Special Projects Fund

Project Title

A Healthcare Collaborative: Grassroots Caring Communities Connecting with Health Providers

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 15, 2007








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.

In partnership with St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and the New York City Department for the Aging, the Transition Network will engage its extensive support network to help members, especially those residing in high-rise apartment buildings, handle health problems, and to integrate this self-help program with formal systems of health care. The project will serve as a model that can be replicated by other informal communities, such as church congregations, membership organizations, and neighborhoods and apartment buildings. The model will show how these communities can be organized and educated to deliver service and to collaborate with formal systems of health care. A program of strategic aid offered by friends and neighbors can effectively curtail more formal and expensive interventions.