Amanda Brewster, PhD and Thomas H. Gallagher, MD

Recent Awards

“Effective Partnership Strategies in High Performing Area Agencies on Aging”

Amanda Brewster, PhD; University of California, Berkeley
$40,000 for two years Award was made in partnership with The Retirement Research Foundation

Donaghue is providing a two-year $40,000 award to Amanda Brewster, PhD, Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. This award is being made in conjunction with The Retirement Research Foundation, which is awarding an additional $246,758 for the same research study on “Effective Partnership Strategies in High Performing Area Agencies on Aging.” The Retirement Research Foundation funds advocacy, direct service, professional education and training, and research that will provide innovative solutions that improve the quality of lives for older Americans.

Services addressing social and behavioral determinants of health are associated with improved health outcomes and reductions in health care costs for older adults. Early research by Brewster and her colleagues at Yale University, including Leslie Curry, PhD, suggests that patterns of collaboration among the distinct organizations providing health care and social services within a community may be related to health outcomes and that Area Agencies on Aging often serve as brokers in these networks. AAAs — 622 local agencies that fund, provide, and coordinate social services for older adults and, in many cases, people with disabilities in communities across the U.S. — may be ideally positioned to lead the establishment and enhancement of relationships among health care and social services organizations.

The two project objectives are to 1) understand how highly partnered AAAs in regions with low levels of avoidable health care utilization for older adults establish and maintain partners in health care and other sectors and 2) understand how such partnerships are catalyzed, developed and sustained.

The Donaghue component of this project is focused on supporting knowledge translation and practical dissemination activities, such as transforming project findings into action-oriented tools and resources for Area Agencies on Aging and other community based organizations and developing training curricula that will help these organization take action and develop new or strengthen existing partnerships in their communities.

The study, based at the Global Health Leadership Initiative at the Yale School of Public Health, is a c ollaborative project among diverse partners with complementary roles. The multi-site team is ideally positioned to accomplish both generation of rigorous scientific evidence and high impact national dissemination, and includes researchers from Yale, Berkeley and Miami University/Scripps Gerontology Center; the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and its Aging and Disability Business Institute; and an expert advisory panel.

“Promoting Safety by Adopting CANDOR to Long-Term Care Settings”

Thomas H. Gallagher, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington
Stakeholder organization: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Healthcare institutions have struggled to respond to harm events. Fortunately, a revolution is taking place with the development of communication and resolution programs (CRPs), which offer a principled, comprehensive, and systematic response to adverse events. More than two hundred healthcare organizations have begun CRP implementation and are seeing impressive results. However, CRPs have not yet been adapted for nursing homes and other facilities providing long term care, a significant shortcoming given that these settings are fundamentally different from acute care in ways that can pose challenges to responding effectively when something goes wrong. Therefore, this study will examine existing data regarding patient safety from three facilities providing care to older adults and use the results to adapt the CRP approach to other similar facilities. Specific CRP training will then be provided to these three facilities and prepared for widespread dissemination. The project involves a partnership between the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement (CAI), a national organization of CRP experts working to promote the spread of CRPs, and Arthur J. Gallagher (no relation to the PI), one of the largest insurance brokers in the nation with over 100 eldercare facilities as clients. Together this team constitutes the ideal group to adapt CRPs to the long-term care facilities, pilot test this specific CRP training model, and prepare for widespread dissemination.