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Spotlight on #AGS21: Register Before Wed., March 17 and Save $100!
The AGS 2021 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting will be here before you know it! #AGS21 will be the virtual educational experience of the year for cutting-edge science and education that will improve care for us all as we age. Join us to:
- Attend your choice of 70+ concurrent scientific sessions.
- Participate in live Q&As with leading experts during sessions using the chat feature.
- Receive FREE post-meeting access to the CME-certified session recordings. Your registration includes live online meeting access, plus three months of post-meeting access to the sessions and up to 65 CME/CE credits.
- Network with your colleagues in Special Interest Group and Section meetings to engage in lively discussions and exchange ideas.
There is less than a week left to register at discounted early-bird rates for #AGS21, the most comprehensive geriatrics meeting of the year. Register by Wednesday, March 17, to save up to $100 off your meeting registration fees. Register today!
Please Complete this Month's Quick Primary Care Survey
The Larry A. Green Center, in partnership with the Primary Care Collaborative, continues conducting a quick clinician survey to better understand the response and capacity of U.S. primary care practices to COVID-19.
This is your March survey. It takes four to five minutes to complete. Responses are required by Tues., March 16, 11:59 p.m. PT.
Announcing Board and Nominating Committee Election Results
Congratulations to the following AGS members who were elected to serve as:
- AGS President Elect - G. Michael Harper, MD, AGSF
- AGS Board (2nd Term) - Alison A. Moore, MD, MPH, FACP
- AGS Board (1st Term) - Reena Karani, MD, MHPE, FACP, AGSF, Ramona Rhodes, MD, MPH, MSCS, AGSF, FAAHPM
- AGS Nominating Committee (1st Term) - Helen Fernandez, MD, MPH
A huge thank you to all of the candidates who stood for election. Each of you has made significant contributions to the Society, and we look forward to continuing to work together. Thanks also to our members who voted in the election (dues-paying members as of February 1st and February 15th were eligible to vote in this election); we appreciate your interest in the Society.
This Week in Advocacy & Public Policy
CMS and CDC Update Guidance for Nursing Home Visitation. Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency. The new guidance says that facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor. The guidance does outline the following scenarios that would limit visitation for:
- Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated,
- Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions, or
- Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
The updated guidance also emphasizes that “compassionate care” visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status. This includes visits for a resident whose health has sharply declined or is experiencing a significant change in circumstances.
The updated guidelines can be found here.
Congress Approves and President Signs COVID-19 Relief Bill. Yesterday, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—a 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that includes funding for vaccine manufacturing and distribution, testing and contact tracing, among many other healthcare-related provisions. Here are just a few of them:
- $7.5 billion to the CDC for vaccine distribution
- $48.3 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, as well as PPE for frontline workers
- $10 billion to expand domestic production of personal PPE, vaccines, and other medical supplies through the Defense Production Act
- $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers to assist with vaccinations, testing, and associated activities
- $7.7 billion to bolster the public health workforce and COVID-19 response
- $8.5 billion in financial assistance for rural health care providers, including home health, hospice, and long-term services and supports providers
- $1.44 billion for Older Americans Act programs, including nutrition support and the family caregiver support program
- $250 million to states for strike teams for nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks to assist with clinical care, infection control, or staffing for up to a year after the public health emergency ends
$200 million for quality improvement organizations (QIOs) to provide infection control and vaccination uptake support to nursing homes during the public health emergency
There's Still Time to Participate in Member Focus Groups to Inform the AGS Initiative Addressing the Intersection of Structural Racism & Ageism
AGS is seeking member input to inform both our strategies for our new initiative addressing the intersection of structural racism and ageism and our goals for achieving our vision for a future in which healthcare is free of discrimination and bias. (Learn more about the initiative here).
We have scheduled a series of webinars that will include a presentation of our draft goals followed by a breakout sessions for members to share their feedback and ideas for strategies that will help us achieve our vision. We are particularly interested in learning from members what strategies they think have been effective locally that might be replicated elsewhere, what strategies the AGS might pursue on the national level, and what strategies we might use to engage other organizations in this work.
Webinars are scheduled for:
- Mon., March 15; 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET,
- Fri., March 26; 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET, and
- Thurs., April 1; 7:00 p.m.– 8:30 p.m. ET. (NOTE: In an effort to create an opportunity for open and honest feedback, this session is reserved specifically for Early Career Professionals, Fellows-in-Training, Residents and Students. These groups are also welcome to join earlier sessions if those work better for their schedules.)
Help Us Celebrate Colleagues at #AGS21
- Celebrating Achievements of Colleagues Entering Retirement. Are you or is a colleague you know recently retired or retiring in 2021? We want to celebrate you! Please complete this short, four-question form to let us know about your or your colleague's retirement and favorite career highlights that will make us all #AGSProud.
- Remembering and Honoring Geriatrics Health Professionals. The geriatrics community of today and tomorrow owes much to the legacy of health professionals who helped shape the AGS and care for older adults. If you know of a leader or colleague who is no longer with us, please fill out this short survey so we can recognize those who have gone before us with a special tribute at the AGS Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting.
New Guidance from CDC on Infection Control Measures in Healthcare Settings and Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons
The week, the CDC updated select healthcare infection prevention and control recommendations in response to COVID-19 vaccination and released the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people.
Review the updates, guidance, and background rationale for the guidance here:
ACL Launches Public Dialogue on Inclusive Design of Autonomous Vehicles
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is partnering with the U.S. Access Board, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), and other agencies to launch an online platform that will facilitate conversation on accessibility for people with disabilities in the design of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Visit the public dialogue platform here, and register for a series of related meetings:
- Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities - March 24, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
- Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory and Cognitive Disabilities: Part 1 - April 7, 2:00-3:30 p.m. E
- Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory & Cognitive Disabilities: Part 2 - April 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Open Program Applications
- The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Center for Health Equity, in collaboration with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) at Morehouse School of Medicine, has issued a call for applications for the inaugural AMA-SHLI Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellowship. The Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellowship is a collaborative educational initiative to empower physician-led advocacy that advances equity and removes barriers to optimal health for marginalized people and communities. The fellowship will mobilize physicians to be part of the next generation of advocacy leaders, driving meaningful policy and structural changes that produce equity and justice in the communities they serve. The application deadline is Wed., March 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
- The National Institute on Aging (NIA)'s Butler-Williams Scholars Program provides unique opportunities for junior faculty and researchers new to the field of aging to gain insight about aging research. Held each summer, the program offers diverse perspectives and includes presentations, seminars, and small group discussions. The application deadline is Wed., March 31.
- The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program creates a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy to improve the health care of older adults. The year-long program offers a rich and unique training experience focused on current policy issues, communication skills development, and professional networking opportunities. With both residential and non-residential tracks, plus a specific program track for VA staff, the program offers flexibility on how you will participate and conduct fellowship projects. The application deadline is Thurs., April 15, and finalists will be notified mid-May for follow-up interviews. The fellowship begins October 2021.
Members & Geriatrics in the News
We congratulate Jennifer Gabbard, MD, and Ariel Green, MD, MPH, PhD for each receiving an IMPACT Pilot award for their research on ways to improve care for older adults with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. Dr. Gabbard's research focuses on using telemedicine to improve engagement in advance care planning, and Dr. Green's research focuses on aligning medications with what matters most to patients.
Upcoming Webinars & Events
- Mastering Meds: Exploring Approaches to Pharmacy in Hospital at Home. The Hospital at Home Users Group, in partnership with the American Academy of Home Care Medicine and the American Hospital Association, is presenting this webinar on Tues., March 30, 4 p.m. ET. AGS member Bruce Leff, MD, is the moderator, and AGS member Linda DeCherrie, MD, is a panelist. Register here.
- COVID-19 Vaccinations for Homebound Older Adults: Challenges and Solutions. With funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Cambria Foundation, the Trust for America's Health is hosting this webinar on Wed., March 31, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET. AGS member Thomas Cornwell, MD, is one of the speakers presenting. Register here.