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.
"Through our advocacy, ethnogeriatrics work, and tools like our Doorway Thoughts series, we have long worked to address systemic bias in health care by highlighting how we, as geriatrics health professionals, can be better partners with our patients from different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups," said Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, AGS president. "However, we can and must do more to address systemic racism in health care, given its impact on our patients and their families across their lifespan."
As an organization, the AGS remains committed to improving the health, well-being and quality of life of all older people. The Society denounces race-related violence, including police brutality, and we will speak out against discriminatory policies and actions with the goal of achieving our collective vision of a nation where everyone is treated equally. For the full AGS position statement on discrimination, first released in 2017, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org/Where-We-Stand.
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 AmericanGeriatrics.org.