July 2008

Grant Results


The Alliance for Aging Research conceptualized, organized and laid the groundwork for a blue ribbon commission holding hearings throughout the United States to:

  • Increase awareness about the growing challenges posed by an aging U.S. population and the growing incidence and impact of chronic diseases and disabilities associated with aging.
  • Identify key quality improvement strategies for chronic and geriatric care including prevention, health care systems coordination and investment in systematic training of health care professionals.

Key Results
The Alliance for Aging Research:

  • Established a steering committee for the proposed blue ribbon commission. (See Appendix 1 for a list of members.) The steering committee, composed of medical educators, providers, consumer groups and health professionals, met regularly to develop the vision and strategy for the blue ribbon commission and completed a proposal outlining the rationale, goals, objectives, expected outcomes and resource needs.
  • Conducted a comprehensive environmental scan of related health care reform activities. Project staff created an 18-page grid summarizing nearly 100 initiatives by coalitions, foundations, professional societies, the health care industry, not-for-profit groups and government agencies. The steering committee used the results of this research to inform its deliberations about the rationale, goals, objectives and expected outcome of the proposed commission.
  • Secured written endorsements and commitments to participate in the commission from more than 30 major stakeholder organizations. These included AARP, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Heart Association and Service Employees International Union. (See Appendix 2.)
  • Convened organizations and stakeholders in Washington, D.C., in December 2006 to refine priorities, goals and strategies for improving the care for the oldest and most disabled Americans. Refinement in the objectives of the commission were agreed on, including a focus on most vulnerable and geriatric patient populations. Officers of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality joined endorsers committed to launching the commission.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $44,203 from January 2006 to December 2006 to support organizing and advancing this proposal.

After the Grant
Despite outreach to a number of foundations, the Alliance for Aging Research has not received additional funding to launch the commission nor implement its work plan.

In March 2007, the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans convened a "Workshop on the Health Care Needs of Older Americans." The initiative was partially supported by an RWJF grant (ID# 057803).

In April 2008, the IOM committee released its report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. (Available online.) The report outlines many of the issues and recommendations for policy change that a blue ribbon-type commission would have taken before national audiences.

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Creating a Blue Ribbon Commission to Address the Health Care Challenge of the Growing Senior Population and Lack of Trained Care Providers


Alliance for Aging Research (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 44,203
    Dates: January 2006 to December 2006
    ID#:  056240


Deborah Zeldow, M.B.A.
(202) 293-2856

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Appendix 1

Steering Committee for Proposed Blue Ribbon Commission to Bring Sustained National Attention to the Health Care Challenge of an Aging America

Patricia P. Barry, M.D., M.P.H.
American College of Physicians
Health and Public Policy Committee
Adjunct Professor of Clinical Internal Medecine
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk, Va.

Marie A. Bernard, M.D.
Professor and Chair
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Claudia J. Beverly, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Arkansas John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
Arkansas Aging Initiative
Little Rock, Ark.

Honorable John B. Breaux
Senior Counsel
Patton Boggs
Washington, D.C.

Robert N. Butler, M.D.
President and CEO
International Longevity Center
New York, N.Y.

Richard D. Della Penna, M.D.
Kaiser Permanente Aging Network
San Diego, Calif.

Linda Fried, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Medicine and Director
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, Md.

Jeffrey P. Harris, M.D.
American College of Physicians
Health and Public Policy Committee
Philadelphia, Pa.

William R. Hazzard, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Geriatrics and Extended Care
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Seattle, Wash.

Seth Landefeld, M.D.
Professor and Chief
Geriatrics Division
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
San Francisco, Calif.

Christopher Langston
Program Executive
The Atlantic Philanthropies
New York, N.Y.

Daniel Perry
Executive Director
Alliance for Aging Research
Washington, D.C.

Peter Reinecke
Reinecke Strategic Solutions
Washington, D.C.

David B. Reuben, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.

Steve Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.
Departments of Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Community Health
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Va.

Appendix 2

Supporters of Proposed Blue Ribbon Commission to Bring Sustained National Attention to the Health Care Challenge of an Aging America

Washington, D.C.

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
Pitman, N.J.

American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
Bethesda, Md.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Aliso Viejo, Calif.

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Park Ridge, Ill.

American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses
Jackson Heights, N.Y.

American Chronic Pain Association
Rocklin, Calif.

American College of Physicians
Philadelphia, Pa.

American Dental Association
Chicago, Ill.

American Heart Association
Dallas, Texas

American Medical Directors Association
Columbia, Md.

American Nurses Association
Silver Spring, Md.

American Physical Therapy Association
Alexandria, Va.

American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C.

American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses
San Francisco, Calif.

Assisted Living Federation of America
Alexandria, Va.

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
Washington, D.C.

Emergency Nurses Association
Des Plaines, Ill.

Health Ministries Association
Philadelphia, Pa.

International Eye Foundation
Kensington, Md.

International Longevity Center
New York, N.Y.

National Association of Community Health Centers
Bethesda, Md.

National Mental Health Association (now called Mental Health America)
Alexandria, Va.

National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C.

National Student Nurses Association
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Oncology Nursing Society
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
Bronx, N.Y.

Service Employees International Union
Washington, D.C.

Society for Women's Health Research
Washington, D.C.

The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing
New York University College of Nursing
New York, N.Y.

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
Madison, Wis.

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Report prepared by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Sallie Anne George