The American Geriatrics Society is committed to taking purposeful steps to address racism in health care, given its impact on older adults, their families, and our communities. In fall 2020, AGS added a statement to our vision for the future, which reflects that our commitment is central to mission: “We all are supported by and able to contribute to communities where ageism, ableism, classism, homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other forms of bias and discrimination no longer impact healthcare access, quality, and outcomes for older adults and their caregivers.” In 2021, we will be working to flesh out a multi-year, multi-pronged initiative that addresses the intersection of structural racism and ageism in health care. This will include engaging members in identifying strategies and with the goal of increasing member engagement around the idea that it will take all of us working together to achieve our vision for a collective future that is free of discrimination and bias. The Society has set as the first objective that by 2031, 100% of research presented at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) will reflect the diversity of the population being studied. Other immediate efforts include undertaking a complete update of the Geriatrics Cultural Navigator, development of corresponding public education materials, and a webinar series focused on helping us all understand our own implicit bias, recognize implicit and explicit bias, and consider actions that we each might take to address bias when we observe it.
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