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The Press Newspaper

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Jeremy Walston, M.D., a 1979 Eastwood High School graduate, is an internationally recognized Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Walston plays a leading role in setting national and international research and patient care agendas for older adults through his Professorship at Johns Hopkins and through his many leadership roles in the Gerontological Society of America, the National Institutes on Aging, and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. 

 

His academic focus has been on the biological basis of aging, and on the development of studies that promote healthy aging. 

        Dr. Walston will be inducted into the Eastwood Alumni Association’s Eagle Way Hall of Fame along with accomplished Midwestern artist Emanuel Enriquez (Class of 1966), decorated U.S. Army chaplain Colonel David Bowlus (1989) and long time community contributor Robert Bruning (Pemberville High School class of 1950.

Walston grew up on the family farm on Zepernick Road near New Rochester (outside Pemberville) in Freedom Township, where he was surrounded by a large extended family network that included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He enjoys returning with his family to visit the farm and family members in the area. 

He acknowledges that the peacefulness of the Ohio landscape and early education that he received on the farm from his father and grandfather played a big role in his interest in biology, which eventually led him to the field of medicine.  

Besides family, Dr. Walston is quick to point out a number of educators who played a key role in his development while a student in the Eastwood School District. 

“I would say that my third grade teacher at Webster School, Mrs. Henschen stood out as supportive and caring and noticed and encouraged my observational abilities that have proven to be useful in my medical and research career,” Walston said.

“My sixth grade teachers, Mrs. Hansen and Mrs. Schroeder, were incredibly important in helping me through the awkward transition to adolescence. My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Seal, junior and senior high math teachers, Mrs. Kuhlman, Mr. Gerke, and Miss Rolfes, and English teacher and Aquila advisor Mr. Heckman all had very positive influences in that they were highly supportive of my academic achievements and pushed me to strive for more as I moved towards college.”

Besides crediting former teachers with the role they’ve played in his life, Dr. Walston is also quick to credit many family members and mentors he’s had over the years “who helped me to envision how to move towards the incredibly fulfilling personal and work life that I have.”

Dr. Walston adds, “I have always had a very open mind and try to listen to and be friendly with all kinds of people from all age groups and all walks of life. I gain great strength from these relationships and interactions. I also try not to take things and myself too seriously, and I have a sense of inner peace that comes from my network of personal relationships and my faith.”

Road to nation’s best

During his high school career, Dr. Walston’s excellence was recognized by his selection and participation in the National Honor Society from his sophomore year through graduation. He was heavily involved in music-related activities from marching band, pep band, stage band, symphonic band, and the annual musical.

In addition, Jeremy was selected to student council while a junior and a senior, was an Aquila staff photographer, in the Latin Club for three years, wrote and photographed for the Eagle’s Eye staff as a senior, and was a Buckeye Boy’s State participant.

Dr. Walston graduated from Capital University in Columbus with a BA in Biology. His alma mater recognized him for his Johns Hopkins professorship and his many accomplishments with an honorary doctorate in 2004, during which he was also the commencement speaker.

Dr. Walston attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati and went on to Johns Hopkins University for a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Dr. Walston joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1993 and now holds the Raymond and Anna Lublin Chair for Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 

He is the principal investigator of the Johns Hopkins Older American Independence Center, the co-director of the Biology of Healthy Aging Program, and the deputy Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

The Johns Hopkins Division of Geriatric’s Medicine and Gerontology was selected as the nation’s No. 1 program in geriatrics for 2017-18 by the U.S. News and World Report, and has been in the top three nationally recognized programs for over a decade.

Dr. Walston’s area of expertise is geriatric medicine with research focusing on the biology that drives aging and medical conditions related to aging such as muscle loss and frailty. He became interested in aging and late life vulnerability through his many interactions with vulnerable older adults in the hospital setting and realizing that there had to be better ways to treat older adults in medical settings. 

He helped develop the most commonly used tool to identify frailty in older adults and has used it to help define the biology that influences frailty and decline in later life. His biological discoveries have helped to set the stage for the development of novel preventive and treatment strategies that will enable improved quality of life for millions of older adults.

Well-published

Dr. Walston has over 200 publications in the medical literature including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Walston is also the American editor of the Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and is often cited in news stories including in The Wall Street Journal (June 22, 2014) and in The New York Times (June 25, 2012 and September 18, 2018). 

He has won numerous prestigious awards for his research including the Brookdale National Leadership Fellowship and the Glenn Award for Biological Aging Research. Dr. Walston is often an invited speaker at international aging-focused meetings, including recent visits to Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, and Spain. 

Even with a hectic schedule, Dr. Walston is active within the community. He serves on the church council for Baltimore’s St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and plants trees with a neighborhood organization. For many years, Dr. Walston was a board member for the Chase Brexton Health Services which serves underserved adults in the Baltimore area.

Born in Wood County Hospital in 1961 to Gene and Genevieve (George) Walston, Jeremy currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland with his partner George Lavdas and children Oliver and Alexander.  Dr. Walston grew up with siblings and Eastwood grads Perry Walston (1977) and Wendy Vaughn (1982).

        Tickets for the February 23 Eagle Way Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held at the Pemberville American Legion, are just $25 and includes a chicken or steak entree, sides, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar will also be available. This price also includes the memorable induction ceremony for the four inductees. Tickets may be purchased at the Eastwood High School office, the Pemberville Library, or from any committee member. Visit www.eastwoodschools.org/EastwoodAlumniAssociation.

 

       

 

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