Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award

The Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award is given annually to an AGS member who has provided leadership to train students in geriatrics and has contributed significantly to the progress of geriatrics education in health professions schools. Teaching expertise, as well as educational program development, is valued in the selection of the recipient for this honor.

2024 Recipient: Rainier P. Soriano, MD

Rainier P. Soriano, MD was honored as the 2024 Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award recipient, recognizing his significant contributions to the education of health professionals in geriatric care. Dr. Soriano's exemplary work in teaching, curriculum development, educational leadership, research, service, and mentorship has markedly improved the knowledge, competence, and skills of those caring for older adults. This prestigious award highlights his dedication and excellence in these domains, underscoring his role as a pivotal figure in advancing geriatric education and healthcare.

Serving as a Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) in New York City, Dr. Soriano has established himself as a master clinician-educator and a national leader in both geriatrics and medical education. His career, founded on a deep commitment to the well-being of vulnerable older adults and individuals with serious illnesses, has led to transformative improvements in medical education and geriatric care.

"Dr. Soriano exemplifies humanistic medicine, consistently displaying compassion, empathy, and a nuanced sensitivity to the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of patients and their families,” said AGS President Donna Fick, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, AGSF, FGSA, FAAN. “Originally from the Philippines, Dr. Soriano never envisioned a career in the United States. Rooted in a culture where the concept of geriatrics is deeply ingrained as a familial responsibility, his path took an unexpected turn when the opportunity to train in the U.S. presented itself toward the end of medical school in Manila.  During that formative period, he discovered the field of geriatrics and quickly realized that he had found his passion – improving the well-being of older adults. He made a conscious decision to pursue a career in geriatrics where, for over two decades he has been a true innovator in geriatrics and medical education. He has a unique gift for making new knowledge exciting, engaging, and relevant for learners. He receives the prestigious Dennis W. Jahnigen Award for his commitment to advancing geriatrics education and tirelessly working with students, embodying the spirit of the award's namesake, the late Dr. Dennis W. Jahnigen, a compassionate geriatrician, and dedicated educator. Dr. Soriano's impact reaches beyond physical location, influencing national healthcare education and shaping the future of geriatrics."

Under his leadership since 2000, the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program at Icahn Mount Sinai has evolved into one of the nation's premier initiatives in aging and palliative care research, thanks to his revitalization efforts. Dr. Soriano's guidance has facilitated mentorship for over 250 medical students in geriatrics and palliative medicine research, leading to noteworthy contributions to peer-reviewed publications and national research awards. His success in securing a 5-year T35 grant from the NIA in 2020, with initial support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, has not only sustained but also expanded the MSTAR Program, allowing students from various institutions to collaborate with Mount Sinai's esteemed researchers. 

Beyond the MSTAR program, Dr. Soriano's role as Associate Editor in Geriatrics for the AAMC's MedEdPORTAL has been pivotal in enhancing the quality and dissemination of geriatrics education materials. His editorial work has set new standards for educational content, benefiting learners and educators alike. As the lead editor and author of The Bates Guide to Physical Diagnosis and History Taking, Dr. Soriano has significantly updated this cornerstone textbook. By integrating clinical skills training and focusing on the care of older adults, he has brought this essential resource into the 21st century, thereby modernizing medical education.

Dr. Soriano's active participation in AGS plenaries, workshops, and publications, along with his mentorship roles, demonstrates his substantial contribution to the field. His efforts have not only enriched the AGS community but also propelled the field of geriatrics forward, ensuring better care for older adults. 

Past Recipients of the Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award

2023      Kathryn Denson, MD
2022      Mitchell T. Heflin, MD, MHS
2021      Helen Fernandez, MD, MPH
2020      John Murphy, MD
2019      Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCGP, BCPP, FASCP
2018      Jane Potter, MD, AGSF
2017      Maura Brennan, MD, AGSF, FACP, FAAHPM, HMDC
2016      Annette (Annie) Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF
2015      Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, AGSF
2014      Elizabeth K. Tanner, PhD, RN
2013      Gail Sullivan, MD, MPH
2012      Leo M Cooney, Jr., MD
2011      Sharon A. Levine, MD
2010      G. Paul Eleazer, MD
2009      Samuel C. Durso, MD, MBA
2008      Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD
2007      Steven R. Counsell, MD
2006      Kenneth Brummel-Smith, MD
2005      Harvey Jay Cohen, MD
2004      Terry T. Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN
2003      William Hall, MD, Rochester, NY
2002      Gregg A. Warshaw, MD, Cincinnati, OH
2001      Evelyn C. Granieri, MD, Pittsburgh, PA
2000      David B. Reuben, MD, Los Angeles, CA

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