Karen Virostek ’80, M’87, of East Vandergrift, received the Outstanding Dietitian Educator award at the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association’s (PADA) annual meeting on May 1, 2007. The highest award bestowed upon a dietitian in Pennsylvania, this prestigious recognition goes to a dietitian with more than fifteen years experience in the field. The award recognizes individuals who show leadership in other organizations at the local, state, and national level and who are advocates for improving the status of human beings, using innovative efforts to advance the profession and inspiring others to contribute to the profession.
Virostek is director of Market Operations and Nutrition Services Department for Adagio Health, Inc., in Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania. After graduating from IUP, she completed an ADA-approved experience at the Forbes Center for Gerontology. Karen was recognized as PADA’s Outstanding Dietetic Educator in 1998 and as an American Dietetic Association (ADA) Fellow in 2000. She also received the Keystone Award in 2005 and the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Leadership award in 2003.
“Karen is a recognized leader in the community through her work with HIV/AIDS patients,” said Cindy Javor, president of the Pittsburgh Dietetic Association. “Karen identified a need for nutrition services for individuals living with AIDS, so she found funding and trained her staff to help patients receive nutrition interventions.”
Virostek started the first AP4 program in Pennsylvania (an internship program approved by the Council on Accreditation of the ADA) and has been a leader and mentor for dietetic interns. She served as president of both the Pittsburgh Dietetic Association and PADA and recently was voted to serve as PADA’s delegate-elect.
Virostek is a site reviewer and on the review panel for Accreditation of Dietetic Educator Programs, and she serves on the following boards: Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network, Pennsylvania Association of WIC Directors, National Association of WIC Directors, Pennsylvania State Agency WIC, Community College of Allegheny County Diet Technicians Program, American Dairy Council Mid-East, and Dietetic Educators Seminar Group.