The Caring for Colorado Foundation (CFC) was chosen as one of nine foundations nationwide to receive funding from Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a unique national initiative to help find innovative ways to create an adequate nursing workforce appropriate in size and equipped with the specific skills necessary to meet the changing demands of the 21st century patient population. The program provides assistance to local and regional philanthropies to act as catalysts in their own communities and develop strategies for creating and sustaining a viable nursing workforce.
Led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation, Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN) is in its fifth year of providing support to local foundations, including CFC, and aims to discover models that work and can be replicated nationally.
The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence took the lead in developing a Home Healthcare Collaborative with 15 foundations, health care organizations and health education agencies to create solutions for tackling nursing workforce issues specific to Colorado. CFC has been awarded a two-year grant of $250,000 for a collaborative program [led by the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence], Care and Career Transitions: Innovations in Home Healthcare, the Missing Link. The program will develop new ways to increase the number and competencies of nurses providing home health care in Colorado.
The grant will be matched by $250,000 in local and regional funding and financial and in-kind contributions from the partner agencies. “With this grant and the support of our partnering agencies, we will be able to develop a strong home health care nursing workforce in Colorado,” said Susan Hill, Vice President of Programs at CFC. “Today, more than one-third of patients discharged from hospitals go to a home care or nursing home setting. This effort will put Colorado’s home care sector on the cutting edge of ongoing health reform to assure Coloradans have access to high quality home care services in the emerging system of health care.”
Chris Wiant, President and CEO of CFC, explained that while the overall number of nurses nationwide is increasing, the supply side does not address the specific needs of the state. He stated, “We are pleased to have this opportunity to help the home health care industry collaborate to attract and retain nursing talent for Colorado.” Colorado’s home health agencies are experiencing unprecedented demand as Colorado’s population ages and as the need for more home health care services arises with changes in the health care system and an increasing focus on effective transitions from hospitals. Wiant continued, “Through this partnership, we intend to strengthen the links among home care agencies and the nursing workforce, so they will have the type of skills they need to meet current and future demand for Coloradan’s access to high quality home care services.”
Three Colorado health foundations will provide matching funds, including the lead foundation Caring for Colorado, the Colorado Health Foundation and The Colorado Trust. Other members of the Home Healthcare Collaborative are The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, Colorado Home Healthcare Association, Centura Health at Home, Visiting Nurses Association in Colorado, Home Care of the Grand Valley, Complete Home Healthcare, Central Colorado Area Health Education Center, University of Colorado, Denver - College of Nursing, Mesa State College School of Nursing, Colorado Community College System, Satori Edu/Knowledge Factor and Sphereit.
The 2010 grant cycle marks the final competitive cycle of this $12 million investment by PIN which has funded partnerships of up to $250,000 each. During the program’s first four years, 88 foundation partners in 32 states established more than 300 local partnerships among nursing organizations, private and public funders and workforce development boards to address the nursing and nurse faculty shortage. The new partners will bring the total number of private philanthropic organizations contributing to the solutions to nearly 100, and expands the number of states represented to 37.
“We know that the overall number of nurses in the U.S. is growing, but there are many issues that need to be addressed in order to create the nursing workforce we need for the future,” said Judith Woodruff, J.D., director of workforce development at the Northwest Health Foundation and program director for Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future. “Investment by local philanthropy is essential for communities to come together to deal with challenges unique to their region or state.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. www.rwjf.org.
Founded in 1997, Northwest Health Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that seeks to advance, support, and promote the health of the people of Oregon and southwest Washington. We achieve our mission through a variety of means, including grantmaking, technical assistance and training, convening, commissioning research, and supporting policy advocacy. See www.nwhf.org.
The Caring for Colorado Foundation is a health grantmaker making health and accessible health care more of a reality for people in Colorado every day through targeted grants that provide measurable health improvements. Celebrating ten years of grantmaking statewide, CFC puts dollars to work to build health care capacity, strengthen existing health care systems and link people to care. See www.caringforcolorado.org.