FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – For Irakli Mania, MD, the seeds for becoming an addiction psychiatrist were planted halfway around the world in Post-Soviet Georgia. The country of Georgia’s crumbling economy fostered an environment, says Dr. Mania, that led many of his peers to crime and drug abuse.
“I felt helpless,” he remembers.
Dr. Mania has spent the past 10 years helping patients in Franklin County recover from opioid use disorder and other mental health issues.
To acknowledge his efforts, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) will honor Dr. Mania with its January Everyday Hero Award. He will be the first physician from Chambersburg to receive the honor.
This monthly, statewide award is designed to showcase talented PAMED member physicians who probably don’t view themselves as heroes, but to patients and colleagues they are.
Jagdeep Kaur, MD, who nominated Dr. Mania, describes her colleague as “very compassionate about patient care.”
Dr. Mania graduated from AIETI Medical School in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he often studied by candlelight because of the lack of electricity.
From there, he came to the U.S. and attended Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. He completed the adult psychiatry residency training at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, before landing at Keystone Behavioral Health in Chambersburg.
As medical director for Keystone Behavioral Health, Dr. Mania oversees a department that has grown from two to eight psychiatrists during the past 10 years. He was on the forefront of physicians becoming certified to provide medication assisted treatment for those who suffer from opioid use disorder.
Dr. Mania also holds volunteer leadership positions with the Franklin and Fulton County Mental Health Advisory Board and the Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society.
“Wanting to make an impact is what made me to choose medicine,” he says. “Seeing somebody getting better, putting a smile on somebody’s face, makes my day.”
You can learn more about his story at noon on Jan. 25, when PAMED will present Dr. Mania with the Everyday Hero Award. A brief ceremony will be held at Keystone Behavioral Health, 110 Chambers Hill Drive, Chambersburg, Pa.
Patients and medical colleagues can nominate PAMED member physicians for this award at www.pamedsoc.org/EverydayHero.
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The Pennsylvania Medical Society helps its 21,000 physician and medical student members return to the art of medicine through advocacy and education. To learn more, visit www.pamedsoc.org or follow us on Twitter at @PAMEDSociety.