Three JHF staff present at Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership Summit
The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) Summit, organized and supported by the Forbes Funds, brings together nonprofit organizations to create strategic collaborations around pressing social issues in southwestern Pennsylvania. At this year's Summit on December 3, three members of the JHF staff participated in different breakout sessions.
Hanifa Nakiryowa, Global Health Associate, co-led the session Improving Connections and Outcomes in Maternal and Child Health together with Jada Shirriel, CEO of Healthy Start, Inc. and Brandy Gentry, Executive Director of Oli's Angels. Hanifa opened the session with an overview of WHAMglobal initiatives including the PA PQC and the Merck for Mothers Safer Childbirth Cities initiative. The session spotlighted the maternal health work done by Healthy Start in the black community and Oli's Angels work in Allegheny county jail, in addition to highlighting WHAMglobal's role in assisting such organizations to improve maternal health outcomes in the region. Hanifa also introduced the WHAMglobal Community Fund, addressing critical maternal health needs in the community.
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Project Manager Julia Och, along with colleagues Jessica Burdick from Project Silk (Community Human Services) and Charlotte Mitchell from the Center for Inclusion Health (Allegheny Health Network), illustrated how AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP) serves as a model for collaboration and capacity building. Julia described AFP's collective impact model, which works to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Allegheny County through a collaborative focus on normalizing routine HIV screening, building capacity for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services, and facilitating immediate linkage to care for persons with a new HIV diagnosis. Jessica shared an example of Project Silk's collaboration with UPMC on a PrEP telemedicine pilot, while Charlotte discussed routine HIV screening and RAPID linkage to care services that Center for Inclusion Health has integrated into several facilities within the AHN health system. From 2015 to 2018 in Allegheny County, new HIV cases decreased by 39%, while new AIDS cases decreased by 47%. This coincides with the 2015 launch of AIDS Free Pittsburgh.
JHF Director of Innovation Mara Leff, together with longtime partner Dave Sevick, Executive Director of Computer Reach, presented a Collaboration & Capacity Building session on JHF's Virtual Senior Academy (VSA), focused on using technology to reduce isolation and loneliness among older adults. The Virtual Senior Academy uses an innovative technology approach to virtually connect older adults to one another via VSA's online platform. Mara and Dave discussed the exciting partnership between the Virtual Senior Academy and Computer Reach, a local non-profit aimed at increasing connection to technology and improving digital literacy in the community. The joint "Tech Buddy" initiative aims to help older adults use the Virtual Senior Academy to connect with new people, learn new topics, and expand their social networks. Those interested in learning how to volunteer to serve as tech buddies should contact Mara at Leff@jhf.org.