The press release is reprinted below. Contact Barbara Lambiaso (617) 402-5023 for more information.
Greater Boston Unites to Transform Healthcare
Region selected by premier healthcare foundation to create substantive change for quality and delivery
Boston, MA, June 15, 2009. A coalition of organizations representing healthcare stakeholders throughout Greater Boston has been selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to participate in a planning grant to become part of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative. AF4Q is the Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of healthcare in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform.
The Boston-area coalition, that includes consumers, providers, payers, employers, and local government representatives, has been awarded a six-month planning grant of $200,000 to develop a plan of action to better align efforts and create concrete and long-lasting systems change that have an impact on the way care is provided, received, and paid for in the region. More than 35 Boston-area organizations, representing the breadth of the region’s healthcare stakeholders, have committed to the Greater Boston AF4Q planning initiative, showing a groundswell of support for this opportunity.
“Healthcare reform in Massachusetts has created a new environment and level of commitment among stakeholders to work together to preserve and enhance the gains brought by this universal coverage,” says Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaiken Professor of National Health Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and chair of the Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative (EMHI) Executive Committee. Altman, who co-chairs the Greater Boston Aligning Forces Initiative, adds, “There is widespread support for using the opportunity AF4Q provides to demonstrate the sustainability of healthcare reform.”
“Greater Boston is primed to take great advantage of this opportunity,” says Barbra Rabson, executive director of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) and co-chair for the Greater Boston Aligning Forces Initiative. “Healthcare reform, combined with a rich tradition of collaboration and huge reservoirs of talent and expertise, positions Greater Boston on the brink of healthcare transformation. The Aligning Forces initiative offers a framework for focusing our efforts meet this potential.”
Through a competitive process, Greater Boston was identified as a community best positioned to make fundamental and cutting edge changes to rebuild its healthcare system. Over the next six months, the Greater Boston community will establish a roadmap for developing key programmatic areas identified by RWJF. The AF4Q initiative takes specific actions to improve the quality of healthcare in communities including: • Helping physicians improve the quality of their care • Encouraging people to become better partners with their doctors • Improving care inside hospitals, with special focus on the role nurses play • Reducing inequality in the care for patients of different races and ethnicities
AF4Q, a long-term, comprehensive effort to improve the quality of care in communities, is the signature program in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $300 million commitment to improve the quality of U.S. healthcare. The program recognizes that though healthcare quality is a national problem, healthcare is delivered locally and fixing it requires local action. To date, RWJF has invested in 15 regions across the nation, including Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Humboldt County (CA), Kansas City (MO), Maine, Memphis, Minnesota, Puget Sound (WA), South Central Pennsylvania, West Michigan, Western New York, Willamette Valley (OR) and Wisconsin. Greater Boston healthcare stakeholders are working together to build and deliver a compelling proposal to become one of the next AF4Q communities. ——-
About Greater Boston Aligning Forces for Quality Initiative
The Greater Boston Aligning Forces for Quality (Boston AF4Q) initiative is a multi-stakeholder collaborative with a mission to create substantive change and improvement in our region’s healthcare system. Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) and the Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative (EMHI) are partnering to spearhead this effort. MHQP, the operational home for the planning grant, is a non-profit, broad-based collaborative that has been collecting and reporting on healthcare quality information for providers and the public since 1995. EMHI is a collaborative of hospitals, health plans, and universities with the shared vision for creating a high performance healthcare system for the region. The following 35+ organizations represent the broad range of stakeholders coming together to develop a transformative approach that will reduce disparities in care and improve the quality of care for residents of Greater Boston.
Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Boston Medical Center Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan Boston Public Health Commission Cambridge Health Alliance Children’s Hospital Boston Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative (EMHI) Employers’ Action Coalition on Healthcare (EACH) Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Harvard University Health Care for All Institute for Nursing Healthcare Leadership, Inc. Lahey Clinic Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors Massachusetts Consortium for Children with Special Healthcare Needs Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) MHQP Physician Council Massachusetts Health Data Consortium Massachusetts Hospital Association Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Massachusetts Medical Society Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives Masspro Mount Auburn Hospital Neighborhood Health Plan Network Health Partners Healthcare Partnership for Healthcare Excellence Tufts Health Plan Tufts Medical Center Tufts University Winchester Hospital