When Andy Pasternak, MD, MS, was a resident at DFMCH, he admits he wasn’t as open minded as he is today.
Andy Pasternak, MD, MS
“To this day I look at some of my faculty and John Frey, who was chair, and appreciate all of the knowledge they shared that didn’t always resonate with me at the time,” said Pasternak.
After over 16 years running his own practice, Silver Sage Center of Family Medicine in Reno, Nevada, Pasternak added a new role as president of the Nevada State Medical Association. He believes his experience at DFMCH—and mentors like Jon Temte, Pat McBride, and Mike Fleming—set the tone for his commitment to community medicine.
A Community-Centered Practice
Pasternak and his wife JoAnn, an anesthesiologist, fell in love with the Reno, Nevada, area after a visit with a friend and decided to make the move west. Over the years, Pasternak has built a practice that includes family, travel, and sports medicine.
“Putting the patient and community first has been a passion of mine since my days doing research at the Wingra Clinic,” added Pasternak, who spent many hours at Wingra while completing his master’s in epidemiology.
He also believes in being personally involved in the community he serves—regularly participating in local running and cycling events. Pasternak is a pro member of the Medicine of Cycling Society and is medical director for the Tahoe Rim Endurance Trail Races and the Western States 100, the oldest 100-mile race in the world.
“Staying involved in the community and promoting physical and mental benefits of exercise is at the core of my practice,” shared Pasternak.
Nevada State Medical Association
That community first attitude is one of the many reasons Pasternak was elected president of the Nevada State Medical Association, an organization devoted to advocating for high quality health care for the people of Nevada. He takes the role seriously and is working to ensure access to excellent care including health insurance and immunizations.
Andy and JoAnn Pasternak
A strong vaccination program is a key component in Pasternak’s community health focused approach. He currently serves as chair of the vaccination advocacy committee for Immunize Nevada—a non-profit aimed at irradicating vaccine-preventable disease throughout Nevada.
When the first doses of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 arrived on the weekend Pasternak and his wife planned to celebrate their 25th anniversary, they both rolled up their sleeves and marked the occasion by giving out 200 doses the first day.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our anniversary then by giving back to the community we love so much,” said Pasternak.
Published: January 2022