Registration Now Open – Clinical Update in Geriatric Medicine – April 6-8, 2017


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The 25th annual Clinical Update in Geriatric Medicine conference, jointly provided by the PAGS-WD, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences will be held April 6-8, 2017 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, Pittsburgh, PA.



The fastest growing segment of the population comprises individuals above the age of 85 years. The purpose of the conference is to provide an evidence-based approach to help clinicians take exceptional care of these often-frail individuals. Designed by course directors Shuja Hassan, MD; Judith Black, MD; and Neil Resnick, MD, along with the PAGS-WD planning committee, this award-winning course is designed for family practitioners, internists, geriatricians, and other healthcare professionals who provide care to older adults.



William Applegate

William Applegate

Speakers are selected by a multidisciplinary committee of academic and practicing clinicians and based on two criteria: (1) expertise – nationally recognized and often responsible for advances relative to practice, and (2) ability – to share it in a practical, succinct, and entertaining way to facilitate its easy incorporation into a practice.

Conference highlights include:

• Evidence-based evaluation and treatment of multiple common clinical problems seen in the office, hospital and long-term care

• Symposium on neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s

• Symposium covering the latest updates for common cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension and acute MI in the elderly
• Multiple breakout sessions including: Prognostication in Chronic Disease, Decision Making Capacity, Billing Code Primer, Using Antipsychotics in Long Term Care and Foot Problems

The dinner symposium, “Past, Present and Future of Geriatrics” will be presented by William Applegate, former president of the American College of Physicians, dean and head of the health system at Wake Forest, editor of the Journal of the AGS (JAGS), and primary investigator for the seminal SHEP study of systolic hypertension and the landmark SPRING trial.

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PMDA – PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE: Making Sense of Chaos – 02/16/2017

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Western PA PMDA Regional Meeting

Cumberland Woods Conference Center
UPMC Passavant Hospital Campus
700 Cumberland Woods Drive
Allison Park, PA 15101

Speaker via WebEx webinar

Karl Steinberg MD, CMD, HMDC

President and CEO
Stone Mountain Medical Associates, Inc.
Oceanside, CA

Dr. Karl Steinberg is a long-term care geriatrician and board-certified family physician with a subspecialty certification in hospice and palliative medicine and is medical director of three nursing homes and a hospice. He is chair of the AMDA Public Policy Committee and also the editor-in-chief of AMDA’s monthly periodical, Caring for the Ages, in addition to its online version (caringfortheages.com). Dr. Steinberg is probably best known for taking his dogs with him on rounds in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and on hospice and palliative care home visits.

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Recap – 2016 Fall Program – Natural Evolution of Telemedicine for Care of the Elderly

L to R: Fred Rubin, MD, President; Jack Cahalane, PhD, MPH; Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD; Judith Black, MD, Secretary/Treasurer; Namita Ahuja, MD; Andrew Watson, MD, MLitt, FACS

L to R: Fred Rubin, MD, President; Jack Cahalane, PhD, MPH; Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD; Judith Black, MD, Secretary/Treasurer; Namita Ahuja, MD;
Andrew Watson, MD, MLitt, FACS


November 1, 2016
The University Club, Pittsburgh, PA

The Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society – Western Division hosted their annual fall program on November 1 at the University Club in Pittsburgh.

The society welcomed guest presenters Jack Cahalane, PhD, MPH, Chief, General Adult Service Line, Director, Telemedicine and Forensic Psychiatry Programs, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, UPMC Health System; Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Chief, Medical Informatics Officers, UPMC Community Provider Services; and Andrew Watson, MD, MLitt, FACS, Chief Medical Information Officer, International and Commercial Services; Medical Director, UPMC Telemedicine, Medical Director, Center for Connected Medicine.pagspanel

Namita Ahuja, MD, Senior Medical Director, Medicare and Geriatric programs, UPMC Health Plan, Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, served as moderator.

“’Natural Evolution of Telemedicine for Care of the Elderly” was presented to a robust audience of 77 healthcare professionals. The stellar panel presentation reviewed the background and evidence for telemedicine. Discussion included an overview of new applications in telemedicine and the value and role of telemedicine as an effective tool for physicians and healthcare systems in the care of elderly patients.

The annual fall program provides PAGS-WD members and guests the opportunity to network and attend a lecture encompassing relevant topics specific to geriatrics and the older population.

The Society appreciates the support from the following that
provided sponsorship for the meeting



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Heather Sakely, PharmD, BCPS selected to participate in Practice Change Leaders program

Members in the News

sakely-heather-pharmd-bcps-st-margarets-02-03-2015_pp-002Heather Sakely, PharmD, BCPS, Director, Geriatric Pharmacotherapy and Director, PGY2 Geriatric Pharmacy Residency, was selected to participate in the fourth cohort of the Practice Change Leaders program.

The Practice Change Leaders program is proud to announce the selection of the 2016 class.

This class of Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health were selected from professionals who responded to a highly competitive nationwide call for applications. Ten Leaders were selected to participate in the prestigious program, aimed at building leadership capacity among professionals who have a leadership role in a health care delivery organization, health-related institution, or community-based organization with direct responsibility for care that impacts older adults. Through participation in the fourteen month Practice Change Leaders program, awardees receive $45,000 and the support of local and national Mentors to further develop their leadership skills and to complete a project aimed at implementing a new geriatric service line or aging program. Complementing their development as individual leaders, the Leaders will be joining a collegial network of dedicated professionals who share a commitment to improving health and health care outcomes in older adults.

As part of the PCL program, Heather Sakely has chosen to implement a program entitled PIVOTS-S: Pharmacist-led InterVentions On Transitions of Seniors – Scalability, A Skilled Nursing Facility Intensive Intervention For Hospital Readmission Reduction, which will demonstrate the role of the pharmacist within the interprofessional geriatric team, as both a direct patient care provider and change agent for improving care quality. The goals of this project are to create (1) local scalability of existing pharmacist-physician practices; (2) development of pharmacist-led institutional and health system level feedback loops, transparency, practice change and quality improvement around medication-related systems-based practice concerns and drug therapy problems, along with 7-day hospital readmission reduction from the skilled nursing facility (SNF); (3) regional and national scalability of our practice through creation of a working business plan. “Poor quality of care during transitions is a major public health problem and is often highlighted by numerous risk points for medication misadventures. Our program is critically responsive to this need and places pharmacists in direct patient care provider roles in the SNF, partnered in real-time with the interprofesional geriatric team, responsible for all medication therapy needs, and providing actionable and timely follow-up for the patient’s care.” said Dr. Sakely. “It is our vision to afford this enhanced interprofessional patient care delivery system to all older adults”.

The Practice Change Leaders program is made possible by the generous supported of the Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited life foundation, and the John A. Hartford Foundation. The program is under the direction of Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH. To learn more about the program, please visit www.changeleaders.org.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies
The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited life foundation that makes grants through its five program areas: Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, Reconciliation & Human Rights, and Founding Chairman. Atlantic is active in Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam. To learn more, please visit: www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.

About the John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation is a private philanthropy working to improve the health of older Americans. After three decades of championing research and education in geriatric medicine, nursing, and social work, today the Foundation pursues opportunities to put geriatrics expertise to work in all health care settings. This includes advancing practice change and innovation, supporting team-based care through interdisciplinary education of all health care providers, supporting policies and regulations that promote better care, and developing and disseminating new evidence-based models that deliver better, more cost-effective health care.

The Foundation was established by John A. Hartford. Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the Foundation upon their deaths in the 1950s. Additional information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.jhartfound.org.

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President’s Message – Fred Rubin, MD – October 2016

Fred Rubin, MD

Fred Rubin, MD

As President, I am pleased to report that our organization is strong, active, and hard at work. Thank you for your continued support. Your membership supports our award-winning programming for healthcare professionals in our region, sustains our philanthropic efforts in supporting medical students, residents, and fellows, and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in Geriatrics.

2016 has been a productive year. I hope you had the opportunity to attend one or all of the programs offered. The last program of the year (Fall Program) will take place November 1 at the University Club in Oakland. This year’s program includes a panel presentation featuring Jack Cahalane, PhD; Steven M. Handler, MD, PhD, CMD; and Andrew Watson, MD, MLitt, FACS, who will discuss new applications of Telemedicine for care of the elderly. The program promises to be outstanding. Mark your calendar and join us on November 1 as the evening is both educational and social, and is a perfect opportunity to network, socialize, and reconnect with colleagues, while benefiting from a quality presentation. This also is an opportune time to recruit a member by extending an invitation to attend the program and to join us in our professional efforts.

A recap of highlights from this year include:

  • The Clinical Update in Geriatric Medicine and International HELP conference: Both conferences yielded a robust attendance, and comments and evaluation scores were superlative. Both are premier educational events, held “in our own backyard,” providing outstanding and timely education to all geriatric healthcare professionals. The conference is designed by the PAGS-WD planning committee, which is made up of a consortium of your colleagues, including those from the community, academic, and payor sectors.
  • Controversies in Geriatrics Medicine Program – In its second year, the program has exceeded expectations and continues to attract a large audience. What sets this case-based presentation apart from other programs is the focus on audience participation through interactive discussion from panelists and audience members.
  • Geriatrics Teacher of the Year Award – Initiated in 2016, this award recognizes outstanding teachers for their dedication and commitment to geriatric education and who have made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in Geriatrics. The call for nominations will begin October 1, with the awards presentation to take place during the dinner symposium at the 2017 Clinical Update.
  •  David C. Martin Award – Named after Pittsburgh’s first full-time geriatrician, this award provides financial support for medical students and other trainees who have had scholarly work accepted for presentation at the national meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. A student may receive up to $1,500 for travel, registration, and hotel costs. Since its inception, the society has granted more than $79,000 to awardees.
  •  Resident and Fellow interest remains strong, with recruitment of 8 new Resident and Fellow members this year. This brings the total number of Resident and Fellow members to 30. The society waives membership dues for the length of training. We hope this initiative will be a pipeline to bring young physicians into our organization.
  • As a part of the Society, your commitment is a testament to our efforts and mission: to educate, communicate, and engage health care professionals in the provision of quality health care for all older persons. I look forward to seeing you November 1.
    Fred Rubin, MD
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