Category Archives: Grantees

Dr. Suzanne Landis Demonstrates True Meaning of Leading Practice Change

Dr. Suzanne Landis has devoted her life to improving care for older adults.

Dr. Suzanne Landis has devoted her life to improving care for older adults.

Suzanne Landis, MD, MPH, drives an older, sensible car. She is an understated person often found standing in the back row of group photos. But don’t let her modest demeanor fool you.

She is one of the most giving and effective people I know. Dr. Landis, who practices geriatrics in rural Western North Carolina, leads the Center for Healthy Aging at the Mountain Area Health Education Center.

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For Missoula Clinic, SIF Program Support
Is a Dream Come True

PHClogowwords_400pEditor’s Note: The Partnership Health Center (PHC) 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, a $3 million federal grant has been matched by $3 million 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.

Surrounded by five distinct mountain ranges, Missoula, Montana has been dubbed the Garden City, attracting vacationers and newcomers lured by its natural beauty. It also is considered a hub for services for the surrounding rural and frontier counties.

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Investing $10.3 Million in Projects to Transform Care for Older Adults

Transforming_Health_Care_SS__400pLast week’s meeting of the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Board of Trustees was an important and exciting time for us all.

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.

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Innovative Depression Treatment Helps Sophie Enjoy Better Mental and Physical Health

Kodiak_Island

The majestic beauty of Kodiak Island.

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.

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Hartford Grantees, Friends Shine at AGS Annual Meeting

National_Harbor_400pMost 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.

Steven R. Counsell, MD

Steven R. Counsell, MD

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Partnership Advances a Revolution in Mental Health Care

The author, Diane Powers, in Idaho in 2013, during a series of site visits in the Pacific Northwest to determine grant awards.

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.

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Public Understanding of Aging Built on a House of Cards

HoC_300pOver the weekend, I walked past my wife and kids watching the new season three of Netflix’s House of Cards and was stunned to see the evil President Frank Underwood ranting at his cabinet to get on with designing his jobs program that would be funded by slashing the “entitlements” of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that are “sucking us dry.”

I gave an impromptu lecture to the family on the folly of this policy position—I’m not sure they noticed. And of course, we’ve also written many times about the false narrative of zero-sum intergenerational conflict. (Read Pitting Older Adults Against Children Is a Zero-Sum Game and Analyze This: Misleading Federal Spending Stats Pit Children Vs. Older Adults.)

But what can anyone do when even television writers feel comfortable with this notion that the benefits that older adults earned in their lifetime of work are a dagger to the heart of the nation? While Underwood is certainly a morally compromised character, in this scene he is actually portrayed as the hero, taking decisive action in the face of a roomful of indecisive, equivocating, naysaying bureaucrats.

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Geriatric Emergency Medicine: The Time to Act is Now
Part Two

Teresita Hogan, MD

One of this blog post’s authors, Teresita Hogan, MD, speaks on care transitions during the Geriatric EM Boot Camp in Milwaukee.

Editor’s Note: In our Feb. 19 Health AGEnda post, the team we’re informally calling the Hartford Geri EM Champions shared information about the first two Geriatric Emergency Medicine Boot Camps and a meeting hosted by the John A. Hartford Foundation in late January to discuss new opportunities to improve acute care of older adults. Today, in the second of two parts, our EM experts discuss why our current system is failing older Americans, and share their vision for better emergency department care that can both serve the needs of older adults and contribute to a more efficient and value-based health care system.

The acute care provided to older adults in emergency departments (ED) across the country, and world, is often inadequate and sometimes dangerous.

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Geriatric Emergency Medicine: The Time to Act is Now

Drs. Kevin Biese and Jan Busby-Whitehead

One of this blog’s authors, Dr. Kevin Biese, right, and Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead lead a collaborative project at UNC-Chapel Hill to develop a unique model of a geriatric emergency department (ED) focused on improving care transitions.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two parts.

“Geriatric Emergency Medicine”—As health professionals in Emergency Medicine (EM) who have chosen to focus on the geriatric population, we wish we could claim the topic brings a sense of excitement and opportunity to EM physicians worldwide.

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Focusing on the Health Goals of Older Adults

Missed_Target_400pThis week we offer a poignant story of one physician’s struggle to understand what he could do to help his aging and ailing new patient. Written by Dr. Mitch Kaminski, and originally posted on Pulse, a leading narrative medicine website, this true tale makes the point that if we don’t understand a person’s own personal health goal, we are unlikely to achieve it.

We are unlikely to help them.

The John A. Hartford Foundation is deeply committed to aligning care by all health care providers to address the goals of older patients. As people age and become much more medically complex and frail, well-intended treatments may not help with pain or function. The treatment may create new problems and burdens.

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