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Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Projects & Programs

Through the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) and our operating arms, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Health Careers Futures (HCF), 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 $100 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.

Jewish Healthcare Foundation

  • 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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  • Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care

    Sponsored by The Fine Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), the Fine Awards recognize and reward healthcare teams in western Pennsylvania who achieve significant quality improvements. An independent panel of regional and national experts selects winners demonstrating a commitment to delivering safe, efficient, and patient-centered care.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 described below, JHF is committed to taking on public health issues that are timely, but underserved.

  • HPV Vaccination Initiative

    Two vaccines exist that prevent infection by the two most prevalent cancer-causing HPV types, yet only about a third of adolescent females and less that 7 percent of males across the United States had completed the recommended three-dose series in 2012. JHF, with the support of an impressive advisory committee, is developing a public health campaign to increase uptake in HPV vaccination in our region. 

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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.

  • 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

  • Legionella

    Although Legionnaires' disease has received a great deal of press related to the outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA, Legionella is not confined to healthcare settings and hence it has the potential to affect anyone. The disease can cause havoc in hotels, schools, hospitals, and beyond. Yet notwithstanding the omnipresence of this bacteria and its potentially-lethal threat, current guidelines are outdated, and, outside of hospital systems, there is much ignorance about the disease, how to test for it, and what to do with a positive result. JHF, in partnership with the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Allegheny County Health Department and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, convened a working group, held two community education events to date, and is funding the drafting of expert guidelines.

  • 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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  • 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 is currently funded by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, the Staunton Farm Foundation, and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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  • Community Health Workers Champions

    Launched in September of 2016, the Community Health Workers (CHW) Champions program will provide training and coaching to twenty staffers from Community LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) and LIFE Pittsburgh who provide support in seniors’ homes. 

    The goal of the program is to develop and trial a curriculum with these Champions to strengthen organizational and family communication strategies, improve CHW skills in health monitoring and early identification of problems, interact compassionately with seniors experiencing cognitive or mental health issues, and to create connections and implement interventions that promote optimum health and maximize independence for seniors.

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  • 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.

  • Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAM Global)

    Launched in late 2016, the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAM Global) is a "network of networks" designed to empower and cultivate female leaders who advance healthcare systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable, and equitable. WHAM Global is supported by the Heinz Family Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. 

    WHAM Global leverages technology to create a vibrant activist community unbounded by geography, and harnesses the knowledge of female, executive-level health care professionals who are mentoring a new generation of female leaders. For more information, visit whamglobal.org

Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative

  • 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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  • Health Activist Network

    The goal of the Health Activist Network is to connect like-minded health professionals who are committed to advancing health reform, patient safety, and quality. The Network will knit together newly-formed groups leveraging an online knowledge management platform, Tomorrow's HealthCareTM to facilitate communication, engagement, collaboration, learning, and concerted action among members of newly formed communities of interest. For more information, visit healthactivistnetwork.org

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Health Careers Futures

  • Fellowships

    The Foundation runs four annual fellowships that provide graduate students in health-related fields with interdisciplinary interaction: 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 creating a high-performing healthcare system from scratch), Death and Dying (explores the medical, legal, social, cultural-familial, and spiritual components of end-of-life care, using JHF's Closure model), and QI2T Health Innovators (explores emerging digital health trends). 

  • Internships

    Summer internships give graduate students in health-related fields the opportunity to participate in the work of JHF and PRHI for ten weeks during summer break. Recruitment for the 2017 summer internship program is now closed.

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  • Community Health Workers

    The use of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as a vital component of the U.S. healthcare system has been documented for decades. CHWs can improve population health; lower healthcare costs by reducing emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and institutionalizations; and improve patient experience, primarily among high utilizers, but also in rural areas where access to health care is limited. They also free clinical team members to practice at the top of their license. However, despite CHWs' potential to deliver many solutions to the current health care system's shortcomings, their work is largely underutilized.

    To change that, JHF has launched a Community Health Worker Champions program, which focuses on enhancing the skills of area CHWs to improve the care and outcomes for community-dwelling seniors. In support of this work, the Foundation hosted a Community Health Workers Summit in Harrisburg in the spring of 2015 to advance state policies for the training, certification, and reimbursement of community health workers. JHF has also developed three CHW task forces and a steering group across Pennsylvania, with more than 60 stakeholders combining to advance and standardize a workforce that could significantly enhance population health. The task forces are working on CHW training, policy, and workforce development. 

  • Medical Education

    Through grantmaking and staff participation, the Foundation supports the efforts of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and others to integrate systems-based practice and population health into medical education.

Programs & Projects