The late Edward Henderson, MD, was a renowned geriatrics researcher and physician and an instrumental leader for the AGS. The Edward Henderson Award is conferred upon a distinguished clinician, educator, or researcher who also delivers the Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture on a topic related to the body of his or her work at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting.
2023 Recipient: Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF
Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF is recipient of the 2023 Edward Henderson Award for her lifelong focus on giving voice to frail older adults so that the care and services they receive better reflect their needs and goals. She will deliver the Society’s Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AGS 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS23) in Long Beach, CA (May 4-6, pre-conference day May 3).
Dr. Saliba has more than 25 years of experience leading geriatrics research across the continuum of care. Among noteworthy career highlights are Dr. Saliba’s work to develop and test the Vulnerable Elders 13-item Survey (VES-13), a survey that uses individuals’ reports of function and health to efficiently identify older adults at risk for decline or death. The VES-13 has been translated into eight languages and is used in clinical practice, research, and health systems around the world. A second highlight is her leadership of a nationwide team that developed a new Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessment—a tool used more than 14 million times a year to identify the needs of persons in nursing homes and to guide their care planning. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also uses MDS to generate care quality measures and to inform reimbursement for post-acute care in U.S. nursing homes. Dr. Saliba and colleagues pioneered the use in MDS of patient self-report questions to identify patient needs. This work laid the foundation for inclusion of patient reported symptoms in other post-acute care settings to improve coordination and care quality. Dr. Saliba’s research has also explored home and community-based services and supports, the relationship of staffing patterns to care quality, and interventions to decrease the need for and adverse consequences of hospitalization.
“Dr. Saliba’s career embodies her commitment to working with colleagues, older adults, and caregivers on improving our collective health and quality of life as we age,” said G. Michael Harper, MD, AGSF, President of the AGS. “She is passionate about giving voice to older adults so that the care that they receive is more targeted to their needs and goals. The AGS has benefitted from her wisdom, passion for older adults, and generous spirit during her more than two decades of service to the Society. Like Dr. Henderson for whom this award is named, Dr. Saliba exemplifies how geriatrics health professional can significantly impact public policy and clinical practice and I am delighted that we are honoring her with this award.”
Dr. Saliba, a Professor of Medicine, holds the Anna and Harry Borun Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology at UCLA. She is the Director of the UCLA/JH Borun Center for Gerontological Research. At the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, she is a Physician Scientist in the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) and serves as the Associate Director for Education at the HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy. Dr. Saliba is also a Senior Natural Scientist at RAND. Dr. Saliba has authored more than 200 publications and chapters in aging and continues to work with older adults and caregivers as a physician with the VA. She was a co-author of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s 2022 report “The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff.”
“I am honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Saliba. “It is especially meaningful that it is conferred by my colleagues in AGS who share my commitment to improving the quality of care experienced by older adults. In my research, teaching, and service, my goal is to create systems in which all older adults receive care that focuses on their needs, strengths, and preferences.”
Like the geriatrician for whom her award is named, Dr. Saliba has selflessly shared her talent and energy with the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). She has served on multiple Committees, work groups, and the AGS Board. Dr. Saliba was AGS President from 2017-2018 and Board Chair from 2018-2019. She currently serves as an Executive Editor for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and is the JAGS liaison to our Public Policy and Quality and Performance Measurement Committees. She has represented the Society in a number of external venues, mentored many of our younger members, and served on multiple AGS writing groups for Society white papers, position statements, and guidelines.
Past Recipients of the Edward Henderson Award
2022 Sharon A. Brangman, MD, FACP, AGSF
2021 Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF
2019 Laura Mosqueda, MD, AGSF
2018 Bruce Leff, MD, AGSF
2017 Richard Allman, MD
2016 Christopher Callahan, MD
2015 Robert M. Palmer, MD, MPH
2014 Michael W. Rich, MD
2013 Diane E. Meier, MD
2012 David B. Reuben, MD
2011 Mary E. Tinetti, MD
2010 Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH
2009 Mary Naylor, RN, PhD
2008 Linda P. Fried, MD
2007 Joseph T. Hanlon, PharmD, MS
2006 Walter Willet, MD
2005 Jeffrey Cummings, MD
2004 Edward Wagner, MD
2003 Vincent Mor, PhD
2002 David T. Felson, MD
2001 Mahlon R. DeLong, MD
2000 Bruce Vladeck, MD