Chairman & Executive Director's Report






Norman H. Volk, Chairman     Corinne H. Rieder, Executive 
                                                    Director & Treasurer

We are pleased to present the John A. Hartford Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report. This report, celebrating 30 years of improving the health of older Americans through the Foundation’s Aging and Health program, is dedicated to all the staff and Trustees whose vision it was to forge a new direction in grant-making, as well as to their successors and numerous grantees who have committed themselves to this important and vital mission. This work 

has addressed many specific needs over the years, always adhering to John Hartford’s belief of doing, “the greatest good for the greatest number,” - a theme that is repeated throughout this report and which led to the Foundation’s focus on the growing aging population in the United States. The last 30 years have been a time of supporting and nurturing geriatrics, a field in health care that was little known and underappreciated.  The dedicated staff and Trustees of the Foundation had (and still have) the foresight to recognize the needs of future generations of this age group.

With the first of the “Baby Boom” generation now entering retirement age and needing specialized care, the focus of the Foundation’s work is shifting from the academic capacity building, “upstream” phase of the last 30 years to “downstream” work focused directly on changing health care practice.  With a rapidly changing health care system, the time has come to act and use the geriatrics expertise and resources that we have nurtured over the years.  A successful strategic planning process was completed to address these environmental changes – both political and demographic – the result of which we believe will enable us to have the greatest impact for the population we are trying to serve.

A Year of Transition

In 2012, with an eye toward the future envisioned in our strategic plan, the Foundation awarded final renewal grants to our discipline-focused scholar and center programs, including the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence and the National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence at the Gerontological Society of America; the National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education at the Council on Social Work Education; as well as  the Paul B. Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research, the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program, and the Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training National Program Office at the American Federation for Aging Research. These legacy grants, totaling just over $25.3 million, will provide the programs with time and resources to find alternative sources of support or complete their work.

The Trustees also approved the first grants supporting our new strategic direction which places more emphasis on practice. The Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health Program based at the University of Colorado Denver, which grew out of the Practice Change Fellows Program and is co-funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, received $1.5 million over three years to develop 30 leaders in medicine, nursing, and social work. Another new grant to that university for $766,377 over three years, will help expand dissemination of the Care Transitions Intervention model by supplying technical assistance products and training services to more than 180 health care organizations nationwide .

In partnership with long-time grantees at the University of Washington’s Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) center, the Foundation was awarded $2 million over two years (with a planned $1 million renewal for a third year) from the Social Innovation Fund of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The Foundation will match the federal award dollar for dollar and has already made a $1.5 million award to AIMS for technical assistance and support. The balance of the funds will be used to enable five to eight community health clinics in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho to implement the evidence-based IMPACT depression care model and treat as many as 8,000 patients.

Beyond our grantmaking, the Foundation released two national polls during 2012, exploring important issues regarding the quality of health care for older adults while also helping to raise awareness of the Foundation and its vital mission. Our first poll, released in April, looked at whether Americans age 65 and older had, in the past 12 months, received seven important medical services to support healthy aging. The poll found significant and troubling gaps in primary care. The Foundation’s second national poll, which was conducted later in the year, found that a large majority of older Americans with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders are receiving treatment that does not meet evidence-based standards, and many do not know that depression can put their health at increased risk. In the coming year, the Foundation will continue to conduct polls and related efforts 

designed to educate practice and policy leaders about critical issues in the care of older patients.

Financial Report

The Foundation’s endowment ended 2012 at approximately $514 million, representing a net increase of $36 million after disbursement for grants and expenses during the year. The Foundation’s portfolio continued its positive momentum in 2012 with a gain of 12.7 percent, far outpacing the rate of the Foundation’s spending plus inflation as well as beating the median of 121 peer foundations and endowments in the Northern Trust universe. In the summer of 2012, the Foundation selected Goldman Sachs as its investment advisor to assist in redeveloping its investment portfolio across a wider array of asset classes and strategies. Through this new relationship, the Foundation has gained access to the firm’s extensive global resources, intellectual capital, and proprietary risk management capabilities. We believe that Goldman Sachs has the breadth and depth of financial expertise to guide us through a rapidly evolving financial landscape and to further enable the Foundation to achieve its long-term investment objectives.

Transitions at the Foundation

While it has been a year marked by notable changes, we have enjoyed enviable stability on our Board of Trustees and staff. We would like to welcome Ann E. Raffel, who joined us as Information Technology Officer in 2012.

As we reflect on the year just past, we are filled with gratitude for the dedication and hard work of our Board of Trustees, staff, and grantees. And we are confident that the course on which we have embarked regarding our strategic planning will lead to the Foundation’s ability to have a more direct impact on the quality of health care for our rapidly aging population. We emerge from this year of transition energized and focused on our common goal of working to improve the health of older adults.