Dr. Paul Wietig has received the FBI’s 2014 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). The award, which honors individuals and organizations that have made a significant difference in the community, recognizes Dr. Wietig for his success in bringing together law enforcement, public health officials and members of the heath care community, and encouraging them to collaborate.
Mr. Brian Boetig, special agent in charge of the Buffalo office of the FBI, presented Dr. Wietig with the award during a ceremony on December 17 in the local FBI office. FBI Director James Comey will present the award formally during a ceremony in May at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. Dr. Wietig is one of 58 individuals across the country selected to receive the DCLA.
Dr. Wietig, assistant vice president in the Office of Interprofessional Education (IPE), says he was pleased and surprised to receive this recognition, noting he shares the award with the schools of UB’s Academic Health Center, particularly the School of Public Health and Health Professions, as well as the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the FBI.
“We are working together for the present and future well-being of our community,” he says. “The Buffalo office of the FBI has clearly established a commitment and provided leadership for interprofessional education and service in our community.”
Interprofessional education — considered by many to be the wave of the future for patient care — stresses collaboration of all health and community professionals to ensure the best patient care possible.
Dr. Wietig’s mission in the Office of Interprofessional Education in UB’s Academic Health Center is to offer educational/training experiences that help to break down “silos” that keep health care professionals functioning only within their respective disciplines.
“Paul has been leading efforts in interprofessional education in the health sciences. His work with the FBI is a natural extension of these efforts into the greater community with which public health intersects,” says Dr. Jean Wactawski-Wende, interim dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. “This is such a great honor for Paul to be recognized for this work. We are all very proud of him.”
Dr. Wietig has helped bridge the gap among professionals by organizing such educational programming as “Gang Behavior as a Public Health Issue,” an FBI- and CDC-sponsored “Weapons of Mass Destruction program” and the “Buffalo Regional Joint Criminal-Epidemiological Investigations Workshop.”