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Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Jewish Healthcare Foundation approves $518,000 in grants

September 28, 2007

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) approved grants worth $518,000 over the next several years to build on longstanding initiatives in patient safety, healthcare workforce development, healthcare education, end-of-life care, community health and HIV/AIDS.

In the area of patient safety and quality, JHF's board awarded a three-year, $105,000 grant to Creative Nonfiction to publish a series of books showcasing interventions that have improved patient safety and healthcare quality. The anthologies of essays by healthcare professionals will build on two other collections JHF funded in which healthcare professionals and patients revealed lapses in safety or quality through personal narratives. One of those books titled Silence Kills, which gives accounts of experiences with medical errors, is due for release this fall. It follows a similar volume, Rage and Reconcilliation, published in 2005.

"Personal narrative is one of the most effective vehicles for shining light on the problems of our nation's health system," said JHF President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD. "We think it can be equally effective in bringing attention to the interventions that some passionate professionals are making to bring about dramatic improvements."

In addition to funding the anthology series, the Foundation's board earlier this month also approved:

  • A five-year, $250,000 grant to the Regional Trail Corp. to help complete the Steel Valley section of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 335-mile hiking and biking trail between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. The grant, which will fund renovation of the Whitaker Footbridge, represented a way for JHF to build on its own initiatives promoting healthy lifestyles and to support the "Pittsburgh 250 & Fit" initiative that's being planned as part of the anniversary of the city's founding. Among other community health and fitness projects JHF has funded are the JHF Riverwalk that is part of North Shore Riverfront Park and Working Hearts, which brings attention to risk factors for women's heart disease and ways to reduce them.
  • A one-time, $25,000 grant to The Open Door, Inc. to help expand the organization's capacity to provide housing to people with HIV/AIDS. The grant complements JHF's role as the state's fiscal agent for distributing funds to HIV/AIDS-related social service agencies.
  • A one-time, $20,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh's Winter Institute of Simulation Education and Research (WISER) to investigate the use of simulation training to improve care for patients at the end of life. The grant builds on other JHF projects to improve end-of-life care, including Closure, a pilot program to increase awareness about palliative care options in the Jewish community, and also is consistent with JHF's ongoing support for healthcare education.
  • A one-time, $25,000 grant to the Carnegie Science Center for a kiosk providing health careers information and a three-year $75,000 grant to Hillel Jewish University Center to develop a healthcare sub-group of an outreach program for graduate students and young professionals. Both grants build on JHF initiatives to ensure an adequate healthcare workforce for the region, including through programs that stimulate interest among students seeking career direction or enhance Pittsburgh connections for students already enrolled in healthcare curriculums.
  • A two-year, $48,000 grant to renew a partnership with the American Jewish Museum at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. The partnership promotes education and advocacy about health issues through artistic expression. The grant, which supports traveling art exhibits with healthcare themes, is consistent with JHF initiatives, such as the Creative Nonfiction anthology series, to build public awareness of healthcare issues.
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