Health AGEnda

Equality Does Not Equal Lowering Health Care Standards for the Poor

FrenchRevolution_177737175July is an important month in history, with Bastille Day, on July 14, coming just 10 days after our own 4th of July. So what better time to consider issues of justice and equality?

There are lots of different ways to interpret equality: equality of outcomes, equality of opportunity, or perhaps—as an even more complex relative equality—matching of resources to individuals’ needs.

In the context of improving health care delivery to older adults, there are several important examples of these principles of equality in what is called “risk adjustment.” And I find myself with very different reactions to the different kinds.

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The 2013 Hartford Foundation Annual Report
Part III: Partners in Change

This is the last in a three-part Health AGEnda series on the Hartford Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report: Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration.

JAHFAR13_cover_300Collaboration 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.

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Grappling With the Big Questions About Big Data

BigData_466582229_400We swim in an ever expanding ocean of electronic data.

Every Google search or credit card transaction can be aggregated and analyzed by companies that often seem to know what we want before we do. With new and cheaper analytic tools and more sophisticated modeling, the result is the ability to individualize and target, as well as spot broad trends among populations.

In health care, the explosion of electronic health records is adding to the sea of data that already exists from billing and claims. This raises a number of questions, including: Continue reading

The 2013 Hartford Foundation Annual Report
Part II: The Power of Partnerships

This is the second in a three-part Health AGEnda series on the Hartford Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report: Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration.

JAHFAR13_cover_300Although 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.

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Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy Achieves Impressive Results


The latest cohort of fellows in Sigma Theta Tau International’s Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy pose for a group photo with their leadership mentors, faculty, and representatives of Sigma Theta Tau and the Hartford Foundation.

I recently traveled to Indianapolis, home to Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society of nursing. There I met six very special individuals, competitively selected as fellows in Sigma’s Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy.

The Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy aims to prepare and position geriatric-expert nurses as leaders within the interprofessional health care delivery environment. The fellows I had the honor of meeting expressed an unwavering commitment to developing their influence and impact in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health to benefit vulnerable elders.

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The 2013 Hartford Foundation Annual Report:
Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration

JAHFAR13_cover_300I shake a lot of hands. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt set a world record for heads of state by shaking 8,513 hands in a single day at a White House reception. While the program staff of the John A. Hartford Foundation have yet to come close, we certainly recognize the value of the handshake and its role in promoting partnerships.

Partnership is the focus of our 2013 annual report Spreading Innovation Through Collaboration. According to our Executive Director, Cory Rieder: “Partnering defines our work and is a major strategy of the Foundation. We do more to improve the health of older adults by actively seeking out and working with partners who share our mission. None of us can do it alone.”

Since 2000, Hartford has made grants totaling over $398 million to improve the health of our aging society. Capitalizing on the handshake, we have partnered with 104 government agencies, foundations, and other institutions generating a total of $1.97 billion in related funding in health and aging. Hand in hand with our partners, 74 percent of Hartford projects have external co-funders and over the past 13 years, $4.95 has been leveraged for every dollar of Hartford funding.

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Celebrate Independence!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy Fourth of July from Health AGEnda and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Aging and Health Trends Show Progress, But There Is Still Much Work to Do

ViewpointsHeader_400Recently, I had the privilege of discussing issues important to the John A. Hartford Foundation  on The Ohio State University’s podcast, Viewpoints of Innovative Health Care Leaders.

It was a great opportunity to talk about the key trends we see in health care today, what still needs to be done, the impact of the Affordable Care Act on aging, and how the Hartford Foundation is seeking to address these issues. The biweekly podcast provides a forum for leaders in the field to share the best evidence-based practices and emerging thoughts in health care.

It is hosted by Bernadette M. Melnyk, PhD, RN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and dean of The Ohio State University College of Nursing. I’d like to thank Bernadette, who was dean of the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation when it became a Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, for inviting me on the program. You can listen to the podcast by visiting Viewpoints of Innovative Health Care Leaders. The full interview is about 15 minutes, and is divided into five sections by topic.

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Caring Works: PHI Builds Support for Better Elder Care

PHI Caring Works Brochure CoverThe nation’s four million home health aides, certified nurse aides, and personal care attendants are a lifeline for many older adults and people with disabilities. Our grantee, PHI, is the nation’s leading authority on the direct-care workforce, and they promote quality direct-care jobs as the foundation for quality care for elders and people with disabilities.

With our new grant, PHI is embarking on a campaign to rapidly scale up their work and double their “mission impact” to transform eldercare and disability services. In partnership with our long-time communications partners at SCP, they have developed what we think is an excellent example of an effective communications tool.

PHI Caring Works Brochure Quality Works pagePHI’s new campaign brochure uses beautiful photography, plain but compelling language, and incorporates the voices of direct-care workers, the people they serve, and other stakeholders to tell their story.

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Change AGEnts Push Health Care Policies In the Right Direction


2014 Hartford Change AGEnts Policy Institute Participants

Improving the transitional care of frail older adults through better skilled nursing facility reimbursement.

Reducing regulatory barriers to evidence-based care coordination for older adults with multiple chronic conditions.

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