Release Date: December 17, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The FBI presented the 2014 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) to Paul Wietig, EdD, assistant vice president in the University at Buffalo Office of Interprofessional Education (IPE), on Dec. 17 at the Buffalo office of the FBI. Brian Boetig, special agent in charge (SAC) of the Buffalo office, conferred the award.
FBI Director James Comey will present the award formally in a ceremony in May at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The DCLA, a special award presented on behalf of the director of the FBI, was created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs and violence in America. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office has the opportunity, with input from FBI employees, to select an individual or organization that has made a significant difference in the lives of others in their community.
The award recognizes Wietig for his proven record of getting disparate professionals to work jointly. He also is being cited for having brought together law enforcement, public health officials and members of the heath care community, and encouraging them to collaborate.
He is one of 58 individuals across the country selected to receive the DCLA.
Wietig said he was pleased and surprised to receive this recognition. He described it as an award he shares 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,” said Wietig. “The Buffalo office of the FBI has clearly established a commitment and provided leadership for interprofessional education and service in our community.”
In attendance at the Buffalo ceremony were Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, professor and interim dean of the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.
Cain said he is pleased to see that Wietig’s hard work is being recognized by the law enforcement community.
“Paul has been an enormous asset to our mission of interprofessional education within the Academic Health Center, the School of Social Work and the School of Management, and has reached beyond UB to bring leaders in the local community and law enforcement to collaborate with and educate our faculty, staff and students,” said Cain.
UB began its focus on IPE to educate future professionals and students to collaborate with all health and community professionals to ensure the best patient care possible. IPE is considered the wave of the patient-care future.
Wietig’s mission as assistant vice president in the Office of Interprofessional Education is to offer educational/training experiences that help to break down “silos” that keep health care professionals functioning only in 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,” said Wactawski-Wende. “This is such a great honor for Paul to be recognized for this work. We are all very proud of him.”
Since being named assistant vice president for IPE in 2013, Wietig has helped bridge the gap among professionals with 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.”
Wietig has been cited frequently for his community service. He is a co-founder of the Amherst Youth Court; a recipient of the Eric County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award; a member of the education boards of WNED/PBS and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; a member of the Amherst Symphony Board of Directors; co-chair of the Diocese of Buffalo Board of Education; and a trustee of the Genesee County Village and Museum.
He also has served as a lecturer/adjunct, teaching graduate and undergraduate students on such topics as curriculum planning, development of grant and research proposals, communication in public health and leadership in public health.
Wietig also has worked as a consultant to numerous school districts, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organizations.