AGS awards highest honor to West Health for visionary work to improve geriatric care

For only the second time in its near 80-year history, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) will award one of its highest honors typically reserved for individuals to West Health, a family of nonprofit organizations dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable older adults to successfully age in place.

West Health will receive the David H. Solomon Memorial Public Service Award for its visionary and trailblazing work to improve healthcare and increase its affordability for America's aging population. The ceremony will be held during the AGS 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS21), May 13-15, 2021, in Chicago, Ill. The award was to be presented at this year's meeting but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For nearly 15 years, West Health has put power and potential behind core priorities in geriatrics: Lowering costs and enabling older people to age in place thanks to high-quality, affordable health care and support services. That's community service at its best, which is what the Solomon Award is all about--and what our ongoing AGS collaborations with West Health aims to achieve."

Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, BCGP, AGS board chair

West Health, which includes the Gary and Mary West Foundation, West Health Institute, and West Health Policy Center, combines the power of philanthropy, research, policy and advocacy to fuel new models of older adult-specific care, improve health and social outcomes for older people, and reduce healthcare costs.

"It's a tremendous honor to be recognized by the American Geriatric Society for our work on behalf of older Americans and their families," said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO, West Health. "We consider it a privilege to do the work we do and to partner with organizations like AGS who share a common purpose."

Since 2006, West Health, through the Gary and Mary West Foundation, has awarded more than $223 million to create or support programs and research focused on aging and lowering healthcare costs. The organization is a driving force behind California's first Master Plan for Aging, which is expected to be completed later this year, and the growth of geriatric emergency departments and home-based care throughout the nation.

The visionary group also continues to shine a spotlight on the skyrocketing cost of healthcare and call for reforms that lower prescription drug prices, increase price transparency, and expand value-based care.

Established by the AGS in 2002, the David H. Solomon Public Service Award celebrates the legacy of David H. Solomon, MD, AGSF, a renowned geriatrician committed to community service and advancing knowledge about the care of older individuals. It is one of several honors conferred by the AGS at its Annual Scientific Meetings. The 2020 award recipients include more than 20 healthcare leaders representing the depth and breadth of disciplines championing care for older adults. For more information, visit Meeting.AmericanGeriatrics.org.

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