Four National Medical Societies and Nine Leading Health Systems Collaborate to Improve Geriatric Emergency Care

Initiative promoting innovation and shared learnings supported by $3 million grant from  The John A. Hartford Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute

New York (Sept. 13, 2017)—Four national medical societies and nine leading health systems announced today they have established a new national geriatric emergency department collaborative (GEDC) to help improve emergency care for our nation’s older adults.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) will work with a team of experts in geriatric emergency care to support health systems across the United States in identifying, studying and sharing best practices in emergency care for seniors, with about half of all older adults visiting the emergency department each year.

The four societies previously developed expert guidelines on geriatric emergency care in 2014. Those guidelines and new educational activities will help partners at Aurora Health Care System (Wis.), Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital (Ga.), Magee Women’s Hospital (Pa.), Mount Sinai (N.Y.), UC San Diego Health (Calif.), Northwestern (Ill.), St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center (N.J.), University of Chicago (Ill.), and University of North Carolina (N.C.) to promote a variety of proven techniques for improving care for older patients—from coordinating expertise among various professionals to ensuring that older people can transition from the hospital to outpatient settings (like homes or community-based settings) whenever and wherever safely possible.

The research collaborative is supported by a grant of $3 million from The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, two national non-profit organizations focused on improving care for us all as we age.

“Today, 20 million seniors visit our nation’s emergency departments,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute. “With the number of older adults growing rapidly as a result of our aging demographic, there is a critical need for more senior-focused care. This pioneering collaborative is an urgent prescription for innovation and shared learning, which will benefit our nation’s seniors in emergency rooms across the country.”

Added Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation: “This dynamic initiative is committed to ensuring that age-friendly best practices in theory become best practices in practice—advancing large-scale changes in clinical care and ED policies to improve the health, safety, and independence of older adults.”

The GEDC will continue to add more health centers and partners, contributing to an alliance of national stakeholders who will help promote national adoption of geriatric emergency care best practices.

“The GEDC will create a national platform equipped to identify best practices in geriatric emergency medicine and build greater awareness about how we can improve care quality and care outcomes for older adults,” Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, AGS Chief Executive Officer observed.

About The John A. Hartford Foundation

Founded in 1929 by John and George Hartford of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. As 10,000 people turn 65 every day, the largest-ever generation of older adults is living and working longer, redefining later life, and enriching our communities and society. Comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous care that keeps older adults as healthy as possible is essential to sustaining these valuable contributions. The John A. Hartford Foundation believes that its investments in aging experts and innovations can transform how care is delivered, lowering costs and dramatically improving the health of older adults. For more information, visit

About The Gary and Mary West Health Institute and West Health

Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. These organizations are working together toward a shared mission dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. For more information, visit and follow @westhealth.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has—for 75 years—worked to improve 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, 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

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