Greetings 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.
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.
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.
In 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
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:
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.
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.
Greetings from Boston! Most of the John A. Hartford Foundation’s program staff are here in the land of “Hahvahd,” “cahs,” and “pahking,” preparing for a busy weekend at the 64th annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. Many of our grantees will be in attendance as well, and we are pleased that several of them will be honored with awards. Today I want to highlight two of our grantees, one in medicine and one in nursing. Both have contributed greatly to the growing awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect.
On the medicine side, we have Beeson scholar (2008) XinQi Dong, MD, PhD, the recipient of the Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging. The award is given annually to a mid-career researcher whose work bridges the divide between research and practice in the field of aging. Dr. Dong studies elder abuse and neglect in the United States and China, with a particular focus on adverse health outcomes across different racial and ethnic groups. Associate Director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Dong is also a 2010-11 Health and Aging Policy Fellow, allowing him the opportunity to work with policy leaders to improve public policy relevant to elder abuse and neglect.
Spending last week in New Orleans, at the Hartford Nursing and Social Work preconference meetings followed by the meetings of the Gerontological Society of America, was truly exciting and stimulating. Not only is the cutting edge science I saw very promising for the future, but also the ever-growing cadre of excellent people the Foundation has been privileged to support promises that we will have the leaders we need to turn that evidence into action. The need for action is, however, sadly getting clearer–as is often the case, things may have to get worse before they get better. So, first the bad news and then the good.
In the last two weeks, two major reports have been released documenting the poor quality of health care for older adults. They translate into wasteful spending by the Medicare trust fund and worse, preventable suffering and death. First AHRQ (The Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) came out with an analysis of preventable hospitalizations in the US. They found that 10% of all hospitalizations in the US are preventable, meaning that they are due to acute or chronic conditions that ought to be controlled by adequate ambulatory care. Sounds bad? It gets worse–60% of those four million preventable hospitalizations are among the 13% of Americans who are 65 years old or more. These are the people who all HAVE insurance. Yet our delivery system is simply unable to provide them with prevention-oriented, responsive, comprehensive, guideline-level care.
The other shoe to drop was the report of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of Health and Human Services on the rate of adverse events among hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries. According to this study, 14% of hospitalized beneficiaries experienced an adverse event (e.g., delirium, pressure sore, infection, or medication error–the routine, well-documented hazards of hospitalization for older people) that was likely preventable. (Another 13% of beneficiaries experienced an adverse event that was ruled not likely to have been preventable.) Worse, the severity of harm was such that the OIG estimated that 1.5% of all hospitalized patients actually died at least partly due to such an adverse event. That percentage might sound low, but in real numbers, that’s 15,000 a month and 180,000 a year. Donald Berwick, MD, Administrator of CMS, and Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of AHRQ, both concur with the findings of the OIG in their letters of response to the report. Dr. Clancy writes, “The findings in the report are consistent with prior studies but are nonetheless disturbing.”
November seems to be the month for awards. In particular, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) recognizes a number of excellent clinicians and researchers every year at their annual meeting. We are pleased to wrap up our recent (informal) series on Hartford-funded awardees by highlighting the recipients of two more awards, presented at the GSA meeting this past weekend (November 18-22) in Atlanta, GA.
Mathy and Andy Mezey
The 2009 GSA Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award was presented to Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita, Senior Research Scientist and Director, The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, New York University College of Nursing. The award, presented by the Health Sciences section, recognizes outstanding and sustained contribution to geriatric nursing research. Mathy Mezey, a longtime Hartford grantee, received the award in recognition for her outstanding contribution to geriatric nursing research across all settings, particularly in education and long-term care. Her acceptance address, entitled “50 Years: Older Adults and Geriatric Nursing,” explored changes in geriatric nursing practice over the last five decades.