Chair & President's Report






Norman H. Volk, Chair     Corinne H. Rieder, President

It is once again our great honor to introduce the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Annual Report, recounting an exciting and productive 2014, both for our grantees and us.

As you know, after three fruitful decades of helping build academic capacity to produce geriatrics professionals in nursing, medicine, and social work, in 2011 we reviewed our grantmaking strategies and turned them in a new direction. Today, the Foundation is focused on putting geriatrics expertise to work, investing in more direct “downstream” efforts to redesign systems and care and to promote needed policy change on behalf of older adults and their families.

During our assessment and consequent planning, we identified distinct but interconnected strategies we believe are critical to transforming our nation’s health care for older people, and from them, created five grantmaking portfolios. These include building the leadership capacity of geriatrics experts in medicine, nursing, and social work to drive practice change; educating current and future practitioners in best geriatric practices; developing and supporting new, evidence-based models of care to lower costs and improve outcomes; promoting measures, standards, and health information technology that support appropriate care for older adults; and advancing the Foundation’s nonpartisan mission and the work of grantees through communication, advocacy, and research that inform the development of effective health and aging policies.

In this year’s annual report, you’ll find in-depth descriptions of each of these portfolios, with a particular focus on the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative, an
exemplar of the new direction the Foundation has taken. This important initiative seeks to harness the energies and creativity of the thousands of geriatrics experts we have supported during the last 30 years and accelerate practice change that will benefit the health of older Americans, their families, and their communities.

We hope you will enjoy learning about some of the great projects that have come into existence as a result of our new direction, as well as some of the wonderful people who lead them.


Notable Grants in 2014

Of the many grants we approved last year, four stand out as particularly emblematic of our new grantmaking strategies.

In partnership with The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Hartford Foundation Trustees approved a $1.6 million grant to the Health and Aging Policy Fellows (HAPF) program to support an additional 44 fellows over the next three years. The Atlantic Philanthropies approved a $4.7 million grant for the same purpose in March. The Fellows will receive intensive training in policymaking and bring geriatrics expertise to policymakers through placements at key agencies and offices in the federal government. Along with the 67 fellows who participated in the fellowship program’s first six cohorts, the new fellows will form a network of aging-focused professionals poised to help shape policy that improves the health of older adults. 

The Foundation also approved a $1,612,922 four-year grant to further evaluate a Hartford-supported health care model that provides hospital-level care in the home and lays the groundwork for its widespread dissemination and implementation. Our grant complements a $9.6 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to deliver and test a version of Hospital at Home, called the Mobile Acute Care Team or MACT, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. MACT provides care at home for patients with specific illnesses, delivered by a team of physicians, nurses, and others using mobile diagnostic technologies, intravenous medications, and supportive patient and family engagement. The Hartford grant will support the collection of clinical data, comparison to a control group, analysis of the model’s implementation process, and develop key technical assistance tools and Hospital at Home content experts.

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees also approved a $1,055,297 three-year grant to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to launch an advanced training program that equips social work supervisors with the geriatrics knowledge and supervisory skills they need to help strengthen social work practice on the front lines of health care service delivery. The program will train 160 master’s-level social work supervisors in four states (New York, Maryland, Illinois, and Florida), so that more than 1,200 front line social workers under their supervision will receive better support in improving and maintaining the health, safety, and independence of their older adult clients.

Finally, the Foundation approved a $1,951,320 three-year grant to continue and enhance the Hartford Communications and Dissemination Initiative, which will increase awareness and support of the Foundation, its grantees, and our common mission. Including communications support for grantees and new Foundation activities with a variety of partner organizations, this grant builds on our successful and longstanding collaboration with SCP, a socially responsible consulting firm with expertise in the aging field.


Financial Report

2014 marked another strong year for U.S. equities; the S&P 500 is now more than three times its 2009 trough level after rising for six consecutive years. However, international developed equities significantly trailed the domestic equities in 2014 and since capital markets hit rock bottom in March 2009. The Foundation’s endowment ended 2014 at approximately $560 million, representing a net increase of $10 million after disbursement for grants and expenses during the year. The Foundation’s well-diversified portfolio, which continued benefiting from the six-year-old U.S. bull market, posted a solid gain of about 6.2 percent in 2014, bringing an annualized return of 10.3 percent since March 2009 through the end of 2014. Furthermore, we are pleased that the Foundation was able to preserve and enhance the real value of its endowment over the past 27 years; the portfolio delivered a 9.0 percent return per annum, while spending over $810 million in today’s dollars for grants and expenses during this period of time. With Goldman Sachs’ assistance, the Foundation will continue to focus on maximizing the risk-adjusted returns through a disciplined, prudent investment approach. Looking ahead, while mid-single-digit returns for a moderate risk portfolio are generally expected over the next five years, we are confident that our portfolio has positioned us well to pursue investment opportunities and to withstand dramatic swings in the financial markets.


Foundation Transitions

We would like to express our profound sense of loss and extend our condolences to the family of Kathryn D. Wriston, who passed away in September 2014. Kathy, as we knew her, served on the Hartford Foundation’s Board of Trustees for 23 years. To learn more about her wonderful contributions to the life and vitality of the Foundation, please see the inside front cover of this report.

We would also like to express our gratitude and best wishes to John J. Curley, who retired from the Hartford Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2014 after 10 years of service. Mr. Curley is the former CEO, president, and chairman of the Gannett Company, Inc.

With regards to Hartford staff, Grants and Evaluations Coordinator Jessica L. White has left our New York office, but maintains her role at the Foundation, working remotely from Washington State.

Finally, and with gratitude, both of us will be in transition as well. Last year, Corinne H. Rieder, EdD, who has led the Foundation since 1997, announced her intention to retire from her post as President. After a national search, we are pleased to announce that Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, a former grantee of the Foundation and University Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, will be Hartford’s next President.

With our new President in place, the Board’s leadership will shift as well. After 36 years of service to the Foundation, Norman H. Volk will step down as Chair. We believe that the stability of the Board and executive leadership and our stewardship of the Foundation’s considerable financial and reputational assets were instrumental in advancing the mission of the Foundation during the last three decades.

Mr. Volk will be succeeded by Margaret L. Wolff, who so ably led our recent search for a new President. Christopher T.H. Pell, current Chair of our Evaluation Committee, will join Barbara Paul Robinson as co-Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. The Foundation will provide more information on all of these changes as the year progresses and in our next Annual Report.

As always, we would like to express our deep appreciation to the entire Board of Trustees, staff, and grantees for their extraordinary support over the past year as we continue to work toward effecting critical practice and policy changes to improve the lives and health of older adults. It is only through their dedicated efforts that achievements in this field are possible.