AgeWell Pittsburgh is 2017 Collaboration Prize Finalist

AgeWell Pittsburgh was named a finalist for the 2017 Collaboration Prize. This prize is a national award designed to highlight exceptional permanent models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations. AgeWell Pittsburgh was chosen from more than 350 submissions nationwide.

AgeWell Pittsburgh is the central outreach and coordinating umbrella for 21 types of ssenior citizen–focused activities and programs provided by three Pittsburgh-based community benefit organizations: the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA), Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC). The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh facilitates the collaboration, and the Jewish Federation and United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania help to fund the effort.

“The AgeWell Pittsburgh collaboration has strengthened each of our agencies by helping us to focus on what we do best, and in turn our clients have clearly reaped the benefits through improved outcomes. As we collectively continue to refine our business strategy, we see similar collaborations starting across the country, modeled on our Pittsburgh experience — what a great way to share our successes,” said Deborah Winn-Horvitz, president and CEO of the JAA.

Judges identified eight collaborations that exemplified the impact of working together on a permanent basis. AgeWell Pittsburgh was recognized for how the innovative collaboration enhances individual services — and stretches community investment further — by ensuring that the collective network of services for seniors are aligned to meet the needs of the community.

“Through this collaboration, AgeWell Pittsburgh has been able to turn Pittsburgh’s aging population into a vital asset by keeping our seniors healthy, independent and fully engaged in this great city,” said Jordan Golin, president and CEO of JF&CS.

The Collaboration Prize recognized the challenges the collaborating organizations faced when creating AgeWell Pittsburgh. The challenges involved blending different organizational cultures.

“It is very affirming to have a national organization outside our region validate the impact of the collaboration and its ultimate impact to improve the long-term health outcomes of older adults,” said Brian Schreiber, president and CEO of the JCC.

Since the beginning of the AgeWell Pittsburgh collaboration, the three agencies have improved senior care while increasing referrals to existing services, improving their ability to secure funding for services and improving their ability to identify areas in which program changes are needed.

“AgeWell Pittsburgh ensures that individuals don’t fall through the social services ‘cracks’ that can occur in some communities when seniors are referred between agencies,” said Deborah Baron, chief operating officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

The mission of AgeWell Pittsburgh is to enable at-risk seniors to continue living independently with proper support systems, alleviating and/or deferring placement in more costly and restrictive skilled care settings. AgeWell Pittsburgh began as the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) demonstration project in Pittsburgh. The initial role for the Jewish Federation was to serve as the neutral party to bring agencies together around the original NORC grant and to shepherd the process and iron out problems as issues came up.

Ms. Baron commented, “AgeWell is an incredible collaboration that brings significant value to our seniors and shows the added impact that agencies can bring to the community when they work together on shared goals.”

A selection panel consisting of major supporters of nonprofit collaboration selected eight finalists from the 18 semifinalists. Each finalist will receive $10,000. The grand-prize winner will receive an additional $150,000 and will be announced in April 2017.

For a full list of finalists, please visitwww.thecollaborationprize.org.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh raises and allocates funds to build community locally, in Israel and around the world. With the vision of a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh aims to carry out its work in the context of cooperation and inclusiveness. For more information, visitwww.jfedpgh.org.

The 2017 Collaboration Prize was designed to raise awareness of collaboration as a powerful and strategic way for nonprofits to increase their impact. A legacy of the prize is the Nonprofit Collaboration Database, a resource of effective collaboration models among nonprofits. The database currently contains information on more than 650 collaborations and will expand to include new models from the 2017 prize process. Nonprofits and other interested organizations can access the easily searchable database atwww.grantspace.org/collaboration.

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