INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Steven Counsell, M.D., director of the geriatrics program at Indiana University School of Medicine, has been installed as president of the American Geriatric Society at the AGS annual scientific meeting May 15-17 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Counsell also serves as executive director of the highly acclaimed GRACE Team Care program and is the Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Professor of Geriatrics, and professor of medicine at IU.
The American Geriatrics Society is a not-for-profit organization of over 6,000 health professionals devoted to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people. The society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policy makers and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy.
“AGS believes that every older American should receive high-quality, patient-centered care that improves their health, independence and quality of life,” said Dr. Counsell, a society fellow and 27-year member. “With the Medicare market now representing the fastest-growing segment of the population, this vision is more critical than ever to the fabric of our society. I look forward to helping the society and its members achieve this goal through expanding the geriatrics knowledge base, advocating for public policy that supports the health of seniors, and raising public awareness of the need for high-quality, culturally sensitive geriatric healthcare.”
In addition to assuming the helm of the national association, Dr. Counsell and his colleagues from Indiana University also served as faculty at the annual meeting for a presentation on complex care management of older Americans. The session provided an overview of the GRACE (Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders) model of care along with strategies for successful implementation in a variety of high-risk populations and healthcare settings. Joining Dr. Counsell in this presentation were Dawn Butler, MSW, JD; Jessica Eng, M.D., MS; Erica Gallmeyer, MSW, LCSW; Helen Kao, M.D.; Carrie Ortwein, MSN, GNP; and Kofi Quist, M.D.
Going well beyond traditional care coordination, GRACE’s high-intensity care-team approach outside of the hospital setting has been shown to enhance quality of geriatric care in ways that optimize quality of life and decrease excess healthcare use, including avoidance of hospitalization and visits to the emergency department. GRACE may also prevent or delay the need for long-term nursing home placement by allowing seniors to stay in their homes with better support. Headed by a nurse practitioner and a social worker who complement the primary care physician in fully addressing the patient’s health conditions and goals from the comfort of their own home, the GRACE team provides patients with specialized care for geriatric conditions (e.g., falls, depression and memory problems); healthcare education; medication management; and coordination of care between specialty physicians, the emergency department, hospitals and a broad array of community support services.
“The time has come to embrace new approaches to the care management of high-risk Medicare populations who are among the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens,” said Dr. Counsell. “Programs such as GRACE are proving to have a major, positive impact on improving the patient experience, particularly for low-income seniors, dual-eligibles and others with complex medical and social needs.”