The Jewish Healthcare Foundation, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation have invested nearly $1 million to pilot a new program among skilled nursing facilities, local health systems, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University.
The Pennsylvania Teaching Nursing Home project will rely on a “teaching nursing home” environment, where students, faculty and healthcare workers can collaborate on resident care at three teaching nursing home partnerships across the commonwealth. The pilot program will enable partners at the Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh nursing schools to blend bedside care and clinical expertise.
The impetus for the program was the events of the pandemic, including the deaths of more than 184,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities, according to JHF.
“The pandemic has shown us the multiple ways we have failed to appropriately integrate nursing homes into the continuum of care and the continuum of nursing education,” said Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation, in a prepared statement.
The Pennsylvania Teaching Nursing Home project will draw on existing resources from The John A. Hartford Foundation’s Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative and the JHF’s Full Court Press Senior Residential Living Team, while integrating lessons from the Teaching Nursing Home project of the 1980s — originally supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. JHF representatives said that by reexamining a model of care that proved successful in the 1980s, the current iteration will allow researchers to experiment and improve methods of care, and will help students foster careers in nursing homes and geriatrics.
In launching the Pennsylvania Teaching Nursing Home project, Health Careers Futures, an operating arm of the JHF, received grants totaling $974,110 from JHF, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
“This program, which has previously shown positive results without the benefit of the internet, can now be revisited with these world class nursing schools,” said Fulmer in her statement.
Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the JHF and Health Careers Futures agreed.
“Inspiring examples like Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston have demonstrated the positive impact on patients and staff in a teaching nursing home model,” she said. “We believe this pilot could help pave the way for better long-term care across the country.”
David K. Roger, president of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, noted that the pandemic offered critical lessons.
“The preceding fifteen months, while extraordinarily difficult for long-term care, yielded a number of natural experiments demonstrating that there are creative, innovative ideas in the field worthy of further review and study,” said Roger, in a prepared statement. “This effort will provide a research and pilot platform for what we believe will be helpful concepts to improve quality of life in long-term care.”
The Pennsylvania Teaching Nursing Home project began on July 1, and will run through 2023 in the eastern, central and western regions of Pennsylvania. PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.