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 Health Activist (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
    The Health Activist Network empowers health professionals to create the health system in which they want to work. 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 we all need 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.
  • HealthChoices Patient-Centered Medical Home Learning Network
    The HealthChoices Physical Health Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are working with Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and the Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) to facilitate the HealthChoices Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Learning Network—one of the provider requirements for this PCMH Program. PRHI is coordinating the PCMH Learning Network across Pennsylvania, and facilitating the quarterly, regional learning collaborative sessions for the Southwest/Northwest and Northeast regions. HFP is facilitating the quarterly, regional learning collaborative sessions for Lehigh/Capital and Southeast. The goals of the PCMH Learning Network are to support the PCMH providers and Physical Health MCOs in achieving the shared PCMH aims, identifying and acting on improvement strategies in response to opportunities for improvement toward the common PCMH aims and measures, and developing an internal capacity to continuously learn, adapt, and improve.
  • 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
    With an in-depth understanding of best practices for chronic disease management and quality improvement, PRHI is able to provide educational resources, tools, and technical assistance to clinicians through a variety of learning programs. For example, PRHI serves as faculty for the NRHI High-Value Care Support and Alignment Network (SAN) in CMS’s Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), with a focus on behavioral health integration, quality improvement, care management, motivational interviewing, advanced care planning, and end of life.
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  • Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative
    The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) was 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 statewide networks of teams working to improve the quality of care for mothers and babies across prenatal, labor/birth, newborn, and postpartum services. A wide variety of stakeholders, including all major health systems and health plans, state and local government, community-based organizations, and universities from all 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. Currently, over 55 birth sites across Pennsylvania – covering over 75% of births – are registered with the PA PQC.
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  • Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City
    Pittsburgh: A Safer Childbirth City aims to transform the city into a safer, more equitable and accessible place to give birth. Through support from the Heinz Endowments, WHAMglobal has established the WHAMglobal Community Fund for maternal health service providers to ensure that services are coordinated and meeting the needs of all moms and babies. The Community Fund will pull together funding organizations committed to maternal health from across our region, and distribute funds to support small safety-net organizations providing maternal health services across the pregnancy and birth continuum. The Fund will improve networks and collaboration among grassroots organizations delivering maternal health services in priority communities in order to improve access and availability of high-quality services, reduce health disparities, and improve maternal health. The Fund will also establish a learning collaborative for participating organizations to provide a forum for collaboration and training (including technical assistance) on topics, such as quality improvement, marketing, communications, and strategic planning.
  • 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.
  • 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.