Call for Applications: Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health

05/10/17  Portland, Ore.

The Practice Change Leaders program is jointly supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Program Description

The Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health is a national program to develop, support and expand the influence of organizational leaders who are committed to achieving transformative improvements in care for older adults.

Context: Our nation’s health delivery system frequently does not meet the unique needs of older adults. Wide gaps remain between evidence-based approaches, nationally recognized best practices, and how care is currently delivered for many conditions that disproportionately affect this population. Strong leadership is needed to ensure that promising innovations are implemented to improve health and functional outcomes in older adults.

Program Summary: The Practice Change Leaders program is a 12-month opportunity to gain enhanced leadership skills and content expertise to positively influence care for older adults. Leaders complete a project aimed at integrating improved care for older adults within their organization, allowing them to remain at their full time job throughout the 12-month program.

Intended Outcomes: The intended outcomes of the Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health program are twofold: First, the goal of the program is the development of effective leaders who champion high quality care and promote a prominent role for older adults in defining the type, intensity, and setting of care they choose to receive. Second, the goal of the program is the resulting improvement in the organization and delivery of health and health care services to older adults.

Program Activities: Through participation in this 12-month program, Practice Change Leaders will further develop their leadership skills through completing a project aimed at improving care for older adults. With the support of national Senior Leaders, Practice Change Leaders will engage in self-directed acquisition of the necessary skills and content expertise to become more effective leaders.

To create maximum efficiency and leverage, the Practice Change Leaders program will focus on four core topic areas that are central components of national reform efforts. These core topics include enhanced primary care (to include but not limited to person-centered medical homes), accountable care organizations, transitional care and hospital readmission reduction, and programs designed to meet the needs of dually eligible beneficiaries.

Practice Change Leaders applicants are expected to have an existing project underway that addresses one or more of the four core content areas. The projects will serve as an important vehicle for “hands-on” learning of critical and transformative leadership skill development.

Practice Change Leaders will attend four highly interactive national meetings over the course of the award. These meetings will be convened in different locations throughout the country. Attended by the Senior Leaders and select national experts in health and health care delivery to older adults, the meetings are founded on the premise that every attendee is both a teacher and a learner. Practice Change Leaders will have the opportunity to receive input on their projects and progress in pursuing their career goals through case-based discussions complemented by group problem-solving activities.

Each national meeting features an interactive skill building seminars led by one or more national experts. Skill building topics include: developing a compelling business plan, leading cultural change, evaluating evidence, and storytelling. Periodically, the Practice Change Leaders and Senior Leaders may meet in subgroups to focus on consumer engagement, health policy, finance, and community collaboration.

The Practice Change Leaders program employs a small group problem-solving format in shared-learning Pods with mentorship from Senior Leaders (national experts in practice change), a curriculum that addresses the unique competencies for improving care for older adults, and ongoing exposure to interdisciplinary collaboration, effective evidence-based models, best practices, and methods for facilitating local, regional, and national spread.

Between the national meetings, Practice Change Leaders will participate in conference calls to foster further peer-to-peer learning and ensure that they are receiving the support needed to successfully conduct their projects and hone their leadership skills.

Complementing their development as individual leaders, Practice Change Leaders will be joining a collegial network of dedicated professionals who share a commitment to implementing innovative approaches for improving the health of older Americans. This network will contribute to the national agenda for improving the quality of care to older adults, facilitate a rapid collective response to changes in Medicare and other financing programs, foster dissemination of evidence-based models of care, and serve as a platform for more systematic improvements in care beyond the Leaders’ individual institutions.

Award Details & Eligibility

Application Deadline:
Wednesday August 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM PDT, 1:00 PM MDT, 2:00 PM CDT, 3:00 EDT
No exceptions will be made.

Start of Award:
January 1, 2018

Amount of Award:
Practice Change Leaders receive $45,000 during the 12-month award. The applicant’s home institution is expected to provide cost-sharing support as described below in section C of “Conditions of the Award”.

Number of Awards:
Up to 10 awards will be made.

Applicants must hold a leadership role in a health care delivery organization, health-related institution, or community-based organization with direct responsibility for care that impacts older adults. The applicant’s home institution may be a health plan, hospital, ambulatory clinic, home health agency, assisted living facility, nursing home, or community-based agency providing health-related services to older adults. Irrespective of practice setting, applicants must be senior enough in their organization to have decision-making authority and be able to effectuate change. Applicants must live and practice in the United States.

Selection Criteria:
A selection committee comprised of nationally prominent experts will select the Practice Change Leaders. In their evaluations, committee members will consider the following factors:

  • Demonstrated commitment to improving care for older adults
  • Demonstrated leadership capacity
  • Potential for future accomplishments
  • Impact of applicant’s project on quality of care for older adults
  • Impact of the applicant’s project on the applicant’s career trajectory
  • The proposed budget and how it reflects the home organization’s commitment
  • The home institution’s commitment to the applicant as evidenced by meeting the required cost-share of $20,000
  • The home institution’s letters of support conveying a high level of support for the applicant’s participation in the Practice Change Leaders program and specifically address the relevance and importance of the proposed project to the home institution’s mission and strategic direction.
  • Overall presentation of application, including writing ability and style, reasoning, and clarity

Applications will be further judged and selected based on potential to exert a profound impact on care for older adults, commitment to self-directed and peer learning and improvement, and a strong professional record reflecting positions of increasing leadership responsibility.

To Request An Application:
To request an application send an e-mail to . The application will be sent to you within three business days of receiving your request.

To Learn More About the Program:
We anticipate applicants will have questions and wish to discuss their proposals with us. Please visit where you can learn more or you can contact us directly via the website.

Potential applicants are invited to attend one or more informational teleconferences. During these calls, the National Program Office will address questions and concerns. Individuals who are considering applying are encouraged but not required to participate and can participate in the call anonymously if they so choose.

Applicants may participate by dialing our call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 and then entering 406 711 594.

We strongly encourage you to explore the website and the application instructions prior to joining the informational calls.

The dates/times for the 2018 recruitment informational teleconferences are as follows:

  • Thursday June 15 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT
  • Monday July 10 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT
  • Wednesday July 26 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT
  • Monday August 7 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Dedicated calls:
The PCL program is pleased to offer dedicated peer-to-peer informational calls for social workers, community-based professionals and for nurses. These three groups are also welcome to join the general informational calls as listed above. However we do ask if you do not identify with the three categories below that you join the general informational calls listed above rather than the dedicated calls.

Social Workers and Community-Based Professionals, (all backgrounds) — please only attend this peer-to-peer call if you are a social worker from any organization or work for a community-based organization that aims to improve health, (including behavioral health) or healthcare to older adults.

  • Wednesday June 21 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT
  • Thursday August 3 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Nurses - please only attend this peer-to-peer call if you are a nurse

  • Wednesday June 14 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT
  • Wednesday July 12 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

Program Administration

The Practice Change Leaders program is administered through a National Program Office based in the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Executive Director: Eric A. Coleman, MD, MPH
Program Manager: Shelly Nebel, MA
Program Specialist: Lisa Wilkenson, BS

Conditions of the Award

  1. Financial Administration
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will make the Practice Change Leaders program award to the home institution on behalf of the Leader. The total amount of each award is $45,000. The award total includes Direct Costs, and may include Indirect Costs, not to exceed 10% of the Direct Costs although the total amount of each award may not exceed $45,000 (i.e., the indirect amount must be included in the $45,000 total award amount and is not in addition to the $45,000 total). The first award disbursement will be made in the first quarter of the award calendar year in the amount of $22,500. Subsequent disbursements will be made based on satisfactory progress reports and financial reports. The home institution is responsible for administering the funds in accordance with its prevailing procedures and policies, and the procedures and policies described in this brochure.
  2. Use of Practice Change Leaders Funding
    Applicants must submit a line-item budget for approval. Practice Change Leaders may use funding to support:
    • Portions of their time devoted to participation in the Practice Change Leaders program including, but not limited to, the design and implementation of the proposed project and attendance at each of the national meetings.
    • Portions of time from individuals assisting in the design and implementation of the Practice Change Leader’s project. This might include an assistant to collect data, a data analyst, or an external consultant with expertise related to design and implementation of the new or improved program/service.
    • Other expenses, subject to approval by the National Program Office.
    • All funds must be spent during the 2018 award year ending December 31, 2018. No extensions are allowed. The remaining time will be dedicated to final reporting and attending the fourth Practice Change Leaders conference.
    Please note that travel to the four national meetings will be covered by the National Program Office and does not need to be included in the applicant’s proposed budget.
  3. Institutional Commitment
    Practice Change Leaders’ home institutions must commit to supporting the Leader’s participation in the program throughout the 12-month program appointment. Activities related to the Practice Change Leader program and the Leader’s project are expected to be integrated within the Leader’s daily responsibilities and not viewed as an extraneous activity or an “add-on”. Leaders are expected to remain full time at their current position throughout the 12-month program and are not expected to take time away from their home organizations, with the exception of attending the Practice Change Leaders program Tri-Annual national meetings.

    Home institutions will be expected to make a monetary or in-kind contribution, acknowledging that the Leaders’ career development and project adds value to their respective organizations. The home institution’s monetary or in-kind contribution is expected to amount to $20,000 over the 12-month program.

    Examples of in-kind support may include the home institution’s contribution to covering the difference in costs to support salary and benefits related to the Leader’s participation in the program, the time the Leader’s supervisor invests in helping design and execute the Leader’s project and career goals, expenses related to the proposed project, and on-site mentoring. Additional examples of in-kind support include the costs associated with data acquisition, consultation from local experts, and providing timely access to relevant clinical and financial data to support the design, implementation and evaluation of the new geriatric program or service line.

    The National Program Office anticipates that between cash and in-kind contributions, Practice Change Leaders’ home institutions will be able to meet this requirement without undue hardship. Practice Change Leaders may pursue additional financial or in-kind resources to support their projects from funding sources outside of their home institutions; however, this is not required.
  4. Semi-Annual Financial Report
    The home institution must maintain a separate financial record for the Practice Change Leader, and this account must be available for audit by the National Program Office or its designee. Semi-annual expenditure reports will be required and a reporting schedule will be supplied to successful applicants. Failure to submit reports may result in withheld disbursement(s).
  5. Semi-Annual Progress Report
    A semi-annual progress report discussing the Leader’s progress must be submitted to the National Program Office. Guidelines and a reporting schedule for submitting this report will be provided. Failure to submit reports may result in withheld disbursement(s).
  6. Final Report and Final Financial Report
    Practice Change Leaders will submit a final report that details the progress they made in achieving their goals. Additionally, Practice Change Leaders will submit a final financial report detailing all of their projects fund allocation. All funds must be spent within the calendar year the award is issued. Final reports are due no later than February 28, 2019.
  7. Expectations for Sharing & Confidentiality
    The success of the Practice Change Leaders program is predicated on case-based learning and sharing of experiences, both positive and negative. These experiences further contribute to the formation of a cohesive national peer network.

    Practice Change Leaders, Senior Leaders, national experts, invited guests, and the National Program Office are all expected to participate in case-presentations and contribute to the discussions. Doing so requires sharing information regarding the details of programs and services lines with accompanying clinical and financial outcomes. All participants must understand that discussions of organizational business practices and clinical decision-making are to remain confidential. Shared learning can only occur in an environment of trust.
  8. Program Publicity
    Practice Change Leaders’ names and organizational information will be displayed on the program’s public website and in promotional materials, evaluations, and reports.
  9. Program Termination
    If the home institution or Practice Change Leader wishes to terminate the award before its completion, an agreement between the institution and the National Program Office will be arranged. The National Program Office reserves the right to terminate Practice Change Leaders who are not actively participating in program activities or whose behavior reflects poorly on the Practice Change Leaders program. Termination will occur with the understanding that all unexpended funds will be returned to the National Program Office and any unpaid balance of the award will be cancelled.
  10. Disclaimer:
    The Practice Change Leaders National Program Office reserves the right to modify the content or conditions of the Practice Change Leaders program as needed to preserve and promote the overall goals of program. The Practice Change Leaders is a 12-month program. The Change Leaders will be expected to attend all four of our Practice Change Leaders meetings. All funds must be spent within the calendar year they are awarded. The fiscal and narrative reports are due no later than February 28, 2019.