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IOM Report Calls for Fundamental Changes in the U.S. Healthcare System to Address the Aging Population

April 18, 2008
N-420, 2007-2008

NYU’s Dean Terry Fulmer, Report Committee Member, Available for Comment

Fulmer Warns of a “Perfect Storm:” Boomers Retiring + Aging Healthcare Workforce and Current Nursing Shortage = National Healthcare Crisis

As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care work force that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at New York University, was one of 14 committee members who wrote the report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. The report’s bold initiatives call for:

  • Training all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care;
  • Higher salaries and financial incentives are needed to retain and recruit nurses;
  • Preparing family members and other informal caregivers, who currently receive little or no training in how to tend to their aging loved ones;
  • Health plans need to pay higher rates to boost recruitment and retention of geriatric specialists and care aides

“We face a ‘perfect storm’ of a healthcare crisis in this country,” warns Fulmer. “The number of older patients who are living longer with more complex health needs is dramatically outpacing the number of health care providers with the knowledge and skills to care for them capably”.

“The sheer number of older patients in the coming years will require creative new models for delivering health care and the commitment of greater financial resources,” she added. “If our aging family members and friends are to live as robustly as they can and in the best health possible, we must have a work force of adequate size and competency to take care of them.”

Reporters interested in speaking to Dr. Fulmer should contact Christopher James, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6876 or christopher.james@nyu.edu

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
College of Nursing, Research

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at New York University

Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at New York University


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