Press Release

Four National Medical Societies and Nine Leading Health Systems Collaborate to Improve Geriatric Emergency Care

3 min
September 08, 2017




Initiative promoting innovation and shared learnings supported by $3 million grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute

Sept. 13, 2017 — Four national medical societies and nine leading health systems announced today they have established a new national geriatric emergency department collaborative (GEDC) to help improve emergency care for our nation’s older adults.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) will work with a team of experts in geriatric emergency care to support health systems across the United States in identifying, studying and sharing best practices in emergency care for seniors, with about half of all older adults visiting the emergency department each year.

The four societies previously developed expert guidelines on geriatric emergency care in 2014. Those guidelines and new educational activities will help partners at Aurora Health Care System (Wis.), Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital (Ga.), Magee Women’s Hospital (Pa.), Mount Sinai (N.Y.), UC San Diego Health (Calif.), Northwestern (Ill.), St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center (N.J.), University of Chicago (Ill.), and University of North Carolina (N.C.) to promote a variety of proven techniques for improving care for older patients—from coordinating expertise among various professionals to ensuring that older people can transition from the hospital to outpatient settings (like homes or community-based settings) whenever and wherever safely possible.

The research collaborative is supported by a grant of $3 million from The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, two national non-profit organizations focused on improving care for us all as we age.

“Today, 20 million seniors visit our nation’s emergency departments,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute. “With the number of older adults growing rapidly as a result of our aging demographic, there is a critical need for more senior-focused care. This pioneering collaborative is an urgent prescription for innovation and shared learning, which will benefit our nation’s seniors in emergency rooms across the country.”

Added Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation: “This dynamic initiative is committed to ensuring that age-friendly best practices in theory become best practices in practice—advancing large-scale changes in clinical care and ED policies to improve the health, safety, and independence of older adults.”

The GEDC will continue to add more health centers and partners, contributing to an alliance of national stakeholders who will help promote national adoption of geriatric emergency care best practices.

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About ACEP
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

About the Gary and Mary West Health Institute
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary WestWest Health includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, DC. These organizations are working together toward a shared mission dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. For more information, visit and follow @westhealth.

About the John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. For more than three decades, the organization has been the leader in building a field of experts in aging and testing and replicating innovative approaches to care. The Foundation has three areas of emphasis: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care. Working with its grantees, the Foundation strives to change the status quo and create a society where older adults can continue their vital contributions. For more information, visit and follow @johnahartford.

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