JHF Approves over $1.9M in Grants, Including Funding for Patient Safety Innovation and to Support Inspiring Health Journalism

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) approved over $1.9 million in grants, including funding for patient safety research at the University of Pittsburgh, new funding for the creation of a documentary highlighting patient safety innovators, and local nonprofit media awards to support health reporting at the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, PublicSource, WESA, and WQED.

Funding for Patient Safety Research

JHF approved a $500,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) School of Medicine's Department of Biomedical Informatics for its Medication Error Avoidance at Regional Scale (MEARS) project. The project will bring together a diverse team of Pitt faculty— working with Carnegie Mellon University's Initiative for Patient Safety Research—to develop, test, and implement the MEARS project, a medication monitoring intervention for skilled nursing facility patients transitioning between hospitals and long-term care. The goal of the MEARS project is to use data to reduce preventable adverse drug events, identify patients who have experienced medication-related kidney injury and other adverse effects from medications; and employ strategies for communicating potential medication errors and risks to avoid issues with alert fatigue.

The study will design and rigorously evaluate a clinical decision support system that can act as an adverse drug event prevention intervention by developing and pilot testing a system able to identify medication errors occurring during patient care transitions from hospitals to a skilled nursing facility and pilot a medication monitoring intervention. The study will also result in validated and sharable decision support rules using data from multiple care settings.

Documentary Film about Patient Safety Innovation

JHF approved funding of up to $250,000 to produce a 50-minute feature-length documentary film to raise awareness of the opportunity for technology innovation in patient safety. Tall Tale Productions, producers of the patient safety documentary To Err Is Human, have been identified to serve as the creative partner and producer of the documentary. The new film is inspired by JHF's grant to the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) to fuel the engagement of students and innovators in envisioning transformational approaches to reducing preventable harm from medical errors in its recently launched Patient Safety Technology Challenge. The documentary will tell the stories of the innovators who rose to meet the challenge and their ideas to shape the future of patient safety.

Media Partner Awards

JHF approved a two-year, $200,000 grant divided equally between four nonprofit media organizations that provide thoughtful, fact-based healthcare reporting and programming to inform and educate the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania. Media recipients include the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, PublicSource, WESA, and WQED.

The Foundation has long recognized the importance of engaging the community and empowering consumers to take responsibility for their own health and changing the healthcare systems that serve them. Media organizations can play a significant role in educating and engaging the public in issues of healthcare policy and personal action. Verifiable facts from nonpartisan sources enable the public to effect positive change, and result in better outcomes for a broad range of critical issues.

Grant renewals

Two grant renewals were approved, including: A one-year, $900,000 block grant to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, which is distributed to beneficiary agencies to address the health needs of the Jewish community. Since its founding in 1990, JHF has provided an annual block grant to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The block grant, which benefits the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Community Services, Riverview Towers, and Jewish Residential Services, represents 60% of the $1.5 million distributed annually by the Federation to the local community for aging and human service needs.

A one-year, $68,000 renewal grant to the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Impact Fund. JHF has provided a yearly grant to the Impact Fund since it was launched in 2002 to support the United Way's core partner agencies and address critical community needs.

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