The John A. Hartford Foundation receives a federal innovation grant to expand IMPACT depression care model into western states and Alaska

Award is one of only four Social Innovation Fund grants in 2012

The John A. Hartford Foundation receives a federal innovation grant to expand IMPACT depression care model into western states and Alaska

The announced today that it has a multi-year, multi-million dollar (SIF) award for a program to improve depression care in medically underserved rural communities in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The SIF, which is an initiative of the (CNCS), awarded the Foundation a two-year, $2 million grant. In the program’s third year, the Foundation will be eligible for an additional $1 million in CNCS funding, which it will also match. SIF grants require additional matching funds from local sub-grantees, which will result in another $3 million in investments over the next two years. With renewal by CNCS and additional third-year local matching funds, the total initiative will represent almost $11 million in new funding for improved depression care for low-income older adults. Although it is one of the most common and disabling health conditions and is known to double overall health care costs, remains chronically under-diagnosed and ineffectively treated.

Through an innovative public-private partnership with the federal government and the University of Washington, the Foundation will redistribute the combined funds to local nonprofit community health clinics across the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region to help them implement , a highly successful evidence-based depression care model based at the University of Washington.

“We are pleased to work in partnership with the CNCS’s Social Innovation Fund and excited about this opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues among older people, as well as expanding the reach of the IMPACT model,” said Corinne Rieder, Executive Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation, which has a mission of improving the health of older adults in the United States.

The model (Improving Mood – Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment) brings depression care to primary care settings and uses a team approach that doubles the results of usual depression care. Created by , Director of the University of Washington’s , IMPACT has been supported with Hartford Foundation grants for over a decade. IMPACT’s benefits were originally documented in a $10 million multi-site randomized clinical trial co-funded with the California HealthCare Foundation and published in and the .

“We are proud to have partnered with Jürgen Unützer since 1999 to support the testing and dissemination of this powerful intervention that has helped so many older adults return to healthier, more productive lives,” said Christopher Langston, PhD, Program Director of the Hartford Foundation.

“People already receive the majority of mental health care in primary care settings,” said Dr. Unützer. “IMPACT adds a trained care manager and a consulting psychiatrist in every participating practice to follow each patient closely and make the necessary adjustments to medication and/or counseling treatments that can mean the difference between recovery and continued suffering.”

Expanding this innovative program offers multiple benefits, including improving the economic well-being of individuals and families with depression, reducing health care costs, improving their capacity for employment because a debilitating disease is better controlled, and reducing costs related to caregiving that are often borne by family. In peer-reviewed longitudinal studies, the IMPACT Collaborative Care intervention yielded net savings in every category of health care costs examined, including pharmacy, inpatient and outpatient medical, and mental health specialty care.

“By offering a compelling solution to a complex and persistent health challenge, the IMPACT depression care program exemplifies the goals of the Social Innovation Fund,” said Paul Carttar, Director of the Social Innovation Fund at CNCS. “Our competition process was highly selective, and we are proud to have the opportunity to work with the John A. Hartford Foundation and the AIMS Center to expand their high-impact work to serve more people in need.”

The IMPACT model answers an acute need in many communities: the shortage of mental health care. Just three weeks ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) spotlighted the nationwide shortage of expert mental health care for older adults in its report, With the combined services of an onsite care manager and an off-site consulting psychiatrist, the IMPACT model can help medically underserved communities leverage existing resources into the mental health arena.

“The IMPACT model is a cost-efficient approach that extends the reach of our scarce workforce while improving the outcomes of depressed people across a diverse array of primary care settings," said Stephen Bartels, MD, MS, Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging, past president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and a member of the committee that created the IOM report.

Founded in 1929 by John A. Hartford, a family owner and CEO of the A&P grocery store chain, the Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of older Americans. The Foundation is a committed champion of health care training, research, and service system innovations that will ensure the well-being and vitality of older adults. For more information, please visit .

The AIMS Center is part of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and is a leading center of research, training, and innovation in integrated mental health programs. A primary area of research interest is the development of programs in which mental health professionals collaborate effectively with primary care physicians and other health care providers to care for children, adults, and older adults with common mental disorders. For more information, please visit .

The Social Innovation Fund, now in its third year, is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service intended to transform lives and communities by mobilizing public and private resources. In its first two years, the Social Innovation Fund awarded $95 million to 16 grant-makers that have in turn invested in nearly 200 nonprofit organizations in 34 states and Washington D.C. For more information, please visit .