Over the years, the Hartford Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation have rarely co-funded projects. But in every sense of the word, they are partners with a shared vision for improving health care for older adults.

Underscoring the value of networking and relationships, the two staffers who have helmed Reynolds’ health care program through the years—Richard S. Sharpe, retired, and Rani E. Snyder, PhD—are both former Hartford employees.

Fact: The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation programs have generated nearly $150 million in support for comprehensive projects in academic health centers to train medical students, residents, and faculty in geriatrics.

Through coordination, communication, and collaboration, Hartford and Reynolds have “interacted and made sure our work is complementary,” Ms. Snyder says. The two foundations have accomplished that, she says, by “avoiding duplication and making sure that we are aligned in appropriate ways that will really magnify the results of our various grantmaking strategies and the individual grants themselves.”

In April 2000, Reynolds—building on work Hartford had done through its American Association of Medical Colleges curriculum project and its Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine—launched a major initiative to strengthen geriatrics training for medical students, residents, and practicing physicians in academic health centers. Over the next decade, the program generated nearly $150 million for geriatrics training at 40 different schools. This includes Reynolds’ contribution and $40 million that schools themselves provided as part of the program’s matching requirement.

“I think their work represents an important contribution to the transformation of academic health centers and academic medicine in particular,” says Hartford program director Dr. Langston.

Reynolds has also worked closely with Hartford on other projects, including establishing a center of geriatric nursing excellence at the University of Oklahoma. And most recently, Reynolds has awarded almost $20 million in grants to 20 of the grantees from its original geriatrics training program to pursue ideas that Hartford has long nurtured: interprofessional education in geriatrics and infusion of geriatric expertise into the surgical and medical specialties that often predominantly care for older adults, but without much aging consciousness.

“As far as the aging program goes, we really consider Hartford to be sort of our sister foundation,” Ms. Snyder says.

We—the Reynolds Foundation—came around to the same place that Hartford had been at for some time in terms of recognizing that the best way to support geriatrics was to support these various programs at different schools. In our case, we really focused on education, but that dovetailed with Hartford having funded a number of programs more upstream. Then we were able to come in and build on those with some of the Reynolds grants to really go from funding geriatrics to funding geriatrics education for all physicians, beyond just geriatricians.” Rani E. Snyder, PhD
Program Director
Health Care Programs
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

Funding from the Reynolds Foundation has strengthened geriatrics training across the country and enabled physicians, both future and practicing, to provide high quality, safe care for the geriatric patients they will encounter throughout their careers.

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