SOURCE: VHA Health Foundation

October 04, 2005 14:00 ET

VHA Health Foundation Awards Grants Totaling $1 Million for Health Care Innovations

IRVING, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 4, 2005 -- The VHA Health Foundation has awarded grants to four health care organizations to fund promising health and health care initiatives at the local level. The Foundation's goal is to foster and diffuse innovation throughout the health care industry.

The grant recipients are:

--  Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc., Oakland, Calif., to support Kaiser
    Permanente's testing of integration strategies for new technologies and the
    technologies' impact on workflow. The grant will be used to create a
    national learning network of health care organizations currently engaged in
    innovation to identify successful strategies and explore ways to
    disseminate innovation.
--  Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland, Texas, to support the
    implementation of a fully integrated electronic health record using the
    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of the Veterans Administration's
    VistA information system, known as "OpenVistA."  This project will evaluate
    the effects on patient safety, quality of care, organizational efficiency
    and return on investment as a result of the OpenVistA implementation.
--  OhioHealth's Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, for an
    outcomes measurement initiative associated with its Center for Medical
    Education and Innovation (CME+I™) program. Funds will be used to measure
    the impact of hospital simulation on clinical knowledge, skill development
    and professional development for CME+I™ trained physicians, nurses, and
    health care professionals.
--  University of Chicago Hospitals, to support the Cognitive Technologies
    Laboratory (CTL) Medical Accident Data Collection and Analysis Service
    (MEDCAS) Center to implement a national pilot program to validate the
    Center's methods and procedures used to investigate, analyze, and report
    adverse health care events and provide a 'best practice' model for creating
    a safe reporting environment.
These programs represent the Foundation's commitment to support promising initiatives that demonstrate new and better approaches to solving problems or addressing health or health care needs. Over a period of 15 months, grantees will implement their innovations and participate in various learning platforms, including a national conference focused on health care innovation.

To encourage the exchange of new ideas, the Foundation offers a public database that contains more than 520 executive summaries of proposals the Foundation received from health care organizations in 2004 and 2005. To access this database, go to the Innovation Exchange at

"This is the Foundation's second year of focusing on identifying and supporting innovation in the field," said Linda DeWolf, president, VHA Health Foundation. "The Foundation's goal is to nurture innovations that we believe have high potential for creating systemic change and can be replicated by others. We then work with hospitals and other health care industry leaders across the nation to ensure the findings are effectively communicated to the industry."

"The VHA Health Foundation board is strongly committed to its agenda of supporting innovation. We've been pleased with the tremendous response we've received to our Call for Proposals over the past two years. We believe innovation is the key to addressing various issues of quality and effectiveness of care," said John Finan Jr., president and chief executive officer, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge, La., and Foundation board chairperson. "During 2006 we will support these new innovations, while diffusing the excellent work of our previously funded programs."

The VHA Health Foundation, located in Irving, Texas, is a 501(c)(3) public foundation created by VHA Inc. to encourage leadership and innovation in addressing health and health care issues. Efforts benefit VHA member health care organizations as well as non-members. The VHA Health Foundation funds programs that focus on new approaches to health and health care that make a difference, generate synergies that bring resources to add value and enhance outcomes, and diffuse knowledge and best practices.

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