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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Dr. Janice Knebl

Dr. Janice Knebl

One of the most respected members at HSC, Dr. Knebl received national recognition in October when she was named the American Osteopathic Foundation Physician of the Year. A 32-year member of the HSC, Dr. Knebl is a leader in treatment, research and education related to Alzheimer’s and dementia. She is an active member of the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Corsortium that is working to improve early diagnosis, treatment and prevention. When she isn't working, you might find her around the corner from the HSC at one of her favorite haunts, Piola Italian Restaurant, or at home cozying up with reruns of, that’s right, "The Golden Girls."

 

Q&A
Where does winning the 2020 Physican of the Year award rank in your career?
The AOF Physician of the Year Award 2020 was truly a huge surprise and honor. This award is very special to me since I was nominated by many of my fellow osteopathic physicians and colleagues nationally, and also from my patients. Receiving national recognition is very humbling when I think about all of the other deserving osteopathic physicians across the country. The award is also so very special since it recognizes my contributions as an osteopathic physician and clinician. I have been so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity by the osteopathic profession to attend an osteopathic medical school and become an osteopathic physician. I have been very blessed by God to have an energy level and ability to learn and serve patients. It has been my true joy and passion to care for older adults as a physician. This award recognizes what I have truly loved doing since my graduation from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1982.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I love caring for older adults. It is a true privilege to be the physician partner with older adults who have such wisdom and life experiences to share. I truly have received more from my older patients than I have been able to provide. Being an osteopathic physician, my focus is on function, maintenance of highest level of independence and quality of life. I also enjoy going anywhere that older adults may be residing as I am portable. I also enjoy working with the interprofessional team of health care practitioners that are involved in all of these sites of care. My other love is being involved in the education of future health care professionals and assisting them in the development of the knowledge and skills to be able to take care of the older populations. Maybe for selfish reasons, by training them to be ready to care for an aging Texas (and America), I will be a beneficiary as I am now in my pre-Medicare year.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
Caregiver support materials and education for those employees caring for an aging parent or family member. We have developed a dementia caregiver education program for persons with dementia that we could add to a menu of options to support our UNT System team members, including faculty, staff and students.

What is your proudest work moment?
I actually have two: Receiving the Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical Geriatrics, which was the first endowed Chair in Geriatrics in the Osteopathic Profession; and the UNT System Regent’s Professor designation which recognized academic achievement and service.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues?
I have an alter ego -- Roseanne Rossannadanna (played by Gilda Radner) from Saturday Night Live

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...
Book?: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Movie?: The Spanish Maine (old movie with pirates and a dashing young actor at the time, Paul Henreid)
Inspirational Hero?: Mother Theresa
Place to visit?: County Mayo, Ireland
Song?: My Way, by Frank Sinatra
Celebrity?: Lucille Ball
Hobby?: Golf
Charitable cause?: Meals On Wheels and Catholic Charities