Recent Journal Content: Foundation Funding in Long-Term Services and Supports

June 29th, 2012

This GrantWatch column in the June issue of the journal is full text, free-access, to all readers.

Many elderly and disabled people need long-term care, and it is expensive. Read what foundations around the country are funding in the area of long-term care. Efforts funded range from reports and analyses to “villages” in which elders can age at home with additional services available in their communities.

The GrantWatch column I wrote for the June issue discusses a selected sampling (not meant to be comprehensive, of course) of recent efforts. Here are just a few highlights.

The SCAN Foundation, the only foundation with a mission focused solely on long-term care, published a Data Brief in January on “Medicaid Managed Care and Long-Term Services and Supports Spending.” A SCAN staffer told me that Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of the foundation, included this brief and others in his April 2012 testimony before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging.

I also wrote about a ten-year, $10 million loan fund to finance the building of Green Houses, which provide community-based care in a small, alternative type of long-term care residence. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NCB Capital Impact announced the fund last September. This funding is separate from the $12 million that Robert Wood Johnson had already awarded (as of the time I was writing my column) for development, testing, and evaluation of the Green House model. Green Houses seem to me to be a wonderful innovation, as they make a long-term care residence less institutional and more like living at home.

In fact, that is how author David Nolan describes those and other small facilities in an issue brief titled “Home Is Where the Hearth Is: New Models for Nursing Homes.” Funded by the California HealthCare Foundation and released in April, the brief focuses on the Green House model. Read the rest of this entry »

What Foundation Leaders Are Saying about the Supreme Court Decision

June 28th, 2012

Foundation leaders are also commenting about today’s Supreme Court decision. See what the funders you follow are saying. Most items appear to have been written June 28. Thank you to Anne Schwartz, deputy editor for special content, for her assistance in gathering this content.

Blue Shield of California Foundation:

“President’s Message,” by Peter V. Long, president and CEO.

The California Endowment:

“The California Endowment Praises Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act and Encourages California to Push Ahead with Implementation: Decision Offers Relief to Millions of Uninsured Residents and Potential for Billions of Dollars in Savings,” press release including statement by Daniel Zingale, senior vice president.

“Why a California Foundation Filed an Amicus Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court,” by Robert K. Ross, president and CEO, GrantWatch Blog Post, February 1.

California HealthCare Foundation:

“A Mandate for Health Reform: US Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act,” press release including comments by Marian Mulkey, director of the foundation’s Health Reform and Public Programs Initiative, and Mark D. Smith,  the foundation’s president and CEO.

The California Wellness Foundation:

“TCWF President and CEO Diana Bontá Commends U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act,” press release.

Colorado Health Foundation:

“Press Statement: Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Decision.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking about Working in Health Philanthropy? Seeking funding? Job Openings and RFPs to Consider.

June 21st, 2012

It’s time for GrantWatch Blog’s periodic listing of job openings at foundations and other grant makers around the country that have come to our attention. This time I am adding a couple of requests for proposals (RFPs) for those who have a job but are looking for grant funding.

Please make sure to verify that the positions listed are still open and read the job description before taking the time to apply.

Director of Health Policy and Advocacy, Nemours, Washington, DC. Nemours is a “foundation that operates one of the nation’s premier integrated pediatric health systems,” according to the online job description. The person chosen for this position “will develop a proactive health policy agenda across Nemours” and lead and direct the Office of Health Policy and Advocacy in Washington. The successful applicant will oversee a small staff who convene meetings, briefings, and other events; educate and lobby policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch; and prepare reports, issue briefs, opinion pieces, and other written materials related to Nemours’ policy agenda. Among the requirements for the job are at least fifteen years of experience (including eight to ten years of leadership and management experience, preferably), a master’s degree, and the “ability to think strategically and programmatically.” Nemours is using its “expertise to contribute to the advancement of national health policies to improve the health of all children, not just the 250,000 children” that it directly serves annually through its clinical system. Read more here.

Senior Program Officer–Global Policy and Advocacy, Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Washington, DC, office. The person in this position, posted June 8, helps to develop and execute the foundation’s overall government relations strategy. The successful applicant will be the lead person on issues related to the maternal, neonatal, and child health; family planning; nutrition; HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; and malaria teams at the foundation. Among the responsibilities of this job are representing the Gates Foundation’s global health priorities to members of Congress, government officials, and others. The foundation prefers to hire someone with an advanced degree in global health, public policy, or a related field. The applicant should have a minimum of ten years of experience, “preferably in an advocacy or policy-making capacity, in a related field.” For the list of additional qualifications needed, click here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Moving Interprofessional Education into the Mainstream of Health Professions Education

June 15th, 2012

The president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation describes a recently announced initiative, cofunded with the Robert Wood Johnson, John A. Hartford, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundations, to get the health professions to learn together, then practice, as a real team.

A growing body of evidence shows that health care delivered by well-functioning teams leads to better patient outcomes, greater efficiencies, and even professional satisfaction. But learning how to work as a team isn’t necessarily intuitive; it has to be taught. Fortunately, efforts are growing to make it possible for medical students, nursing students, and other health professions students to learn side-by-side, so that when they begin practice, they have the skills to work collaboratively and as members of a team.

But these interprofessional education efforts, while encouraging, have not yet translated into enduring and widespread changes in health education or practice. Doctors, nurses, and others on the health care team may go to the same institution for training, but they rarely interact there in ways that enable them to see the value that each profession can bring to the team. We need to change that mindset. We need to move away from the system we’ve created in which each profession has its own culture and provide students with team-based experiences. That way, they will be prepared to work in the way that health care operates today.

As the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving health professions education, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has spent several years seeking ways to ensure that health professions education is in synch with contemporary health care needs. While the United States takes pride in its high educational standards, over recent years many have come to believe that our excellent health professions education system is more focused on institutional needs and should be more responsive to the demands of the health care delivery system. Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care Costs, Upcoming Supreme Court Decision, & More: Foundation Blogs Round-Up

June 13th, 2012

It’s time for GrantWatch Blog’s periodic scan of foundation blogs to see what the funders are talking about and following. Other topics highlighted below are cancer prevention, games used for health education, health professions education, nonprofit hospitals, and smoking.

Games for Health

“Gaming the Field,” Ben Sawyer (cofounder of DigitalMill and the Games for Health Project), on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) Pioneering Ideas blog, June 12. Sawyer looks back at how far the Games for Health Project has come since it was founded in 2004 and reflects on where it needs to go. The project’s work has to do with how video games and gaming technologies can be used to affect health and health care. An initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars produces the Games for Health Project, according to the project’s website.

This blog post was published just in time for the Games for Health Conference 2012, June 12-14, in Boston. The conference describes itself as three days “to discover, brainstorm, and debate how videogame[s] and videogames technologies can work to improve health [and] healthcare.” The RWJF is a major supporter of the project and the lead sponsor of the conference.

Global Health: Smoking

“Tobacco’s Deadly Legacy,” Amie Newman (a communications officer and editor at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), on the Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog, May 31. In this post published on World No Tobacco Day, Newman discusses the World Health Organization’s concern about tobacco industry interference—“the ways in which the industry stands in the way of ensuring policies are in place to protect the health of people around the world.” After summarizing the industry’s purported tactics, Newman reports that China is the world’s “largest tobacco-producing and -consuming country.” The Gates Foundation has worked hard in China on a “say no to forced smoking” awareness campaign, she adds. (The idea is that nonsmokers should not be forced to inhale second-hand smoke, a Gates spokesperson explained to GrantWatch Blog.) The foundation focuses its anti-smoking efforts on developing countries. Read the rest of this entry »

Foundations Finance New Design Standard For Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment

June 8th, 2012

California HealthCare Foundation was managing partner of this complex project involving several states, a federal agency, a design firm, and seven other foundations.

On June 8 Enroll UX 2014, a foundation-initiated project to develop the design of a consumer-friendly, online enrollment experience for health insurance exchanges, released its final design products. This was the culmination of more than a year of work through a public-private partnership that brought together the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, eleven states, a global design and innovation firm, and a total of eight foundations that jointly provided $3 million to finance this ambitious effort.

The genesis of the project was the Affordable Care Act of 2010’s requirement that the state and federal health insurance exchanges develop self-service, online enrollment that provides a consumer-friendly, “first-class” user experience. Specifically, policy guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states that “customers should experience this process as representing the highest level of service, support, and ease of use, similar to that experienced by customers of leading service and retail companies and organizations doing business in the United States.” This is not the kind of online environment that most Medicaid enrollees—or even most people who try to choose private insurance online—enjoy right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Connecting for Better Health: A Minnesota Foundation, Using Innovative Grant Making, Aims To Foster Social Connections

June 6th, 2012

Read about a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation initiative to encourage healthier communities through social connections.

Strong, positive relationships with friends and neighbors have both direct and indirect influences on health. Social connections and feelings of support, trust, and shared values are powerful predictors of health behaviors. Research has shown that individuals with a solid social network are more likely to make healthy choices and volunteer in their community. Collectively, a critical mass of connected individuals leads to stronger communities for all residents.

How do we establish strong social connections in communities? Do these connections look the same in all neighborhoods? Is there a “best way” to go about creating them? These are some of the questions that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation set out to answer through its new Connect for Health initiative. The foundation plans to award up to $500,000 through this initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

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