Effective communication is essential if we hope to achieve our common goal of improving the health of older adults. We must clearly articulate the problems and special needs of older people in our health care system to focus the attention of policy makers, health system leaders, and the general public. We must translate the scientific and technical language of the promising solutions our grantees have created into comprehensible and implementable ideas.
This is why the John A. Hartford Foundation has invested in our Communications and Dissemination Initiative, and why we are sharing some of the resources and tools we have developed with our network of grantees and friends.
Communications Resources for Individuals
During the last 30 years, the John A. Hartford Foundation has supported curricular change projects and the careers of over 1,000 aging-expert faculty members across the country. We have funded researchers to test and disseminate improved models of health care delivery for older patients. The Foundation has invested in building leaders who can change education and practice. Communications is critical to these leaders’ success, and good communications takes instruction and practice.
To help students, junior faculty, and staff from grantee organizations better tell the world about their work, we offer several resources through the John A. Hartford Foundation Communications and Dissemination Initiative. We hope these tools, developed by our communications and aging experts at Strategic Communications and Planning, prove useful to our larger network of grantees and friends. We welcome any questions or feedback.
Looking for the right photo to include in your PowerPoint or poster presentation? Need a tutorial on how to write a strong, compelling research abstract? Struggling with how to boil your geriatrics research interest into something your mother (or even a clinician from another discipline) can understand? Then look no further. BandwidthOnline.org is a free, online communications resource website available to the Hartford network and the general public. On the site, you can find data points, graphs, stories, and free images of older adults in a variety of settings. You can learn how to write a press release or how to begin your CV. You can also contribute your own tips and resources to the site.
Communications Training Webinar Series for Hartford Scholars and Grantees
Our communications experts at Strategic Planning and Communications have developed popular and highly rated sessions on a variety of communications topics.They frequently present at conferences and meetings, but in case you’ve missed them, a new online webinar series can provide you with in-depth skill-building on topics such as creating a highly effective scientific poster or developing an “elevator speech.” These interactive sessions for Hartford scholars and grantees are convenient and easy to connect to online. And in case you can’t participate in the live format, recordings are available. You can view the previous two sessions below, where you will also see the upcoming webinar line-up.
- View Webinar Recording: Thinking Inside the Box: Four Simple Steps to More Effective Posters
- View Webinar Recording: Message What You Preach
We will be bringing other communications webinars to you throughout the year, including:https://cc.readytalk.com/r/cy75w1c9n9lo
Check BandwidthOnline.org regularly for registration information.
Annual Hartford Interdisciplinary Communications Training Conference
Each summer we invite select Hartford scholars and grantees to an intensive three-day training session on communications. Expert faculty conduct workshops, and participants have ample opportunities to practice newly learned skills. If you are interested in next summer’s conference, please contact your Hartford grant program administrator.
Communications Resources for Organizations and the Field
Beyond helping individuals in the aging and health field develop their communications capacity, the John A. Hartford Foundation also engages in broader communications efforts to help our grantees and their issues gain the attention they deserve. Through our Communications and Dissemination Initiative, we offer resources to our grantees and colleague organizations and engage in outreach to the media and general public.
Communications Consulting for Grantees
Grantees may be eligible for communications consulting support through their grant or other mechanisms. Please contact your program officer for more information.
Our New Website
We have recently redesigned our website, www.jhartfound.org. We now have the ability to quickly post your events and news and keep you and your constituents informed about specific grant projects that registered users can “follow.”
The Health AGEnda Blog
Our Health AGEnda blog on current health and aging issues offers health care policy commentary and highlights the work of our grantees. You always have the opportunity to respond via comments, and we welcome suggestions for topics and guest contributors.
Media Outreach and Public Engagement
The John A. Hartford Foundation has engaged in a partnership with the Association of Health Care Journalists. In addition to sponsoring their annual conference, Hartford support has helped build an aging resource
page for journalists.
We have also begun sponsorship of the MetLife Foundation Journalism in Aging Fellows Program, administered by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Each year, we will support one MetLife/Hartford Foundation Journalism Fellow in Aging and Health, who will attend the annual GSA annual meeting and report on relevant topics over the course of a year.
The John A. Hartford Foundation also conducted our first-ever public opinion poll in 2012, “How Does it Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience.” This nationally representative poll asked over 1,000 older adults about their experience and satisfaction with their primary care. While respondents were overwhelmingly satisfied, the poll revealed troubling gaps in key geriatrics services, like falls prevention and depression screening. We provided a preview briefing for grantees, along with templates for press releases and announcements that could be tailored to specific organizations and issues.
This was the first in a series of public polls, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future topics. Similarly, we welcome your input on our communications resources more broadly. Please let us know what is working for you and how we can shape this investment to help you communicate more effectively. You can contact Marcus Escobedo at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and suggestions.