From left, Terry Fulmer, James D. Farley, and Mathey Mezey at the opening of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nusing at NYU in 1997.
All of us at the John A. Hartford Foundation feel a profound sense of loss at the passing of one of the guiding lights of our mission to improve the health of older Americans: James D. Farley, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees.
Jim Farley, who died peacefully at home in Hobe Sound, Florida, on June 17, served as a Trustee for 25 years, from 1977-2002, and was Chair for his last 13 years on the board. He was an astute and principled leader, a man of integrity and the highest standards who was always willing to speak his mind.
From right, JAHF’s Amy Berman and Terry Fulmer, Jon Broyles of C-TAC, and Bud Hammes of Respecting Choices engage in the convening.
Imagine Shirley, an 84-year-old woman with end stage renal failure. Her clinician has proposed continuing a daily dialysis treatment that will extend her life, but that is exhausting and uncomfortable. Overwhelmed by her condition, Shirley has little ability to articulate that she may want something different from her care, and her family is similarly unprepared to help her seek out or weigh any available alternatives—for example, medication and homecare.
What would it take to ensure that Shirley and the millions like her at the end of their lives each year receive the high-quality care that meets their unique needs? To help answer this question, the John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) recently convened a meeting at its offices in New York City focused on “End of Life and Serious Illness,” gathering leading innovators in the field and funders with deep interest in this area.
It was the first board meeting under the direction of our new President, Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, and it was the last board meeting for our long-time board chair, Norman H. Volk, who is succeeded by Margaret Wolff. Demonstrating the John A. Hartford Foundation’s commitment to our current strategies to create widespread and systemic practice change in health care, the Trustees approved $10.3 million in six new grants to improve the health of older adults, our largest authorization in many years.
The new grants add muscle to four of our five funding areas comprising the Foundation’s current strategic plan. And our fifth strategy, Interprofessional Leadership in Action, is certainly validated by these projects, most of which are the culmination of several years—sometimes decades—of work by leaders in the field of aging and health who we have helped develop and support.
Margaret L. Wolff is the new chair of the John A. Hartford Foundation Board of Trustees.
Moving from strength to strength.
That is how I recently described the John A. Hartford Foundation’s shift in strategic direction from building academic capacity over the past three decades to its current focus on more directly influencing large-scale practice and policy change that improves the health of older adults and their families.
Editor’s Note: The Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) is one of eight primary care community clinics receiving funding through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF) initiative to spread the IMPACT program, also known as Collaborative Care, in the rural Pacific Northwest.
The John A. Hartford Foundation was one of just four new awardees chosen in 2012 to serve as an intermediary between SIF and subgrantees implementing innovative care models. As a result, $3 million in federal grants have been matched by $3 million in money from the John A. Hartford Foundation, with additional matching grants from the subgrantees, to spread the IMPACT/Collaborative Care model in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.
Rachael Watman, bottom right, and her high school Latin Club.
I was a member of the Latin Club in high school. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I became the Treasurer. We were not as big as the Spanish Club or as organized as the German Club, but we had dedicated members.
We understood the value of our organization and the benefits that came with membership: the sharing of expertise (read: accessible help with Latin homework), a cohort of like-minded students with an interest in a shared topic (read: a group of kids who liked Latin and stood stronger together), and a unified platform to advance our mission (read: the successful collective lobbying of our school administration to use the cafeteria for our annual “Chariot Races”—a wildly dangerous sport with Radio Flyer wagons).
Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, started as the John A. Hartford Foundation’s new President this week.
As I begin an exciting new chapter of a career deeply embedded in geriatrics, I am thrilled by the opportunity to serve as the new President of the John A. Hartford Foundation and bring all of my experience, expertise, and energy to the challenging task of creating transformative change in the way health care is delivered to older Americans.
Many of you already know me, but for those of you who don’t, let me briefly introduce myself: Most recently, I was University Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. Before that, I was the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor of Nursing and founding Dean of the New York University (NYU) College of Nursing. For 15 years, I also served as co-director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU, and have held faculty appointments at Boston College, Columbia University, Yale University and the Harvard Division on Aging. I also am an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, and have held leadership positions at the American Geriatrics Society and the Gerontological Society of America, among others. My passion for improving the care of older adults has been central in all of these roles.
Most of our John A. Hartford Foundation staff have come to the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, MD, this week for the annual scientific meeting of long-time grantee and partner, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). It’s always a great opportunity to catch up with valued friends and colleagues, learn about the latest advances in aging and health research, and celebrate those who have made important contributions to the field.
This year is no exception. In fact, it is gratifying to see how many of those being honored by AGS this week have been part of the Hartford Foundation community, through grants, scholarships, fellowships, and partnerships.
A neighborhood lemonade stand set up by Rachael Watman’s son and his friends reminds us of some valuable lessons about success.
My son and an enterprising group of neighborhood kids recently hosted a lemonade stand. They have done this in the past with modest success. This time, however, they outdid themselves by working as a team.
While my son and a few of the kids ran the stand, others rode their bikes up and down Main Street informing potential customers about the superior product to be had right around the corner. They also posted pictures on Facebook and scored their first delivery order to a local business owner.
The author, Diane Powers, in Idaho in 2013, during a series of site visits in the Pacific Northwest to determine grant awards.
In 1998, a gallon of gas cost $1.15, the last episode of Seinfeld aired on TV, and the John A. Hartford Foundation quietly helped start a revolution in mental health care. That was the year Dr. Jürgen Unützer, then an early-career psychiatrist at UCLA, convinced the Hartford Foundation of the worthiness of a radical idea—bringing mental health care into primary care.
The idea of having a primary care provider treat patients for common mental health conditions was so different that Unützer and Wayne Katon, Unützer’s mentor and an established psychiatrist at the University of Washington, were having difficulty finding a funder to test it.