Credit: (C) 2019, American Geriatrics Society
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and AGS Health in Aging Foundation today announced that Amy Kind, MD, PhD, one of few physicians in the U.S. with doctoral training in population health, will be honored with the 2019 Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation. At the AGS 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS19; May 2-4 in Portland, Ore.), Dr. Kind will deliver a marquee presentation on the social determinants of health with an eye toward reorienting research, policy, and clinical practice to broader systemic factors that shape what it means to age.
“In geriatrics, age is more than a number. It is a complex story of many factors that shape who we are as we age,” said Laurie G. Jacobs, MD, AGSF, AGS President. “Dr. Kind brings to the AGS and to #AGS19 a unique appreciation for what it means ‘to grow older,’ and how appreciating the role of social determinants in that process can help to catalyze real and lasting change in our care.”
Trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, and geriatric medicine at the University of Wisconsin (UW), Dr. Kind’s clinical work caring for older adults prompted a deeper interest in population health science and the importance of improving “health equity,” the scientific term for variations in the care and well-being across different groups. Dr. Kind elected to pursue doctoral studies on the topic with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, honing an even greater focus on population health when addressing memory disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Today, Dr. Kind leads an active research lab not only innovating the assessment of health disparities but also poised to translate those findings into improved care for communities still underserved by research and medicine.
Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Kind developed the “Neighborhood Atlas,” a first-of-its-kind neighborhood map that breaks down socioeconomic factors for every neighborhood in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Touted by the National Institutes of Health and profiled in the New England Journal of Medicine among other venues, the Atlas allows clinicians, public health professionals, and even city planners to assess socioeconomic status based on the complex interplay of income, education, employment, and housing quality. The Atlas also speaks to Dr. Kind’s growing expertise in why these factors can, should, and must be studied hand-in-hand with innovations shaping medicine and care for America’s growing older adult population.
“Neighborhood disadvantage impacts the health of older adults in key and wide-ranging ways,” summarized Dr. Kind. “Our team’s multi-disciplinary research has supported the importance of neighborhood in health and care, particularly via examination of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. We have also seen the power of harnessing data democratization for catalyzing real-world change. I’m excited to share this work at #AGS19.”
In addition to her research duties at UW, Dr. Kind continues to serve older adults and caregivers, many in communities forming the backbone of her scholarship. Dr. Kind is Director of the Coordinated Transitional Care Program at the Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) in the William S. Middleton VA Hospital, Madison, Wisc., for example, where she also serves as Director of the Dementia and Cognitive Clare Clinic and Attending Physician for the Geriatric Inpatient Consult Service.
First announced at the 2016 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting and supported for 16 years thanks to generous contributions to the AGS Health in Aging Foundation, the Yoshikawa Award recognizes the research accomplishments of mid-career clinician-investigators directly involved in the care of older adults.
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.
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 Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation
Named in honor of Dr. Thomas T. Yoshikawa and his wife, Catherine–who together served the AGS and the geriatrics community for more than two decades–the Yoshikawa Award will offer recognition and financial support to emerging geriatrics scholars who represent the early promise of the Yoshikawas’ own illustrious careers. The award has been supported thanks to generous contributions to the AGS Health in Aging Foundation from AGS members, as well as friends and colleagues of the Yoshikawas.
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