Health AGEnda

Opportunity’s Knocking: Reflections from HGNL Chair Dr. Bill Buron

Dr. Bill Buron

Dr. Bill Buron

In November 2013, Bill Buron, PhD, APRN, Clinical Assistant Professor and
Assistant Dean for Nursing at the College of Nursing NW Arkansas Program, began his term as Chair of the Hartford Gerontological Nursing Leaders (HGNL), assuming the helm from Casey Shillam, PhD, RN. I asked Bill, as leader of the 250-plus strong Hartford nursing organization, to reflect on the history of the HGNL and its future.

The work that HGNL does is vital, and what Dr. Buron has to say should be of interest to physicians, social workers, and everyone else who is working to improve the health of older adults.

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What’s Next for the Change AGEnts Initiative?

agents_launch_sign_300Ok. We did it. We collectively put Chris Langston’s “What-if-we-have-a-party-and nobody-shows” fears to bed.

We had hoped for 200 attendees at our launch of the Change AGEnts Initiative at the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) annual meeting last month. Huzzah! Close to 400 Change AGEnts showed and actively participated in the interactive activities designed to inspire conversation and connections.

In case the launch or the AGEnts initiative has been off your radar:

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Congrats to Our Award-Winning Grantees at GSA

gsa-logoGreetings from New Orleans and the 2013 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) meeting. As usual, many John A. Hartford Foundation staff are at the meeting to learn from the experts in the field, to work with our grantees, and to answer questions from anyone interested in improving the care of older adults.

We are particularly excited about the launch of our new Change AGEnts program. Anyone ever associated with a Hartford-funded project is invited to join us at the Change AGEnts Initiative launch event on Friday, Nov. 22, from 6:30-8p.m. (Sheraton Hotel, Grand Ballroom C). Visit our Change AGEnts page to RSVP and learn more!

Of course, we are also very proud of the accomplishments of our current grantees and friends. I’d like to recognize several who are being honored here this week.

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Robert N. Butler, MD: The Original Change AGEnt

Robert N. Butler, MD, made a profound and lasting difference in the field of aging and health.

Robert N. Butler, MD, made a profound and lasting difference in the field of aging and health.

Next week, we will launch the new Change AGEnts initiative  at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) annual meeting in New Orleans.

And I can’t help but think about Bob Butler. He would have loved the idea because, in the field of aging and health, Bob was the original Change AGEnt.

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We Can Do Better


James Appleby, RPh, MPH

On today’s Health AGEnda, we once again highlight dementia and its impact on older adults and their families, as we did recently with Chris Langston’s post on the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, we are thankful for the opportunity to share a personal account by James Appleby, Executive Director and CEO of the Gerontological Society of America, about his own family’s experience with another form of dementia, Lewy Body Disease. James uses this difficult situation to issue a call for better communication by clinicians when delivering a devastating dementia diagnosis.

We are also thankful to be working in partnership with James and the GSA in our new Change AGEnts initiative, which will support a network of experts who will tackle issues faced by caregivers of older adults with dementia. We look forward to sharing more about that work as it develops. In the meanwhile, please share this story and help GSA and the Hartford Foundation advocate for better person-centered communication between clinicians, patients, and families.

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Membership Has Its Benefits: Join the New National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

TS_100799149_Nurse300In December 2012, the Hartford Trustees endorsed a final proposal to the Gerontological Society of America (GSA)  creating the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

This new collaborative entity consists of the eight Hartford centers of geriatric nursing excellence, their sister center at the University of Oklahoma funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, and the coordinating center at GSA.

The mission of the National Centers is to enhance and sustain the capacity and competence of all nurses to work in partnership with others to provide quality care to older adults through: Continue reading

Hartford Grantees Honored at GSA Meeting

We are proud to salute the Gerontological Society of America and its 65th Annual Meeting. If you try to call us in New York this week you will find that more than half of our staff are at the conference in San Diego—meeting with experts, participating in Hartford Foundation-sponsored events, attending sessions, and catching up with grantees.

GSA itself is one of the Foundation’s longest standing and largest grantees, hosting our social work faculty scholars and doctoral fellows programs and, as of this year, serving as the coordinating center for our geriatric nursing initiative. We are grateful to the leadership and staff of GSA for their partnership.

I want to particularly call out a few of the outstanding Hartford grantees being honored at the meeting:

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Going to College

Effective June 30, 2012, the Hartford-funded Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Initiative will be moving.

BAGNC was born and raised at the American Academy of Nursing, where it has thrived for 12 years. The evidence lies in the over 200 gero-focused pre- and post-doctoral nursing students who have taught close to 33,000 students, received over $74 million in funding, and published over 1,300 articles on the care of older adults.

The Academy’s President, Joanne Disch, positively reflects on those years. “We are certainly proud of the role that the American Academy of Nursing has played in the development of the many Scholars and Fellows who now have the knowledge and skills to impact the quality of care delivered to our nation’s elders,” she explains.

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We hit the jackpot! This year we had a trifecta of terrific grantees who had the honor of delivering awards lectures at the GSA Annual meeting:

  • Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, New York University, Donald P. Kent Award
  • Mary E. Tinetti, MD, Yale University, Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging
  • Lewis Lipsitz, MD, Hebrew Senior Life, Harvard University, Joseph T. Freeman Award

We wrote a bit about each of these outstanding researchers last year when they won their awards. Here, we share ideas from each of their lectures with those of you unable to attend the meeting.

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