Health Activist Bi-Weekly
April 26, 2018
Today we're introducing the first of a bi-weekly email to keep you updated on healthcare news and ways to get involved with the Health Activist Network.
March for Moms at the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6
Join our statewide Adolescent Behavioral Health Call on May 8
Apply today for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation Patient Safety Fellowship
Join the statewide Adolescent Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition
The Women’s Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal) empowers women to advocate for their own health and that of others.
Women are the healthcare decision makers for families and they comprise the majority of the healthcare workforce. They understand what’s needed and bring unique voices that champion safe, compassionate, and equitable care.WHAMglobal advocates have the power to transform and create a healthcare system by women and for everyone that better serves patients, families, and their workforce!
WHAMglobal provides engagement opportunities such as in-person creative community events, online communities and actions, and financial support of groups making a difference in women’s health in their communities.
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. The initiative is focused on learning best practices and identifying partners from the Pittsburgh region, other states, and global models of maternity care in order to identify how to advocate and gather networks to lift up the things that are working and change the things that aren’t.
WHAMglobal understands the value of gathering networks of advocates to transform care. It also recognizes the importance of collaboration in order to identify how services are truly delivered. Transformation is impossible without understanding what’s already been done, who are the stakeholders, what are the lessons learned, where there is room for improvement, and how to move forward—together.
The Virtual Senior Academy Seeks to Connect Aging Learners and Facilitators Dealing with Issues of Mobility and Loneliness
By Henry Kronk March 24, 2018
Many learners above a certain age have something of an anti-tech reputation. But an initiative of the Pittsburgh-based Jewish Healthcare Foundation is changing that narrative. The Virtual Senior Academy has grown into a hub of learning and interaction.Many learners above a certain age have something of an anti-tech reputation. But an initiative of the Pittsburgh-based Jewish Healthcare Foundation is changing that narrative. The Virtual Senior Academy has grown into a hub of learning and interaction.
The platform allows any silver surfer in the Pittsburgh region to both facilitate and partake in a wide range of online course offerings at no charge. All you need is a computer and webcam to participate.
Over 300 have enrolled since the initiative began. Virtual Senior Academy classes tend to focus on topics like the arts, health and wellness, and history. Current offerings include “Culinary Tour: Jewish Food History and Heritage,” “Warhol and the Kennedys,” and “Yoga.”
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation didn’t simply provide their $240,000 in funding because they thought it was a neat idea. There’s much more to it than that.
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation hosted a healthcare affordability event, “Spreading and Sustaining the Choosing Wisely Campaign,” on Thursday, April 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the QI2T Center (650 Smithfield Street, Suite 2600, Pittsburgh, PA 15222).
Nationally, $750 billion—or one-third of total healthcare spending—is wasted, and 27% of this is spent on unnecessary care. Through a national campaign of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Choosing Wisely, over 80 specialty societies have published lists of more than 500 overused tests and treatments that providers and patients should question and discuss.
Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the ABIM Foundation, spoke about what it would take to make Choosing Wisely more widely accepted, adopted, and required.
Following Daniel’s comments, Mark DeRubeis, MBA, CEO of Premier Medical Associates, and Jim Costlow , MD, Director of Value-Based Care, share how—and why now—Premier has embraced Choosing Wisely.
The conversation centered around the roles of health systems, providers, health plans, employers, consumers, and policymakers in spreading and sustaining Choosing Wisely.
This event supported the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Health Activist Network and Affordability Initiative. The Affordability Initiative aims to demonstrate that a bottom-up approach to payment and healthcare delivery reform can remove low-value services from the system and produce quality care and improved health outcomes at an affodrdable cost. JHF and its non-profit operating arm, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, are partnering with providers, payers, and employers to identify ways to improve care and eliminate avoidable costs for targeted health conditions, such as healthy pregnancies.
Two years ago, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) launched its Adolescent Behavioral Health Initiative (ABHI) to improve access to effective services from crisis to stabilizationamong adolescents experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis in Allegheny County. The ABHI is guided by a 40-member advisory committee and is supported by JHF, the Staunton Farm Foundation, and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
Since then, JHF has engaged state and county leaders, mental health and substance use providers, social service representatives, family and patient advocates, educators, health plan representatives, nonprofit leaders, and researchers. Through these conversations, the Foundation has developed a community-driven policy agenda to create the strong adolescent behavioral health safety net that teens and families in crisis deserve.
You can learn more about that policy agenda—and how you can join adolescent behavioral health advocacy efforts—in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed written by Robert Ferguson, MPH, the Foundation’s Director of Government Grants and Policy. JHF also thanks Pittsburgh Mercy COO and Health Careers Futures Board Trustee Raymond Wolfe for writing a letter of support for the initiative.
During recent sessions of JHF’s Fellowship on Death and Dying, participants discussed long-term care at the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA), hospice and end-of-life conversations at West Penn Hospital, and the experience of families and caregivers at the Good Grief Center. Through the fellowship, 43 graduate students—from 13 disciplines and six local universities—are preparing to have critical conversations about end-of-life care and exploring the medical, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of end of life.
During the long-term care session at the JAA, Karen Feinstein presented an overview of the Foundation before the fellows toured the long-term care unit. After the tour, Mary Anne Foley, RN, MSN, JAA’s vice president of Home and Community Services, organized three small group discussions. JAA Director of Rehabilitation Services Phil Ricci, MOT, OTR/L, and Director of Social Services Nicole Morgan facilitated a conversation on long-term care. JAA Hospice Medical Director Stuart Chetlin, MD, Director of Professional Services Joy Rivett, Home Health and Hospice social worker Pearl Averbach, LCSW, and Bereavement Coordinator Jan Kellough discussed hospice. Rabbi Eli Seidman, JAA’s director of Pastoral Care, and Dan Leger, RN, of Sivitz Jewish Hospice & Palliative Care (part of the JAA’s continuum of senior care), led the spirituality discussion.
During the session at West Penn Hospital, the fellows toured the hospice unit with Lori Marshall, RN, Director of Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home, Hospice & Palliative Care; gained real-world insights on having end-of-life conversations with Judith Black, MD, medical director of senior products for AHN and Highmark and Randy Hebert, MD, chief medical officer of AHN Healthcare@Home; and were introduced to tools and technologies that can support advance care planning with Bill Gammie, MHA, president of AHN Healthcare@Home, Home Health, Hospice & Palliative Care.
“There was variety in what we saw and plenty of chances for discussion,” one of the fellows commented following the session. “The importance of starting with a person’s values and goals—that lesson really came through for me.”
Later in March, the fellows visited Ursuline Support Services’ Good Grief Center and discussed the experience of family caregivers. Anthony J. Turo, executive director of Ursuline Support Services, explained that the Good Grief Center is the region’s first and only facility dedicated exclusively to bereavement education, resources, and referrals for people of all ages.
Nina Butler, EdD, led a discussion on caregivers’ and family members’ experience with death, dying, and grief. She noted the importance of creating a network of caregiver support to lessen the burden on a single family caregiver. Carol Frazer, LPC, a practice transformation specialist at PRHI, talked with the fellows about strategies to have end-of -life conversations with people when behavioral health issues are present. She also described the importance of self-care practices for healthcare professionals, so that they can manage their own feelings of grief and stress and best serve patients and families.
In early April, the fellows will synthesize their new experiences and skills to create action plans that improve end-of-life education, policy, and attitudes in their programs and communities.