Group Health Foundation’s Work

 

Group Health Foundation improves health outcomes in Washington state through four primary initiatives: Childhood Immunization Initiative, Partnership for Innovation, Group Health Network, and Scholarships.

Childhood Immunization Initiative

The Childhood Immunization Initiative improves vaccination rates in Washington by increasing access to immunizations and developing educational tools for parents and providers. Our efforts protect children from diseases, such as polio, chickenpox, whooping cough, and cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Since 2008, GHF has given nearly $5 million to organizations and public health jurisdictions across the state to support childhood immunizations. We also bring grantees together to share best practices.

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Childhood Immunization Initiative grants include:

  • Understanding Parental Hesitancy: Parents’ decisions about immunizing their children are often influenced by the media, the medical community, society, and their peers. This research sought to better understand how parents make the decision to delay or skip vaccinations.
  • Boost HPV Immunization Rates: Grants were awarded to organizations to test a variety of ways to address low HPV immunization rates. Grantees are coming together to share their progress and results, as well as learn from each other through a statewide HPV Task Force.
  • Immunizations for Children with Special Needs: Sometimes vaccinations take a back seat when children have significant health challenges. This grant allowed a nonprofit to add vaccinations to the services it offers to parents of children with special health needs.
  • Peer Training: Members of Seattle’s Somali population received training to become informal health educators, providing culturally-relevant chronic disease management and mental health and immunization information to others in their community.

Partnership for Innovation

Group Health Foundation knows frontline clinical teams are often in the best position to identify innovations that improve care and patient satisfaction, while reducing costs. The Partnership for Innovation is a collaboration of medical and business leadership, patient-facing medical and clinical staff, and GHF donors. In the past, these innovation funds were exclusive to Group Health, but with Group Health’s acquisition by Kaiser Permanente, we are opening this program to all clinical practices with innovative ideas to improve patient care.

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Partnership for Innovation projects include:

  • Pharmacy Cooperative Care: Synchronize the refills for patients taking multiple chronic medications to make ordering easier and improve the likelihood that they will take them as directed.
  • Health Outcomes Survey: Better understand senior patients’ mental and physical health and level of physical activity, and address their concerns about balance or falling.
  • Home Health Fall Prevention: Evaluate the implementation and results of Otago, a year-long program that reduces falls by providing progressive strength and balance exercises.
  • Community Resource Specialist (CRS) Pilot Extension and Evaluation: Extend support of Community Resource Specialist roles in the Rainier Valley and Puyallup, linking patients to the community resources they need to improve their health.
  • Shared Decision Making for Orthopedics Patients: Pilot to improve the shared decision making conversations between physicians and patients.

Group Health Network

To carry on the spirit of Group Health, GHF is creating the Group Health Network, a new program to engage donors through educational, social, and participatory activities. This new program is being piloted in Spokane. Join the Network.

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Educational: To be part of the Group Health vision means to have a drive to learn. We will host learning events that give network members information and tools to improve health and wellness for themselves and their communities.

Social: Group Health has always seen being social as part of the path to good health. We believe that by living in and supporting communities, we are stronger, smarter, and more resilient. We will plan activities for members to connect, share the work they are doing, and learn from each other.

Participatory: One of the pillars of Group Health is that consumers participate in the decisions that impact care. The Group Health Network brings that same philosophy to philanthropy. By joining the network, you can support your community’s health through local grant making. The Group Health Network will have local grant committees that seek proposals from the community. We will organize opportunities for volunteering, raising funds, and advocating to create healthier communities.

Scholarships

Group Health Foundation donors recognize the need to support future health care providers, and do so through our scholarships fund. GHF scholarships support individuals in becoming trained health care professionals seeking to care for others with expertise and compassion. Go to theWashBoard.org  and search for “GHF” to learn more about available scholarships.