Health AGEnda

Tools You Can Use:
The Essentials of Cardiovascular Care in Older Adults

ACC_seal_blue_dark300The most potent risk factor for heart disease is aging, according to the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Given how rapidly our population is aging, that’s sobering news indeed, especially when you consider that clinical practice guidelines rarely apply to older adults with multiple chronic conditions.

That means regardless of how experienced and skilled a cardiologist or other clinician may be in treating cardiovascular disease, they may not have received adequate training in how best to treat cardiovascular disease in older adults.

Fortunately, the American College of Cardiology has released the Essentials of Cardiovascular Care in Older Adults (ECCOA), a free, online self-assessment curriculum designed for cardiovascular specialists and other clinicians who care for older patients with cardiovascular disease. (Continuing education credits are available for physicians and nurses). The curriculum was developed with funding from a John A. Hartford Foundation grant.

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Medicare Experiment Could Signal Sea Change For Hospice

Diane E. Meier, MD

Diane E. Meier, MD

Editor’s Note: For almost eight years, the John A. Hartford Foundation has partnered with Diane Meier, MD, to increase awareness of palliative care and make it more widely accessible. 

In March, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees renewed our support for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) led by Dr. Meier to enable CAPC to transition to a more financially sustaining, revenue-generating model and develop a package of products to implement palliative care services in community-based clinics, nursing homes, and home care. We are pleased to share this excellent interview with Dr. Meier that first appeared on Kaiser Health News discussing a new pilot program that allows hospice patients to continue to receive life-prolonging treatment.

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Poll Briefing Makes Voices of Older Americans Heard in DC

From left, featured experts Peggy O'Kane, Robert Berenson, and Caroline Blaum listen intently.

From left, featured experts Peggy O’Kane, Robert Berenson, and Caroline Blaum listen intently.

Like so many stakeholders in health care, we at the John A. Hartford Foundation  have many of our hopes pinned on enhanced primary care as a way of improving health outcomes, particularly for older Americans who face multiple chronic conditions.

Primary care providers will need more skills, more teammates, community partners, and, of course, more money, to live up to these hopes. But we believe that better primary care can prevent some of the acute and expensive events such as hospitalizations that they experience, and thereby also lower total costs of health care.

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Pâté for Dessert and Our Nursing Leaders

Claire Fagin, left, and adventurous dining partner Rachael Watman.

Claire Fagin, left, and adventurous dining partner Rachael Watman.

I had lunch with Claire Fagin, PhD, RN, Dean Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, a few weeks ago. I love meeting with Claire and getting her perspective on the world of nursing, aging, and health care.

I also love eating with Claire. She is among the precious few who will split foie gras with me for dessert. She is always game and thinks outside the plate.

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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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