Health AGEnda

Questions About Hartford Change AGEnts?
We Have Answers—and Opportunities

Change_AGEnts_logoSince launching our Hartford Change AGEnts initiative late last year, we’ve taken the first steps toward our goal of accelerating sustained practice change that improves the health of older Americans, their families, and communities.

Change AGEnts are connecting through our online community and the first two Change AGEnts Networks—focused on patient-centered medical homes and dementia caregiving—are already hard at work. We’ve funded nine Change AGEnts Action Awards and are currently accepting applications for our second cohort, and we’ve awarded collaborative pilot grants in partnership with the Change AGEnts program for our Centers of Excellence Scholars and for Beeson Scholars.

The initiative’s leadership team and our partners at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) are working hard to support the Change AGEnts community and are ready and willing to help people engage. Since we get lots of questions about how people can get involved, we thought that addressing them in a Q&A would be helpful and highlight some immediate opportunities.

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Hartford Change AGEnts Action Awards: Round 1 & Round 2 (Hot Dog!)


Recently, while spending some time with my sister and her kids, I had the pleasure of overhearing a conversation between my eight-year-old son, Westley, and his six-year-old cousin, Beckett.

It went like this:

Westley: [Exasperated] Beckett, you knoooow I can’t read minds.
Beckett: Times up! [Dramatic pause] I was thinking about hot dog stands.

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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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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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Opportunity’s Knocking: Reflections from HGNL Chair Dr. Bill Buron

Dr. Bill Buron

Dr. Bill Buron

In November 2013, Bill Buron, PhD, APRN, Clinical Assistant Professor and
Assistant Dean for Nursing at the College of Nursing NW Arkansas Program, began his term as Chair of the Hartford Gerontological Nursing Leaders (HGNL), assuming the helm from Casey Shillam, PhD, RN. I asked Bill, as leader of the 250-plus strong Hartford nursing organization, to reflect on the history of the HGNL and its future.

The work that HGNL does is vital, and what Dr. Buron has to say should be of interest to physicians, social workers, and everyone else who is working to improve the health of older adults.

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What’s Next for the Change AGEnts Initiative?

agents_launch_sign_300Ok. We did it. We collectively put Chris Langston’s “What-if-we-have-a-party-and nobody-shows” fears to bed.

We had hoped for 200 attendees at our launch of the Change AGEnts Initiative at the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) annual meeting last month. Huzzah! Close to 400 Change AGEnts showed and actively participated in the interactive activities designed to inspire conversation and connections.

In case the launch or the AGEnts initiative has been off your radar:

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Congrats to Our Award-Winning Grantees at GSA

gsa-logoGreetings from New Orleans and the 2013 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) meeting. As usual, many John A. Hartford Foundation staff are at the meeting to learn from the experts in the field, to work with our grantees, and to answer questions from anyone interested in improving the care of older adults.

We are particularly excited about the launch of our new Change AGEnts program. Anyone ever associated with a Hartford-funded project is invited to join us at the Change AGEnts Initiative launch event on Friday, Nov. 22, from 6:30-8p.m. (Sheraton Hotel, Grand Ballroom C). Visit our Change AGEnts page to RSVP and learn more!

Of course, we are also very proud of the accomplishments of our current grantees and friends. I’d like to recognize several who are being honored here this week.

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Robert N. Butler, MD: The Original Change AGEnt

Robert N. Butler, MD, made a profound and lasting difference in the field of aging and health.

Robert N. Butler, MD, made a profound and lasting difference in the field of aging and health.

Next week, we will launch the new Change AGEnts initiative  at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) annual meeting in New Orleans.

And I can’t help but think about Bob Butler. He would have loved the idea because, in the field of aging and health, Bob was the original Change AGEnt.

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We Can Do Better


James Appleby, RPh, MPH

On today’s Health AGEnda, we once again highlight dementia and its impact on older adults and their families, as we did recently with Chris Langston’s post on the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, we are thankful for the opportunity to share a personal account by James Appleby, Executive Director and CEO of the Gerontological Society of America, about his own family’s experience with another form of dementia, Lewy Body Disease. James uses this difficult situation to issue a call for better communication by clinicians when delivering a devastating dementia diagnosis.

We are also thankful to be working in partnership with James and the GSA in our new Change AGEnts initiative, which will support a network of experts who will tackle issues faced by caregivers of older adults with dementia. We look forward to sharing more about that work as it develops. In the meanwhile, please share this story and help GSA and the Hartford Foundation advocate for better person-centered communication between clinicians, patients, and families.

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