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Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Jewish Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees Approves $176,000 in Grants

August 18, 2014

(Pittsburgh – August 18, 2014) On Monday, August 4, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) Board of Trustees approved four grants totaling $176,000, including grants to: partner with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh/JFilm on outreach, education, and advocacy initiatives addressing sexual violence on college campuses; establish a JHF-PRHI physician Executives-in-Residence program; provide support for the United Way of Allegheny County to retain a community coordinator, operate its 2-1-1 hotline, pilot a text and chat service, and implement a communications plan during the second health insurance enrollment period, and provide staff support for the Consumer Health Coalition during the second enrollment period; and renew the Foundation's fair share contribution to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development's annual budget.

Brave Miss World: Addressing Dating Violence and Sexual Assault on Campus

To address the endemic issue of campus violence, JHF will collaborate with JFilm Executive Director Kathryn Spitz Cohan on a campaign designed to identify policies and procedures that will enhance security for women. About one out of every five undergraduate women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, many colleges and universities have yet to create a safe environment for women by educating students about abusive relationships and legal protections available to victims; establishing clearly defined reporting policies; ensuring a fair judicial process; and engaging in conversations with policy-makers, service agencies, and the community at large.  

JFilm, working with campus groups, administrators, and educators, will present 20 free screenings of "Brave Miss World" on college campuses throughout the Pittsburgh region. This award-winning film depicts the brutal rape and response of Linor Abargil (former Miss Israel) six weeks before she was crowned Miss World in 1998. The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Pittsburgh's 2014 JFilm Festival and has been nominated for an Emmy Award as an outstanding documentary.

In addition to presenting "Brave Miss World," JFilm will work with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) to follow each screening with a conversation led by a PAAR educator and/or an expert in the field. The screenings will take place throughout the fall and spring of the 2014-15 academic year.

"This country can no longer ignore the issue of sexual assault on college campuses," says JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD. "Many families are profoundly affected by this issue, and it has long-term repercussions. We knew as a Foundation that we had to take action."

JFilm will also engage campus health services, fraternities and sororities, women's groups, and other community health resources for outreach and education. JFilm's broad coalition will include "Man Up Against Violence," a new organization recognizing the role that men play in reducing violence against women.

"We as a community are saying, 'we've had it,'" Dr. Feinstein says. "The goal is to get campus violence taken seriously – it is a criminal offense, and it should be treated as such."

Physician Executives in Residence

JHF will pilot a Physician Executives–in-Residence program, in which one seasoned and one early-career physician will contribute to projects at the Foundation and JHF's Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) operating arm.

The physicians recommended for the pilot project are Ralph Schmeltz, MD, former president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Jonathan Weinkle, MD, an internist at the Squirrel Hill Health Center. Dr. Schmeltz, a retired endocrinologist, will help PRHI bridge relationships between primary care and specialty providers for the Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) and COMPASS (Care of Mental, Physical, and Substance Use Syndromes) projects and serve as a mentor for JHF's QI2T Health Innovators Fellowship, among other responsibilities.

Dr. Weinkle, a former JHF consultant, will advance the mission of the new Center for Health Information Activation (CHIA) to empower patients, develop a publication on increasing progress toward the American College of Graduate Medical Education's fourth competency (interpersonal skills and communication), and continue to develop content for Closure, JHF's education and outreach initiative to improve end-of-life care. Dr. Weinkle will also translate Closure materials into Hebrew for Israeli medical facilities that have requested them.

"We have entered a new era of patient-physician communication," Dr. Feinstein says. "Many of us visit doctors armed with a plethora of information from health applications and internet research, and we expect to play an active role in treatment decisions. Doctors expressed a strong desire for support in integrating 'activated' patients into their practices during our CHIA kick-off event for physicians. Dr. Schmeltz and Dr. Weinkle are great fits to prepare physicians at different stages in their careers for the activated patent."

Connecting Uninsured Pennsylvanians to Health Coverage

In advance of the first health insurance enrollment period from October of 2013 to March of 2014, JHF had partnered with the Heinz Endowments, Highmark Foundation, Pittsburgh Foundation, and Staunton Farm Foundation to award mini-grants to 17 community organizations for education and outreach efforts. The mini-grants, along with community meetings convened by JHF, established relationships and a regional infrastructure that contributed to Pennsylvania exceeding its health insurance enrollment projections by 54 percent.

In continuation of this work, JHF will provide funding to the United Way of Allegheny County (UWAC) and the Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) during the second enrollment period (November 2014 to February 2015) for key services that will be shared throughout the region. The UWAC's Harriet Baum will continue her work as a community coordinator, and the UWAC will offer enrollment and renewal service organizations the option of scheduling appointments through the PA 2-1-1 hotline. JHF's contribution will also support a pilot program to establish text messaging and chat services between consumers and navigators, as well as a communications campaign to engage potential enrollees through videos, social media, and a marketing tool kit. The CHC, which offers training and education to community partners and consumers alike, will receive funding for staff support.

"We want to ensure that the United Way of Allegheny County and the Consumer Health Coalition have the resources to continue being leaders in our community during the second enrollment period," says JHF Chief Operating and Program Officer Nancy Zionts. "These organizations understand that it's not just about enrolling consumers in insurance plans– it's about educating consumers and helping them use their new insurance to improve health."

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Grant Renewal

JHF has been represented on the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD), a non-profit comprised of regional leaders committed to improving the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania, since Dr. Feinstein became the first woman to sit on its Board and Executive Committee in 1997. During her tenure, the ACCD has prioritized increasing healthcare quality and access, cultivating the healthcare workforce, and developing the infrastructure necessary to turn world-class research into products that improve lives and fuel the economy.

Along with other public, private and philanthropic groups, JHF has provided a fair share contribution to the ACCD's budget since 2003. With this grant, the Foundation will continue to support the ACCD's efforts to improve the health of western Pennsylvanians, which include monitoring the implementation of healthcare reform and informing members about healthcare issues affecting employers. The ACCD is excited about PRHI's potential to provide citizens with transparent information on healthcare cost and quality through its status as a Qualified Entity. As a Qualified Entity, PRHI receives Medicare fee-for-service claims data for the purpose of creating impartial, easily understood reports on services offered by doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

About The Jewish Healthcare Foundation

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) is a public charity that offers a unique blend of research, education, grantmaking and program management to advance the quality of clinical care and health of populations, with a focus on improving the quality, efficiency, and safety of health care. JHF and its three operating arms—the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal)— are located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and serve a national and global audience. JHF is also a founding member of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI). For more information, visit www.jhf.org.

David Golebiewski
Jewish Healthcare Foundation
412-594-2553 or 412-216-6305 (mobile)

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