In recognition of her tireless efforts to support the health, independence and well-being of older Americans, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) will present its inaugural "Congressional Leadership Award" to Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) on May 1, during its Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC. The meeting, which runs from April 30 through May 4, is the premier conference on aging research.

Sen. Lincoln, who first took office in 1992 as US Representative for Arkansas' First Congressional District, was the youngest woman ever elected to the United State Senate when she won a seat in that chamber in 1998. An active member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, she has long demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of older Americans.

Sen. Lincoln's leadership efforts on behalf of the Geriatric Assessment and Chronic Care Coordination Act (GACCCA) -- a bill she is championing in the Senate i- exemplify that commitment. The legislation, for which Sen. Lincoln has long advocated, would fill a major gap in Medicare by covering comprehensive geriatric assessments and healthcare coordination for beneficiaries with multiple chronic illnesses. She is also supporting a proposed Medicare demonstration program modeled on the GACCCA and has co-sponsored additional legislation to protect the elderly from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Sen. Lincoln has led initiatives to improve access to and the quality of long-term care. She was a key supporter of the 2007 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), which funds numerous programs for older people, including senior center services, meals, transportation, home care, and caregiver support for those caring for older adults. She was also instrumental in increasing funding for OAA initiatives last year.

"We are delighted to be honoring Sen. Lincoln with this new award, in recognition of her dedication to improving the lives of older Americans, particularly those who are most vulnerable," said John B. Murphy, MD, professor of medicine and family medicine at Brown University Medical School and associate director of the division of geriatrics in the department of medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Murphy began his tenure as AGS President during the Society's annual meeting.

AGS established the Congressional Leadership Award to recognize the crucial role legislators play in shaping attitudes, policies and practices that affect the health and well-being of older adults. The Society will present the award annually to a legislator who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and leadership on behalf of America's seniors.

In addition to serving as an advocate for older Americans, Sen. Lincoln is a leading voice on national priorities such as health care, Social Security, veterans' benefits, education, hunger relief, nutrition, tax policy, alternative energy, and farm policy.

About AGS

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society is a nationwide, not-for-profit association of geriatrics health care professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people. The Society supports this mission through activities in clinical practice, professional and public education, research and public policy. With an active membership of over 6,700 health care professionals, the Society has become a pivotal force in shaping attitudes, policies and practices in geriatric medicine.

American Geriatrics Society

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