AGS Honors Heflin with Jahnigen Award for Geriatrics Education

Monday, April 11, 2022

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today announced that Professor of Medicine Mitchell T. Heflin, MD, MHS, vice chief for education (Geriatrics) will be honored with the 2022 Dennis W. Jahnigen Award for his dedication to advancing health professions education that enables health care providers in a variety of settings to care effectively for older adults. Helflin is also associate dean for Interprofessional Education and Care at the Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing.

As a Principal Investigator on a prestigious Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Dr. Heflin made lasting connections with many agencies that support older adults. In addition, he has mentored and supported scores of fellows and junior faculty from multiple specialties and professions who aspire to become advanced clinicians and educators.

Dr. Heflin will receive his award at the AGS 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS22) taking place in Orlando, FL, May 12-14 (pre-conference day May 11).

“Throughout his body of work, Dr. Heflin has advanced our knowledge regarding how best to get needed geriatrics expertise to older adults wherever they seek care,” said AGS President Peter Hollmann, MD, AGSF. “His outstanding clinical skills, compassion, and commitment to service and outreach embody the spirit of the late Dr. Dennis W. Jahnigen, for whom this award is named.”
Dr. Heflin’s career in geriatrics has focused on development, deployment and evaluation of education programs aimed at health professions learners from a variety of disciplines and professions, and the introduction of innovative models of care with a specific emphasis on community-based and perioperative care of frail older adults.
He served as Duke Medical School’s Geriatrics Fellowship Program Director for 11 years and, over the same span, directed the HRSA-funded Geriatrics Education Programs at Duke, including the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP).  He served as the site director at Duke for the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Program on Faculty Development to Advance Geriatrics Education (FD~AGE) from 2004-2016. Dr. Heflin also led the implementation of the Duke Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) program and co-directed the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) funded Specialty Care Education Center of Excellence for the VA POSH Program. As Associate Dean and Director of the Interprofessional Education and Care (IPEC) Center, Dr. Heflin works with educators and clinicians across campus in the design and implementation of educational programs aimed at improving our ability to use interprofessional collaborative practice to deliver safe, effective, person-centered care.


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.