Annual Awards

    Geriatrician of the Year

Mel Hector, MD

 Dr. Hector is an icon in the Arizona geriatric community since the 1980s.  He is an outstanding clinician-educator who has trained inter-professional students, medical residents and fellows, and health professional staff in the values of team-based care for older adults. He is also a playwright and inventor, and uniquely generous with his time. He models integrity and compassion.  He is an exceptional geriatrician.


Each year, the Arizona Geriatrics Society recognizes exemplary and outstanding health care professionals who are passionate about caring for older adults and have made significant contributions in the field of geriatric medicine or gerontology. Nominations can only be submitted by members of the Arizona Geriatrics Society; however, membership is not required for the nominee.

  • The Geriatrician of the Year Award is open to all Arizona licensed prescribers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

  • Gerontologist of the Year Award is open to all Arizona health care professionals including nurses, social workers, case managers, therapists, psychologists and any other individual who is a non-prescriber.



The following criteria are used to evaluate:

  • Demonstration of exemplary inter-professional geriatric practice or education

  • Impact in the community and/or place of employment as a result of the nominee’s activities

  • Scope or length of service

2020 Award Winners

Gerontologist of the Year

Amanda Sokan, PhD, MHA, LL.B

Dr. Sokan is the consummate gerontologist. Combining her interests in aging research, curriculum

development and public health policy, Dr. Sokan's work defines the concept of translational medicine. In addition, Dr. Sokan advocates tirelessly to improve the standard of dementia caregiving, to address aging issues in the LGBTQ population, to ensure culturally competent care for older adults, and to prevent elder abuse and mistreatment. 

 Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Salzman, MD

A new recognition was given this year, the AZGS Lifetime Achievement Award.  The AZGS board decided by proclamation that Dr. Salzman should be the recipient.  A former Geriatrician of the Year Awardee, Dr. Salzman has provided exemplary care for the aging community of Arizona for many years.  He also has been responsible for the education and training of countless geriatricians as an expert clinician-educator.  He has been an active and dedicated member of the AZGS, and continues to bring deep insights and fresh ideas to our group. Thank you Dr. Salzman!

Gary Salzman, MD.jpg

Past Award Recipients

2019 Geriatrician of the Year - Nimit Agarwal, MD

2019 Gerontologist of the Year - Rita Anand, CALM

2018 Geriatrician of the Year - Edward Perrin, MD

2018 Gerontologist of the Year - Paige Hector, LMSW

2017 Geriatrician of the Year - Margaret DeVries, NP, MSN

2017 Gerontologist of the Year - Rev. Dr. Dosia Carlson

2016 Geriatrician of the Year - Rosemary S. Browne, MD, FACP

2016 Gerontologist of the Year - Beverly Heasley, RN, FNGNA

2015 Geriatrician of the Year - Jeannie Kim Lee, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASHP

2015 Gerontologist of the Year - Lisa O'Neil, MPH

2014 Geriatrician of the Year - Carol McMullin, MD

2014 Gerontologist of the Year - Sandra Brownstein, PharmD

2013 Geriatrician of the Year - Evgenije Savin, MD
2013 Gerontologist of the Year - Jessie Pergrin, RN, PhD


2012 Geriatrician of the Year - Pierre Tariot, MD

2012 Gerontologist of the Year - M. Jane Mohler, RN, MPH, PhD

2011 Geriatrician of the Year - Gerrit Terpstra, MD
2011 Gerontologist of the Year - Kathyrne L. Barnoski, MN, FNP, GNP-BC


2010 Geriatrician of the Year - Robert Tulley, MD

2010 Gerontologist of the Year - Barbara Dionne, APRN, FNP

2009 Geriatrician of the Year - Monica Vandivort, MD

2009 Gerontologist of the Year - Marianne McCarthy, PhD

2008 Geriatrician of the Year - Walter J. Nieri, MD

2008 Gerontologist of the Year - Amy Elsbury, RN

2007 Geriatrician of the Year - John Lingenfelter, MD

2007 Geriatrician of the Year - Georgia Hall, PhD

2006 Geriatrician of the Year - Gary Salzman, MD

2006 Gerontologist of the Year - Carol Long, PhD

2005 Gerontologist of the Year - Linda Phillips, PhD, RN

2004 Geriatrician of the Year - Ivan Govan, MD

2003 Gerontologist of the Year - Jan Dougherty, RN, MS

2002 Geriatrician of the Year - John Pifer, MD

2000 Geriatrician of the Year - Mindy Fain, MD

1999 Geriatrician of the Year - Gillian Hamilton, MD

1999 Gerontologist of the Year - Mary Lynn Kasunic

1998 Gerontologist of the Year - Madeleine Lutz, PhD

1988 Geriatrician of the Year - Jerome Kastrul, MD

1996 Geriatrician of the Year - Marlene Bluestein, MD

1994-95 Geriatrician of the Year - Jack Boyer, MD

1993 Geriatrician of the Year - Paul Rousseau, MD