Credit: (C) 2019. American Geriatrics Society
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the AGS Health in Aging Foundation today conferred one of their newest honors on Lauren Ferrante, MD, MHS, a pulmonary and critical care physician with a unique commitment to researching better care for older adults. An Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., Dr. Ferrante will receive the inaugural Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine at the AGS 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS19; May 2-4 in Portland, Ore.). Dr. Ferrante’s research presentation, “Predictors of Functional Decline among Older Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Survivors,” identifies promising markers of poor functional recovery, which could help target older adults for interventions to improve function after ICU care.
“Arti Hurria, the namesake for this award, built a bridge between other specialties and geriatrics,” notes Laurie G. Jacobs, MD, AGSF, AGS President. “Dr. Ferrante exemplifies what that connection can accomplish. Her research on function before and after being admitted to an ICU has helped us identify novel factors that can aid recovery, prevent disability, and perhaps even reduce deaths following serious hospitalization.”
For Dr. Ferrante, the passion for finding solutions stems from a career built at the crossroads of geriatrics (the health specialty dedicated to caring for older adults) and critical care medicine, which addresses health concerns at the “extreme” of human disease, when patients are admitted to an ICU with life-threatening illness.
As more people benefit from increased longevity, those extremes–and care to address them–are becoming more common. In 2015, for example, older adults accounted for one in four admissions to the ICU, an experience that can complicate the ability to recover function and maintain health, safety, and independence. In Dr. Ferrante’s research on display at #AGS19, she worked with colleagues at the Yale School of Medicine to evaluate what factors might help predict functional decline among older people discharged from the ICU. Looking at data on Medicare beneficiaries in the National Health and Aging Trends Study, Dr. Ferrante and her team observed that eight factors–advanced age, exhaustion, a low level of activity, slowness, probable/possible dementia, and vision impairment–all were associated with a greater risk for persistent functional decline after an ICU stay. Her team hopes these predictors can lead to better tools for identifying particularly vulnerable patients at the time of discharge and assisting in their recovery.
Board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine, Dr. Ferrante was able to launch her research program at the intersection of geriatrics and critical care medicine with a Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Subspecialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) award in 2015. That support–coupled with other age-focused honors, including a Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging, a Pepper Center Career Development Award, and a T. Franklin Williams Award–allowed Dr. Ferrante’s research on functional outcomes after a critical illness to flourish, and get the recognition it deserves.
Like Dr. Ferrante, Arti Hurria, MD–namesake of the Hurria Award–championed AGS programs connecting colleagues outside geriatrics to the rewards of supporting health, safety, and independence for us all as we age. Dr. Hurria, who passed away in 2018, believed in the need to infuse geriatrics principles across all specialties. The Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine is one of several honors conferred by the AGS at its Annual Scientific Meeting. The award recognizes the accomplishments of junior and mid-career clinician-investigators in general internal medicine and its specialties. Chosen from hundreds of research presentations submitted to the AGS, the Hurria awardee will present ground-breaking research on the geriatrics aspects of their specialty at #AGS19. With our other 2019 award recipients, the Hurria awardee represents a cadre of more than 20 healthcare leaders championing care for older adults. For more information, visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org.
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 more than 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 Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine
Arti Hurria, MD, namesake of the Hurria award, joined the AGS in 2006 and championed some of our most influential programs connecting colleagues outside geriatrics to our principles, and to the rewards of supporting health, safety, and independence for us all as we age. Dr. Hurria, who sadly passed away in November 2018, believed in the need to infuse geriatrics into all specialties. She not only put that belief into action but also became a model for making it a priority across clinical care, research, and education. The Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine recognizes the geriatrics-focused accomplishments of junior and mid-career clinician-investigators in general internal medicine and its specialties. Chosen from a review of hundreds of research presentations, the Hurria Awardee presents ground-breaking scholarship on the geriatrics aspects of their specialty in a special plenary session at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting.
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 2-4, 2019 (pre-conference program on May 1), at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. For more information, visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org.
Daniel E. Trucil