Skip to main content

Eric Widera wins Cunniff-Dixon Foundation Award!

Congratulations to GeriPal co-founder Eric Widera for winning an early career Cunniff-Dixon Foundation Award for improving care of patients near the end of life!


Eric was recognized "for his humility, his commitment to his patients and their families, and his leadership in creating forums of communication on geriatric palliative care issues."  This award recognizes what we at GeriPal have known for some time - Eric is an extraordinary palliative medicine physician who leads by example.


“This year’s awardees represent the very best traditions of the humanism of medicine and the best in doctoring,” said selection committee member Richard Payne, MD, Esther Colliflower Director of the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life. 


Other awardees include:

  • Ann Allegre, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, director of medical programs at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care in Kansas City, Mo (Senior Physician Award)
  • Anthony Nicholas Galanos, MA, MD, medical director of the Duke University Hospital Palliative Care Service in Durham, N.C. (Mid-Career Physician Award)
  • Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, medical director of the Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care, and Integrative Medicine at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Early Career Award)
  • Savithri Nageswaran, MBBS, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (Early Career Award)


Eric received a check for $15,000 from the foundation as part of the award.  He has been spotted browsing in the local Apple store.

Well done Eric!
by: Alex Smith

Comments

Sara Knight said…
Congratulations, Eric! This is a wonderful acknowledgement of your dedication, creative work, and leadership in palliative care.
Way to go Eric! I think you totally deserve this award. Although I have not personally witnessed your clinical skills, I find that you demonstrate great advocacy for geriatrics and palliative care, humble intellectualism and a sensitive nature to the struggles of staff, patients and family in your writings.
Eric Widera said…
Thanks everyone. The award says much more about the amazing people that I work with than anything about my own personal qualities. We need an unsung hero award (I guess they wouldnt be unsung then - maybe call it a Previously Unsung Hero Award).

PS. MacBook Air rocks
Eric Widera said…
Thanks everyone. The award says much more about the amazing people that I work with than anything about my own personal qualities. We need an unsung hero award (I guess they wouldnt be unsung then - maybe call it a Previously Unsung Hero Award).

PS. MacBook Air rocks
Paula Span said…
Mazel tov, Dr. W.
dielaffing said…
Yay! One of the Greatest of the GoodCare Guys is getting much-deserved, long-overdue, well-earned recognition. Every time Eric opens his computer to blog, pearls fall out. We're so lucky they roll our way so we can string 'em together and learn how to give our geriatric patients the very best and respectful palliative care they deserve.

Congratulations, Dr. Widera! And thank you for all you do for all of us.
risaden said…
Wanted to add my voice to the congrats, well deserved!

Popular posts from this blog

The Dangers of Fleet Enemas

The dangers of oral sodium phosphate preparations are fairly well known in the medical community. In 2006 the FDA issued it’s first warning that patients taking oral sodium phosphate preparations are at risk for potential for acute kidney injury. Two years later, over-the-counter preparations of these drugs were voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturers.  Those agents still available by prescription were given black box warnings mainly due to acute phosphate nephropathy that can result in renal failure, especially in older adults. Despite all this talk of oral preparations, little was mentioned about a sodium phosphate preparation that is still available over-the-counter – the Fleet enema.

Why Oral Sodium Phosphate Preparations Are Dangerous 

Before we go into the risks of Fleet enemas, lets spend just a couple sentences on why oral sodium phosphate preparations carry significant risks. First, oral sodium phosphate preparations can cause significant fluid shifts within the colon …

Length of Stay in Nursing Homes at the End of Life

One out of every four of us will die while residing in a nursing home. For most of us, that stay in a nursing home will be brief, although this may depend upon social and demographic variables like our gender, net worth, and marital status. These are the conclusions of an important new study published in JAGS by Kelly and colleagues (many of whom are geripal contributors, including Alex Smith and Ken Covinsky).

The study authors used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to describe the lengths of stay of older adults who resided in nursing homes at the end of life. What they found was that out of the 8,433 study participants who died between 1992 and 2006, 27.3% of resided in a nursing home prior to their death. Most of these patients (70%) actually died in the nursing home without being transferred to another setting like a hospital.

 The length of stay data were striking:

the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months the average length of stay was l…

Opening the Black Box of LTACs: Podcast with Anil Makam

What happens in Long Term Acute Care Hospitals, or LTACs (pronounced L-tacs)?  I've never been in one.  I've sent patients to them - usually patients with long ICU stays, chronically critically ill, with a gastric feeding tube and a trach for ventilator support.  For those patients, the goals (usually as articulated by the family) are based on a hope for recovery of function and a return home.

And yet we learn some surprising things from Anil Makam, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSF.  In his JAGS study of about 14,000 patients admitted to LTACHs, the average patient spent two thirds of his or her remaining life in an institutional settings (including hospitals, LTACs and skilled nursing facilities).  One third died in an LTAC, never returning home.

So you would think with this population of older people with serious illness and a shorter prognosis than many cancers, we would have robust geriatrics and palliative care in LTACs?  Right? Wrong.

3% were seen by a geriatrici…