Projects & Programs

Through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and our operating arms—the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), Health Careers Futures (HCF), and the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal)—we create an army of partners, change agents, and quality improvement leaders; and turn our region into a lab for testing new models of care.

We are a grantmaking organization, providing more than $120 million, since our inception, to others striving to improve health and health care in our region.

We are also a grantee, garnering myriad federal, state, and foundation grants which allow JHF and PRHI staff to support the work of healthcare practitioners and providers. With our leadership and guidance, healthcare providers demonstrate how critical quality improvements can make enormous differences in the lives of patients and in the cost of providing care.

  • Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative
    The Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative began in April 2016 and aims to improve access to and accountability for effective behavioral health services for adolescents in Allegheny County, with an initial focus on those in crisis. The initiative kicked off with funding by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, the Staunton Farm Foundation, and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
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  • AIDS Free Pittsburgh
    JHF is the fiscal agent for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), an initiative to eliminate new AIDS diagnoses in Allegheny County and reduce new HIV infections by 75% by the year 2020. AFP is led by a coalition of government agencies, healthcare institutions, and neighborhood organizations that collectively performs education, outreach, and advocacy work to reach AFP’s 2020 goal. For more information, visit aidsfreepittsburgh.org
  • Closure
    Closure is an initiative to change expectations for end-of-life. The goal for Closure is to empower consumers and healthcare professionals with easy-to-access, simple-to-understand information and resources to make informed decisions about end-of-life.
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  • Dementia Friends Pennsylvania
    In May of 2018 JHF became the state administrator for the Dementia Friends Pennsylvania initiative and seeks to educate communities across the commonwealth about dementia, breakdown the stigma surrounding dementia, and encourage individuals to implement practical changes to best support people living with dementia. Through a train-the-trainer model, Dementia Friends Champion Volunteers are equipped to offer in-person Dementia Friends sessions to community members. Dementia Friends Pennsylvania is part of Dementia Friends USA, a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. For more information, visit: www.dementiafriendspa.org
  • Feinstein Fellowships
    Through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation's annual Feinstein Fellowships, graduate students and professionals work in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary learning environment to acquire new skills that aren’t part of traditional healthcare graduate programs. The Feinstein Fellowships aim to inspire the next generation of healthcare leaders and activists. Patient Safety (focuses on quality and safety in healthcare settings and provides participants the opportunity to apply learnings in a real-world healthcare setting), Jonas Salk (focuses on changing practice, policy, and perspectives around a health issue), and Death and Dying (explores the medical, legal, social, cultural-familial, and spiritual components of end-of-life care, using JHF's Closure model).
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  • Health Activist Network
    Launched in 2017, the Health Activist Network is an in-person and online hub for health professionals from across the continuum to create the health system they want to work in by accelerating policy and care delivery improvements. The network, which started with participants in the Jewish Healthcare Foundation's Fellowship, internship, and Champions programs, has since grown to include a broad swathe of Pittsburgh’s healthcare community as well as national policy and advocacy leaders.

    The Health Activist Network has three main areas of focus: strengthening the adolescent behavioral health safety net, reducing maternal mortality and perinatal failures, and addressing health care’s escalating costs through new payment and delivery models that reduce waste and improve patient outcomes. The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative manages the Health Activist Network, with funding from the DSF Charitable Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit healthactivistnetwork.org.
  • HIV/AIDS Fiscal Agency
    JHF has been the fiscal agent for HIV/AIDS funding in southwestern Pennsylvania since 1992. In this capacity, the Foundation manages funds from multiple government funding sources, providing oversight, monitoring, data reporting, quality management, technical assistance, and funding to the AIDS Service Organization (ASO) grantees under its agency. These ASOs facilitate the delivery of healthcare, supportive, and housing services to eligible individuals living with HIV, and prevention/education services to at-risk populations.
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  • HPV Vaccination Initiative
    The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine represents a safe, effective cancer prevention tool, but vaccination rates remain unacceptably low. Just 60% of U.S. females age 13-17 had initiated the vaccine series in 2015, and just 52% of males (according to the CDC’s National Immunization Teen Survey). JHF, with the support of an impressive advisory committee, has developed a public health campaign to increase uptake in HPV vaccination in our region. The campaign includes outreach and education sessions in practices, community organizations, and schools; and toolkits and communications materials for providers, parents, and teens. For more information, visit hpvpittsburgh.org.
  • Internships
    Graduate students who are passionate about innovations in healthcare delivery, policy, and patient safety can pursue their interests through paid summer internship opportunities with the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its supporting organizations. Internships are available during the school year as well, although the program is less formal. 
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  • Jewish Genetic Diseases
    JHF is the fiscal agent for the Pittsburgh Victor Center, an affiliate of the Einstein Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases in Philadelphia. The Center's mission is to educate the Pittsburgh community about Ashkenazi Jewish genetic diseases and ensure access to screening for Jewish genetic diseases in order to provide individuals with the greatest number of options.
  • Liftoff PGH 2020
    Pittsburgh has all the assets to become a major healthcare innovation destination, and it’s time to make it a center for disruption among the already thriving tech, medical, and academic industries. The time has come for Liftoff Pittsburgh 2020 – a bold step into the future of healthcare innovation. This two day conference is coming September 15-16, 2020. Brought to you by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit liftoffpgh.org.
  • Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI)
    The Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to engage HIV-positive individuals who have been lost-to-care. Only about 25% of individuals with HIV in the United States are successfully keeping their virus under control, and this has serious consequences for them, their partners, their living or unborn children, and for the economy. JHF is working with AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) across the state.
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  • Patient-Centered Practice Transformation
    PRHI offers a variety of services to primary care practices, including training and coaching in continuous quality improvement using our Lean-based Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC) methodology, and in the implementation of care delivery models including patient-centered medical home and behavioral health/primary care integration.
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  • PCMH Learning Network
    PRHI plays a leading role in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Learning Network. Launched in 2017, the network helps high-volume Medicaid providers and managed care organizations identify and share improvement strategies, and develop an internal capacity for continuous learning and improvement. The PCMH Learning Network includes more than 100 practices from across the Commonwealth.

    As a PCMH Learning Network facilitator, PRHI holds quarterly, regional learning collaborative sessions (both virtual and in-person) in the Southwest/Northwest and Northeast HealthChoices regions, as well as two statewide webinars. The PCMH Learning Network sessions include presentations of best practices and peer-to-peer exercises to uncover solutions to shared challenges. PRHI partners with the Health Federation of Philadelphia to facilitate the Learning Network in the Lehigh/Capital and Southeast regions of Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative
    The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) will be launched in April 2019, with an initial focus on reducing maternal mortality and improving care for pregnant and postpartum women and newborns affected by opioids. Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (PQCs) are networks of teams working to improve the quality of care for mothers and babies across prenatal, labor/birth, newborn, and postpartum services. Over 140 people from all the regions of the Commonwealth are working together to standup the PA PQC through an Advisory Group and nine work groups. PA PQC sites will participate in Learning Collaborative sessions, launch Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) quality improvement cycles, and report quality data through an online data portal, which will trend the outcomes over time and compare it to the outcomes of other provider teams in the PA PQC.
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  • Public Health
    From our inception, JHF has played a community role in public health. From our early public health campaigns, including Operation KidShot, The Breast Test, and Working Hearts®, to our current initiatives, JHF is committed to taking on public health issues that are timely, but underserved.
  • RAVEN (Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing Facility Residents)
    A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded initiative, RAVEN is designed to improve nursing facility resident outcomes; improve the transitions between hospitals and nursing facilities; and reduce overall health spending while ensuring access to care and choice of providers among nursing facility residents in western Pennsylvania. UPMC serves as the project lead, and JHF serves as the lead educator.
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  • Reinvesting in Health
    The Reinvesting in Health Initiative aims to remove unnecessary services and pay for what matters, with a focus on perinatal care. The initiative is funded by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation with a $600,000 grant from December 2017 to December 2020, and supported by PRHI. To remove unnecessary services and reinvest in what matters to the mom and baby, the Reinvesting in Health Initiative’s strategy includes testing bundled payment models, adopting Choosing Wisely® guidelines, and engaging purchasers to support these efforts with the leadership of the payers and providers. Bundled payments allow providers to remove unnecessary services based on the Choosing Wisely® guidelines and re-configure team roles and services based on best practices and the patients’ needs.
  • Senior Connections
    Since its inception, JHF has been committed to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of older adults. With the Baby Boomer generation re-defining what it means to age well, the Foundation in 2016 kicked off a multi-pronged Senior Connections initiative. Senior Connections aims to strengthen an umbrella of services and supports that the region’s older adults require to live safely and satisfyingly—including adequate housing with and without services, exercise and recreational opportunities, geriatric-friendly health care, nutrition, technology and caregiver supports.

    Charrettes, or community planning sessions, are a hallmark of the Senior Connections initiative. JHF's first charrette on Creating a Culture for Exercise and Recreation for Seniors, held in August of 2016, resulted in a series of grants to regional players including the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, and Venture Outdoors. JHF has also formed partnerships with the Allegheny County Medical Society and AARP, among others. JHF's Geriatric-Friendly Practice charrette, held in May of 2017, will create a framework of how to improve the health of older persons by identifying opportunities to improve the experience of providing and receiving health care for seniors. JHF is also leading the region's planning efforts for Pennsylvania's transition to Community HealthChoices (managed long-term services and supports) for community-dwelling seniors.
  • Virtual Senior Academy
    In August of 2017, JHF launched the Virtual Senior Academy. The Virtual Senior Academy is a platform that connects older adults in the Pittsburgh region through interactive courses online that cover topics including health and wellness, technology, book clubs, arts and music, history, current events, and much more. Class facilitators are community members who want to share their passion and knowledge with other Pittsburghers. JHF is looking for community members of all ages who want to become instructors for one-time or ongoing Virtual Senior Academy courses. If you want to share your skills and knowledge, contact help@virtualsenioracademy.org.
  • Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal)
    Launched in 2016, the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) forms networks of advocates and experts in women’s health and wellness to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes, equity, and leadership. WHAMglobal is on a mission to identify the root causes of maternal mortality and better understand how to support and care for moms and families through the entirety of their care. WHAMglobal is supported by the Heinz Family Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit whamglobal.org
  • Youth Advocacy Network
    JHF has developed a Youth Advocacy Network to bring together youth and youth organizations to share resources, collaborative on a shared policy agenda, and effectively advocate for change. Representatives from 13 different high schools and over ten community partners have been involved in the network. The Network kicked off in 2018 with a Youth Advocacy Summit, and has continued with regular calls, a statewide postcard campaign, and planned legislative visits in 2019.