Long an agent for change in how America cares for its elderly, Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing has joined a dynamic team focused on spurring rapid advances in care practices with older adults, their families, and communities.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has been awarded a $5 million grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to launch and develop the Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative, a multi-year project, and has asked Gitlin to have a hand in leading this effort. The team consists of the Hartford Foundation; GSA; SCP, a socially responsible communications consulting firm; and two national experts in interdisciplinary practice change, former GSA President Nancy Whitelaw, PhD, and Gitlin, a GSA fellow.
For more than two decades, the Hartford Foundation has provided support to a dynamic group of researchers and clinicians in geriatric medicine, nursing, and social work. The Change AGEnts Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort that will capitalize on the collective strengths, resources, and expertise of this community of more than 1,000 grantees, scholars, and other health system leaders.
"By bringing together these top physicians, nurses, and social workers, we can harness their collective expertise to enhance the way health care is delivered in our aging society," said Gitlin, who serves as the director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. "The collaborations we will foster will have a much greater impact than single individuals and organizations could achieve on their own."
The Change AGEnts Initiative will have two main components. First, Hartford grantees will receive support, resources, and opportunities to mobilize for action through the development of the Change AGEnts Community. Secondly, small-group, interdisciplinary Change AGEnts Networks will be developed around priority areas in health care for older adults.
The overall project is expected to engage, connect, educate, and inspire the individual Change AGEnts through participation in conferences, webinars, pilot grants, and the Change AGEnts Networks.
"Older people are important contributors to our society, beloved family members, and our future selves,” said Hartford Foundation Program Director Christopher Langston, PhD. “The John A. Hartford Foundation believes that we can do better for older Americans and their families, while saving health care dollars."