An Opportunity Unlike Any Other for a Full Court Press

During September's three Board meetings, Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) staff outlined a new focus on three critical policy goals for the next calendar year. This renewed concentration comes as JHF recognizes the opportunity, in an election year, to push for necessary changes the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed. This is a crucial time for progress, and JHF will call on the experts among our staff, board members, and even friends and partners from across the country. Through this new approach, called JHF's Full Court Press, we will advance action and prioritize our nation's most significant and concerning health issues.

JHF Trustees and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF) Board members were invited to join one of three new committees focused on the following policy objectives:

  • A National Patient and Provider Safety Authority (NPSA), approved by a new Federal Administration and enacted by Congress, builds on the model of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). A NPSA, like the NTSB, will propose innovative, data-driven solutions, policies, and autonomous systems (including artificial intelligence and other technologies) that prevent harm to patients and the healthcare workforce.
  • A New Model for Senior Residential Living is under consideration by a new National Academy of Medicine study committee (with a small grant from JHF). This is the time to present our own policy priorities to examine the untenable future of our current skilled nursing models. We will promote revised regulations and payment schemes that enhance the staffing, skill level, and safety for residents in long term care.
  • A Comprehensive Approach to Pregnancy and Post-partum Care can be furthered by policies that consider the scope of work for midwives and perinatal community health workers (doulas), the financing of maternity care, and the future of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program.

These new Committees build on and direct many of the existing projects at JHF toward specific policy transformation objectives. During the PRHI Board Meeting on September 15, staff outlined how the SWERVE and Liftoff PGH projects will fuse efforts to establish a National Patient and Provider Safety Authority, in conjunction with members of the PRHI board. At the September 15 HCF Board Meeting, staff introduced the focus areas on senior residential living and a comprehensive approach to pregnancy and post-partum care, which are fueled by JHF's decades-long history in aging services advocacy and the Women's Health Activist Movement Global's programs. JHF Trustees were presented with the entire scope of the Full Court Press Committees on September 16 and will serve across the various areas.

In addition to these three focus areas, JHF will continue its projects in other areas, and Board members will establish a special Adolescent Behavioral Health subgroup to continue to build on the work of recent Teen Mental Health grants, the local UpStreet initiative, and JHF's Youth Advocacy Network.

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