Thomas A. Cavalieri, DO
As a geriatric educator and clinician, Dr. Thomas A. Cavalieri has been an advocate for older adults for over 25 years, raising the standard of care for them and helping the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Osteopathic Medicine (UMDNJ-SOM) to achieve national renown in the field of geriatrics. Dr. Cavalieri is currently the Dean of UMDNJ-SOM, a Professor of Medicine, and the Endowed Chair for Primary Care Research. He previously served as the Director of the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (formerly the Center for Aging, where he was Founding Director), and Chair of the Department of Medicine.
Serving as Interim Dean for over two years prior to his appointment as permanent Dean in July, 2008, Dr. Cavalieri is widely credited with guiding the school through challenging times, and uniting the students, faculty, staff and alumni to achieve consensus and enthusiasm for a reinvigorated values-based culture. In addition to restructuring the school’s management team and restoring organizational stability, Dr. Cavalieri energized the diversification of the school’s financial base. An infusion of over $2 million in endowment funding further demonstrates the important role he has played in restoring confidence in the school.
As Dean, Dr. Cavalieri is focused on strengthening and expanding medical education programs to meet the need for future physicians; cultivating interprofessional collaboration in health education, research and clinical care; developing UMDNJ-SOM as an academic health center; and building the campus of the future. He also has committed the school to community service as a key part of its mission.
Another priority has been strengthening the School’s Centers of Excellence, a task to which Dr. Cavalieri is particularly well-suited. It was as a founding director of the program that would become the N.J. Institute of Successful Aging that Dr. Cavalieri, whose interests include medical ethics and end-of-life issues, assembled a team that developed an array of geriatric clinical programs which are today recognized as being at the forefront of geriatric care in the Delaware Valley. In addition, Dr. Cavalieri and his team developed educational programs that, for the past eight years, have been consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top 20 geriatric medical education programs in the country. This fall, they also successfully competed to become one of only ten recipients of the prestigious Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Geriatrics Training Grants. During his career, Dr. Cavalieri has garnered more than $16 million in extramural funding for his research and training efforts in aging and primary care. He is the author of more than 90 peer reviewed journal articles, abstracts and book chapters.
Dr. Cavalieri has served in leadership roles in professional bodies at both the national and state levels. At the national level, he was the Chairman of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, President of the American College of Osteopathic Internists, and Chairman of the Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community Based Linkages, which is an advisory committee to the US Department of Health and Human Services. At the state level, he has chaired the New Jersey Commission on Aging, and served on the State’s Drug Utilization Review Board and the Advisory Committee to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.
Dr. Cavalieri has been named a Top Doc in geriatrics by Philadelphia Magazine, the Consumer Union Checkbook, New Jersey Monthly, South Jersey Magazine, and SJ Magazine. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards which include: the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Endowed Chair; an Academic Career Leadership Award from the National Institute on Aging; the Associate Administrator’s Achievement Award for “Expanding Interdisciplinary Health Education” from the US Department of Health and Human Services; the Medical Educator Award from MDAdvantage (formerly the New Jersey Academy of Medicine); and the American College of Osteopathic Internists Board of Directors Award. He has also been named Physician of the Year by the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and was inducted into the American Osteopathic Association’s Mentor Hall of Fame. In 2008, he received the Beacon Award from the Kennedy Health System for his contribution to healthcare in the communities that Kennedy serves, and was named Man of the Year by the Alighieri-Garibaldi Lodge No. 494 of the Sons of Italy in America, Berlin, N.J . In 2012, Dr. Cavalieri was named to a two-year term as chair of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the organization that accredits osteopathic medical schools in the US. A lifelong southern New Jersey resident, Dr. Cavalieri and his wife are the parents of four grown children.