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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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, online courses that cover topics including health and wellness, technology, book clubs, arts and music, history, and current events. 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 JHF Program Specialist Pauline Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAM Global)
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 aims to inspire regional, national, and international advocacy and action to advance women’s health, safety and quality, women’s position within the health workforce, and pay equity. WHAMglobal is supported by the Heinz Family Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit whamglobal.org
Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative
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.
Health Activist NetworkLaunched 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.
Health Careers Futures
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).
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. Recruitment for the 2018 summer internship is now closed. Internships are available during the school year as well, although the program is less formal.