AgeWell Pittsburgh recognized with $150,000 grant

AgeWell Pittsburgh recognized with $150,000 grant

AgeWell Pittsburgh providers enjoy their time volunteering together at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.	Photo by Kathy Poth
AgeWell Pittsburgh providers enjoy their time volunteering together at the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry. Photo by Kathy Poth

AgeWell Pittsburgh, a collaborative effort between three local Jewish organizations that coordinates services for senior citizens, will receive a $150,000 grant as the winner of the 2017 Collaboration Prize.

AgeWell Pittsburgh is a nonprofit partnership between the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Family & Children’s Service. In February, the umbrella organization won $10,000 when it was selected as a finalist for the Collaboration Prize, a project of the Phoenix-based Lodestar Foundation. AgeWell Pittsburgh was chosen from more than 350 submissions nationwide.

The Collaboration Prize is a national award designed to highlight exceptional permanent models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations.

“We made a commitment to do three rounds of this prize, and this is the third,” said Lois Savage, president of the Lodestar Foundation. The prize was first awarded in 2009, then again three years later.

The Lodestar Foundation created the prize to raise awareness of successful nonprofit collaborations and to provide a way to share best practices.

The goal, Savage said, was to build a database of nonprofit collaboration, a resource to inspire collaboration to maximize impact. AgeWell Pittsburgh will be added to that database, which currently features more than 600 other models of nonprofit collaboration.

“It is the go-to place for nonprofits wanting to understand how other non-profits can work together,” Savage said.

Winning the 2017 Collaboration Prize provides the three agencies under the AgeWell Pittsburgh umbrella with “national validation,” according to Jeff Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, and “also shows the role permanent collaboration can play to help nonprofits improve outcomes for the communities we serve.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh facilitates the AgeWell Pittsburgh collaboration, and helps to fund the effort along with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

AgeWell Pittsburgh serves 8,000 senior citizens and thousands of family members. The nonprofit collaboration offers more than 20 different services, such as home-delivered meals, transportation assistance and social opportunities across the three collaborating agencies.

“The AgeWell Pittsburgh collaboration has strengthened each of our agencies by helping us to focus on what we do best, and in turn our clients have clearly reaped the benefits through improved outcomes,” said Deborah Winn-Horvitz, president and CEO of the JAA in a prepared statement. “As we collectively continue to refine our business strategy, we see similar collaborations starting across the country modeled on our Pittsburgh experience. What a great way to share our successes.”

The collaboration has helped reduce “duplication of services and capitalize on efficiencies in service delivery,” said Sue Berman Kress, volunteer chairman of the AgeWell Pittsburgh Advisory Committee in a prepared statement. “We’ve also been able to improve our senior care and identify programmatic changes to better serve members of our community.”

Through AgeWell Pittsburgh, the agencies have been “able to turn Pittsburgh’s aging population into a vital asset by keeping our seniors healthy, independent and fully engaged in this great city,” said Jordan Golin, President and CEO of JF&CS.

The Collaboration Prize recognizes the challenges the collaborating organizations faced when creating AgeWell Pittsburgh in overcoming different organizational cultures among the agencies.“It is very affirming to have a national organization outside our region validate the impact of the collaboration and its ultimate impact to improve the long-term health outcomes of older adults,” said Brian Schreiber, president and CEO of the JCC.

Toby Tabachnick can be reached at

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