Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Geriatric Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Debra K. Weiner, MD


Professor of Medicine

Associate Director, Geriatric Fellowship Program


Phone: 412-692-2360

Office: 3471 Fifth Avenue
Kaufmann Building, Suite 500
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-692-2360
Fax: 412-692-2370
Administrative Assistant:
Amber Mandic
Address: 3471 Fifth Ave, Suite 500
Kaufmann Medical Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-692-2361
Fax: 412-692-2370
Education and Training
•BA, Washington University, 1978
•MD, University of Missouri, 1983
•Post-Sophomore Pathology Fellowship, University of Missouri, 1980
•Internal Medicine Residency, Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, 1983
•Fellowship, Geriatrics, Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, 1986
•Fellowship, Rheumatology, Duke University Medical Center, 1987
•DANA fellowship; geriatric dysmobility, Duke University Medical Center, 1989
Research Interest
A Professor with training in geriatrics, rheumatology, and acupuncture, Dr Weiner’s research focuses on chronic pain. She is PI of two VA Merit Review studies: 1) a multisite study designed to improve management of chronic low back pain (CLBP) in older adults; and a 2) multisite prospective cohort study to ascertain predictors of outcome in veterans undergoing decompressive laminectomy for lumbar spinal stenosis. She also has spearheaded the creation of an online course in pain and aging that she plans to incorporate into future research and educational initiatives. Finally, she is Associate Director for Research, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) Geriatrics, Research, Education and Clinical Center.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Weiner sees patients for pain related issues at the VAPHS Pain Clinic.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Weiner, D.K. Deconstructing chronic low back pain in the older adult:  Shifting the paradigm from the spine to the person. Pain Medicine. 2015; 16(5): 881-5.
Weiner, D.K., Marcum, Z., Rodriguez, E. Deconstructing chronic low back pain in older adults: summary recommendations. Pain Medicine. 2016; 17(12): 2238-2246.
Jacobs, Z.G., Elnicki, D.M., Perera, S., Weiner, D.K. An e-learning module on chronic low back pain in older adults: Effect on medical resident attitudes, confidence, knowledge, and clinical skills. Pain Medicine. 2018; 19(6): 1112-1120.
Weiner, D.K., Gentili, A., Coffey-Vega, K., Morone, N., Rossi, M., Perera, S. Biopsychosocial profiles and functional correlates in older adults with chronic low back pain: a preliminary study. Pain Medicine. 2019; 20: 1300-1310.
Madill, E., Samuels, R., Newman, D.P., Boudreaux-Kelley, M., Weiner, D.K. Development of an evaluative, educational, and communication-facilitating app for older adults with chronic low back pain: Patient perceptions of usability and utility. Pain Medicine. 2019; 20(11): 2120-2128.
Weiner, D.K., Gentili, A., Rossi, M., Coffey-Vega, K., Rodriguez, K.L., Hruska, K.L., Hausmann, L., Perera, S. Aging Back Clinics-a Geriatric Syndrome Approach to Treating Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults: Results of a Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Medicine. 2020; 21(2): 274-290.
Moehl, K., Robbins-Welty, G., Wright, R.M., Shega, J., Malec, M., Zoberi, K., Tait, R., Perera, S., Deverts, D., Horvath, Z., Weiner, D.K. How to Teach Medical Students About Pain and Dementia: E-Learning, Experiential Learning, or Both?. Pain Medicine. 2020; 21(10): 2117-2122.
Weiner, D.K., Gentili, A., Fang, M.A., Garay, E., Annaswamy, T., Castle, S., Joseph, L., Lawson, L., Lee, C.C., Makris, U.E., Rossi, M.I., Thorn, B., Clemens, K., Newman, D., Perera, S. Caring for Older Veterans with Chronic Low Back Pain Using a Geriatric Syndrome Approach: Rationale and Methods for the Aging Back Clinics (ABC) Trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2020.
Weiner, D.K., Holloway, K., Levin, E., Keyserling, H., Epstein, F., Monaco, E., Sembrano, J., Brega, K., Nortman, S., Krein, S.L., Gentili, A., Katz, J.N., Morrow, A.L., Muluk, V., Pugh, M.J., Perera, S. Identifying biopsychosocial factors that impact decompressive laminectomy outcomes in veterans with lumbar spinal stenosis: a prospective cohort study. Pain. 2021; 162(3): 835-845.
Porter, L.S., Weiner, D.K., Ramos, K., Barnes, D.E., Schmader, K.E., Gwyther, L., Ritchie, C.S., Keefe, F.J. Partnering to Cope with Pain: A pilot study of a caregiver-assisted pain coping skills intervention for patients with cognitive impairment and dementia. Palliative & Supportive Care. 2021.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Patient-Centered versus Imaging-Directed Care for Older Veterans with Chronic LBP
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: US Department of Veterans Affairs
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2019
Title: HEALing LB3P: Profiling Biomechanical, Biological and Behavioral phenotypes
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Health
Grant Number: U19 AR076725
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2024
Title: Chronic Back Pain in Older Adults: The Role of Co-Existing Hip Impairments
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Delaware/ National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R01
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2019
Notable Achievements
•Editorial Board, Pain Medicine, 2000-present
•Senior Editor, Pain Medicine, 2011-present
•NIH Pain Consortium Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain, 2013-14
•Professional Advisory Board, American Chronic Pain Association, 2011-present
•Excellence in Research Award, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2014
•Ad Hoc reviewer of NIH grant applications, 2013-present
•Pittsburgh Magazine, “Best Doctors”, 2015
•2017 Geriatrics Teacher of the Year Award - PA Geriatrics Society, 2017
•Chief of Staff Clinical Excellence Award, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2019