JHF, Partners Share Best Practices on Evaluations

Karen Feinstein presents at the Grantmakers in Health Conference.

Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) joined with fellow healthcare foundations last month to share best practices on evaluations at the annual at Grantmakers in Health conference in Seattle. During the June 12-14 gathering, JHF President and CEO Karen Feinstein and Mara Leff, the Foundation's Director of Innovation, presented "Learning from Each Other: Getting Evaluations of Complex Health Interventions Right." Joining them on the panel were Terry Fulmer, president of the older adult-focused John A. Hartford Foundation, and Russell Johnson, president and CEO of Montgomery County, Pa.'s HealthSpark Foundation.

The panelists discussed the value of involving implementers and evaluators in developing change models, as well as the limitations of scientific evaluation methods that ignore human context in improvement projects, and rigid adherence to prospective modeling that prevents midcourse corrections.

Participants learned about recent collective design process recommendations for foundation-funded demonstrations, and panelists engaged attendees in discussing solutions. At the end of the session, attendees were provided access to a resource developed by JHF called "Getting Evaluations of Complex Health Interventions Right: A Sample Playbook for Seeding Conversations."

Jewish Foundations Dinner during the Grantmakers in Health Conference.
The three-day GIH conference, titled "Ideas, Innovations, and Impact," was attended by nearly 700 individuals. JHF hosted a dinner with fellow Jewish healthcare "conversion" foundations, sharing program news and shared priorities, and discussing opportunities for collaboration. Guests included leadership and staff from Chicago's Michael Reese Health Trust, Cleveland's Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.

JHF's Feinstein was president of Grantmakers in Health for three years during a period when many hospitals were sold, and the value of their assets "converted" into grant-making foundations.
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