At #AGS17, AGS & Health in Aging Foundation Awardees Exemplify Commitment to Geriatrics Across Health Disciplines

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New York (May 11, 2017)—As part of their shared commitment to bringing the knowledge and expertise of geriatrics to fellow healthcare professionals and the public, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the AGS Health in Aging Foundation this week congratulated two distinguished scholars who are the first recipients of the Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation and the Jeffrey H. Silverstein Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in the Surgical and Related Medical Specialties. The awards will be presented to Sei Lee, MD, MAS, a geriatrician, and Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS, a urologist, respectively, at the AGS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS17) in San Antonio, Texas, May 18-20.

We established these awards to recognize the many contributions that Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa and the late Jeffrey Silverstein made to advancing research in health and aging,” said Nancy Lundebjerg, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS and the Health in Aging Foundation. “Tom has worked tirelessly on behalf of the field of geriatrics for his entire career, and he and his wife, Catherine, were a formidable duo in insuring that the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society continued to serve as the premier forum for researchers on aging. Jeff, a geriatric anesthesiologist, was an early champion for increasing the geriatrics expertise of surgical and related medical specialists. He was a champion and mentor for the Jahnigen Career Development Awards and its successor program at the National Institute on Aging (NIA): GEMSSTAR. I am delighted at the outpouring of contributions for both these awards and pleased to see Dr. Lee and Dr. Suskind recognized as the inaugural recipients.”

Sei Lee, MD, MAS: Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation

Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Lee—the inaugural recipient of the Yoshikawa Award—is a Senior Scholar with the San Francisco VA Quality Scholars fellowship and rising research leader in targeting health care for older adults. Dr. Lee’s presentation at #AGS17 focuses on individualizing preventive care for older men and women, and represents more than 10 years of work examining how the status of our personal health can be used to maximize benefits and minimize harms. Among other highlights, Dr. Lee’s groundbreaking contributions started with a 2006 publication in JAMA describing a mortality prediction index, now widely known as the “Lee Index,” for measuring function among older adults.

Announced at the 2016 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, the Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award honors will support an annual awardee through 2033, specifically recognizing the research accomplishments of mid-career clinician-investigators directly involved in the care of older adults.

“We believe it’s so important to nurture geriatrics investigators and are delighted that the Yoshikawa Award does just that by recognizing exceptional accomplishments from colleagues like Dr. Lee, who is working to shape the future of geriatrics,” noted Dr. Yoshikawa speaking on behalf of himself and his wife. “Dr. Lee is a skilled clinician and recognized scholar—a model for the type of leadership we hope to inspire at the AGS.”

Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS: Jeffrey H. Silverstein Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in the Surgical and Related Medical Specialties

An Assistant Professor of Urology at UCSF, Dr. Suskind will present findings at #AGS17 from a study of more than 37,600 individuals residing in nursing homes who underwent minor urologic surgery. Dr. Suskind and her team found that the majority of these older surgical candidates experienced functional declines and high rates of mortality in the year following surgery. Their work highlights the often overlooked importance of weighing risks and benefits of any type of surgery, no matter how small, in vulnerable populations like older adults.

Dr. Suskind’s clinical interests include urinary incontinence, vaginal mesh complications, urinary fistulas, interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder, neurourology, bladder dysfunction due to neurologic disease, and other forms of lower urinary tract dysfunction. Her clinical approach integrates surgical and nonsurgical management of these conditions, particularly when caring for older adults—a hallmark of the AGS’s long-standing Geriatrics-for-Specialists Initiative (AGS GSI) and the Silverstein Award.

Open to junior and mid-career investigators from a variety of surgical and related medical specialties, the Silverstein Award recognizes emerging investigators whose research is focused on the role of geriatrics expertise in their specialties, and who are committed to careers in aging research.

“Ensuring that health professionals across all specialties embrace geriatrics was critical to how Jeff approached his work with the AGS GSI and how he mentored young scholars,” said George W. Drach, MD, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Dr. Suskind’s work is a perfect example of fusing specialist expertise in a field like urology with the high-quality, person-centered principles of geriatrics to promote health, independence, and quality of life.”

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 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.

About the Health in Aging Foundation

The Health in Aging Foundation is a national non-profit established in 1999 by the American Geriatrics Society to bring the knowledge and expertise of geriatrics healthcare professionals to the public. We are committed to ensuring that people are empowered to advocate for high-quality care by providing them with trustworthy information and reliable resources. Last year, we reached nearly 1 million people with our resources through HealthinAging.org. We also help nurture current and future geriatrics leaders by supporting opportunities to attend educational events and increase exposure to principles of excellence on caring for older adults. For more information or to support the Foundation's work, visit HealthinAgingFoundation.org.

About the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting

The AGS Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatrics, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging, and innovative models of care delivery. More than 2,500 nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene May 18-20, 2017 (pre-conference program on May 17), at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.

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