Dr. Debra Saliba, Expert Exemplifying the Broad Reach of Geriatrics Research & Clinical Practice, Opens 2017 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting

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Honoring the AGS’s 75-year legacy serving older adults, incoming AGS President Dr. Debra Saliba has vowed to champion collaboration, clinical excellence, and crafting high-quality care for us all as we age.

  • Dr. Debra Saliba—#geriatrics clinician, researcher—to open one of #geriatrics’ largest research conferences: #AGS17 (5/18-5/20) http://ow.ly/EVQ130bFSYA

San Antonio, Texas (May 15, 2017)—As more than 2,500 geriatrics experts converge on San Antonio, Texas, for the 2017 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS17), the AGS’s 75-year legacy in research, clinical practice, and public policy will be reflected in the expertise of its newest president: Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, AGSF, a seasoned geriatrician and recognized health services researcher. An AGS member since 1994 and an AGS Board representative since 2010, Dr. Saliba will begin her tenure as AGS President outlining a sustained commitment to an age-integrated society as she opens #AGS17, which begins May 18.

“As our health policy landscape evolves and as more and more of us look towards living longer, we need creative solutions to make that longevity matter by improving our health, independence, and quality of life—a mission at the heart of the AGS,” notes Dr. Saliba. “As the next AGS President, I’m committed to working with older adults, caregivers, and our nearly 6,000 members across the country and around the world to promote high-quality, person-centered care as we navigate a time of fundamental change for health and care.”

The Anna and Harry Borun Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Director of the UCLA/Jewish Home Borun Center for Gerontological Research; Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Los Angeles VA; and Senior Natural Scientist at RAND Health, Dr. Saliba has more than 20 years of experience leading geriatrics research across the continuum of care. Dr. Saliba has developed tools and approaches to improve care for older adults. One focus of this work has helped advance assessment protocols for linking frail older adults to more targeted care and services. Dr. Saliba led a nationwide team that developed a new Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessment tool—a tool now used more than 14 million times a year to identify the needs of persons in nursing homes, allowing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to generate care quality measures and to determine reimbursement for post-acute care in U.S. nursing homes.

Among other noteworthy career highlights, Dr. Saliba developed the Vulnerable Elders 13-item Survey (VES-13),a survey that uses individuals’ reports of function and health to efficiently identify older adults at risk for decline or death. The VES-13 has been translated into eight languages and is used in clinical practice, research, and health systems around the world. Recently, the Volunteers of America organization has been using the survey to identify health and support needs for persons entering its senior housing. Dr. Saliba also has collaborated with the California Health and Human Services Agency to create an integrated needs assessment for Medicaid beneficiaries receiving home- and community-based long-term care services.

Dr. Saliba has authored more than 100 research publications and chapters across her career, and continues to work with older adults and caregivers as a physician with the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). Dr. Saliba’s commitment to education extends to serving as director of two research training fellowships at the Greater Los Angeles VA.

Dr. Saliba earned her medical degree and completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She completed fellowships in Geriatrics and Health Services Research at UCLA and the Los Angeles VA while earning her Master of Public Health degree from UCLA.

“Dr. Saliba represents the best of geriatrics at the cross-roads of research and clinical care,” said Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, outgoing President of the AGS. “She is among our most qualified peers for ensuring the AGS remains committed to high-quality, person-centered care for all older adults.

As outgoing AGS president, Dr. Flaherty becomes Chair of the AGS Board of Directors when Dr. Saliba assumes her new post. In addition to a year-long tenure as AGS President—during which the Society deepened its commitment to patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy—Dr. Flaherty brings to the AGS Board more than 30 years of experience advocating not only for geriatrics but also for nursing and its integral role in coordinated care. The slate of Board Officers who will join Dr. Flaherty on the Executive Committee include Peter Hollmann, MD, AGSF, who will serve as Board Treasurer after serving as Board Secretary since 2016; Laurie Jacobs, MD, AGSF, past AGS Treasurer and new AGS President-Elect; and Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, CGP, who will serve as AGS Board Secretary.

These leadership transitions will take place at the convocation of the 2017 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, a premier educational event on geriatrics clinical practice, public policy, education, and research. Other meeting highlights include:

  • A celebration of more than 15 award recipients representing the depth and breadth of disciplines championing elder care;
  • A synthesis of the field’s most important scholarship from the last year; and
  • Detailed practical overviews of clinical guidance and research on several important issues, from communication strategies to improve interprofessional team functioning to research findings from 2016 that will be at the bedside by 2021.

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 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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