The John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City is a private philanthropy established in 1929 by John A. Hartford. Mr. Hartford and his brother, George L. Hartford, both former chief executives of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, left the bulk of their estates to the foundation in the 1950s. Since 1995 the Foundation has focused extensively on enhancing the nation's capacity to provide effective and affordable care to its growing older adult population. They do this through grants to enhance geriatric research and training, as well as grants to integrate and improve health services for adults.

Grants from the John A. Hartford Foundation have helped to build geriatric nursing education, practice, and research at the University of Washington School of Nursing, including:

  • Predoctoral Scholarships and Claire M. Fagin Fellowships: 
    In collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies, Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity has been addressing the critical shortage of leaders in geriatric nursing education and research since 2000. Please see the side panel on this page for more information. 
  • Building Interdisciplinary Geriatric Health Care Research Centers: Funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation and RAND Health, the overall purpose of this initiative is to build or expand interdisciplinary geriatric research centers that will be competitive in attracting subsequent extramural peer-reviewed funding for the design and study of highly integrated clinical and health services interventions.  The UW Center for Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research (CIGR), co-directed by Barbara Cochrane (Nursing) and Elizabeth Phelan (Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine), promotes the career development and interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers in the development, testing, and dissemination of health-enhancing interventions for older adults.
  • Geriatric Investment Program: a three-year award to enhance geriatric content in the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral curricula, to provide opportunities for faculty development in geriatrics, and to develop geriatric course work for practicing nurses in long term care facilities.  UW School of Nursing was one of the seven Schools of Nursing that was included in the Nursing School Geriatric Investment Program. This grant was made possible by the vision and support of the John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and the American Academy of Nursing's Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Program.  It was designed to develop geriatric nursing leaders and advance geriatric nursing research and practice.
  • Geriatric Nursing Education Project: a three-year program focused entirely on undergraduate education. Recognizing that part of effective nursing care is understanding the patient, this unique funding opportunity helped to ensure that students are exposed to the experience of aging using cross-curriculum experiences in the arts.  This grant was made possible by the support of the John A. Hartford Foundation and the American Academy of Nursing's Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Program.
  • Creating Careers in Geriatric Advanced Practice Nursing: A grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing provided scholarship support to five geriatric nurse practitioner students over a three-year period.  GNP Scholarship recipients are listed below.

The John A. Hartford Foundation Creating Careers award provided opportunities for graduate nursing students to build and sustain careers in geriatric advanced practice nursing.

  Viet Nguyen, RN, MN (2006): "I enjoy being an integral part of patients' recovery and their continued wellness. I am passionate about working with the elder population - they have so much to offer in life. My career goals are to be a geriatric nurse practitioner and a geriatric clinical instructor. As a teacher, I would like to pass on my passion and knowledge to improve the care of the geriatric population."

  Maia Syfers, RN, MN (2005) "I am interested both in acute care management of health and also health education and disease prevention. I have worked as a high school nurse and s a staff nurse in neurology with adolescent, adult and geriatric patients, and enjoy the scope of nursing I have been exposed to in these diverse positions. I have really enjoyed working with older patients, and felt pursuing more education in this field would be very rewarding."

  Karen Gilbert, RN, MN (2004): "I would like to bring to my work as a geriatric nurse practitioner, additional knowledge and experience in palliative care. I would like to address problems of physical, emotional, and spiritual discomfort experienced by many older adults as they near the end of life. I hope to work with a practice seeing patients in both clinic and long term care settings in the San Juan Islands."

  Karla Heath, RN, MN (2004):"Upon completion of my GNP, my goals are to influence public policy and educational practice to promote better wages and working conditions for direct care workers across the continuum of care. I believe that only by having a highly trained and well compensated workforce will quality care for older adults become a reality."

  Katharine Dexter, RN, MN (2004):"My primary area of interest is elder abuse and neglect. I am especially interested in State complaint investigation procedures in long term care settings and whether current methods improve conditions at these facilities. Upon graduation, I would like to be involved in developing and evaluating policies that improve the quality of life of residents in long term care settings."

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The American Academy of Nursing, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City and The Atlantic Philanthropies, seeks applicants for the following BAGNC Scholarship and Fellowship Programs:

Predoctoral Scholarship
: designed to support 2 years of doctoral work for nurses committed to careers in academic geriatric nursing. The program awards a total of $100,000 ($50,000 per year).

Claire M. Fagin Fellowship: designed to assist doctorally-prepared nurses committed to faculty careers in geriatric nursing.  The program provides $120,000 for a 2-year fellowship ($60,000 per year) for advanced research training and mentorship.

The Mayday Fund provides an additional $5,000 award to selected candidates whose research includes the study of pain in the elderly.

Applications are due in January of each year.  Information and application forms (posted in June of each year) and can be accessed at the BAGNC website.


Under the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholars & Fellows Program, The John A. Hartford Foundation has awarded pre-doctoral scholarships and Claire M. Fagin fellowships in gerontological nursing research for the following scholars from the UW School of Nursing:

Sadak   Tatiana Sadak, BA, RN, MN, PMHNP, is a 2009-2011 Pre-doctoral Scholar working with Drs. Barbara Cochrane (Nursing) and Soo Borson (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences).  Her research interests focus on dementia, health services and multimorbidity. including cognitive decline,  medical illness, and neuropsychiatric symptoms.  As a master's student at the School of Nursing, she designed an educational program for acute-care nurses: Evidence-based Nursing Dementia Education and Acute-care Resources (ENDEAR).

  Hilaire Thompson, PhD, RN, BC, ACNP, CNRN, FAAN, Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, is a 2006-2008 Claire M. Fagin Fellow whose of program of research has focused on improving outcomes from traumatic brain injury in hospitalized older adults.  Her current projects look at experimental models and biomarkers for traumatic brain injury.  

   Elena O. Siegel, '06 PhD, MN, BS-Bus Adm, RN was a 2004-2006 Pre-doctoral Scholar, working with Dr. Pamela Mitchell. Her research interests targeted health care systems and organizational/environmental characteristics of long-term care settings for older adults. Her dissertation research explored the nurse's role as a supervisor of direct care workers in skilled nursing facilities, within a context of the organizational environments in which these nurses work.

  Lynette Jones ’97 Ph.D., RN, founder and chair of her own software company, Point-of-Care Ware, was awarded the 2002 John A Hartford Building Academic Nursing Capacity MBA Scholarship. Point of CareWare develops software for a variety of handheld devices which help long term care providers, family members and friends provide better care to their aging loved ones. Lynette is in the Executive MBA Program in the UW School of Business.

  Lissi Hansen '01 Ph.D., RN, was a post-doctoral fellow who worked with Dr. Sarah Shannon to develop an instrument for assessing family caregivers’ experiences assisting with end-of-life decision making. She was awarded a 2001-2003 John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Post-doctoral Scholarship.