What We Do: A Look Back at 2019

Founded in 1942, the AGS is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. As our 6,800+ members work tirelessly to champion interprofessional teams, elicit personal care goals, and treat older people as whole persons, the AGS supports those efforts by providing leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public. Check out highlights below from our work across 2019...

January 2019

  • @AmerGeriatrics followers on Twitter crest 19,150.
  • The AGS unveils its latest update to one of geriatrics’ most frequently cited reference tools: the AGS Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. With more than 90% of older people using at least one prescription and more than 66% using three or more in any given month, the AGS Beers Criteria®—a compendium of medications potentially to avoid or consider with caution because they often present an unfavorable balance of benefits and harms—plays a vital role in helping health professionals, older adults, and caregivers work together to ensure medications are appropriate.
  • With the publication of new research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), AGS experts and collaborators from the Association of Directors of Geriatrics Academic Programs (ADGAP) and UCSF report encouraging findings from their Emerging Leaders in Aging (ELIA) Program, a promising approach to leadership development for geriatrics.
  • The AGS offers a ringing endorsement of the bipartisan Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act, a proposal introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) in the U.S. Senate to ensure communities across the U.S. have access to health professionals and other critical supports improving care for us all as we age. The bill would become an important part of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act passed in 2020.
  • The much anticipated 10th Edition of the Geriatrics Review Syllabus (GRS10) hits GeriatricsCareOnline.org. Offering 67 updated chapters, recent research findings, annotated references, and 360 case-oriented, multiple-choice questions and answers with critiques, the GRS10 is the essential reference and study tool in geriatrics.


February 2019

  • Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a new study of gender equity in leadership for medical specialty societies notes that the AGS ranks among the top societies for the number of years with women presidents.
  • Reporting their work in the JAGS, geriatrics researchers and clinicians hope a new understanding—one honed at a prestigious conference hosted by the AGS and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation—can lead to better and more effective interventions by targeting the aging process itself rather than discrete conditions or concerns associated with aging.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH), America’s premier institution for medical research, announces plans that require NIH-funded scholars to eliminate arbitrary age limits in their work, age limits that previously allowed for excluding groups like older people without just cause. A series of articles published in the JAGS explore how the change came to fruition—in large part thanks to advocacy from organizations like AGS and its member experts.
JAMA Internal Medicine Gender Rankings


March 2019

  • The AGS unveils a newly redesigned HealthinAging.org. The new site features streamlined navigation, mobile responsiveness, and enhanced functionality to match who we are on the cutting-edge of care for older adults.
  • Trillions of dollars in cuts to everything from the nation’s largest insurer to programs for training more health professionals already in short supply round out a 2020 budget proposal that is “deeply troubling for older Americans, their families, and their health professionals,” so say experts from the AGS reviewing the President’s proposed budget for 2020.

April 2019

  • The 6th edition of the Geriatric Nursing Review Syllabus is published—a concise, up-to-date, and comprehensive text developed by the AGS—debuts, featuring the expertise of more than 150 interprofessional authors.
  • The AGS commends 20+ researchers, clinicians, educators, and emerging health professionals who received Society awards in 2019.
  • The American Medical Association and other leading organizations, including the AGS, file an amicus brief in the case of Texas v. United States, appealing a decision that would strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
  • For the first time ever, the AGS launches its very own geriatrics-branded emojis. The AGS becomes one of just two medical specialty societies with branded emoji all our own.
AGS Emoji


May 2019

  • Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, BCGP, BCPS, becomes the new AGS president and second pharmacist to lead the Society.
  • A record-breaking 2,950+ geriatrics healthcare professionals, researchers, and advocates converge on Portland, OR, for the AGS 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS19). More than 1,040 research abstracts were submitted for the meeting—the highest number in AGS history!
  • The AGS honors 21 leading health professionals who joined the newest class of AGS Fellows—a select group of experts recognized for their deep commitment to the AGS and advancing high-quality, person-centered care for us all as we age.
  • The AGS announces the publication of the newly updated Clinician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers, developed under a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Clinician’s Guide is a free online text that walks clinicians through key issues, opportunities, and challenges faced by older drivers and the healthcare professionals who care for them.

June 2019

  • The 21st edition of Geriatrics At Your Fingertips, the AGS’s go-to tool for clinicians who care for older people, hits shelves and online libraries.
  • A new special issue of the JAGS presents papers commissioned from a May 2018 Workforce Summit organized by UCSF and sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to address the need for greater geriatrics expertise.

July 2019

August 2019

  • In a report published in the JAGS, attendees of a conference for the NIA’s Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists Transition into Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) program describe how increasing evidence shows age-related diseases—rather than age itself—may be the key cause of cognitive decline.
  • The AGS unveils a Faculty Development Feedback Toolkit on GeriatricsCareOnline.org. The toolkit, developed by the AGS/ADGAP Education Committee, is a compendium of resources and tools offering guidance on performance feedback across multiple settings.

September 2019

  • AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA, describes the importance of changing our perception of the arc of aging to ensure older adults “remain in the frame” of images we see, use, and promote.
  • After more than a year of behind-the-scenes planning and implementation, the AGS transitions to a new membership database to help streamline the member experience.

October 2019

  • Putting power and potential behind gender equity in health care isn’t just common sense; it’s critical to the future of health, safety, and independence for us all as we age, so says the AGS in a new position statement addressing gender equity in health care and geriatrics.
  • The AGS congratulates the U.S. House of Representatives, which approved by voice vote the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) for Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 2781) championed by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Michael Burgess (R-TX). The bill would become an important part of the CARES Act passed in 2020.
  • The AGS submits a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the agency’s 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule. In the letter, the AGS thanked CMS for its efforts to address gaps in coding and payment for care management services and for their continued efforts to address CMS’s policies that may create an undue administrative burden. The Society also thanked CMS for their work with key stakeholders, including AGS, to refine and improve payment policy for office and other outpatient Evaluation and Management (E/M) services.

November 2019

Between Two Fellows


December 2019

  • Writing in the JAGS, experts at a prestigious medical conference hosted by AGS and funded by the NIA report on key efforts to address the range of soft tissue and bone disorders that contribute to falls, fractures, and muscle loss as we age.
  • HealthinAging.org receives its 750,000th visitor for the year, with the Foundation raising more than $114,000 to support public education for older adults and caregivers, as well as professional education for emerging geriatrics leaders.
  • The American Psychological Association releases its new publication manual, including several key insights from the AGS on inclusive terminology for describing older people. 
  • The AGS announces a new interactive educational program on the Assessment of Older Drivers using Virtual Patient Cases. Developed through a cooperative agreement with the NHTSA and in partnership with DxR Clinician, these cases provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to learn how to incorporate the safety needs of older drivers while diagnosing and managing a patient in a virtual clinical encounter.