: Biosynthesis of selenobases  in transfer RNA by   Escherichia coli: J. Mol. Biol. 69:9-17, 1972.

3. Saelinger, Donald A., Raff, Martin J.: Meningitis presenting as an acute abdomen. Southern Medical Journal. 66: 1147 -1148, 1973.

4  Brady, M.E., Ritschel, W.A., Saelinger, D.A., Patterson, A.J.: Animal model and pharmacokinetic interpretation  of nicotine poisoning in man. Inter. J Clin. Pharm. Biopharm  17:12 -17,1982

5. Saelinger D.A., Discoy H.P., Haloperidol induced chronic cholestatic liver disease. Gastroenterology. 83;694, 1982

6.  Multiple articles, papers, lectures relating to Healthcare Industry: healthcare business and Gastroenterology clinical topics including physician group governance, health care delivery and healthcare financing.