Iowa Health Care Providers Join Nationwide Movement To Improve Older Adults' Care

March 29, 2021 8:00 AM EDT

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NEW YORK, March 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Health systems in Iowa are recognizing the importance of addressing the health needs of the state's rapidly growing number of older adults by participating in a movement to better identify and address their unique care needs. Currently, six hospitals, medical practices, convenient care clinics, and/or nursing homes in Iowa have joined Age-Friendly Health Systems.

Funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)—in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States—the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement prioritizes what matters most to an older adult. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency among health systems to prioritize age-friendly care; from March 2020 through December 2020, 1,671 U.S. health care sites joined the effort, including every CVS Health MinuteClinic, bringing the total number of sites to 1,956.

"The rapid growth of the age-friendly care movement means that older adults in Iowa have a better chance at receiving high-quality, evidence-based care that is tailored to what matters most to them," said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of JAHF. "As COVID-19 has demonstrated, we must prioritize the care of older adults across all care settings to ensure coordinated, evidence-based, age-friendly care is delivered to those who need it most. We are incredibly grateful to IHI, our other partners, and all Age-Friendly Health Systems participants for their work to make health care age-friendly, especially during this terrible pandemic."

Health care treatment decisions that help older adults achieve what matters most to them—like daily walks without pain, having the energy for gardening, or talking with grandchildren while feeling clear-headed—result in healthier aging, according to the movement. When health care providers focus on the 4Ms of age-friendly care for older adults—what Matters, Medication, Mentation (memory and mood), and Mobility—they reduce harm, improve health outcomes, and lower health care costs, according to JAHF and IHI.

"There has never been a more critical time to prioritize adoption of evidence-based care of older adults," said Kedar Mate, MD, president and CEO of IHI. "We are learning and improving care daily through the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, and that will fortify our health care systems for the future. I am heartened by the increase in Age-Friendly participants and their commitment to better care for older adults."  

Participants in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement in Iowa as of Jan. 2021 include:

  • Jefferson County Health System
    • Jefferson County Health Center Clinic, Fairfield
    • Parkview Care Center, Fairfield
    • Sunnybrook Living Care Center, Fairfield
  • Unity Point Health
    • Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Storm Lake
    • Cedar Rapids Hospital, Cedar Rapids
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Emergency Department, Iowa City

To learn more about the movement, visit

Interested healthcare organizations can participate by joining the next Action Community, a free opportunity to learn more about age-friendly care, beginning March 2021:

Contact: Andrew Silva, 508-933-8054, [email protected]

About The John A. Hartford FoundationThe John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. For more than three decades, the organization has been the leader in building a field of experts in aging and testing and replicating innovative approaches to care. The Foundation has three areas of emphasis: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care. Working with its grantees, the Foundation strives to change the status quo and create a society where older adults can continue their vital contributions. For more information, visit 


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SOURCE The John A. Hartford Foundation

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