The opening session of the Hartford Change AGEnts Conference in Philadelphia last week.
Last week was the capstone of the first-year rollout of the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative. This projects aims to engage and support all prior John A. Hartford Foundation health and aging grantees to focus on making systematic, large-scale practice change in the care of older Americans.
More than 160 Change AGEnts converged on Philadelphia for an intensive, day-and-a-half conference that was packed from start to finish with opportunities to learn, share knowledge, and network with others from different parts of the country and different disciplines. It was an energizing experience, not only because it gathered so much of the Hartford Foundation’s most precious assets—its people—in one place, but also because we learned more about the work already underway to improve care. We also saw new relationships and ideas emerge that will advance our mission.
For almost 20 years, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has been one of the John A. Hartford Foundation’s key grantee partners.
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.
Since 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ok. 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:
Greetings 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.