SOURCE: Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation

Strategic Communications and Planning

November 03, 2014 10:00 ET

Hillman Foundation Announces Innovations in Care Winners

Two Nursing-Driven Programs Receive $600,000 Each to Expand Evidence-Based Initiatives Targeting Underserved Populations

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 03, 2014) -  The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation today announced the first recipients of the Hillman Innovations in Care Program, a multi-year initiative created to enhance and expand nursing-driven programs that care for vulnerable populations. The Foundation's six-person review committee selected the winners from 260 diverse applications, which were narrowed to 23 finalists. The committee praised the winning projects for their ability to improve the health of their communities, for the bold and creative thinking in the design of the projects, for exemplary nursing leadership, and for the support of their organizations in addressing improvements in care. 

The winning projects will ensure that significant healthcare innovations reach the greatest number of patients, and that tested innovations are translated into policy and practice. The Foundation granted awards to programs that demonstrated the greatest likelihood of broad impact and aligned with the Triple Aim of simultaneously improving health, reducing costs, and improving the patient and caregiver experience.

"The needs of vulnerable populations often lie beyond the reach of much of the mainstream healthcare system," said Ahrin Mishan, Executive Director of the Hillman Foundation. "This is where nursing comes in. Nursing-driven innovations have a long history of making an enormous impact in these communities and we strive to build on this tradition by bringing effective new models to scale."

The winners, who will each receive a $600,000 three-year grant, are:

The Michigan State University College of Nursing, co-led by Sandra Spoelstra, PhD, RN, and Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN/ANP. Funding will be used to expand MiCAPABLE, which provides team-based home care and home repair services to help older adults stay in their homes and communities. The award-winning program was originally launched by Dr. Szanton at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. MiCAPABLE is currently being piloted at one site in Michigan, and will now be implemented in three Michigan Medicaid Waiver sites, which provide services to help nursing home eligible older adults avoid nursing home admissions. Program participants receive 12 weeks of home visits from a team that includes a registered nurse and an occupational therapist, to ensure that health needs are met, and a handyman, to accommodate the home to the needs of an aging adult. The team's work might include training to help avoid falls, and the installation of bathroom grab bars and other home modifications. Funding will be used to train clinicians and provide MiCAPABLE to 270 patients. The State of Michigan is matching the Innovations in Care grant with an additional $600,000, providing the team with a total of $1.2 million in funding.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, led by Julie C. Novak, DNSc, RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN. Funding will be used to expand a new clinic model that provides integrated health services at local Head Start/Early Start sites. The project is a partnership with AVANCE-San Antonio, which provides early childhood education programs and services to families in at-risk communities, empowering children and their parents by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in life. AVANCE and UTHSC-San Antonio developed a pilot Head Start/Early Start health clinic, led by a nurse practitioner, which has already provided services to over 300 children and has increased vaccination rates from 50 percent to 100 percent. Grant funding will allow the team to offer nurse-provided preventive and primary care services at three sites, not just to the enrolled children but to their parents and siblings, more than tripling the number of children and families that are served. Clinic sites will also expand services to include nutrition counseling and mental and behavioral health. With all sites fully equipped to meet the health and psycho-social needs of the entire family, the team envisions that this model could be replicated throughout Texas and the nation.

"We had an impressive group of finalists, which made the process of selecting just two grantees exceptionally challenging," said Bobbie Berkowitz, Dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing and chair of the Foundation's review committee. "The winning proposals stand out as innovative, evidence-based, academic-community partnerships that have the potential to make a widespread impact on the health and healthcare needs of some of our nation's most vulnerable populations."

The Foundation will accept submissions for the next round of proposals in March 2015, and will award second-round grants in late 2015. The goal of the Hillman Innovations in Care Program is to advance leading edge, nursing-driven models of care that will improve the health and health care of vulnerable populations, including the economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBQT, the homeless, rural populations, and other groups that encounter barriers to accessing healthcare services. The foundation is specifically interested in proposals that address maternal and child health, care of the older adult, and chronic illness management.

For more information on the Hillman Innovations in Care Program or to access the RFP, please visit http://www.rahf.org/grant-programs/hillman-innovations-in-care-program/.

The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation mission is to improve the lives of patients and their families through nursing-driven innovation. To this end, the Foundation cultivates nurse leaders, supports nursing research, and disseminates new models of care that are critical to making the U.S. healthcare system more patient-centered, accessible, equitable, and affordable. The foundation's goal is to leverage the power of nursing's unique knowledge to ensure that the healthcare system can deliver the high-quality care patients need and deserve. For more information, please visit www.rahf.org.

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