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Palliative Care Doc, Institute Board Member Honored as Physician of Year

Palliative care champion Dr. Karl Steinberg was recently named Physician of the Year for Life Care Centers of America during a ceremony held at the American Medical Directors Association Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Steinberg, who serves on the National Advisory Board for the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, is medical director at Life Care Center of Vista, CA.

Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide healthcare company that manages more than 200 nursing, post-acute, and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states. Steinberg has served patients at the Vista center for more than 25 years, as an attending physician and in his current role as medical director.

“I am honored to receive this award, considering how dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate my colleagues are in providing high-quality, compassionate medical care to our nursing home residents,” Steinberg said. “Caring for people at a vulnerable and difficult time in their lives is important and fulfilling work, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for the work we do.”

Palliative Care Practice and Advocacy

Steinberg is active in state and national healthcare organizations, including serving as the president-elect of the California Association of Long-Term Care Medicine, past chair of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, and the current editor-in-chief of AMDA’s monthly magazine, Caring for the Ages. He was appointed to the Institute’s advisory board in 2017.

“Dr. Steinberg’s dedication to the quality of life and care for his patients—most of whom are living in nursing homes, one of healthcare’s most challenged sectors—is inspiring,” said Jennifer Moore Ballentine, executive director of the Institute. “In his expertise and kindness—not to mention his ‘palli-dogs’—he perfectly exemplifies the values of palliative care.”

Contributions to Life Care

In announcing the Physician of the Year honor, Life Care officials praised Steinberg for being so accessible to the Vista facility’s staff and for boosting associate morale. Life Care officials said he promotes the clinical excellence that has contributed to the facility’s five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and has helped the site develop community relationships with hospitals and other organizations.

Sam Magtanong, vice president of Life Care’s California centers, said “I have known Dr. Steinberg in my capacity as executive director, senior executive director and regional vice president, and his tireless and outstanding contributions to the facility, the region and the entire long-term care community have gone above and beyond.”

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