The Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society Western Division (PAGS-WD) is pleased to announce the 2017 Geriatrics Teacher of the Year Award recipients Debra K. Weiner, MD, FACP (Physician Awardee); Pamela E. Toto, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA (Healthcare Professional Award) and, for 2017, the Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Vincent Balestrino, MD.
The Geriatrics Teacher of the Year award is presented to two outstanding teachers for their dedication and commitment to geriatrics education and exemplify geriatrics teaching excellence.
The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes and honors a physician who has made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in geriatrics education, with the utmost dedication, commitment and teaching excellence spanning their professional career.
Debra K. Weiner, MD, FACP, is the 2017 Geriatrics Teacher of the Year Award recipient, which recognizes a physician who has made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in geriatrics and to the progress of geriatrics education across the health professions.
Dr. Weiner brings a highly developed, quintessentially geriatric approach to care through all of her educational efforts. She is involved in precepting, lecturing and curriculum design in many settings. She has coached, mentored and taught patients, caregivers and health professionals in a multitude of disciplines.
Dr. Weiner has developed case studies and questions for modules for the American Board of Internal Medicine and lectures extensively at many local, national and international forums. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications throughout her career, including a recent twelve-part series on chronic low back pain in the respected journal, Pain Medicine, that was developed in collaboration with approximately 40 colleagues across the country.
Dr. Weiner currently serves as program director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Training Program, and professor, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is on staff at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and serves on many of its committees.
Pamela E. Toto, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, is the 2017 recipient of the Healthcare Professional Geriatrics Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes a healthcare professional who has made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in geriatrics and to the progress of geriatrics education across the health professions.
Dr. Toto is a nationally recognized educator, practitioner and leader in geriatric occupational therapy. Throughout her career, she has taught and interacted with countless students, practitioners, healthcare professionals, and consumers with the goal of promoting and advancing evidence-based strategies to promote health and wellbeing in older adults.
Dr. Toto has presented numerous national and regional peer-reviewed presentations on geriatric topics ranging from best practice physical activity strategies for older adults to client-centered goal setting for older adult well-being.
Dr. Toto was one of the first occupational therapist in the United States to become board certified in gerontology by the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2000.
She has served as assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh since 2011 and has been the program director for the Clinical Science Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program since 2015. Dr. Toto is also a geriatric clinical consultant, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services in McKeesport.
Vincent Balestrino, MD, is the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, which recognizes and honors a physician who has made significant contributions to the education and training of learners in geriatrics education, with the utmost dedication, commitment and teaching excellence spanning their professional career.
Dr. Balestrino has made significant contributions to the growth of geriatrics education in the Pittsburgh region and has inspired numerous learners to be passionate about the specialty.
He has been a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine since 1997 and served as the director of the Geriatric Fellowship program at UPMC St. Margaret from 2004 to June 2012; a role that he recently resumed on an interim basis after the departure of the fellowship director. Dr. Balestrino currently serves as associate director of the Family Practice Residency program at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital.
Dr. Balestrino is director, Geriatric Services, UPMC St. Margaret. His experience and leadership also extend to long-term care and palliative care and his particular areas of interest include end of life care and wound care. In April 2015, he took on a new role as senior medical director at Presbyterian SeniorCare.
Each will be recognized at an award presentation to take place prior to the dinner symposium held in conjunction with the 2017 Clinical Update in Geriatric Medicine conference. The dinner symposium will be held April 6 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. Awardees will be honored with a plaque and receive complimentary membership in the society for one year.