AMDA’s Foundation Recognizes Top Leaders, Visionaries Eber, Resnick, Bellantoni Given Highest Honors
Columbia, MD – The Foundation for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care (PALTC) Medicine, an affiliate of AMDA – The Society for PALTC Medicine, has announced the recipients of its three highest achievement awards: Medical Director of the Year, the William Dodd Founder’s Award for Distinguished Service, and the James Pattee Award for Excellence in Education.
Leslie Eber, MD, CMD, is the 2021 Medical Director of the Year. Established in 2007, this annual award recognizes a PALTC facility medical director whose vision, passion, leadership, and commitment succeed in taking patient care to exceptional levels of quality, excellence, and innovation.
Dr. Eber is medical director of Orchard Park Health Care Center in Greenwood Village, CO. Dividing her time between clinical practice, medical directorship, and research, Dr. Eber also practices with Rocky Mountain Senior Care, which embraces a whole-person approach to care and healing. She is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Certified Medical Director (CMD). She is a State Presidents Council Representative on the AMDA Board of Directors; and she is the current president of CMDA-The Colorado Society for PALTC Medicine.
“I remember previous leaders who received this award and how much I admire them – their integrity, their dedication, and their work ethic. I am completely humbled,” Dr. Eber says. “I feel so many people deserve to be celebrated, not just me. To say this has been a challenging year is an understatement. I want this to be a year where we’re celebrating everyone and acknowledge the hard work and challenges we have faced. This isn’t about one person.
Her leadership was never more inspiring and valuable than during the COVID-19 pandemic. When her own facility was struggling to obtain gowns and supplies, she coordinated a call with the state Department of Health to secure 1,000 gowns and needed testing supplies. Her efforts regarding the coronavirus also helped the facility maintain a low mortality rate.
She made sure that she was part of the State Emergency Operations preparedness group, ensuring a voice for long-term care in Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Dr. Eber has hosted weekly town hall meetings for families, kept staff informed and educated, and organized an outdoors concert that residents could view from their rooms. She also co-created posters to support overwhelmed facility staff with tips for self-care and other information and resources.
Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FANNP, is the recipient of the William Dodd Founder’s Award for Distinguished Service. named for the visionary physician who first envisioned AMDA back in the 1970s. This award recognizes significant contributions by those individuals who build the organizational strength, image, and mission of AMDA.
Among Dr. Resnick’s many activities with AMDA, she has worked as a member of the Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) Steering Committee and participated in the development and revision of many CPGs. She has always been an enthusiastic ambassador for PALTC medicine, so it’s not surprising that she’s been a dedicated supporter of the Foundation and its Futures Program. She has been a Foundation board member since 2006 and served as its chair from 2017 to 2019. She is the first non-physician to win the Dodd Award.
“Good leaders also have to be doers, and I am a big believer in teams. Everyone needs to get their hands dirty and step up when there is a need or an opportunity,” says Dr. Resnick. “We need to recognize and appreciate the strength of each discipline.” This means, she suggests, communicating and being respectful of the knowledge and skills of each discipline and team member.
Michele Bellantoni, MD, FACP, CMD, is the recipient of the 2020 James Pattee Award for Excellence in Education. The Pattee Award was established in 1997 to honor James Pattee, MD, CMD, the father of the AMDA Certification Program and the Core Curriculum program, and a founder of AMDA. He also authored several books including Medical Direction in the Nursing Home: Principles and Concepts for Physician-Administrators, and Alzheimer's Disease: The Family Journey.
His vision for medical direction and his development of the first medical direction curriculum eventually led to AMDA's Core Curriculum. While conducting these courses he was exposed to the concepts of management and leadership. He emphasized these concepts in his courses. "You are shaping the culture [of the facility] by your daily interactions with the staff, your decisions, your clinical skills." It has been said that Dr. Pattee single-handedly trained and motivated an entire generation of a new entity—the profession of medical director.
Education has been a lifelong passion for Dr. Bellantoni, and she thrives on opportunities to teach and share her expertise with others; but she also constantly learns from those around her and sees education as an interactive process. She shares Dr. Pattee’s passion for education and learning.
Dr. Bellantoni is an associate professor of medicine and clinical director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She also is medical director of specialty hospital programs at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
A long-time AMDA member, Dr. Bellantoni has been a popular conference speaker, published in JAMDA, and served on various committees. As current chair of the AMDA Annual Conference Program Planning Subcommittee, she is part of the reason the conference is being held. She and her team go above and beyond in their efforts to build a strong, exciting, and state-of-the-art program with the best possible presenters.
Receiving this honor, says Dr. Bellantoni, has “reinvigorated me during a time of great challenge. I am particularly honored because of the award’s emphasis on education. I have spent my career in an academic center, and education has been my focus.” She adds, “I am now seeing leaders in our field who I remember as students, and that is very rewarding.”
Please go to the Foundation website for more information on the Medical Director of the Year Award, the William Dodd Founder’s Award for Distinguished Service, and the James Pattee Award for Excellence in Education.
About the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit www.paltc.org for more information.
About the Foundation for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
The Foundation for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is an independent not-for-profit organization. The Foundation's mission is: “The Foundation advances the quality of life for persons in post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) through inspiring, educating and recognizing future and current health care professionals." Visit the Foundation at www.paltcfoundation.org.