The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has awarded Mary E. Tinetti, M.D., the Edward Henderson Award, which recognizes a distinguished clinician, educator, or researcher who has made significant contributions to the field.

The AGS is honoring Tinetti for her pioneering work on falling in the elderly and its prevention. Tinetti will receive the award and will present the Henderson State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AGS’s 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C., in May.

Tinetti is the Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health, and director of the Yale Program on Aging at the School of Medicine.

She was the first investigator to show that older adults at risk for falling and injury could be identified, that falls were associated with a range of serious adverse outcomes, and that multifaceted risk-reduction strategies were both successful and cost-effective.

Her work has transformed the prevailing view of falls as an inevitable consequence of aging to a preventable event with a multidimensional set of risk factors that can be identified and controlled.

Tinetti has also investigated and published extensively on functional disability and mobility impairment. She is now involved in efforts to translate these research findings into clinical and public health practice.

Most recently, Tinetti has focused her research on clinical decision-making in the face of multiple health conditions.

Tinetti has been awarded many of the highest accolades in geriatrics. In 2009, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (popularly known as a “genius” award) recognizing her contributions to the area of fall prevention in older adults.