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

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.

Immunize Nevada

Andy and JoAnn Pasternak

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