2020 Press Releases

AGS: Equitably Distributing COVID-19 Vaccine Means "Prioritizing Health Workforce, Older Adults" & Avoiding Age as Unfair Criterion

New York (Sept. 3, 2020)—In oral and written testimony delivered today to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) stressed the importance of prioritizing health professionals and older adults in the distribution of a future COVID-19 vaccine. Delivered in response to an NASEM draft framework for the equitable distribution of coronavirus immunizations, the comments also stressed the importance of ensuring age is never used to exclude someone categorically from care, including prevention for a pandemic as pernicious as COVID-19.

Renowned Geriatrician Dr. Joseph Ouslander to Helm Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

New York (Aug. 14, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today announced that Joseph G. Ouslander, MD, AGSF—a leading figure in geriatrics with decades of experience helming organizations like the AGS, its Health in Aging Foundation, and some of the nation’s most prestigious health institutions—will succeed William B. Applegate, MD, MPH, MACP, AGSF, as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS). Having already served in editorial leadership for JAGS across nearly three decades, Dr. Ouslander now will pilot one of the leading and only academic journals dedicated to the care we all need as we age, with Dr. Applegate’s tenure closing at the end of 2020. Dr. Applegate will remain active with the journal, serving as editor emeritus.

“Dr. Ouslander was unanimously endorsed for this position by the AGS Board of Directors,” noted AGS President Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF. “That speaks volumes not only about his prowess, but also about how highly regarded he is among his peers. We’re very fortunate to have Dr. Ouslander leading JAGS as we look to showcase a new decade of innovative research, care models, and education.”

Protecting American Homes from COVID-19 Means “Protecting Home for COVID-19 Data at CDC”: AGS Experts

New York (July 20, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today expressed concern that the new process for sharing COVID-19 data risks fragile progress in our hard-fought national response to the pandemic. The AGS is particularly concerned that the new process, which would change the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not provide public access to the data at a time when the agency’s impartial expertise has never been needed more.

“Representing more than 6,000 experts who care for us all as we age, the AGS strongly believes the CDC is still best positioned to collect, analyze, and act on health data as we support age-friendly care in the face of pandemics,” notes AGS President Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF. “Instead of removing the country’s premier health protection agency from the equation, let’s focus on building the infrastructure it needs to remain ‘first among equals’ leading local, state, and other national partners in ending COVID-19.”

Sustained Support for WHO “Vital to Us All as We Age,” Say AGS Experts

New York (July 9, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today joined organizations across health care, international development, and science in criticizing the Trump Administration’s move to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Simply put: The WHO is vital to who we are—and who we can become—as we age,” notes AGS President Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF. “At a time when so many hard-won victories for creating  age-friendly communities and health are jeopardized by crises like COVID-19, we need to stand indivisible and support international cooperation critical to high-quality, person-centered care for us all.”

As the United Nations agency responsible for public health, the WHO has played a key role in improving health, safety, and independence for us all as we age. Founded after World War II, the WHO employs more than 7,000 workers spread across 150 offices that alert the world to threats, fighting diseases, developing policy, and improving access to care, including for older adults.

AGS Commends Leaders in Senate, House for Advancing Important Protections in Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care

  • .@AmerGeriatrics commends @SenBobCasey @SenWhitehouse @RepAnnaEshoo @JanSchakowsky for introducing S3768 and HR6972, proposals in Senate and House to address #COVID19 in nursing homes http://ow.ly/wKE330qVHaq

New York (July 2, 2020)—As its more than 6,000 members continue to care for older Americans impacted by COVID-19, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today thanked Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and House Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) for contributing to those efforts with nursing home COVID-19 protection and prevention acts introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.3768) and House of Representatives (H.R. 6972), respectively. With estimates suggesting that long-term care facilities account for 30 to 40 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths, actions to safe-guard residents and those who care for them are not just important, they are absolutely essential to improving health and safety for us all, AGS experts observed.

In Virtual Presentation, Top Geriatrics Research Addresses Key Concern for Older Adults: Medications

New York (June 12, 2020)—New insights on a host of factors impacting medication use for older adults will anchor a special research presentation hosted by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) on June 24 from 3-4pm ET. Originally scheduled as part of the AGS 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting canceled due to COVID-19, data presentations from the three top studies comprising the meeting’s prestigious Plenary Paper Session will instead be delivered during a virtual conference session, with registration open to all here.

Presentations will address a key concern for us all as we age: Medication and medication management. Older adults are prescribed medications more than any other age group in the U.S. While these prescriptions often play an important role in health and well-being, they can also lead to other problems when not managed effectively. In the three presentations included in the AGS Plenary Paper Session, researchers will look critically at top-ranked studies representing from the field:

AGS Welcomes 18 New Fellows Recognized for Exceptional Commitment to Geriatrics

New York (June 3, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today honored 18 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 to advancing high-quality, person-centered care for us all as we age.

This year’s fellows hail from all four corners of the country and reflect the increasingly interprofessional nature of geriatrics as a field attracting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, and many others. They include:

“We Denounce Race-Related Violence & Will Speak Out Against Discriminatory Policies,” Say Leaders in Geriatrics at AGS

New York (June 2, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS), which today issued an updated position statement on discrimination, joins advocates across the country calling for justice and changes to policies that have allowed racism to persist in our society.

"In the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic alone has only exacerbated devastating impacts on Black and African American communities and many other racial and ethnic groups," explained AGS CEO Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. "Today's challenges not only expose racial inequities but also emphasize why action is critical, when many economic and social policies continue to jeopardize health and well-being for people of color."

As noted in its statement, the AGS believes in a just society—one where all people are treated equally regardless of their age, ancestry, cultural background, disability, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, immigration status, nationality, marital and/or familial status, primary language, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and/or sexual orientation.

Geriatrics Experts: Candidates’ Answers to These Questions Can Help #Decision2020 Build Momentum for Americans as We Age

New York (May 14, 2020)—With primary and general elections on the horizon across the U.S., the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today released a series of high-priority questions for candidates. The AGS candidate question guide is aimed at helping Americans keep all political leaders—including and perhaps especially those running for president—committed to a clear, articulated vision how they will support us all as Americans age.

“How candidates answer a question gives us a sense of what policies they would put forward to support us all as we age,” explains AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights how important federal and state leadership are  to having policies in place that support the health of us all through a comprehensive approach informed by how geriatrics approaches our care: Team-based, person-centered, and focused on the whole person, with the goal of each of us remaining active and engaged in our communities.”

AGS Honors Expert & Emerging Geriatrics Leaders of 2020

New York (May 8, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annually honors researchers, clinicians, educators, and emerging health professionals who have made outstanding contributions to high-quality, person-centered care for older people. This year’s award recipients include more than 20 leaders representing the breadth of disciplines championing care for us all as we age. 

Following the cancellation of the AGS 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AGS announced that awardees would be honored at the AGS 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting, May 13-15 (pre-conference program on May 12), in Chicago, Ill.

Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine Who are Focused on the Care of Older Adults

  • Rasheeda Hall, MD (Duke University)
  • Kah Poh (Melissa) Loh, MBBCh, BAO (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Choosing Wisely® Champion Award