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Healthcare organizations embrace Age-Friendly to support older adults

HANYS’ Age-Friendly Collaboratives are helping organizations meet the needs of a growing population of older adults. Sign-up is open for the 2023 programs.


The number of adults 65+ in the United States is growing quickly. By 2034, older adults are expected to outnumber children for the first time.

Hospitals and health systems are meeting those population changes head-on, adapting their care models to ensure all patient settings, including EDs, provide well-coordinated, appropriate, quality care for older adults.

HANYS has supported dozens of hospitals and health systems as they pursued Age-Friendly Health System recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and American College of Emergency Physicians’ Geriatric Emergency Department accreditation. After celebrating the success of 44 New York facilities designated Age-Friendly, we’re sharing the impact they say they’re already seeing.

Small changes, big results

“Participation in the Age-Friendly community has driven a more humanistic focus on individualized treatment plans based on what is most important to that unique patient,” said Blaine Greenwald, MD, director, division of geriatric psychiatry, Northwell Health Zucker Hillside Hospital.

The program doesn’t just impact patient care. Participants saw an internal shift as well. “Our Lady of Mercy Life Center is most proud of the unanticipated team building/bonding that has occurred,” said Alexandra Smith MS, HCA, CDP, program manager, St. Peter’s Health Partners Long-term Care. “It really has brought the team together and helped us focus on a common goal.”

Collaboration has been key. “Through this process, we developed screening events with different agencies to help members in our community that otherwise may have gone unnoticed,” said Sharlyn Serwatien, RN, director of care coordination WMC/Bon Secours Charity Health System.

The prospect of change can be overwhelming, but with support from HANYS, organizations have been able to identify areas for improvement and put plans into action. "I am most proud of how quickly my team responded to what needed to be done to ensure age-friendly care at our facility,” said Quonitra W. Bullock, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, nurse manager, Upstate University Hospital. “Small changes make such a big difference.”

Ready to become Age-Friendly?

HANYS is recruiting teams to join the 2023 New York State Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community cohort and the New York Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation Collaborative.

Hear from past participants and learn how you can get involved at our Nov. 7 webinar.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States. Thanks to generous support from the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, New York State Health Foundation, New York Community Trust, and Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, there is no fee to participate in the New York State Action Community. We encourage all New York state hospitals, health systems and providers across the continuum of care to join us in this important work.

The New York State Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation Collaborative is supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation. Thanks to the foundation’s generous support, there are no fees to participate in the collaborative or apply for initial Level 3 (Bronze) Accreditation.