At #AGS18, Drs. William Applegate, Thomas Edes honored for geriatrics leadership


Credit: (C) 2018, American Geriatrics Society

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) will this year honor not one but two pioneers of geriatrics expertise with the prestigious Nascher/Manning Award given biannually at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS18; held this year May 3-5 in Orlando, Fla.). William Applegate, MD, MPH, MACP, AGSF–Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) and a renowned clinician-educator at Wake Forest Health and the Wake Forest School of Medicine–and Thomas Edes, MD, MS–Executive Director of Geriatrics & Extended Care Operations for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)–now join a cadre of less than 20 geriatrics healthcare professionals recognized with the Nascher/Manning Award since its inception in 1987.

A professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Dr. Applegate has long been instrumental in leading change and innovation, particularly at the AGS. An AGS member since 1984 and a former Society President, Dr. Applegate has twice anchored JAGS as Editor-in-Chief, having returned most recently in 2016 following an earlier tenure from 1993 through 2000.

In the interim, Dr. Applegate served as Chairperson of Internal Medicine and then Dean at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, as well as President of Wake Forest University Health Sciences. Across his professional career, Dr. Applegate has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters, and has served as a reviewer for some of health care's most prestigious academic publications. In his new work at JAGS, Dr. Applegate has helped to increase awareness for geriatrics scholarship, with a particular focus on new media at a journal already included in more than 9,000 library collections around the world.

That same prowess is matched by the impressive legacy of Dr. Edes, co-recipient of the 2018 Nascher/Manning Award. In his current work with the VA–our nation's largest integrated health system–Dr. Edes has national responsibility for a range of geriatrics and extended-care services at more than 1,200 health facilities that, together, provide care for more than 9 million veterans.

Since 2000, Dr. Edes has played a pivotal role in quadrupling access to home-based primary care for veterans with serious chronic disabling conditions who are too sick to come to clinic, including more than 15,000 veterans each day who reside in rural areas or tribal lands. During this time, Dr. Edes took the VA Medical Foster Home concept from a one-site pilot to a nationally acclaimed program now in 43 states. Dr. Edes also garnered the support of Congress to establish the first VA budget allocation for hospice care, which led to palliative care teams in every VA medical center across the U.S. and increased veterans' hospice utilization to 40 percent.

Through his longstanding interests in the economic and clinical impact of home-based primary care, Dr. Edes actively shaped the development of Independence-at-Home, a promising Medicare demonstration of health reform that now provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary, longitudinal care in the homes of older Americans, both veterans and non-veterans with serious, chronic, disabling conditions. Prior to 2000, Dr. Edes served as Chief of Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Harry S. Truman Memorial VA Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri. There he was instrumental in developing Geriatric Evaluation and Management programs for inpatient and outpatient care, subacute care and hospice units, a geriatric fellowship program, and the advanced disease planning initiative.

"Like Dr. Applegate, Dr. Edes' research interests have helped to improve home care, end-of-life care, and chronic disease care for us all as we age," noted Ellen Flaherty, PhD, APRN, AGSF, AGS Board Chair. "There is no more fitting pair of colleagues to join our cohort of Nascher/Manning honorees."

The Nascher/Manning Award celebrates a geriatrics pioneer who helped build the professional foundation for what is now the AGS. Ignatz Leo Nascher, MD, was the first clinician to advocate for establishing a specialty focused on the care of older adults. Through the generosity of the Manning family, Dr. Nascher's namesake award is one of several honors conferred by the AGS at its Annual Scientific Meeting. The 2018 award recipients include more than 15 healthcare leaders representing the depth and breadth of disciplines championing better care for us all as we age. For more information, visit


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. Its 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

About the Nascher/Manning Award

Ignatz Leo Nascher, MD, argued that medical care for older adults should be considered a separate specialty, for which he coined the term "geriatrics" in 1909. Through the generosity of the Manning family, the intent of the Nascher/Manning Award is to honor Dr. Nascher's pioneering work in the field by recognizing an individual with distinguished, life-long achievement in clinical geriatrics.

About the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting

The AGS Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatrics, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging, and innovative models of care delivery. More than 2,500 nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene May 3-5, 2018 (pre-conference program on May 2), at the Walt Disney World® Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla., to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. For more information, visit

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