The 2017 Celebrating Senior Champions
dinner and auction is an annual event honoring those who improve the lives of seniors in western Pennsylvania, champion senior causes and help make the region a model for healthy aging.
• Grand Champion: Arthur S. Levine, M.D.,
senior vice chancellor for the Schools of the Health Sciences, dean of the School of Medicine and professor of medicine and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. As an early advocate of the UPMC Aging Institute, Levine helped recruit all leadership and directors for the institute, and helped Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences incorporate aging studies into their curriculum and research. He is a strong champion for fundamental research into aging processes at the cellular and subcellular level, enabling scientists to come closer to both preventing and lessening diseases associated with aging, such as dementia and cancer. Prior to his appointment at Pitt, Levine served at the National Institutes of Health for more than three decades.
• Community Champion: Jewish Healthcare Foundation
(JHF), led by Karen Wolk Feinstein, Ph.D.,
president and CEO. The JHF strives to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all seniors by leading various quality improvement coaching and training programs for frontline workers who serve older adults. These efforts include the RAVEN initiative, which aims to reduce avoidable hospitalizations among long-stay nursing home residents in Pennsylvania. JHF serves as the lead education partner for the initiative, which is guided overall by UPMC. JHF’s mission to improve end-of-life care has resulted in national programming, recognition and consultation, as well as important local conversations. Through its Senior Connections initiative, JHF works to maximize older adults’ independence and safety by strengthening services related to transportation and housing, exercise and recreation, geriatric‐friendly health care, nutrition and caregiver support.
• Caregiver Champion: Eric G. Rodriguez, M.D.,
medical director of UPMC Living at Home/Staying At Home. Rodriguez provides medical direction for programs which support seniors in their desire to age in place. He is a geriatrics medical consultant at the UPMC Senior Care-Benedum Geriatric Center
and medical director of care management at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside hospitals. His research focuses on Alzheimer's disease in older adults, and his primary expertise is in the care of patients with complex health issues, especially those suffering from dementia. He is a strong advocate for patients, families and the entire multidisciplinary care team, ensuring that patients are managed safely and efficiently across the continuum of care.
• Rick Sebak, WQED Multimedia, will emcee the event.
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017; 5:30 p.m., cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and auction; 7 p.m., dinner.