The 2015 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the early career category honor Laura M. Iglesias Lino, MD, medical director for geriatrics and palliative care at Brightwood Health Center and associate medical director for hospice at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. The selection committee praised her for her leadership and for using her skills in geriatrics and palliative care to help Spanish-speaking and other immigrant populations in Springfield.

Since early in her career, Dr. Iglesias Lino has found working with vulnerable populations especially rewarding. Naturally drawn to caring for the elderly, she completed her fellowship in geriatrics and saw the need for palliative care in many of her frail and frequently homebound patients. Her response was to pursue board certification in hospice and palliative care.

Dr. Iglesias Lino has focused on advancing the care for vulnerable geriatric patients through the development and implementation of innovative projects, including interdisciplinary teaching of palliative care and geriatrics and individualized care plans for homebound elders with advanced dementia. She is working on a project to increase support to caregivers through informational support group meetings tailored to the community at Brightwood Health Center. 

Maura Brennan, MD, interim chief for the division of geriatrics and palliative care at Baystate Medical Center, who nominated Dr. Iglesias Lino, commended the care that she has given to elders at a clinic in the poorest part of town. “Providers often leave after a few years, resources are scarce and support is suboptimal, and patients and families have many needs,” she wrote. “Dr. Iglesias Lino has increased her time there. She developed a team-based program to ease caregiver stress and improve quality of life for patients with advanced dementias. Her knowledge, diagnostic abilities, and nuanced treatment plans put her in high demand as a primary care physician and consultant.”

Dr. Iglesias Lino received her medical degree from the Universidad Nacional San Agustin, Arequipa, Peru in 2003.