Special Interest Groups & Sections

Sections

Sections represent groups of AGS members from specific disciplines who come together to encourage networking and collaboration. Members of AGS Sections meet annually at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting.

List of Sections

Fellows-in-Training Section
Chair: Lena Makaroun, MD; & Morgan Mihok, MD

Medical Subspecialties Section
Co-Chairs: Lauren Ferrante, MD & Una Makris, MD

Nurses Section
Chair: Margaret Wallhagen, PhD, GNP-BC, AGSF, FGSA, FAAN

Pharmacists Section
Chair: Todd Semla, PharmD

Residents Section
Chair: Carl Johan Christian Bergamn, MD

Social Workers Section
Chair: Dawn Butler JD, MSW

Section of Surgical and Related Medical Specialists
Chair: Andrew G. Lee, MD

Teachers Section
Chair: Anna Chang, MD

Special Interest Groups

AGS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are grass-roots communities of AGS members who meet annually at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting to network and discuss specific areas of interest regarding older adult care. SIGs are open to all AGS members and work annually to develop symposia proposals for the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting program and present collaborative project ideas to AGS Committees, among other objectives.

Contact Dennise McAlpin for more information about our SIGs.

List of Special Interest Groups

Acute Hospital Care
Chair:
Robert M. Palmer, MD, MPH
Mission: To improve hospitalization outcomes for older adults through improvements in clinical care, dissemination of research findings, and promotion of health professional education.

Aging and Oral Health
Co-chairs: 
Sue Spackman, DDS, FASGD; Christie Hogue, DDS
Mission: To provide a forum where issues that impact the oral health of older adults are presented, and where challenges requiring a team approach to coordinate needed treatments can be discussed.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use (ATOD) Among Older Adults
Co-Chairs: Benjamin H. Han, MD, MPH; Alison Moore, MD, MPH
Mission: A satellite interest group of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use (ATOD) Interest Group of Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), the ATOD Among Older Adults SIG has a special focus on older adults. The purpose of ATOD Among Older Adults SIG is to address the dramatic increase in older adults with unhealthy substance use and substance use disorders. This SIG brings together an interdisciplinary group of professionals with clinical, educational, and/or research interests in the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use by older adults.

Cancer and Aging
Co-Chairs:
William Dale, MD, PhD, & Arti Hurria, MD
Mission: This interdisciplinary assemblage of geriatric, gerontologic, and oncologic professionals (1) promotes multidisciplinary-centered cancer prevention, assessment, and management of older adults; (2) promotes education and training in geriatric oncology concepts; (3) promotes research in geriatric oncology; (4) facilitates linkages among those organizations and institutions that serve or focus upon geriatric and/or oncologic causes; and (5) champions and advocates for older adults and their families who are impacted by cancer.

Care Transitions
Co-Chairs: Franklin Watkins, MD; Timothy Farrell, MD, AGSF  
Mission: To improve outcomes for vulnerable older adults moving across different healthcare settings through the better execution of care transitions. We assemble geriatricians and other geriatrics professionals with a common interest in improving care transitions through education, quality improvement, and research. We strive to serve as a resource to develop educational sessions at AGS Annual Scientific Meetings, and serve as AGS' main forum for discussion, collaboration, and advocacy on care transitions issues.

Clinical Care for Homeless Older Adults 
Chair: Diane Lynn Chau MD  
Mission: To provide a forum where issues that impact homeless aging older adults are presented and discussed, and geriatrics healthcare professionals can interact to find and expand access to care for homeless older individuals; To address the growing homeless epidemic by educating, promoting awareness, and assuring quality healthcare evidence and data to support homeless geriatrics care. To accomplish our mission, we:

  1. Disseminate knowledge regarding the homelessness and poor health;
  2. Develop relationships with a broad range of other groups (social welfare, financial, public, academic) to aid in our mission and collate solutions for assuring adequate healthcare for homeless older adults;
  3. Promote clinical practices and address practice gaps that will improve the health status of older adults who live without homes or are at risk of homelessness.

Clinical Research in Dementia
Chair:  Stephanie Garrett, MD, FACP, CPHE

Mission: To bring together AGS members who are dedicated to advancing the health care of older adults living with dementia by advancing clinical research in geriatrics across disciplines and care settings; To disseminate interdisciplinary, evidence-based clinical knowledge about the management of dementia in older adults. 

Elder Abuse and Neglect
Chair:
Ronan Factora, MD
Mission: To improve the lives of older people affected by elder mistreatment. Members include national leaders in research and advocacy, as well as clinicians and educators who are active in developing curriculum for healthcare learners. We advocate for elder abuse initiatives and serve as a networking group for colleagues.

Ethnogeriatrics
Chairs: Lenise A. Cummings-Vaughn, MD; Natasha Harrison, MD
Mission: Open to anyone with an interest in the relationship between aging, ethnicity, clinical practice, and research, we work to identify challenges and practical solutions to providing appropriate care to different cultures and ethnicities in our diverse country.

Family Physicians in Geriatrics
Chair:
Erik J. Lindbloom, MD, MSPH
Mission: To discuss and act on issues of concern to family physicians, family medicine fellows, and family medicine residents caring for older adults. We work in collaboration with the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Group on Geriatrics.

Geriatrics Consultative Services
Chair:
Ella H. Bowman, MD, PhD 
Mission: Open to anyone who provides or is interested in providing geriatric medicine consultative services across all care settings, this group promotes learning from other practitioners how geriatrics consultative services are provided in various clinical settings. Our discussions focus on what services are in demand; the types of older adults we are asked to see; various collaborative efforts with other services; billing processes and concerns; efforts to incorporate geriatrics teaching within the consultative setting; and the types of problems we encounter as a group. 

Geriatric-Surgical Co-Management 
Chair: Lynn McNicoll, MD
Mission: Brings together clinicians and researchers interested in clinical and academic perspective on surgical co-management. We share ideas, promote our work, network, collaborate, and provide a safe environment for clinicians to discuss the complexities and intricacies of co-management from creating a business case to promoting team-based care

Geroscience 
Chair: George Kuchel, MD
Mission: Brings together AGS members from varied backgrounds who share a common interest in efforts to leverage our understanding of basic aging processes towards the discovery, validation and implementation of interventions to help promote health, function, and independence in late-life.

Health Professional Students
Co-chairs:
 Li-Wen Huang; Lolita Nidadavolu
Mission: Connect AGS student members to discuss ideas about the field and ways to get more involved in AGS.

Health Systems Leadership (HSL) in Geriatrics
Co-Chairs: Anna Chodos, MD; Kellie Flood, MD
Mission: To explore principles of leadership, management, and systems transformation as they apply to the growing need for geriatrics in health systems and present strategies to accomplish this. Our goals are to educate AGS members about these principles, highlight successful work in HSL, present opportunities for training in HSL, develop workshop leadership challenges, and form a community to help develop new health systems leaders in geriatrics.

Healthy Aging
Co-chairs:
 Kathryn M. Daniel, MD; Paul Mulhausen, MD
Mission: To promote healthy aging initiatives at AGS; to develop presentations, symposia, and educational materials for AGS members; to encourage research in healthy aging; to act as liaisons with other organizations promoting healthy aging; and to identify and promote ways that AGS members can promote healthy aging among their patients and among populations of people.  

Healthcare for Low-Income Seniors
Chair: 
Steven R. Counsell, MD
Mission: To improve quality and outcomes of healthcare and maximize independence among low-income older adults; To bring together geriatrics professionals dedicated to the care of the poor, disseminate practical solutions and innovative geriatrics team care models, and advocate for public policy change to better address the needs of these older adults.

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) / Delirium Prevention
Co-Chairs: Jonny Macias Tejada, MD
Heidi Wierman, MD
Mission: To allow all current and potentially interested HELP sites to come together to hear the latest updates about HELP and delirium prevention, as well as network and discuss successes and challenges anywhere in the planning or implementation process. The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is an innovative model of hospital care designed to prevent delirium and functional decline and to improve overall quality of hospital care for older persons. The program has been demonstrated to be both effective and cost-effective, with the potential for large cost savings.

Information Technology Issues
Chair: 
Irene Hamrick , MD
Mission: To establish a venue for members with an interest in Information Technology as it applies to geriatrics. We see Electronic Health Records (EHR) as a means for improving medical care by reducing error rates, improving efficiency, augmenting communication, facilitating optimal reimbursement, and decreasing expenses. We seek to provide information, support, and an organized center for coordinating information and resources to optimize the use of EHRs in senior healthcare environments like ambulatory and long-term care healthcare settings. 

Additionally, we are interested in the use of computerized records to facilitate transitions of care from one setting to another. Beyond the interest in improving communication and health information exchange, we reflect interests in telemedicine and computerized assessment/biotechnology advancements, such as monitoring vital signs, laboratory testing, and imaging from remote locations.

International Activities
Chair: 
Ariba Khan, MD; Niharika Suchak, MBBS, MHS, FACP
Mission: To bring together AGS members who have an interest in the development of international initiatives in geriatrics care and education. As our global older adult population continues to grow, we will see an increasing demand for health and social-service systems tailored to older adult needs.

We promote awareness of global trends in aging and healthcare issues in older adults across continents and international borders. We emphasize improving care of older adults around the world by enhancing networking and establishing partnerships that can translate into improved geriatrics care and education, greater use of technology to conduct didactic sessions with participants from multiple countries, long-term international collaborations for models of care and geriatrics education, and increased involvement and representation of AGS members in international geriatrics conferences and organizations.

Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPE / P)
Chair:
Josette Rivera, MD; Todd James, MD, FACP
Mission: To explore how broad health professional interest in teamwork is changing health education and practice. While geriatrics has long recognized the importance of teams, this has not been a widely recognized focus of health education or practice until recently. Interprofessional education refers to "two or more professionals learn[ing] about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes."

Junior Faculty Research Career Development
Chair: Michael LaMantia, MD
Lee Jennings, MD, MSHS
Mission: To facilitate and foster the research career development for junior faculty members, fellows, and students. We discuss research interests, academic career development, career choices, job opportunities, and a range of other topics pertinent to junior faculty development.

Post Acute and Long-Term Care
Chair:
Verna Reynolds Sellers, MD, MPH, CMD, AGSF
Mission: To serve as a resource and voice to the AGS, the public, healthcare practitioners, policy makers, and various educational centers regarding issues on the availability, delivery, quality and regulation of long-term care (LTC) in the U.S.

Make It Safe To Grow Old! Accountable Care Communities for Frail Elders
Chair: Joanne Lynn, MD
Mission: To share information on the proposals, models of care, community integration collaboration networks, and politics that center on building geographic reforms across all service providers.

Needs of Older Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons
Chair: Jeffrey D. Mariano, MD

Mission: To increase awareness for considering the needs of older gay and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons; To foster a more formal analysis and observation of these needs.

Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases
Chair: 
Kenneth W. Lyles, MD
Mission: To discuss future strategies to promote improved education and care for bone loss in older adults.

Palliative Care
Co-Chairs: Mona Gupta, MD; Kimberly Curseen, MD 
Mission: To promote awareness of palliative care issues in the geriatrics community; To identify and build on synergies that exist between geriatrics and palliative care.

Private Practice Providers in Geriatrics
Chair:
Joel Bolen, MD
Mission: To discuss challenges and share success strategies with other geriatricians who have chosen to serve seniors through private practice. Our discussions focus on patient flow and practice management, billing and reimbursement, staffing, alternate revenue streams, marketing, institutional long-term care, and comprehensive geriatrics assessment. 

Polypharmacy (A joint SIG with the Society for General Internal Medicine)
Co-Chairs: Zachary A. Marcum, PharmD, PhD, BCPS; David S. H. Lee, PharmD, PhD

Mission: Dedicated to issues related to medication use in older adults. Our goal is to facilitate education and discussion on this topic, both within the group and for a wider audience.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
Chair:
Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, MD; Susan Hardy, MD
Mission: The Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) is a comprehensive, fully integrated model that provides community-based care for nursing home eligible frail elders. We provide information to people who are interested in working with or establishing a PACE organization. 

Society for General Internal Medicine Geriatrics (SGIM)
Chair: Nancy Schoenborn, MD
 
Mission: Serve as a source of collaborative activity between AGS and the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM). We focus on ways to collaborate on developing workshops for the AGS & SGIM annual meetings, as well as fostering ongoing collaborative efforts and better communication between the two groups.

Veterans Health Administration
Chair:
Kenneth Shay, DDS, MS
Mission: To offer an opportunity to discuss in an open forum announcements and key issues related to geriatrics, extended care clinical programs, and research and education initiatives. All VHA staff attending the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, and all other interested meeting attendees, are invited to participate.

Women in Geriatrics
Chair: Rebecca S. Boxer, MD, MS; Mary Norman, MD
Mission: Intended for women of all disciplines working in geriatrics to provide a forum for women to discuss challenges and share ideas related to their personal and professional lives.

Wound Prevention and Management
Chair: 
Foy White-Chu, MD
Mission: An interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals who strive to improve outcomes in skin and wound health for vulnerable older adults by supporting education, research, and quality improvement initiatives; To serve as a platform to discuss educational initiatives at AGS, policy objectives, and updates on budding research.

How to Establish a Special Interest Group and SIG Reporting Requirements

Any AGS member may initiate the development of a SIG by submitting a proposal to the Executive Vice President, care of Dennise McAlpin. The proposal should identify the name and purpose of the special interest group, describe its mission and goals, list proposed activities, include the names of 10 AGS members who support the development of the SIG, and include the primary contact person for the group.

Required Annual Report on SIG Activities

Established SIGs will be required to submit a summary report immediately following AGS Annual Scientific Meetings. These reports should include a list of SIGs members and the group's objectives for the coming year. At least 15 members are required to maintain a SIG. Established SIGs will have two years to demonstrate they have 15 active members. If they are unable to do this, the SIG will be dissolved. New SIGs will have a two-year “provisional” start-up period after their inaugural meeting to reach 15 members. Provisional status ends when the group reaches 15 members. If 15 members have not joined the SIG within 2 years, it will be dissolved.

Annual Summary Reports should be submitted to Dennise McAlpin immediately following the meeting.

SIGs may also be dissolved by the membership upon a vote at their business meeting or may be dissolved by the Board of Directors for cause or if the SIG fails to comply with AGS policies. Additionally, SIGs will be automatically dissolved by the Executive Vice President if membership falls below 15 members for two consecutive years or if the SIG does not convene a meeting at two consecutive AGS Annual Meetings. A SIG that does not meet at the Annual Scientific Meeting and does not submit group objectives for the coming year also will be subject to dissolution.