Jewish Healthcare Foundation Approves over $1M in Grants, Including Patient Safety Research at Carnegie Mellon; Women's Reproductive Health Emergency Grant Fund; and Oakland's LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing Community

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) approved over $1M in grants September 13, including funds to develop the Initiative for Patient Safety Research at Carnegie Mellon University; to establish the Women's Reproductive Health Emergency Grant Fund; to develop a campaign to advance health equity for aging women; and to support for a service coordinator for the new LGBTQ-friendly senior housing community under development in Oakland.

Developing an Initiative for Patient Safety Research at Carnegie Mellon University

JHF approved a $500,000 two-year grant to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to establish an Initiative for Patient Safety Research (IPSR) to address the persistent problem of medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

IPSR will build on years of work at JHF and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative to develop effective solutions for medical errors. Its research will be the next step to establish Pittsburgh as a hub for developing autonomous technologies to anticipate medical errors and prevent major sources of harm in health care before they occur.

The work will deploy CMU's multidisciplinary talent in centers of inquiry and discovery across the university to create a benchmark data set. That data will be used to generate hypotheses and proof-of-concept methods to detect and prevent medication errors using autonomous patient safety solutions.

The CMU team will also foster and maintain highly collaborative partnerships among CMU, JHF, data partners, and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and beyond where healthcare expertise would strengthen the work.

IPSR will initially focus on medication errors, which account for 41 percent of medical errors. The goal is to create a research program and data set that has the potential to examine and address other types of medical errors, including sepsis, healthcare-associated infections, and diagnostic errors.

Establishing the Women's Reproductive Health Emergency Grant Fund

JHF approved funding of up to $150,000 to establish the JHF Women's Reproductive Health Emergency Fund to protect access to women's health care in response to the US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson on June 24, 2022.

This funding has been allocated to respond to the anticipated grave impact on the health of women, including an increase in pregnancy complications, denials of care, and increases in preterm births and maternal mortality, due to the reversal of Roe v. Wade and its near 50-year right for a person to choose. In addition, many related treatment and care options, including contraception, emergency contraception, care for persons with ectopic pregnancies, and even in vitro fertilization procedures are all at risk of being limited or curtailed. The burden of this change in protections touches all women and girls, and women of color and lower socio-economic means are disproportionately affected. Additionally, healthcare providers – OB/GYNs, doulas, counselors, and pharmacists – are at increased risk of interference in how they operate their practices and how they support the decisions of their patients/clients. Increases to their physical safety have also been on the rise.

The grant's efforts will focus on the greatest needs identified that save lives; reduce waiting times for services; support reproductive health workers; protect women seeking services and their providers; maintain or increase access in the short-term and demonstrate immediate impact.

The grant also supports advocacy efforts to secure long-term solutions to improved health outcomes and rights preservation in addition to support for the development of data collection mechanisms to track changes in service delivery, outcomes, and resource use and needs.

Focusing the Foundation's Campaign on Health Equity for Aging Women

Women's health issues in the U.S. get shortchanged or minimally addressed at any age, but what hasn't been addressed sufficiently are the extraordinary biases and discrimination in our health system as women age. In response, JHF approved a two-year grant of up to $300,000 to develop a strategic workplan and initial set of activities to address the clinical, societal, policy, and financial inequities older women experience in health care.

During the 30-plus years since its founding, JHF has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to women's health and aging. Building on JHF's history of women's health leadership and its tradition of activism and convening, staff have proposed the Foundation's next women's health investment address another invisible epidemic: health inequities for women as they age.

JHF's network of health and aging partners from philanthropy, health care and public health, the public sector and academic will help document the extent of the problem, build a coalition of local organizations, and provide a strategic framework for groups to work together and coordinate efforts. Its staff will research the current state and identify best practice models for reducing women's health inequity in the US and internationally.

Supporting a Service Coordinator for Oakland's New LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing Community

JHF has awarded long-time partner Presbyterian SeniorCare Network (PSCN) a three-year grant totaling $100,000 to support a service coordinator at Oakland Pride, Pittsburgh's first LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing Community.

Over the past several years, JHF has joined with PSCN, UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh, the Persad Center, and other key stakeholders in planning sessions for the first LGBTQ-friendly senior housing community in Western Pennsylvania and one of the first in the nation. A site has been secured in Oakland to develop an approximately 52-unit, affordable apartment community with all units being fully accessible and adaptable with all units dedicated to low- and moderate-income seniors desiring to live in an affordable LGBTQ+ friendly community.

Funding will support on-site services including wellness programming, service coordination, concierge services, and other activities, in addition to partially funding a service coordinator for clients, dedicated to helping residents remain independent for as long as possible while connecting them with community services.

Renewal of Annual Support to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development

JHF renewed its annual support of $68,000 to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD) for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to support its 2020-2030 Next is Now: A 10-Year Vision of Vitality for the Pittsburgh Region.

ACCD has pursued opportunities to establish our region's niche as a center for R&D in autonomous solutions focused on safety solutions (including safety technology). This is a vision shared by JHF and in keeping with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative's Full Court Press Team for Patient Safety's vision and strategies to advance technology-enabled solutions to prevent medical errors amid the healthcare workforce crisis, including the National Patient Safety Technology Challenge and the Regional Autonomous Patient Safety initiative (RAPS).

Special Presentations

JHF's Board of Directors welcomed Sydney Etheredge, MPH, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western PA to provide an update and engage the board in a discussion on Women's Reproductive Health in the Post-Roe Era.

Dr. Feinstein made a presentation on a new area of engagement for the Foundation, "Women's Health Equity as They Age." 

Friend of JHF, Dr. Lewis H. Kuller, passes
JHF’s Senior Work Featured in Pittsburgh Jewish Ch...

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