Nav: Home

AGS commends bipartisan leaders on bringing training legislation closer to law

July 11, 2019

New York (July 11, 2019)--As members of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce move to debate, amend, and revise a host of important health proposals, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) again pledged enthusiastic support for one of the Committee's most important bills under consideration: The Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) for Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 2781).

Introduced by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Michael Burgess (R-TX) earlier this year, the bill reauthorizes workforce training programs under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. Among these initiatives are the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) and the Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACAs), both critical to the care all Americans need as our country continues to age.

The GWEPs educate and engage the broader frontline workforce and family caregivers, and focus on opportunities to improve the quality of care delivered to older adults--particularly in underserved and rural areas. The GACAs represent an essential complement to the GWEP. Grounded in health professions education, GACAs ensure we can equip early career clinician-educators to become leaders in geriatrics training and research.

The EMPOWER for Health Act would authorize funding of $51 million annually through 2024, allowing current and future awardees to:
  • Educate and engage with family caregivers by training providers who can assess and address their care needs and preferences.

  • Promote interprofessional team-based care by transforming clinical training environments to integrate geriatrics and primary care delivery systems.

  • Improve the quality of care delivered to older adults by providing education to families and caregivers on critical care challenges such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

  • Support clinician-educators engaged in geriatrics education and research to develop the next generation of innovators to improve care outcomes and care delivery.
Through a legislative process known as "markup," today the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce reviewed and unanimously approved, by voice vote, the bill's language and proposals, moving it one step closer to becoming law.

"Representatives Schakowsky and Burgess introduced an incredibly strong draft with H.R. 2781, in large part because they worked so collaboratively with expert partners like the AGS," noted AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. "We commend them for their support of the geriatrics workforce training programs and for their ongoing efforts to improve care of older Americans."

Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 16, the EMPOWER for Health Act draws considerable insights from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a collaborative comprised of more than 30 member organizations co-convened by the AGS. Like EWA itself, the EMPOWER for Health Act under consideration by the Health Subcommittee now reflects the diverse expertise of millions of health professionals who support older Americans.

"The future we're working for at the AGS--a future when all older Americans have access to high-quality, person-centered care--begins by building the workforce to make that possible, and by ensuring that workforce can connect us to the tools and supports we need as we age," concluded Lundebjerg, MPA. "We look forward to a very-near future when the EMPOWER for Health Act can make that possible when it becomes law."
-end-
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. Our 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.

American Geriatrics Society

Related Caregivers Articles:

Depression linked to physical health decline in cancer caregivers
A new report finds that symptoms of depression are the only significant predictor of caregivers' physical health decline.
Dementia patients may die sooner if family caregivers are mentally stressed
Patients with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are mentally stressed, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.
Leisure activities lower blood pressure in Alzheimer's caregivers
Going for a walk outside, reading, listening to music--these and other enjoyable activities can reduce blood pressure for elderly caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease, suggests a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.
Health care process a roadblock for adolescents with autism and their caregivers
Nancy Cheak-Zamora, assistant professor of health sciences at MU, says that as more children with autism enter adulthood, improved communication between providers, adolescents and caregivers is needed to help those with autism make adult health care decisions.
Abused caregivers have double chance of poor health
Nearly one in 20 middle-age women face a cumulative health impact from taking on care-giving roles after experiencing intimate partner violence according to research from the University of Queensland.
More Caregivers News and Caregivers Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.