Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD, Assoc. Professor, University of Pittsburgh

A tenured professor, Steven has a primary appointment in the Division of Geriatric Medicine where he is the director for geriatric telemedicine programs. He has secondary appointments in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Clinical and Translational Research. Steven also serves as the as the co-principal investigator and medical director for telemedicine and health information for the RAVEN (Reduce AVoidable hospitalization using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in Western Pennsylvania) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Award. The main goal of this award is to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations.

Steven completed his medical school training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, his residency at Tufts University, and a Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a practicing geriatrician with direct patient care responsibilities in the nursing home and hospital settings.

  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word innovation?

Ways to solve existing or new problems that are better and preferably less expensive than prior approaches.

  1. Do you have an innovation role model and why?

Thomas Alva Edison, since I was born and raised in Edison New Jersey (named of course for the inventor) and because I firmly believe that “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

  1. How do you try and instill a culture of innovation around you?

Lead by example. Question and challenge everything. Allow those at the lowest level (i.e., the front-line) to come up with the solutions and then see how management can leverage the solution with the appropriate resources.

  1. Is there a particular innovation that has made your professional life easier? Any special non-health care innovation you use at home?

All things Apple! I am a firm believer in almost all Apple products and services. Where to start? The Apple HomePod, the Ring doorbell, the Nest learning thermostat, Chamberlin garage door opener… and of course DVRs to watch reruns of the Shark Tank!

  1. What excites you most about the AMDA Innovations Platform Advisory Council?

Being able to share my passion and enthusiasm with those that are likeminded, as well as try and convert a few to drink the Kool-Aid.