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$250,000 | 36 months
American Federation for Aging Research, Inc. (AFAR)
Stephanie Lederman
"The Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program for 2001 and 2002"
This program provides a variety of experiences in geriatrics to selected medical students in the New York metropolitan area, encouraging them to consider careers in academic geriatrics. It offers short-term geriatric educational opportunities to medical students (most occur in the summer between first and second year). This program awards geriatric research fellowships to selected medical students in the New York City Metropolitan area. Rather than create a new program, the Samuels Foundation joined an existing national program supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and was able to increase the number of New York area fellows to twenty.

$35,000 | 12 months
Beth Israel Medical Center
Jason A. Staal, PsyD
AEffects of Sound-field Amplification to Improve Attending Behaviors and Task Performance of Dementia Patients during an Occupational Therapy Activity: Bingo@

This pilot study will see if patients with dementia appear to be less distractible and better able to concentrate on tasks, such as playing Bingo, when a sound-field system is used. Specific goals of the project are to determine whether sound amplification will:

  • Improve dementia patients' ability to follow directions and pay attention;
  • Reduce patients' inappropriate behavioral responses;
  • Have an impact on task performance, in this case following the Bingo game; and
  • Determine whether there is a decrease in confusion or agitation during the game.


$110,000 | 12 months
Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Inc. (CHS)*
Eva Eng
"Moving Palliative Care Upstream: Integrating Palliative Care Perspectives into the Ethos and Norms of Faith-Based Communities to Enhance Quality of Life"

Parish leadership have been invited to embrace and become champions for palliative care, thereby using the inherent, formal and informal leaders in the parishes to create a high profile for palliative care and to heighten community awareness. The initiative represents the first formal collaborative effort between Catholic Health Services, Good Samaritan Hospice, the Diocese and the 18 Catholic parishes.

$50,000 | 12 months
Center for Growing and Becoming
William H. Thomas, MD
"The Green House Project"
This is grant provides supplemental funding for a planning grant for a project that seeks to develop a new type of long term care (LTC) setting that is safe, financially sustainable, and provides a high quality of life not only for residents but also for workers. This new model, "the Greenhouse" will be a smaller more residential environment with advanced technology to further quality, safety and economic operation. The planning phase will include the development of the conceptual framework for the Greenhouse
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$433,000 | 30 months
Columbia University in the City of New York
Rita Charon, MD, PhD
"The Parallel Chart: A Method for Teaching Narrative Medicine" Part II
This project will examine how using the Parallel Chart (PC) helped medical students learn to be more reflective in their practice and empathetic to their patients. It will also engage in a dissemination effort for the PC. The Foundation funded the first phase of this project, which showed that this narrative method was effective for training medical school students to provide compassionate care. The next phase of the project will include a rigorous examination of the narrative texts generated by the first phase of this project - what students wrote in their parallel charts, what they said in open-ended interviews detailing their experiences in clinical training and their written evaluations about their use of the PC process. By submitting these texts to detailed ethnographic and narrative analysis the team will unearth not only evidence of how the narrative writing helped these particular students, but will also show what happened.


$92,000 | 12 months
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH)
Sarena D. Seifer, MD
"Evaluation of New York Academy of Medicine's (NYAM) Urban Health Initiative (UHI)"
The Foundation has been funding the UHI, a program which fosters volunteerism and helps organize community service activities for medical school students at the region's ten medical schools (see detailed write-up under 2000 grants) since 1993 and has recently extended its funding until 2003. An evaluation of UHI should provide answers not only to questions about whether or not it is meeting its goals, but also to discover how it is functioning and which aspects of the program most influence its successes or failures. Having such explanatory information will enable the NYAM to improve the program and may make a compelling case to the region's medical schools as to the importance of helping to sustain it after this grant period ends. Additionally it will facilitate replication of the program around the country.

CCPH is a nonprofit organization that fosters partnerships between communities and educational institutions that improve health professions education, civic responsibility and the overall health of communities. They have a network of over 1000 communities, health professional schools, colleges and universities that are collaborating to improve health.

$150,000 | 12 months
Cornell University - Weill Medical College
Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP
"Integrating Palliative Care Into Hospital Practice:The Goals of Care Assessment Tool (GCAT)"
This is the first phase of a two-part effort that seeks to develop a means whereby physicians can learn how to appropriately set goals of care for patients whose conditions no longer respond to nor warrant curative treatments. The GCAT, developed by Dr. Fins, was the outgrowth of an analysis of 200 consecutive deaths at New York Hospital. It is a process-oriented, goal-setting instrument that will help clinicians to recognize when death is near and plan more timely and comprehensive end-of-life care strategies with patients and their families.

$150,000 | 12 months
Cornell University - Weill Medical College
Alvin Mushlin, MD
"This grant supports the first year of a three-year project that seeks to bridge the gap between ethical theory and clinical practice by providing part-time support for an "internship" for practicing physicians to be more formally trained in medical ethics and to eventually build the capacity of the Division of Bioethics to better serve the patients of the New York Hospital Health System. Through conferences and bedside mentoring this program is designed to insure that elderly patients have access to doctors trained in clinical ethics to help them and their families with critical healthcare decisions. This grant funds the first year of the project, funding for years two and three will be contingent on the project's ability to successfully meet its interim objectives. Total expected costs for the entire three years would be $640,000


$99,900 | 24 months
DeltaQuest Foundation*
Carolyn Schwartz, ScD, Ira Byock, MD, Melanie Merriman, PhD
"Clinical Tools for Delivering Multidimensional Palliative Care"
This team will develop, validate, and disseminate a revised version of two existing clinical tools that facilitate shared medical decision-making and patient-centered palliative care. These tools, the revised Missoula-VITAS Quality of Life Index and the PrefMap, are designed to collect quality of life and treatment preference information respectively. Together, the tools will provide clinicians with patient-generated information as a basis for communication about treatment preferences and value-based care.

$4,000 | 12 months
Fordham University
Irene A. Gutheil, DSW
"Strengthening the Role of the Healthcare Agent: Second Printing of STEP Replication Guide"
The original grant funded supports a collaboration between the Ravazzin Center for Social Work Research in Aging and Aging in America senior centers to develop, implement and evaluate structured group discussions for seniors, educating them about health care agency prior to a health care crisis. The final product includes a detailed protocol, Start Talking Early and Plan (STEP), that can be used to replicate the project elsewhere. They originally printed 500 copies of the STEP replication guide, and most of those have been distributed. This grant funds the production of 1000 additional STEP guides.

$5,000 | 3 months
Foundation for Long Term Care, Inc. (FLTC)
Carol R. Hegeman, MPH
"The Effects of a Peer Mentoring Program on Nursing Home Aides" - Planning grant. This was a planning grant for the project below.

$291,000 | 36 months
Foundation for Long Term Care, Inc. (FLTC)
Carol R. Hegeman, MPH
"The Effects of Peer Mentors on Nursing Home Aides"
Attracting and retaining adequate numbers of qualified nurses and CNAs in long term care is becoming a national problem of catastrophic proportion. The turnover rate in New York State is 42-83% (nationally its 105%). Such a workforce shortage severely affects the quality of care and life offered to nursing home (NH) residents. This project is designed to test the concept of peer mentoring to help decrease turnover. In the FLTC model, the mentor acquaints the novice with the customs, resources and values of the organization in addition to the usual operational practices. In other words the new CNA receives personalized support and insight into the new job, organizational culture, and people at work. Such personalized mentoring programs have been demonstrated to lower turnover rates dramatically. The overall objectives of the project are to develop a training model based on the "best of the best" of peer mentoring programs across the country and to evaluate this intervention in fourteen NHs in New York State in terms of costs, feasibility and outcomes.


$83,300 | 12 months
Highbridge Community Life Center, Inc. (HCLC)*
MaryBeth Ryan
"Community Health Initiative for Palliation (CHIP)"
This project will look at the feasibility and plan for a neighborhood health initiative to empower chronically ill poor people to access the palliative care they need earlier and more consistently in the progression of their disease. The objectives of the initiative include training nurses aides who live in the neighborhood to become community health activists who can provide individual education, support, coaching and advocacy for their chronically ill neighbors. It will provide graduates of HCLC's existing Nurse Aide Training Program with classroom training and clinical experience in palliative care. HCLC will also provide respite, peer support and education about palliative care for caregivers of minority, underprivileged and isolated chronically ill patients.


$197,300 | 24 months
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation*
Jeanne Martinez, RN, MPH and Eileen Chichin, PhD, RN
"Palliative Care Certification for Nursing Assistants"
This program will develop and promote a certification process for Nursing Assistants (NAs) that advances quality in providing palliative care. The major project outcomes will be a valid, reliable and legally defensible scope of practice, a set of core competencies, and a certification exam based on identification of the major tasks and assessment of the role of the NA in a palliative care setting. Since NAs are the largest population of caregivers in long-term and other palliative care settings, this project will extend on a national level to a vast and important group.

$114,700 | 24 months
Hospital League/1199 Training and Upgrading Fund*
Judy Chicurel
"Incorporating Palliative Care into the Treatment Design in a Nursing Home Facility"
In collaboration with Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY), a model will be developed to educate NAs to deliver palliative care to nursing home residents who suffer from chronic diseases. Additionally, 1199 will work with a selected nursing home(s) (through their Labor/Management project) to create an institutional environment, which will allow the NAs to use the palliative care support skills they have acquired.


$150,000 | 12 months
Hunter College Foundation, Inc.
Anne Bastings, PhD
"The TimeSlips Project"
The TimeSlips model engages Alzheimer's Disease patients to participate in creative story telling. The goal of this phase of the project is to test the ability of the TimeSlips model to enable clinical dementia care workers, families, members of the arts community, and the general public to mine the remaining capacity for creativity among people with Alzheimer's Disease. The model will be disseminated via educational seminars, performances of a play based on stories developed using the TimeSlips model. For further description of the program, see the TimeSlips website at www.timeslips.org.


$120,000 | 12 months
Institute for Applied Gerontology, Inc. (IAG)
Corinne M. Kay Kyriacou, PhD
"Identifying Mental Health Disorders Among Elderly Primary Care Patients"
The goals of this project are to examine two health plans, with different delivery systems, for variations in screening and assessment of mental health disorders; and to assess the strengths and limitations of using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) in general practice to screen for emotional disorders among older patients. The insights gained will be distilled and provided to physicians and health plans that integrate the PHQ into their primary care practices.

$98,100 | 12 months
Institute for Applied Gerontology, Inc. (IAG)*
Dennis Kodner, PhD and Corinne M. Kay Kyriacou, PhD
"Performance Based Palliative Care Education in the Nursing Home: Closing the Gap Between Knowing and Practicing"
This project will evaluate the impact of an experiential educational model on changing nursing home staff practices, attitudes, and knowledge related to palliative care. IAG will develop an educational program for professionals by reviewing existing literature and established curriculum on palliative and end-of-life care to improve the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs about palliative care among nursing home staff. A subsequent goal is to then translate the changes in attitudes, knowledge and beliefs into changes in practice patterns, such that the delivery of palliative care so it is used earlier in a patient's illness.


$100,000 | 12 months
The Institute for Palliative & Hospice Training Inc.*
Mary Hamil Parker, PhD
"Testing and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Palliative Care Training for Paraprofessionals"
This project will evaluate and validate the effectiveness of a specialized training program in palliative care for paraprofessionals and other caregivers in a broad spectrum of community care and long term care settings. By teaching these caregivers to effectively observe and report the care needs of people with chronic or terminal disease, the training will improve the quality of life and quality of palliative care for these patients.


$150,000 | 24 months
The Life Institute with Partnership for Caring
Daniel R. Tobin, MD
"Finding Our Way: Living and Dying in America"
This four-part project explores the complex issues that face seriously ill Americans, their caregivers, and our communities. It is designed to provide information, insights, and tools needed to create better ways of caring for dying people and their caregivers. The component parts are: 1) a 15-week series of newspaper articles containing state of the art information from national leaders in medical, social, spiritual and cultural aspects of death and dying; 2) a promotional campaign by a network of almost 700 national and local organizations and community coalitions; 3) development of tie-in activities, such as discussion groups and follow-up stories, on the local level to increase awareness of and enlarge the impact of the newspaper series; 4) writing and publishing a textbook based on an expanded version of the essays in the newspaper series for use in colleges, adult education courses, university extension courses, etc.


Lilith Publications, Inc.
Susan Weidman Schneider
Distribution of 1000 copies of the Fall 2000 issue of Lilith - The Independent Jewish Women's Magazine with a special section on end-of-life care.

$25,000 | 12 months
Midwest Bioethics Center, Inc.
Myra J. Christopher
"Compassionate Options: End-of-Life Care for Nursing Homes Conference, August 2001"
The Midwest Bioethics Center, a nationally respected center on ethics in health care decision-making, held a meeting to convene key stakeholders, including nursing home (NH) regulators, involved with the provision of high quality end-of-life care for residents of NHs. The majority of people admitted to NHs will spend the last days of their lives as residents of the facility. NHs should therefore be expert on state-of-the-art end-of-life care; but lack of staff training, inadequate reimbursement and perceived regulatory barriers hinder the quality of end-of-life care. It is this last problem that is one of the most difficult to overcome. One of the major goals of the conference was to address the reasons for the fear of regulation as it applies to end-of-life care in NHs.


$99,900 | 12 months
National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)*

Gail Gibson Hunt and Jean Murphy, JD
"The Family Caregiver Role in Palliative Care in Long Term Care Settings"
NAC in collaboration with Friends and Relatives of Institutionalized Aged (FRIA) will conduct a series of focus groups of caregivers, doctors and social workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to gather information on palliative care options. They will develop and test various communication media (booklets/CDs/videos) for getting information about palliative care resources to family caregivers and to disseminate the final product to families in New York City, New York State and then nationwide.


$60,000 | 12 months
National Jewish Center for Learning & Leadership (CLAL)

Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner
"A Spiritual Guidebook for Palliative Care from a Jewish Perspective"
This grant supports the development and distribution of a guidebook addressing the spiritual and religious needs of Jewish patients considering or utilizing palliative care. The goal of the guidebook is to shoe how the use of palliative care is consistent with Jewish religious beliefs and to provide a common language to allow chaplains, healthcare providers, caregivers, family members and patients to explore these issues together.


$111,000 | 12 months
New Jersey Institute of Technology Foundation

Richard V. Olsen, PhD
"The Media Memory Lane Dementia Care Unit Demonstration Project"
This demonstration project will install and test two custom designed entertainment units, called Media Memory Lane (MML), in an 80-bed dementia special care unit at Cobble Hill Health Center, a nursing home (NH) in Brooklyn. MML consists of two interactive devices, one which presents nostalgic music, and the other which presents vintage videos. The hope is that MML will keep residents stimulated when there are no planned activities; provide a meaningful activity that residents can do on their own or with only minimum staff assistance with setup; and provide diversions that encourage mutual participation and conversation between NH residents and their visitors.


$125,000 | 16 months
New York University, Division of Nursing*

Ethyl Mitty, EdD, RN
"The Influence of State Regulations and Nurse Practice Acts in Facilitating or Impeding Quality Palliative Care in Assisted Living Facilities"
This project will identify policy, regulatory, legal and contextual facilitators and barriers to the provision of quality palliative care in assisted living facilities. Goals related to this project are to contribute to the policy discourse about venues and services associated with the provision of "upstream" palliative care in assisted living facilities and to provide a source of information for older adults about the breadth and limits of palliative care in assisted living facilities.


$5,000 | 12 months
New York University

Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN
Pilot:"Using the NICHE Eating and Feeding Best Practice Protocol in Long Term Care"
The NICHE protocol was developed to look at eating and feeding of hospitalized patients. This pilot study looks at how NICHE would need to be adapted to be used by nursing home patients.


$49,700 | 12 months
New York University*

Melissa Bottrell, MPH and Mathy Mezey, RN, EdD, FAAN
"The Relationship between Palliative Care Related Deficiency Citations and Personal and Professional Characteristics of State Nursing Home Surveyors"
This project will address the extent to which nursing home (NH) administrators prevent clinical staff from instituting palliative care practices for residents earlier in the course of disease because of fear of surveyor-identified deficiencies. The goals of the project are to: 1) identify what professional and personal aspects of NH surveyors might influence surveyor citation behavior regarding the early introduction of palliative care; and 2) enhance understanding of moral development, ethical decision making and policy decision making around palliative care.


$321,000 | 12 months
Partnership for Caring (PfC)

Karen Orloff Kaplan, MPH, ScD
Grant Coordinating Center
PfC operates a Coordinating Center for two program initiatives for the Samuels Foundation: 1) to strengthen the process of health care agency; and 2) to enhance palliative care for those with severe chronic illness. This grant extends the funding for a second round of grant making in each program area.


$200,000 | 12 months
Partnership for Caring (PfC)

Karen Orloff Kaplan, MPH, ScD
"Strengthening Health Care Agency (HCA1) Leadership Summit Conference"
PfC, with sponsorship from the Foundation, held a Summit on Health Care Agency (the Summit) in Princeton, New Jersey on January 25-27, 2001. Seventy invited experts in end-of-life care and caregiving participated. The goal of the Summit was to develop a blueprint for strengthening the process of health care agency that contained recommendations for research, demonstrations and other initiatives in both policy and practice arenas.

$52,700 | 4 months
RAND Corporation*

Joanne Lynn, MD
"Planning Project for a Regional Collaborative on End-of-Life Care in New York City"
This planning grant was used to adapt the RAND/Institute for Health Improvements, a national model for quality improvement (Breakthrough Series Collaboratives), to a regional level and to lay the groundwork for a collaborative in New York City. Breakthrough Series Collaboratives bring together key stakeholders and experts in a community to discuss and recommend solutions for specific healthcare issues. The focus of the Collaborative in New York City was palliative care for the chronically ill elderly. When the planning was completed, Rand and the United Hospital Fund implemented this project.


$75,000 | 16 months
RAND Corporation

Joanne Lynn, MD
"Identifying Eventually Fatal Chronic Illnesses on Medicare Claims"
This project aims to improve our ability to predict the course of chronic diseases in order to provide patients with more timely, appropriate and humane hospice care. This project uses Medicare claims data to develop a profile of Medicare beneficiaries' costs and use of care in the last year of life. This information would then be used to recommend changes in Medicare financing and coverage.


$64,000 | 6 months
Regents of the University of California

Kenneth E. Rosenfeld, MD
"Evaluating the WIT Educational Initiative"
This grant will evaluate the WIT Educational Initiative, a Samuels Foundation funded project (see 2000 grants), that brings a reading of the play WIT to medical schools across the country as part of a program to heighten sensitivity of doctors to their patients end-of-life needs and to their own behaviors while caring for patients.


$287,000 | 18 months
Research Foundation of City University of New York

Shoshanna Sofaer, DrPH
"Evaluating Mount Sinai's Visiting Doctor Program"
This is a collaborative project between the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Baruch College School of Public Affairs to evaluate the success Mount Sinai's Visiting Doctor Program (VDP) to imbue young physicians with a sense of professionalism. The core of the VDP consists of four faculty members and four nurse practitioners caring for 450 homebound persons, the majority of whom live in Harlem and the Upper East Side. In addition to their caring mission, the program also plays a critical function in the resident training program. The evaluation will not only determine if VDP meets its goals and objectives, but how and why it works, which is critical if replication of VDP in other settings is contemplated.


$341,000 | 24 months
United Hospital Fund

Susan S. Hopper, PhD
"An Evaluation of the Community Oriented Palliative Care Initiative"
This is a multi-faceted evaluation of the six palliative care (PC) networks in New York City, developed with start-up funding from the UHF, called the Community Oriented Palliative Care Initiative (COPCI). UHF provided seed money to six hospitals, through a competitive process, to establish a PC service delivery network composed of themselves plus long-term care providers within their catchment area. Each network was awarded $350,000 over two years to build PC networks. Begun in 2000, the networks represent a major breakthrough in the effort to move PC "upstream" with the goal of identifying patients (and their families) earlier in the course of what will ultimately be a fatal illness. The thought is that earlier identification of patients who would benefit from PC services should permit more sensitive planning of appropriate care.

The evaluation will seek to document and understand the process of creating, adapting, and sustaining a community-based PC network; such information is extremely useful for replication elsewhere. It will also undertake a comprehensive assessment of whether and how these networks' services made a meaningful difference to patients and their families.


$250,000 | 24 months
Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Penny H. Feldman, PhD
"AdvantAge Initiative (formerly Benchmarks)," Phase 2
This is the second or implementation phase of the Benchmark's project (see 1999 grants), a project which seeks to help communities in their efforts to ensure that older, community- dwelling residents maintain independence as long as possible, continue meaningful engagement in community life, and have access to services according to their needs. In this phase, the tool developed in the first phase will be tested in eight cities, towns or counties, including two parts of Manhattan's Upper West Side. The sites chosen are ones that have demonstrated readiness to focus on the issues of aging, undertake the benchmarking process and plan for new initiatives to improve the health and independence of older residents. This project is funded jointly with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Retirement Research Foundation, Archstone Foundation, and Helen Benedict Foundation.


Women's City Club of New York, Inc. (WCC)
Jane McCarthy
"Support for a Conference on Assisted Living"
WCC is a civic organization with an illustrious history in New York City, being one of the first women's organizations formed to enable women to participate in debate and to advocate for issues of public interest. Today they continue the tradition of identifying and researching issues of public concern and of preparing position statements that are shared with policy makers and the public. The February 2001 Assisted Living conference took a consumer oriented approach, providing a forum for exchange of information, a discussion of the issues and an opportunity for questions.

Membership Grants
$2,500 | Grantmakers in Aging

Carol A. Farquhar
Renewal of annual membership.

$8,250 | Grantmakers in Health
Lauren LeRoy, PhD
Renewal of annual membership.

* Notes projects funded as a result of the Palliative Care RFP (request for proposals) program administered by Partnership for Caring for the Foundation's Palliative Care Initiative.

Current Grants
Closed Grants