Healthcare Tips

American Geriatrics Society Names AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen Its New CEO

April 24, 2019

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has chosen AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen, RN, MSN, FAAN, as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Ms. Hansen, who finishes her term with AARP this spring, will take over from Linda Hiddemen Barondess in April. During her 27-year tenure, Ms. Barondess led the transformation of the AGS into the nation's leading organization focused on improving the care of older adults.

In announcing the appointment to AGS members, Society President Cheryl Phillips, MD, commented, "Jennie's leadership in California, and then on the national front, has been nothing short of remarkable and inspirational. She, together with her colleagues at OnLok, were able to effect changes in California and at the national level through expansion of the Program of All Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) to other states.

Changes which have improved the coordinated care we offer our nation's elders who live with complex clinical and medical conditions. We are looking forward to working with her toward achieving our mission - improving the health, independence, and quality of life for older adults."

"I feel privileged and honored to be taking the helm from Linda, who has done so much for the field of geriatrics and elder healthcare," said Ms. Hansen, who was elected President of the AARP in 2008 after six years on its Board of Directors, and has more than three decades of experience in the field.

In recent years the AGS has expanded its public policy advocacy efforts significantly, and has, among other things, advised lawmakers as they have worked to develop health reform proposals to improve healthcare for older adults. The health reform legislation before Congress includes provisions that will result in better-coordinated, higher quality and more affordable care for older people. The legislation also includes provisions for enhancements to geriatrics education and training that will expand the capacity of the nation's healthcare workforce to meet the unique needs of our nation's rapidly growing aging population. In a seminal 2008 report, the Institute of Medicine warned that the nation's healthcare workforce was too small and ill prepared to meet these needs, and called for many of the workforce initiatives in the reform legislation.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Society members, leaders, and staff to improve recruitment into geriatrics health professions and to improve the overall quality of care that older adults receive," Ms. Hansen noted. "AGS has long advocated for policies that support coordinated care by multi-disciplinary teams of healthcare workers and I hope to build on this work."

Ms. Hansen's professional experience in eldercare includes not only providing hands-on clinical care, teaching, and conducting research, but also serving on key governmental and nonprofit agencies, developing and launching successful public policy and public education initiatives, teaming with foundations, promoting innovative models and systems of care, and heading top organizations in aging.

Prior to joining AARP, she spent nearly 25 years -- over 11 years as CEO -- with On Lok, the highly acclaimed, San Francisco-based program that provides coordinated, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, community-based medical, nursing, allied health and social services, and housing for frail older adults. Ms. Hansen played a leading role in both expanding On Lok's offerings, and replicating the program nationwide. Under her leadership, On Lok served as the model for the nation's Medicare- and Medicaid-funded Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) which was signed into federal legislation in 1997. She began her career as a community and public health nurse in California and Idaho.

Ms. Hansen is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a Senior Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and a federal Commissioner to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). She is also a board officer of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a national advisory committee member of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurses Program, a member of the board of the SCAN Foundation, and an appointee to the Robert Wood Johnson/Institute of Medicine Committee on the Initiative on the Future of Nursing. She has received numerous awards, including the a 2005 CMS Administrator's Award of Achievement, and the Gerontological Society of America's Maxwell Pollack Award for Productive Living.

American Geriatrics Society