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Olson/Blair Award Marks John Boltri’s Latest Achievement

In June, Dr. Boltri was recognized with NEOMED’s 2019 Olson/Blair Award for Administrative Excellence, presented during a virtual version of the University’s annual faculty and staff awards ceremony.

The award highlighted achievements in 2019, when Dr. Boltri led a diverse team of faculty and staff in obtaining three grant awards:

  • a $498,000 grant funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to implement a unified pain management and opioid use disorder curriculum in all seven Ohio medical schools
  • a $3.7 million five-year Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant focused on improving the knowledge and skills of the primary care workforce to optimize health outcomes in the geriatric population
  • a $2 million five-year Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care grant designed to create an innovative integrated behavioral health and primary care curriculum for medical and physician assistant students that uses the SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic at NEOMED as the primary teaching platform. This grant will train the next generation of diverse primary care providers to learn and serve in rural and medically underserved communities.


The leadership of Dr. Boltri has furthered the success of the SOAR clinic, which after its first year was named in 2017 as the Free Clinic of the Year by the Ohio Association of Free Clinics. Serving as one of the attending physicians at the clinic, Dr. Boltri oversees the students from the College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy who provide care to underserved patients. As the founding medical director, Dr. Boltri worked with students beginning in 2014 to open the SOAR clinic in 2016. The SOAR Clinic engages over 100 new students every year and offers them a number of leadership opportunities while teaching them the broad nature of serving patients.

Dr. Boltri was the Principal Investigator on the Ohio State Opioid Response Project, which was led by faculty including Stacey Gardner-Buckshaw, Ph.D., and Rebecca Fischbein, Ph.D. This effort collaboratively engaged all seven Ohio medical schools to develop a common curriculum to address pain management and opioid use disorder. Dr. Boltri has motivated and supervised Department of Family and Community Medicine faculty in the development of innovative programs such as Ohio’s Region III Area Health Education Center (AHEC); Soul and Science of Caregiving; Healer’s Art; and a Student Research Series – six presentations on how to conduct research – that complements the University’s Summer Research Fellowship Program.

Colleagues call Dr. Boltri a principled and impassioned leader — one who continually demonstrates the ability to envision creative ways to improve health, knowledge, and academic systems. They note that he takes great joy and pride in recognizing the achievements of others and rewarding colleagues who are growing, achieving and contributing to the missions and betterment of their department.

About The Olson/Blair Award for Administrative Excellence

The award was established in 1989 by Stanley Olson, M.D., and his wife Lorraine. Dr. Olson, along with Charles Blair, M.D., assumed responsibility chiefly for the organizational administration during the development of the College of Medicine. This award honors a faculty or staff member within the NEOMED community who has a senior administrative appointment in an academic or service area and is given in recognition for outstanding administrative leadership through demonstrated initiative and innovative techniques including the ability to motivate and supervise, make critical judgments and contribute to the betterment of NEOMED as a whole.