New York (October 7, 2021)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) was awarded a new “R25” grant from the NIA that will support AGS partnering with the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) – Older Americans Independence Centers (OAICs) AGING (Advancing Geriatrics Infrastructure and Network Growth) Initiative to create an AGS/AGING Learning, Educating, And Researching National Initiative in Geriatrics (“LEARNING”) Collaborative. Its purpose will be to fill educational and training gaps in multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) research.
In addition, AGS will continue to host a series of prestigious scientific conferences on emerging issues in aging research thanks to sustained funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Conference Grant (or “R13”) Program. Under this award, AGS will coordinate a series of “bench-to-bedside” conferences with a focus on “resilience,” a topic of extreme pertinence to older adults and their health care providers.
New Curriculum Focuses on Understanding Multiple Chronic Conditions
The overarching goal of the new “R25” grant is to support the AGS/AGING LEARNING Collaborative to develop a national self-directed learning curriculum focused on the science of MCCs with the goal of providing investigators with the knowledge and skills they need to include older people with multiple chronic conditions in research. The AGS/AGING LEARNING Collaborative will design, implement, and disseminate an innovative, multi-disciplinary, clinical, and translational geriatrics-relevant research curriculum targeted to emerging clinician and translational investigators.
“We are so pleased to be supporting both investigators who are focused on multiple chronic conditions and also investigators who seek to include people with multiple chronic conditions in their research,” said Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA, the AGS CEO and a principal investigator on this grant along with Jerry Gurwitz, MD, AGSF, who is Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the UMass Chan Medical School. “Our collaboration with the network, led by Dr. Gurwitz, will ensure that our curriculum supports emerging investigators who are focused on improving care for all of us as we age.”
Bench-to-Bedside Conference Examines Resilience
Currently, resilience—or how aging affects older adults’ health to varying degrees—is not well understood, and a comprehensive understanding requires focused exploration among scientists of different disciplines. This conference series will bring together leading scientists, researchers, scholars, and decision makers from around the nation to exchange new ideas, share knowledge, and explore recent developments in the field.
“We hope to build bridges and bring together resilience scientists and experts to discuss, debate, and learn from each with a focus on the dynamic multi-component phenomena of resilience,” said Peter Abadir, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “This conference series will examine resilience through the lens of what is needed at the bedside. Discussions will address basic, clinical, and population health research. The final product will form a roadmap for resilience research.”
“We’re grateful to the NIA and NIH for these awards and to our scientific community for their collective focus on improving the lives of older people,” said AGS President Peter Hollmann, MD, AGSF. “The NIA/NIH support for our bedside-to-bench conference series has not only moved the science forward but also sparked new collaborations across disciplines that are focused on improving care for older people. We believe our new AGS/AGING LEARNING curriculum will be a go-to resource for investigators who seek to do cutting edge research that is inclusive of diverse older people with multiple chronic conditions.”
The AGS R13 conference series is supported by the NIA of the NIH under Award Number R13AG054139 and the AGS/AGING R25 is supported under Award Number R25AG071488. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About the American Geriatrics Society
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving 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.