Swift Factory renovation underway in Hartford, CT

A recent article in The Hartfourd Courant details the $34M renovation underway, led by Community Solutions. Set to be completed by the end of 2019, the food business and incubator project is expected to create 150 permanent jobs.

Community Solutions decided to focus on food because the nonprofit believed a job path for local residents existed in that industry. The creation of entry-level jobs was critical in a neighborhood where the high-school graduation rate is just 35 percent for residents 25 and older, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census.

Update: Improving access to healthy foods on Navajo Nation

Partners In Health published a blog post, Eating Well: Grocery Program Takes Off in the Navajo Nation, which details progress that the COPE team has made in building partnerships with health care providers and local stores to increase access to fruits and vegetables. The Rx Foundation provided early funding for the vouchers used in the FVRx program.

All told, 1,688 people have benefited from FVRx food vouchers and education. Fully 85 percent of them have met the goal of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. And after six months, almost a third of children who were initially overweight met the criteria for healthy weight. Prescriptions can now be filled in 26 grocery stores and trading posts. And 15 health clinics have adopted the FVRx program, from north to south, east to west.

Grant Opportunity: The Donaghue Foundation Greater Value Portfolio 2018

The Donaghue Foundation announces its 2018 Greater Value Portfolio grant program that will fund research projects for two years with a maximum amount of $400,000 per award for the purpose of advancing promising approaches to achieve a higher value healthcare system. The goal of this program is to test approaches and tools that organizations can readily use to improve the value of the healthcare they provide to their patients and communities.For 2018, the Greater Value Portfolio program will place greater emphasis on research that is closely linked to ongoing improvement initiatives that are geared to achieving greater healthcare value in healthcare organizations.The deadline for letters of intent is May 3, 2018.

The Rx Foundation and The Donaghue Foundation are co-funding a recipient of the 2016  Greater Value Portfolio grant program.

IHI on Improving Health Equity: 5 Guiding Principles for Health Care Leaders

The IHI-led Pursuing Equity Initiative, supported in part by the Rx Foundation, has developed five guiding principles for health care executives who are leading their organizations in working toward equity. The authors of this blog post write:

“Attaining health equity is an eye-opening and often difficult pursuit. If leaders do the hard work necessary to eliminate inequities, they will inevitably face hard questions and choices, have their assumptions challenged, and experience many uncomfortable situations. But if we’re serious about providing the best care to all our patients, then we must also be serious about providing all our patients — regardless of their social position or other socially determined circumstance — with the opportunity to attain their full health potential. That is the very definition of health equity.”

New qualitative analysis from the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs

The Delivery Decisions Initiative team at Ariadne Labs published a new paper in the journal Birth. Common challenges managing bed and staff availability on labor and delivery units in the United States: A qualitative analysis, analyzes interviews with nurse and physician managers from labor and delivery units, and identifies common challenges related to patient flow and nurse staffing. They describe management practices that are more/less proactive and systematic, and observe that “…units with both proactive and systematic practices appeared best positioned to effectively manage limited beds and staffing.”

The Global Health Delivery Project publishes concept note on Community Health Workers

Summarizing and building on the GHDonline expert panel on the subject of Strengthening and Scaling the Community Health Workforce, The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University has published a Community Health Workers Concept Note.


Community health workers (CHWs)—lay people who engage in efforts to improve the health of their communities—have been proposed as a way to fill the global health human resource gap by extending services to hard-to-reach populations in remote areas. This concept note provides a brief history of CHWs, considers issues in CHW program design, and outlines future directions for research and funding.

Learning objectives: This concept note aims to further students’ and instructors’ understanding of community health workers presented in the Cases in Global Health Delivery collection.

IHS blog: Supporting Those Who Care For Elders With Dementia

Dr. Bruce Finke, Elder Health Consultant with the Indian Health Service, discusses the Rx Foundation funded REACH into Indian Country initiative in his November 2017 blog post for National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

We don’t know exactly how many older American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people have the slowly progressing memory problems and difficulties in activities of daily living that we know as dementia, but we do know that in every Tribal community there are people with dementia and family members and others caring for them. High rates of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury and the aging of the AI/AN population likely add to the burden of dementia in AI/AN communities. Health professionals working in Indian Country tell us that in AI/AN communities, as in the U.S. population as a whole, dementia is often not recognized and when it is recognized it is often more advanced.

Dr. Finke discusses the IHS partnership with the Memphis Caregiver Center at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center to provide training and resources to public health nurses, community health representatives and other support staff in more than 50 communities. Once trained, staff can become certified Caregiver Coaches, with skills and tools to support family members who are caring for elders with demential.

Care for the caregiver is one of the most effective and important treatments available for persons living with dementia. With REACH into Indian Country, the IHS is working to bring that treatment to every tribal community. Click here for more information on REACH into Indian Country  .


Human Dx profile in JAMA January 2018

Rx Foundation partner Dr. Shantanu Nundy and the Human Diagnosis Project were recently profiled in JAMA, highlighting their efforts to empower the global medical community by combining the collective intelligence of doctors with machine learning.

In 2017, the Human Diagnosis Project launched the Human Dx Alliance for the Underserved, a partnership of many of the nation’s top medical societies, institutions, and boards dedicated specifically to expanding physician access for those who cannot afford it. The Alliance includes the American Medical Association, National Association of Community Health Centers, and the American Board of Internal Medicine, among others. The group intends to help close the specialty care gap by building a national electronic consult (eConsult) service where U.S. safety net physicians can get the information they need from specialists to provide the best care for their patients. Read more about this effort in the AtlanticScientific American, and Wired.

New Paper from the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs

Lead author Avery Plough, senior author Dr. Neel Shah, and an exceptional team of co-authors recently published their findings on the Relationship Between Labor and Delivery Unit Management Practices and Maternal Outcomes in Obstetrics & Gynecology (also known as the Green Journal). As described in this press release, the results of interviewing 118 nurse and physician managers at 53 hospitals around the United States about the management of labor and delivery floors are complex. Their study is the first to link management of unit culture, nursing, and patient flow to maternal health outcomes, including cesarean deliveries.

The Rx Foundation supported this work with a grant to Ariadne Labs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.