Outstanding Gerontologist Award

Dutch Kastenbaum Outstanding Gerontologist Award
The Minnesota Gerontological Society established the Outstanding Gerontologist Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who have contributed to lives of older persons throughout Minnesota. Contributions can be made to the field of aging through practice, research, or academics. In 1998 the award was renamed the Dutch Kastenbaum Award to honor Abraham “Dutch” Kastenbaum.  Kastenbaum was trained as a social worker, and was a champion in beginning service programs for older people. He later became a celebrity with his weekly television show, Senior Citizen’s Forum, which ran for almost 25 years. To honor his memory, the Minnesota Gerontological Society receives nominations each year to recognize outstanding gerontologists.

2019 Gerontologist of the Year:

George Schoephoerster, MD, Geriatrician, St. Cloud, MN

Dr. Schoephoerster received his medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He practiced as a family physician before becoming Board Certified in Geriatrics about 25 years ago. He has provided full time nursing home care for the last 10 years and currently serves as Medical Director at 4 facilities in central Minnesota.

His passion for improving the quality of care for older adults has been his mission throughout his career.  He helped transform the Minnesota Medical Directors Association (now known as MAGIC – Minnesota Association of Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians) into an organization that includes all care team members including providers, pharmacists, therapists, social workers, administrators and community members. Dr. George also serves on our own MGS Education Committee scheduling our monthly webinars.

MGS President Lori Vrolson presents the plaque at the MGS Conference

Dr. George’s work to improve the lives of those with Alzheimer’s began as he watched and helped as his wife care for her aging mother, who suffered with dementia for several years before she passed away peacefully in their home. He saw how caring for someone with dementia becomes a full-time job, and how the demands of that job take a toll on the whole family, but most especially the primary caregiver. He has been a long-time volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota, including serving on and chairing their Medical & Scientific Advisory Council.

Dr. George has been a tireless advocate meeting with legislators and elected officials at the local, state and national levels. He is often quoted in the media, serving as a knowledgeable expert on Alzheimer’s disease and senior care in general. Most recently, he is working with a local community group who is attempting to establish a Dementia Resource Center in St. Cloud.

Past Award Winners

  • 2018 Patti Cullen
  • 2017 Helen Kivnick
  • 2016 Olivia Mastry
  • 2015: Jean K. Wood and Jim Tift
  • 2014: Elaine Carlson
  • 2013: Dawn Simonson
  • 2012: Edward Ratner
  • 2011: Phyllis Greenberg
  • 2010: Hal Freshley
  • 2009: Gayle Kvenvold
  • 2008: Janet Hively
  • 2007: Maddy Forsberg
  • 2006: Jeanette Metz
  • 2005: Marion Goepner
  • 2004: Maria R. Gomez
  • 2003: Robert and Rosalie Kane
  • 2002: John Selstad
  • 2001: Warren Wolfe
  • 2000: Larhae Knatterud
  • 1999: Pamela Parker
  • 1998: Ken Hepburn
  • 1997: Janet Woodhull and Iris Freeman
  • 1996: Gerald Bloedow
  • 1995: Abraham Kastenbaum
  • 1994: Muriel Ryden
  • 1993: Donna Walberg and Steven Miles
  • 1992: Donald McTavish and David Knopmaan
  • 1991: Doug Hanneman
  • 1990: Nancy N. Eustis
  • 1989: Elva Walker
  • 1988: Raye Kreevoy and Cynthia Polich
  • 1985: Grace Warfield and Norm Bourestom
  • 1984: Etta Saloshin