Thank You to Our Funding Partners
Why should it take a pandemic to realize that many of our usual projects can be adapted for even more impact in a situation that is decidedly unusual—and to appreciate their merits beyond what we originally envisioned? As we do this, as we realize that there are applications to the work started here at JHF that are extraordinarily valuable right now in the middle of a crisis, we are aware that we couldn't have started these "jewels" without the support of other funders. We couldn't have made these contributions without the partners whom we honor now.
For isolated seniors and the disabled, our Virtual Senior Academy offers connections to resources and friendship beyond our greatest original aspirations. We now partner with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, Aetna, Venture Outdoors, the Jewish Association on Aging, and Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh to bring engaging classes and relevant information to participants. VSA would never exist without the support of the Highmark Foundation and Consumer Technology Association Foundation who have helped supplement JHF's original investment. They believed in VSA; now we can justify their faith in the concept.
For the many digital and technological entrepreneurs who enliven our region, Liftoff PGH intended to showcase their ingenuity and resourcefulness to solve problems and enhance the human experience. We hoped to inspire educators, their institutions, and our health care systems to form collaborations to put our region on the map of centers of discovery. This ingenuity has never been more obvious than now as the pandemic has forced institutions and individuals to innovate to survive and meet changing demands. Within this rush of innovation, Liftoff PGH is a vehicle to display what a region with imagination can accomplish in a pandemic. It is more important now than ever and we look forward to the summit in December. Thank you to the many community foundations and organizations that have joined us in this work including McElhattan Foundation, the Pittsburgh Innovation District, the Benedum Foundation, PNC Healthcare, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and many others.
For persons living with dementia, we brought Dementia Friends to Pennsylvania. A pandemic creates opportunity for more confusion, fear, and disorientation, and it becomes even more essential to have communities sensitive to the needs of people with dementia. Dementia Friends Pennsylvania has begun offering their training virtually, and we're grateful for the Jefferson Regional Foundation's commitment to support people living with dementia.
For young children bewildered by the dramatic change in their lives, the unprecedented loneliness and isolation, and for grandparents without a child to hug, our GRAN Intergenerational Reading program is now able to provide connection, storytelling, and mentoring from the comfort of your home through the Virtual Senior Academy. Thanks to the Heinz Endowments, GRAN remains committed to connecting the generations through value-based learning.
For community health workers (CHW), JHF is leveraging the lessons learned during the Certified CHW Apprenticeship Program and participation on the PA CHW Steering Group and Task Forces on Policy, Training, and Employment to look at further opportunities for using and training CHWs to help during the COVID-19 crisis. The Certified CHW Apprenticeship Program that completed in January would not have been possible without the funding from the Pittsburgh Foundation. CHWs are now envisioned as a critical component of the essential contact tracing required to 'reopen' society, and JHF is working to ensure this workforce is well trained and prepared for helping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For mothers giving birth during a pandemic, Pittsburgh's Safer Childbirth City initiative and the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) are both working to improve the quality of care among maternity service providers. Safer Childbirth City partners are engaged on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are actively supporting birthing and parenting families as they navigate their new normal. The initiative would not be possible without the investment of Merck for Mothers and the Heinz Endowments, and Safer Childbirth City will continue to expand connections between clinical and community organizations to improve care. The PA PQC, supported by the Hillman Family Foundation, has taken on the critical role of sharing best practices between maternal units across the commonwealth and looking at ways to use quality improvement to address issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For persons living with HIV and AIDS, the region continues to provide modified services such as tele-case management, behavioral health, and medical visits because of the JHF AIDS Fiscal Agency, Planning Collaborative, and AIDS Free Pittsburgh. The region has been able to provide clients with masks and other supplies to help them keep safe, in addition to gift certificates for purchasing food. HIV providers have experience in emergency response and did not miss a beat in adapting to the change. We are grateful for our grantee's quick response and willingness to serve. We'd like to extend our gratitude to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for their on-going support and commitment to providing quality care to clients in the southwest region.