AGS Opens 2016 Annual Meeting Welcoming Second Nurse President

New York (May 10, 2016)—As more than 2,000 geriatrics experts prepare to converge on the West Coast to advance quality care for older adults, they will also toast the expanding professional breadth of geriatrics itself: Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, a member of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) for nearly two decades, will become the Society’s 63rd President at the start of the 2016 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, held May 19-21 at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif.

“What a remarkable privilege it is to be named AGS President. I’ve been a proud AGS member for 18 years, and it will be an honor to step into this role as an advocate for geriatrics and for older adults,” said Dr. Flaherty. “I’m particularly proud to be the second nurse member to hold this position. You could say that nursing and geriatrics are in my DNA: both my mother and sister are nurses, and I began my career in geriatrics volunteering in a nursing home as a teenager. It’s been such a rewarding career ever since.”

Dr. Flaherty is Co-Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging and a Co-Principal Investigator of the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) at Dartmouth and The John A. Hartford Foundation GWEP Coordinating Center administered by the AGS. Dr. Flaherty has a joint appointment in Geriatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, but also spent nearly 30 years working to advance clinical practice at the New York University (NYU) College of Nursing/Hartford Institute in New York.

At NYU, Dr. Flaherty directed the Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner program and championed the NYU World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center. Through the center, Dr. Flaherty served as a member of the WHO Task Force on Aging and travelled throughout Central and South America to help embed geriatric content into nursing programs globally. For the past 10 years Dr. Flaherty’s research and practice have focused on an interprofessional approach to quality care.

“Across her career, Dr. Flaherty has established herself not only as a champion for geriatrics but also for nursing and its integral role in coordinated care,” said Steven R. Counsell, MD, AGSF, outgoing President of the AGS. “Ellen is a model AGS leader, and now will help us model the way toward an even brighter future for geriatrics.”

As outgoing AGS president, Dr. Counsell becomes Chair of the AGS Board of Directors when Dr. Flaherty assumes her new post. In addition to a year-long tenure as AGS President—during which the Society celebrated recognition for advance care planning and the repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula, among other milestones—Dr. Counsell brings to the AGS Board more than 28 years of experience developing academic geriatrics programs and new models of team-based care for older adults. The slate of Board Officers who will join Dr. Counsell are: Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF, who has served as Secretary since 2015 and was elected by the AGS membership in February 2016 as the new AGS President-elect; Peter Hollmann, MD, AGSF, who will assume responsibilities as Board Secretary; and Laurie Jacobs, MD, AGSF, who will continue her tenure as AGS Treasurer.

These leadership transitions will take place at the convocation of the 2016 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, a premier educational event on geriatrics clinical practice, public policy, education, and research. Other meeting highlights include:

  • A celebration of more than 15 award recipients representing the depth and breadth of disciplines championing elder care;
  • A synthesis of the field’s most important scholarship from the last year; and
  • Detailed practical overviews of clinical guidance and research on several important issues, from communication strategies to improve interprofessional team functioning to research findings from 2015 that will be at the bedside by 2020.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (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. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, consulting pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit

About the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting

The AGS Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatrics, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging, and innovative models of care delivery. More than 2,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene May 19-21, 2016 (pre-conference program on May 18), at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif., to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations.

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