Patricia M. Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD, received the 2015 Harrington Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership from the Christiana Care Trustees.

Dr. Curtin has been a part of Christiana Care for nearly 30 years, as an intern, resident, chief resident and attending physician. She has been the chief of Geriatric Medicine since 2000.

Under Dr. Curtin’s leadership, in conjunction with nursing leadership and geriatric clinical nurse specialists, Christiana Care in 2001 established the We Improve Senior Health Program (WISH), a new, interdisciplinary approach to senior health services, adapted from the NYU/John Hartford Foundation NICHE Program (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders).

Early on, the WISH program earned the 2005 John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing Award for Best Practices for Older Adults from the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the John Hartford Foundation. Continuing this trend, in 2015, Christiana Care earned Exemplar Status from the national NICHE program for the third consecutive year for the care it provides to older adults.

Dr. Curtin serves in multiple leadership positions, including medical director of WISH and the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) patient care units at Wilmington and Christiana hospitals, director of clinical strategy and community affairs for the Swank Memory Care Center, medical director of Christiana Care’s Adult Day Program and Stonegates Health Center, and vice chair of Christiana Care’s Visiting Nurse Association.

man and doctor at an outdoor medical clinic in Haiti
Dr. Curtin has undertaken 10 medical relief missions to Haiti.

She is a graduate and devoted alumna of the University of Notre Dame who exemplifies the spirit of service. Since the 2010 earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti, the health needs of the Haitian people have multiplied. Dr. Curtin travels to Haiti regularly with other Notre Dame physician alumni and others for ongoing relief efforts, bringing her trademark compassion, along with donated supplies and medicines from Christiana Care, to provide care in remote villages.

“Dr. Curtin’s three children are following in those footsteps, using their talents and gifts in ministry to others,” said Carroll M. Carpenter, chair of Trustees, in presenting the award.

Carpenter read comments from Dr. Curtin’s mentor and colleague, Virginia U. Collier, M.D., MACP, Hugh R. Sharp Jr. Chair of Medicine, who wrote: “When I think of Trish, the words ‘compassionate,’ ‘thoughtful,’ ‘teacher,’ ‘connector’ and ‘doer’ come to mind. There is not a minute in the day when she does not think about others. As a loyal and consistent champion for outstanding patient care, she is most deserving of the Harrington Award.”

Dr. Curtin recently returned from her 10th trip to Haiti. “I come back from Haiti each time a better physician and person, because of what the Haitian people teach me,” Dr. Curtin said. “I feel very blessed to be able to serve them.”

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