Photo by James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
All of us at the John A. Hartford Foundation have a deep appreciation and respect for the work that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do to safeguard the health of our nation and promote healthy aging.
So when I received an invitation from John Auerbach, the CDC’s associate director for policy, to come to Atlanta for a day of discussion about possible opportunities for the John A. Hartford Foundation and the CDC to collaborate on efforts to improve the care of older adults, I enthusiastically said yes.
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.
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.
For two decades, the John A. Hartford Foundation has invested in the development and spread of the Hospital at Home model of care, which provides safe, high-quality, hospital-level care to older adults with select conditions in the comfort of their own home.
Over those years, studies have consistently shown that the model delivers improved care and outcomes at lower costs. But adoption has been limited, leading us to conclude that Hospital at Home was ahead of its time.
The organization served first as the home of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI), then as the coordinating center for the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) , and most recently, as the basecamp of the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative.
So the GSA annual meeting, being held this week in Washington, DC, is a tremendous opportunity to connect with long-standing friends and meet new ones in the field of aging, as well as to check in on long-ago grants and plan new ones.
Funders share information on investments in palliative care at the recent convening spearheaded by the Hartford Foundation.
Palliative care is an essential component of care for the seriously ill. Yet, the term is often misunderstood by policymakers, the public, health care providers, and, no surprise, even those in philanthropy.
The John A. Hartford Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the spread of high-quality palliative care through its funding of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), led by Diane Meier, MD (see Celebrating CAPC and Our 500th Blog Post!). Dr. Meier often refers to palliative care as an “extra layer of support” for the seriously ill and their families.
From left: Rebecca Brune, VP of Strategic Planning and Growth, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of San Antonio; Regina Bonnevie, MD, Medical Director, Peninsula Community Health Services in Port Orchard, WA; Peggy Cary, Senior VP of Finance & Internal Audit, Methodist Healthcare Ministries; and Diane Powers, Associate Director, Division of Integrated Care and Public Health, University of Washington AIMS Center, Seattle WA, talk following presentations at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.
Last week, the Social Innovation Fund of the Corporation for National and Community Service celebrated its 5th Birthday. There was cake.
More importantly, there was a celebration of the good that philanthropy can do to address the pressing problems facing the country. The goal of the Social Innovation Fund is to bring federal and private money together to scale up the best, evidence-based innovations to address problems of education, poverty, and health.
This is the last in a three-part Health AGEnda series on the Hartford Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report: Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration.
Collaboration is everything—creating meaningful and measurable change rarely, if ever, happens in a vacuum.
Here at the John A. Hartford Foundation, we recognize the importance of forging longstanding relationships. Identifying, nurturing, and sustaining productive partnerships have been a critical element of Hartford’s success.
This is the second in a three-part Health AGEnda series on the Hartford Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report: Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration.
Although he was a star in a different field, something basketball legend Michael Jordan once said applies equally to the work of the John A. Hartford Foundation: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
Here at the Hartford Foundation, we see great merit in not only spurring innovations and winning each “game,” but also generating long-term champion partnerships that pave the road for meaningful and lasting change.