As Henderson State-of-the-Science Lecturer at #AGS21, Dr. Ellen Flaherty Sets Sight on Key Priority for Us All as We Age: Collaborative Care

  • .@EllenFlaherty5, Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecturer at @AmerGeriatrics’ #AGS21, sets sight on key priority for us all as we age: collaboration in care #geriatrics 

New York (April 5, 2021)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) celebrates Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, an Assistant Professor at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health & Aging who is the recipient of the 2020/2021 Edward Henderson Award for her trailblazing work on interprofessional teams.  Dr. Flaherty will deliver the Society’s Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AGS 2021 Virtual Annual Scientific Conference (#AGS21) on May 13. 

“Across her career, Dr. Flaherty has established herself not only as a champion of the highest standards in geriatric nursing but of the best-coordinated care that health professionals across disciplines can provide,” said AGS President Annie Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF.  “Passionate and thoughtful, Dr. Flaherty is sure to deliver an inspirational lecture that will illustrate the importance of interprofessional care teams when it comes to improving care for all of us as we age.”

Like the geriatrician for whom her award is named, Dr. Flaherty has selflessly shared her talent and energy with the American Geriatrics Society (AGS).  With Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, she served as the lead editor for the first edition of the Geriatrics Nursing Review Syllabus (GNRS) and went on to co-edit five subsequent editions. She chaired the AGS 2009 Annual Meeting Program Committee and continues to serve as a member, given her expertise in interprofessional team training. She served as a member of the AGS Nominating Committee before being elected to the AGS Board. She was elected AGS President in 2016 –the second AGS nurse member elected to this position.   In addition to serving on the annual meeting Program Committee, Dr. Flaherty is the co-principal investigator of The John A. Hartford Foundation GWEP Coordinating Center, which is administered by the AGS.  

“We wanted to recognize Dr. Flaherty’s unyielding advocacy for advancing the art and science of team-based care,” Medina-Walpole explained. “As PI of the Northern New England Geriatric Education Center (NNEGEC), she has sparked a national conversation about how to maximize the roles of all members of the primary care team to achieve the quadruple aim: improving the health of the population, improving patient experience, reducing costs, and addressing the work life of healthcare providers.  This is truly transformative work that allows all team members to practice to the top of their scope. 

“The roots of my passion for teams lie in my early work as Director of the Adult/Geriatrics Nurse Practitioner Program at the New York University College of Nursing/Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing,” said Dr. Flaherty. “I was fortunate to work with Drs. Terry Fulmer and Mathy Mezey on advancing the Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training, or GITT, model with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation. Terry and Mathy sparked my life-long focus on teams, and I’m humbled that the AGS is recognizing my work with one of its highest honors.” 

An AGS member since 1998, Dr. Flaherty earned her doctoral degree in nursing from NYU and her master’s in nursing from Stony Brook University in N.Y. She has published numerous peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, presented at multiple professional conferences, and mentored geriatrics health professionals from a variety of disciplines.   

“Edward Henderson, MD, namesake of the Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture, was a beloved and respected geriatrician who, through his service as most notably as President, Vice President, and Executive Director, laid a strong foundation for our society,” Medina-Walpole said. “For more than two decades, Dr. Henderson, an international authority in human aging and geriatric medicine, devoted his energy to building the discipline of geriatrics in medicine. We are delighted to be recognizing Dr. Flaherty with the Henderson award given her steadfast focus on improving care for us all as we age, her years of service to the AGS, and her commitment to geriatrics.”

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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 more than 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

About the Edward Henderson Award and the Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture
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.

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 2,500 nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene virtually May 13-15, 2021 (pre-conference program on May 12), to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. The Edward Henderson Award is one of several 2020/2021 awards honors that will be conferred by the AGS at this year’s annual meeting. Award recipients in 2020 – who will be celebrated this year, due to the cancellation of #AGS20—and in 2021 include more than 30 healthcare leaders representing the depth and breadth of disciplines championing care for older adults. For more information, visit

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