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Leadership Team

Dr. James D. Tollman, MD, CEO

Dr. Tollman is the Founder, President, and CEO of Essex Inpatient Physicians (EIP). He founded the group in 2007 with the goal of providing quality inpatient hospitalist medical care to the broader North Shore, Massachusetts community. In addition to our core competency in traditional acute inpatient hospitalist medicine, EIP has also provided inpatient care in Long Term Acute Care, Acute Rehab, Inpatient psych, and acute substance detox hospitals. Since 2012, Dr. Tollman and EIP have broadened our focus to include post-acute care. Our group now also provides medical coverage at 17 local SNFs in MA North Shore, Boston Metro North regions, southern New Hampshire, and coastal Maine.

Dr. Tollman has been an acute care hospitalist for 17 years. Prior to founding EIP, he was the founding hospitalist of the Lawrence General Hospital group and its first Medical Director. He then became the managing partner of Arbor Inpatient Physicians, a single specialty group which provided hospitalist coverage for six hospitals in MA and CT, covering 980 total beds with 28 physicians.

Prior to his work as a hospitalist, Dr. Tollman was a primary care physician with Lahey Clinic. He attended the Tufts University Family Practice Residency program and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate BA in biology from Carleton College in MN and served as an active-duty Infantry officer in the US Army for 5 years, and a physician in the MA Army National Guard for four years.

Sonia Mitchell, Director of Administrative Operations

Sonia has been with Essex Inpatient Physicians since its inception in 2007 with Dr. Tollman. She oversees the administrative staff and operations for the corporation. Sonia specializes in financial analysis and business operations.

Prior to joining Essex fifteen years ago, Sonia was an Assistant Vice President in Product Development at CitiStreet/State Street Global Advisors where she was responsible for internet product development initiatives across all market segments for both client and participant retirement plans. In addition, she served as Vice President of the Georgetown Education Foundation.

Sonia is seasoned in the healthcare industry as she started her career in Arlington, VA working for a start-up healthcare consulting group, Anderson Management. At Anderson she was part of the salesforce generating interest and bringing in new physician group members to their existing preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Sonia is well versed in working with providers across the healthcare continuum and negotiating payor contracts and membership dues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.


Patricia Smith, Director of Clinical Operations

Trish joined the Essex Inpatient Physicians team in 2021 and oversees the clinical operations of the organization.  She is responsible for facilitating collaboration with contracted healthcare facilities and supporting the practice’s Clinical Operations Managers to ensure a synergistic working environment among physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners within those contracted facilities.  She also works in partnership with the Director of Administrative Operations to bridge the relationship between clinical and administrative staff.

Trish began her career journey with an eleven-year active duty enlistment in the US Air Force, after which she transitioned to working in higher education in order to help military-affiliated students navigate traditional and online learning environments and guide students through accessing and maximizing military education benefits.

Prior to her tenure at Essex, Trish implemented and managed a mental health access-to-care program in order to mitigate barriers for individuals and families in need of mental health care, resources, and community support in the New Hampshire Seacoast area.  She holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management.