CWRU School of Nursing awarded $2.56M grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation for age-friendly care program in MinuteClinic at CVS locations

CLEVELAND—Since late 2018, researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and MinuteClinic at CVS locations have jointly shaped a program to enhance care for older adults at the retailer’s pharmacies nationally. 

Now, with a new three-year, $2.56 million grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation, that work will take the next step: The School of Nursing will evaluate improvements in care, economic impact and equity in outcomes of 1.2 million older adults receiving “age-friendly” care at MinuteClinics nationally. 

“Age-friendly care is based on evidence, reduces harm and focuses on what matters to older adults,” said Mary Dolansky, the Sarah C. Hirsh Professor at the School of Nursing and the project’s principal investigator. “This is a unique opportunity to not only ensure that older adults receive age-appropriate care, but also to evaluate the impact of Age-Friendly Health Systems treatment using Medicare data.” 

The project is part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, created by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative is based the “4Ms framework”—What Matters, Medications, Mentation (mood and memory) and Mobility—in acute, chronic and ambulatory care settings for people ages 65-plus to assess and act on. 

The unique academic-clinical partnership with MinuteClinic will continue to impact 1,100 MinuteClinics at select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide through programming that includes virtual education for more than 3,300 nurse practitioners and 1,200 practical nurses. Anne Pohnert, MinuteClinic director of quality and co-principal investigator, will lead the scale-up under this grant. 

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement has also collaborated on this Age-Friendly Health Systems partnership since its inception, and the next phase welcomes a new partner, the University of California, San Francisco, and its Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research.

The new grant follows $2.44 million the foundation awarded in 2020 to implement the program, which was launched in 2018 through the foundation’s $850,000 planning grant. All told, The John A. Hartford Foundation has committed about $5.8 million to this Case Western Reserve-led effort. 

“The next grant, which continues the scale-up and sustainability of the work, will examine the long-term outcomes of delivery of the 4Ms,” Dolansky said.

This phase will also expand age-friendly care to other MinuteClinic services such as behavioral health. MinuteClinic provides funding for leadership support and clinician professional development.

“Many of the health benefits of age-friendly care may come after the visit,” said Nicholas Schiltz, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and the project’s co-principal investigator. “This next phase includes the first national demonstration of the long-term impact of the 4Ms on outcomes like preventing falls and discontinuing high-risk medications.” 

The grant to the School of Nursing was one of six, totaling $10.1 million, The John A. Hartford Foundation recently awarded nationally to: 

  • Make public health and healthcare more age-friendly;
  • Assist older adults and family caregivers in decision-making during serious illness;
  • Advance policies that support direct-care workers and family caregivers;
  • And continue elevating aging issues in philanthropy.

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