Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

The Transition Network

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

December 2012

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

December 31, 2007 - April 23, 2010


In 2011, the first of America’s 80 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) turned 65.

As the population ages, the country faces a dwindling supply of professional caregivers; weakened family ties; and an increasingly fragmented health care system that undermines availability of, access to, and quality of care. Community and voluntary associations, with their shared space, common interests, values, and traditions, are an overlooked resource. Strengthening these communities to better help their own constituents is consistent with a national interest in service and community building, innovation, and more efficient delivery of health care.

To meet the growing needs of this community, the New York Health Foundation awarded The Transition Network (TTN) a grant to build a Caring Collaborative, a model that teaches members how to work to preserve and promote healthy independence both for themselves and for all TTN members. Through this grant, TTN hoped to train a service corps to provide services to members of the Caring Collaborative community when illness or injury leads to temporary disability; create a health exchange program allowing members to confidentially share information with one another; design a model to turn high-rise buildings into caring communities; and prepare a manual to help navigate hospital admissions.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Created a multifaceted Caring Collaborative to achieve all four grant goals.
  • Wrote how-to manuals to help others interested in instituting their own Caring Collaborative.
  • Formed the Volunteer Service Corps, a cadre of volunteers who provide services to others in the Caring Collaborative community during times of temporary disability.
  • Created the Health Services Time Bank, a database that manages service and information exchanges.
  • Educated members through a health strategies seminar series; neighborhood groups; a newsletter; and a Caring Collaborative website.
  • Created the Health and Wellness Directory, a resource of information and contacts related to the health issues that most affect the Caring Collaborative cohort.
  • Developed a model for organizing Vertical Villages, a strategy for turning high-rise buildings into caring communities, by organizing and mobilizing residents, staff, and building management to build a safety net and help those in need.
  • Prepared a “Guide to Improving Your Hospital Discharge Experience” to help patients make the transition from hospital to home.