JHF Receives UPMC Senior Services Community Champion Award for Statewide COVID-19 Response

From left: Dr. Emily Jaffe, Nancy Zionts, A.J. Harper, and April Kane

The UPMC Senior Services Community Champion Award, given annually to recognize exceptional organizational leadership to improve the lives of seniors, was awarded to the Regional Response Health Collaborative Program (RRHCP) of western Pennsylvania. JHF was a lead educator for the RRHCP, which guided skilled nursing and assisted living/personal care facilities in western Pennsylvania to keep seniors safe from COVID-19. JHF's work contributed to over 90 leadership meetings and led 40 educational webinars with 120 speakers for over 7,000 attendees. In addition, JHF curated over 1,500 online resources for facility leaders on the Tomorrow's HealthCareâ„¢ platform, which had over 3,500 logins.

During the 13th Annual Celebrating Senior Champions Dinner and Auction on October 14, three partners of the program accepted the award on behalf of the group: Nancy Zionts, MBA, chief operating officer and chief program officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Emily Jaffe, MD, MBA, vice president and executive medical director of Home and Community Services for Allegheny Health Network and a JHF Board and FCP member, and A. J. Harper, a long-time PRHI Board member and president of the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania.

For more than 30 years, JHF has championed quality aging and long-term care. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the JHF staff and Board aimed to accomplish as much as possible to support the community and promote health for seniors across Pennsylvania. After the PA Department of Human Services called on JHF to participate in the ESCCP (Educational Support and Clinical Coaching program), JHF again partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other key healthcare organizations and health systems across the Commonwealth for RRHCP. JHF hosted educational webinars on 40 different topics for the program, engaging over 1,800 facilities. JHF also created online resources, educational toolkits, and real-time opportunities for RRHC field staff from across the Commonwealth to learn from each other. During its seven months of existence, the RRHCP implemented universal COVID-19 testing and on-site visits across 100% of facilities and completed 13,900 missions for providers to conduct assessment, testing, and consultation for COVID-19. A more limited version of RRHCP was then developed and named the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCAT) program.

JHF is grateful for the partnership of UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, the Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania, the PA Departments of Health and Human Services, and the JHF Seniors and Aging Team for their ongoing dedication and support. 

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