Holiday Potpourri: Foundation Blog Posts on Health Reform, Use of HIT by Safety-Net Providers, and More


December 28th, 2011

In combing through a number of foundation blogs that I follow (as time permits), I found these recent posts, which you may find relevant to your work. The topics covered by these writings range from oral health to the Gates Foundation’s interactions with grantees and on topics from mental health to HIV/AIDS prevention. Bloggers include Ned Calonge of the Colorado Trust, Sara Collins of the Commonwealth Fund, and Zoe Hudson of the Open Society Foundations. Enjoy! And Happy New Year!

Health Reform

“The Critical Role of Physicians in Health Reform,” Ned Calonge, president and CEO of the Colorado Trust, on its CommunityConnections blog, December 20.

“Essential Health Benefits: Balancing State Flexibility with Consumer Protections,” Sara R. Collins, vice president (Affordable Health Insurance program) of the Commonwealth Fund, on the Commonwealth Fund Blog, December 20.

HIV/AIDS

“Congress’s Holiday Message to People Who Use Drugs: Drop Dead,” Zoe Hudson, a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations, on its blog, December 16. Hudson writes about the benefits of syringe exchanges.

Mental Health

“’Holiday Blues’ Underscore Colorado’s Mental Health Needs,” Andrew Keller (a clinical psychologist and founding partner of TriWest Group), on the Colorado Health Foundation’s Health Relay blog, December 20.

Mental Health and Disparities

“Overheard at a National Experts Consensus Meeting,” Meagan Longley, a mental health fellow at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, on its Hogg Blog, December 5. This blogger relates some experts’ formal and informal comments on “the intersection of integrated health care and cultural and linguistic competency.” The Hogg Foundation and the federal Office of Minority Health will host a free conference on Quality Health Care for All: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities through Integrated Health Care on February 7, in Austin, Texas.

Oral Health Care

“Can You Hear Me Now?” Len Bartel, a program officer at the Maine Health Access Foundation, on its MeHAF blog, November 16. Bartel reports that “Maine still suffers inconsistent and unreliable [Internet and cell phone] connections in our more rural areas.” He notes that this condition “has a huge impact on Maine’s oral health safety net.”

Palliative Care

“Beyond the Boardroom: Interview with Diane Meier,” Chris Langston, program director of the John A. Hartford Foundation, on its health AGEnda blog, December 15. Diane Meier is a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and directs the Center to Advance Palliative Care. The post includes a link to a videotaped interview of Meier that was conducted by Rachael Watman, a senior program officer at Hartford. Meier compliments foundations’ “strategic investment” in palliative care. She also notes that more than 80 percent of large hospitals now have palliative care programs!

Patient-Centered Care

“Shared Decision Making: Time to Act Now!” Stephen Thornton, chief executive of the Health Foundation, on its Blog, December 7. The Health Foundation is based in London, U.K. Here is a view from “across the pond” about patients and clinicians working together.

Philanthropy: Responses of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Grantees’ Varied Feedback

“We Are Listening!” Gary Darmstadt, leader of the Gates Foundation’s Family Health Division, on the foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog, December 19. Included in Darmstadt’s acknowlegments of some varied comments from grantees is something for future grant seekers to note: The Gates Foundation is “in the midst of a major re-imagining and re-design of the foundation. But while foundation organizational structures may change, we do not anticipate significant changes in our strategic priorities at this time.”

Safety-Net Providers

“Connecting the HIT Dots,” Mark Wallace, president of the North Colorado Health Alliance and director of the Weld County (Colorado) Department of Public Health and Environment, on the Colorado Health Foundation’s Health Relay Blog, December 5.

Foundation Efforts to Meet the Demand for Primary Care


December 22nd, 2011

Foundations are funding efforts to inform policy makers and others about the status of primary care, to expand access to primary care, and more. The latest issue of Health Affairs contains a sampling of what philanthropy is doing.

In case you missed it, read “Foundation Efforts to Meet Demand for Primary Care,” the GrantWatch column in the December 2011 issue of Health Affairs.

Please note that this column is on free access to all.

For your convenience, I have provided links below to all of the foundations mentioned in the column.

Read the December GrantWatch column to find out specifics on what they have funded on the topic of primary care.

Foundations that have funded in the area of primary care include the ABIM Foundation, the California Endowment, the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the Colorado Trust, the Commonwealth Fund, the Dakota Medical Foundation, the GE Foundation, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

Others are the Missouri Foundation for Health, the New York State Health Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the United Health Foundation.

For those new to the world of grant seeking: It is important to note that some of these foundations are national funders and others fund only in certain geographic areas.

The column also contains a fairly hefty section on Key Personnel Changes at foundations. Read about Anne Beal’s new job, what David Morse is doing now, and where Anne Schwartz is now working (hint: she is down the hall from me), as well as much more news.

Also in the December 2011 issue:

That issue also contains an article by several Commonwealth Fund staffers. Originally published on November 9 as a Health Affairs Web First, “New 2011 Survey of Patients with Complex Care Needs in Eleven Countries Finds That Care Is Often Poorly Coordinated” (free access to abstract) was written by Cathy Schoen, Robin Osborn, David Squires, and Michelle Doty of Commonwealth, as well as Roz Pierson and Sandra Applebaum of Harris Interactive.

Freeing the Data: A Revolution to Improve Health Care


December 15th, 2011

GrantWatch Blog invited Sandra Shewry, the California HealthCare Foundation’s director of state health policy, to report on an event held recently in Sacramento, California. Those working in state health agencies and foundations should be interested in this report.   

Like a visiting football coach brought in to invigorate the local team, Todd Park, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, came to Sacramento earlier this month to encourage California policy makers to “run this play: open up the data and let the innovators of the world turn it into massive goodness.”

The setting for Park’s pep talk was a convening of legislative staff and state agency policy makers brought together by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), along with the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, the SCAN Foundation, the California Health Policy Forum, and the West Wireless Health Institute.

Park’s “play” invited a revolution in how we curate, store, and make available the vast amount of health data that is now collected by state and local governments. He noted that with very nominal additional investment, we could see an exponential increase in the impact and usefulness of this data.

This increased utility will result from the unbridled access to the data and the creativity of public and private entities (employers, health care providers, consumers, and journalists) in using the data in heretofore unanticipated ways. Unleashing this data will ultimately help advance the mission of government to improve the health of the population, Park contended.

The CHCF’s approach to promoting transparency of health care data is in a state of evolution, consistent with Park’s approach. Where some of the foundation’s past investments have focused on using existing data and creating better visual displays, the next phase of our work will focus on making raw data more available to intermediaries and the public. The playbook is simple: Push existing government health data into the public domain; make existing public data more accessible and machine readable; and publicize the availability of the data.

As a launching point, Park encouraged state agencies to look for those health data sets that are the easiest to make public. Information that is currently released via lengthy reports should be released in a machine-readable format as well. He noted that at the federal level, community health data have been the most available and easy to release.

Reminding us of the need to be humble in terms of our role in harnessing the power of data, Park referenced a lesson from Bill Joy, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems. Joy noted that no matter how smart we and our colleagues are, or how large our organization is, most of the smart people in the world work somewhere else. Providing innovators with access to existing data is the key to innovation and creation of societal good, Park noted.

The reactor panel and audience members—a broad cross-section of state government, academic, provider, and consumer stakeholder experts who manage, collect, and use health data—welcomed Park’s encouragement and offered these cautions and comments:

* There is a critical need to assure the protection of the confidentiality of patient information.

* Fears that incorrect or incomplete interpretations may be made if health data sets are released to the public will need to be addressed.

* Government data are often collected pursuant to a law that describes the purpose for which the data are collected. To use it for other purposes may be a breach of public trust.

* State legal barriers to the release of data are creations of state policy and can be modified by state policy makers.

* Using data to drive deliberation and public decision making is not yet ingrained in state policy making and represents a culture change for government. Progress may be slow.

* As the federal government provides leadership, it encourages states to also take action. If federal officials can do it, so can we.

* Freeing the data is an efficient, inexpensive way to further government’s mission and to amplify programs’ visibility and impact.

Foundations can be key players in freeing existing data sets and in letting the innovators of the world turn them into what Park called an “an ecosystem of innovation.” Foundations can serve as catalysts for change by developing sustainable methods for technology collection and dissemination, applying best practices, cultivating public- and private-sector leadership, and fostering collaborations among nontraditional partners.

Philanthropy People Post: Who Is Working Where, Who Has Been Appointed to a Board


December 9th, 2011

There is quite a bit of news of foundation people, including the announced retirement of Karen Davis from the Commonwealth Fund (a year from now), so we are trying to catch you up now. Watch for more people news in the February print issue of Health Affairs.

Kathy Annette started her new position as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Blandin Foundation, located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in September. Previously, Annette was acting deputy director for field operations of the Indian Health Service and was based in Bemidji, Minnesota. She is the first woman in the Minnesota Ojibwe (Indian) Nation to become a physician, according to the Blandin website. Please note that Blandin does not fund in health. It does have a Broadband Initiative, though, which works to help communities in rural Minnesota to “optimize their use of broadband-based technologies.” Expansion of such technologies can help communities in a number of ways, including strengthening health care.

Thomas Aschenbrener announced in September that he will retire in June from his position as founding president of the Northwest Health Foundation, in Portland, Oregon. He has been with this funder since 1997. Aschenbrener encouraged the foundation to explore new ways to create positive change in communities in Oregon and southwest Washington, supporting work to build skills in advocacy, strategic policy development, and lobbying among health advocates and practitioners, said a press release.

Diana M. Bontá has been appointed president and CEO of the California Wellness Foundation. She will start her job at the large statewide philanthropy, with offices in Woodland Hills and San Francisco, in January. Bontá, a nurse with a doctorate in public health, most recently has been vice president of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Region. A former director of the California Department of Health Services, in Democratic Governor Grey Davis’s administration, she has “strong public policy credentials,” according to a November press release. She succeeds Gary Yates, who will retire as of December 31, as previously announced in GrantWatch.

David Bowen, former deputy director for global health policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently joined Malaria No More, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), as its new CEO. Malaria No More’s goal is to end malaria deaths in Africa. Bowen is based out of the group’s policy center in Washington, D.C. Bowen has already testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, since he came on board. Before working for the Gates Foundation, Bowen was staff director for health at the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).

Paul Brest, president of the Hewlett Foundation, has announced his plans to step down from his post when a new president comes on board—which is likely to be sometime in 2012. He explained in a letter on the foundation’s website that he will turn seventy-two years old next summer, and that is the age at which Hewlett board members (including the presidents) traditionally have retired. Brest plans to return to teaching after he leaves.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, head of the Gates Foundation’s Global Development program, will become the president of the Walmart Foundation in January. Her work there will include leading the company’s charitable-giving efforts, its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, and its “social, environmental and economic opportunity efforts in Africa,” according to an October press release. Walmart “has been recognized as the country’s largest corporate donor.” Burwell started at the Gates Foundation as chief operating officer and executive director back in 2001. Her past positions include being deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

Barbara Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush, has been named to the Segal Family Foundation’s board. Bush is CEO and cofounder of Global Health Corps, “an organization that aims to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity,” according to its website. Echoing Green, a group that “invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions,” named Bush and her cofounder, Jonny Dorsey, fellows in 2009.

Mary Campuzano has retired from the Kansas Health Foundation after twenty-two years of service. She was most recently the foundation’s vice president for programs. Her plans for retirement include travel and enjoying life!

Karen Davis, who has been president of the Commonwealth Fund since 1995, has announced her plan to step down from the presidency at the end of next year. The fund’s board will conduct a search for Davis’s successor. Jim Tallon, president of the United Hospital Fund and chair of Commonwealth’s board, said in an e-alert that Davis’s background as “a distinguished health policy researcher, university department chair, and federal health agency executive” positioned Commonwealth “to make a major contribution to the recent health care reform debate and to the implementation of those reforms.”

Len Finocchio, a former senior program officer with the California HealthCare Foundation, was appointed associate director of the California Department of Health Care Services by Governor Jerry Brown (D) in June. (Read about how this department got its name.) Finocchio started at the department in July and recently told me he spends most of his time working on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Peter M. Leibold, executive vice president and CEO of the American Health Lawyers Association, has joined the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust’s board of trustees. His past positions include general counsel to the Catholic Health Association and chief of staff to former Sen. John C. Danforth (R-MO).

Sandra J. Martínez has moved into a new position at the California Wellness Foundation—she is now the foundation’s director of public policy. Martínez formerly was a program director for special projects. She continues to manage the Wellness Foundation’s annual Sabbatical Program Awards, which honors health executives at nonprofits. She was a fellow in Grantmakers In Health’s Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy in 2010.

Gary Nelson, president of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to the board of the state’s recently created Department of Public Health, according to a July press release. This stand-alone department aims to “promote and protect the health of all Georgians,” Nelson said in the release.

How Foundations Are Working to Prevent Antibiotic Overuse and Resistance


December 6th, 2011

Overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are serious problems that many people seem unaware of. Witness those who go into a physician’s office with a bad cold and insist upon being prescribed an antibiotic. A cold is caused by a virus, and antibiotics are ineffective on viruses. In today’s post, GrantWatch Blog looks at some foundation-supported efforts to ameliorate these problems and advocate for appropriate use of these drugs.

In a post titled “Get Smart about Antibiotics: NewPublicHealth Q & A with Ramanan Laxminarayan” (Nov. 17), this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) blog interviews the executive director of the Extending the Cure program. Funded in part by the RWJF, this organization (a project of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy) conducts policy research and does consulting work related to reducing antibiotic resistance and extending antibiotic effectiveness.

In November, Extending the Cure released data indicating a pattern of antibiotic overuse in certain areas of the United States. States with the highest use of antibiotics (measured by outpatient dispensing, per capita) in 2006–2007 were West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama, but the group says those states are not alone in having high usage of the drugs. Alaska, interestingly, had the lowest use of antibiotics. Overall, however, from 1999 to 2007, antibiotic use actually went down, according to an Extending the Cure press release.

In the interview, Laxminarayan called for changing the social norm in the United States in which parents go into a doctor’s office and request (or even demand) that their child be prescribed an antibiotic for a condition for which it will be ineffective. He notes that in Scandinavia, such a routine with parents requesting and physicians complying is not “okay.” It will be a challenge to change norms in the United States, Laxminarayan maintains, but it “can be overcome.”

NewPublicHealth, a relatively new blog (launched in March 2011), asks Laxminarayan about a recent article in the journal Pediatrics that found that “perhaps ten million unnecessary pediatric antibiotic prescriptions [are] written each year.” He says that he was not surprised by that stat, but that things may be improving because antibiotic prescriptions are down for ear infections—the most common condition for which they are prescribed.

He commends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Get Smart: Know What Antibiotics Work campaign. Much more could be done to reduce use of antibiotics—for example, if the CDC were better funded.

When asked what could done at the policy level to address antibiotic resistance, he mentions reducing hospital infections and strongly pushing seasonal flu vaccines to the public and health care providers. Read why he suggests these policy solutions.

The post contains a good amount of information on Extending the Cure’s web-based ResistanceMap, which aims to accurately depict the spread of antibiotic resistance. Also, it now shows data on use for 1999–2007. With new interactive maps, you can even specify use by state and by class of antibiotics. ResistanceMap also recently announced a Drug Resistance Index, a composite measure of various bugs and drugs. The index, among other things, will be able to show where drug research and development should be focused, based on need. The index was the subject of a recent article in the British Medical Journal Open.

Laxminarayan explains in the RWJF blog post that one can “look at trends in resistance [versus] trends in antibiotic use and infer how these might be correlated, which is critical because an important driver of resistance is . . . antibiotic use.”

The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign has an excellent, easily understandable description of the problematic ways that antibiotics are used for humans, as well as animals, in the United States. As Pew notes, “certain industrial farming practices lead to overuse of antibiotics.”

Antibiotic-Free Chicken for Chicago School Kids

In early November, Pew announced that the Chicago Public Schools began serving local chicken raised without antibiotics to students in nearly 475 schools in the district. The chicken comes from an Amish poultry company in Indiana. Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, the food service company that works with the Chicago school system, made this decision because of the research and consulting services provided by the Pew campaign and School Food FOCUS (Food Options for Children in the United States). School Food FOCUS is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and others. Whole Foods Market also helped with the effort.

According to a press release from School Food FOCUS, “No other [school] district in the nation is serving this kind of poultry regularly at such a scale.” Laura Rogers, who directs the Pew campaign, explained in the release, “The routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock that are not sick is undermining the effectiveness of these life-saving [antibiotics], which leaves children especially vulnerable.” The release acknowledges that conventionally produced chicken, though, “is just as safe and wholesome to eat” as antibiotic-free chicken.

School Food FOCUS and the Pew campaign have developed purchasing guidelines for other school districts interested in replicating this work in their local areas.

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Pew and others, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association, collaborated on a one-page, four-color ad, “The Facts are Clear” (that it is not a good idea to feed low doses of antibiotics to healthy farm animals), which was released in September.

Related resources:

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA). This group has chapters in more than sixty-five countries, according to its website. Its partners and collaborators list includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pew.

“Fighting Antibiotic Resistance: Marrying New Financial Incentives to Meeting Public Health Goals,” Aaron S. Kesselheim and Kevin Outterson, Health Affairs, September 2010.

Keep Antibiotics Working has 11 million supporters and is based in Chicago. The coalition includes agricultural, consumer, environmental, health, humane, and other advocacy groups. Numerous foundations, including the Jenifer Altman, George Gund, and Joyce Foundations, the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, and the New York Community Trust, have provided funding to the coalition over the years. For a full list of supporters, click here.

“Large Veterans Health Administration Study Shows ‘Last Resort’ Antibiotics Use on the Rise,” Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, April 4, 2011, press release. The multiyear study described here, which was conducted by Makoto Jones and colleagues, found a dramatic increase in the use of antibiotics called carbapenems. This increase “is alarming because carbapenem-resistant bacteria are becoming more common.”

“When Food Kills,” Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times, June 11, 2011, op-ed piece.

U.S.-Based Philanthropies: Their Support and Coverage of HIV/AIDS in the United States and Abroad


December 1st, 2011

On World AIDS Day, GrantWatch Blog looks at what foundations have been saying and doing about HIV/AIDS in the past month or so. In 2011, HIV/AIDS watchers marked thirty years since the first case was reported in the United States, believe it or not! Of course, this post describes just a sampling of recent activity and is not meant to be comprehensive.

Recent reports:

On November 10, Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) released U.S. Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2010. Supported by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and others, this annual publication says that the total amount disbursed by U.S.-based philanthropies decreased by $33 million from 2009 to 2010. (Funders awarded $492 million in 2009, and $459 million in 2010.) “Philanthropic support” includes that of foundations of various kinds, corporate-giving programs, and public charities.

The report notes that the decline can be largely attributed to a decline in funding by the biggest private AIDS funder, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in part because of the multiyear nature of their funding commitments and in part because Gates was undergoing an HIV/AIDS “strategy review process” in 2010. Not to worry, HIV/AIDS is a “top priority” for Gates, which is forecasting an increase in its funding in this area for 2011, the report says.

Also, in 2010 other U.S.-based funders as a group decreased their HIV/AIDS giving by around 2 percent, part of a ”continuing trend of funders exiting the field of HIV/AIDS-specific funding.”

Most HIV/AIDS funding provided by U.S.-based philanthropies in 2010—that is, 78 percent of all such disbursements—was directed to addressing the international epidemic. Domestic funding  decreased almost 10 percent from 2009. The Northeast region received the lion’s share of that funding (46 percent).

As for new infections, the South has the dubious distinction of having 45 percent of new AIDS diagnoses, the report says. And citing the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and AIDS United, the report says that the state/”dependent area” with the highest diagnosis rate per 100,000 people (in 2009) was Washington, D.C.

See the handy table listing the top U.S. HIV/AIDS funders in 2010 (on page 21).

Projections suggest that total funding for HIV/AIDS–related projects may increase for 2011, the report says.

Interestingly, a footnote in the report states that funding for HIV/AIDS awarded by foundations to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was not counted in this report because “it will be increasingly difficult to accurately determine actual disbursements to the Global Fund from funders each year.” The major reason is that promissory notes are being used by some donors.

FCAA also notes that no data were received from Macy’s Foundation (a top funder in 2008 and 2009) and a few others. Also, grant seekers will be interested to know that the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are not in the current report because they each “shifted from specifically funding HIV/AIDS towards other health interventions.” The Kaiser Family Foundation, an operating foundation, is omitted from the report because FCAA finds it “increasingly difficult to value financially” its policy research and communications programs. Kaiser has had a long-time interest in funding HIV/AIDS-related projects—going back to when it was a grant-making foundation.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Ford Foundation, and the New Venture Fund also funded the FCAA report.

_______________________

“Improving Women’s Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR [U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief],” by Janet Fleischman, released October 27 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Change is coming to South Africa, which “is decentralizing HIV services to the primary care level, paving the way for greater integration to address women’s health and to reduce maternal mortality,” says Fleischman. Nurses and community health workers will have important roles in this re-engineering. PEPFAR is transitioning from a program of emergency response to sustainable programs within individual countries. The author recommends that PEPFAR show that it can address HIV-related goals by linking HIV services with more comprehensive services for women—family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health services—as a cost effective way to help improve health outcomes and a way to reduce maternal mortality.

Although much progress has occurred in South Africa, both in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic and improving health services, the country continues to have “unacceptably high levels” of both pregnant women with HIV and maternal mortality, “which are correlated with the high HIV prevalence among women and girls.” Many of South Africa’s key health challenges, Fleischman says, could be addressed by more effectively reaching those populations—for example, through HIV prevention programs that meet the needs of females; integration of health services, such as HIV services with family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health services; and strengthening the health care system. Whether the South African government can now adequately address these issues and whether PEPFAR and the U.S. government’s Global Health Initiative will support its efforts are “open questions,” Fleischman comments.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation funded the report. (Grant seekers: See information on the Packard Foundation above.)

Fact Sheets

The Kaiser Family Foundation announced Nov. 29 that it had updated various resources on HIV/AIDS, including the following fact sheets:

The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, November 2011;

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), November 2011;

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States, October 2011.

For more Kaiser resources on HIV/AIDS, go to: http://globalhealth.kff.org or http://www.kff.org/hivaids/index.cfm.

Foundation Initiative

Read about the Ford Foundation’s Reducing HIV/AIDS Discrimination and Exclusion initiative, which aims to protect and advance the rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS. See this funder’s strategy and grantees.

Foundation Blog Posts:

“Join Presidents Bush, Clinton, plus Bono and Alicia Keys This World AIDS Day on YouTube,” The Official google.org blog, Nov. 23. The philanthropic arm of Google cross-posted this from The Official YouTube Blog.

“Top 10 Myths about HIV Vaccine Research,” Amie Newman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog, Nov. 21. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, originally came up with this list. It was then picked up by MDNews.com., Newman noted. The first fallacy listed is that HIV vaccines can cause people to contract the virus; read why that is not true.

Related resources:

AIDSVu is an online tool showing high-resolution views of the geography of AIDS in the United States. This Emory University project is funded by Gilead Sciences.

“Global Fund–Supported Programs See Strong Results amid Funding Challenges,” Global Fund press release, Nov. 30. Read here about results from AIDS prevention and treatment programs in countries benefiting from Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria support.

As the Global Fund explained in a November 23 press release, budget problems in some donor countries, plus low interest rates, have markedly affected funds available for its new grants. Thus, this public-private partnership and international financing organization reiterated here “that it will not be in a position to fund additional new grants that would allow a further expansion of its health programs between now and the end of 2013, unless all pledged resources are paid to the Fund during that period.” The Global Fund further explained that it “will ensure that essential treatment and services, covered by grants that expire before that time in countries in need, continue to receive funding.” For details on transitional funding for those countries that already have Global Fund grants, read this December 1 announcement.

That release also noted that the Global Fund’s board approved a “transformation plan” to improve its risk management, fiduciary control, and governance, in response to some problems it had in the past. The fund will use a new model emphasizing funding of projects with “high potential for impact and strong value for money.” It will continue to focus on populations that are most at risk. The fund will also introduce a new way for countries to apply for funding.

• Health Affairs is planning a thematic issue on PEPFAR for July 2012. Watch for it! http://www.healthaffairs.org.

“PEPFAR’s Declining Investment in HIV/AIDS Treatment,” by Matthew Kavanagh, director of US policy and advocacy for Health GAP (Global Access Project), and Marguerite Thorp, a research assistant at Harvard Medical School, on Health Affairs Blog, Nov. 29.

“The Urgency of Providing Comprehensive and Integrated Treatment for Substance Abusers with HIV,” Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Julio Montaner, clinical director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, Health Affairs, August 2011.

World AIDS Day website, http://www.worldaidsday.org/

“World AIDS Day 2011,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) feature.

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