Bethesda Inc. hands out $5.5 Million in Grants

Bethesda Inc. has awarded nearly $5.5 million in grants to build a database that can help doctors predict patient outcomes and to expand a program to prevent older Cincinnati residents from falls.

Mark Holcomb, the chairman of Bethesda's grant committee, announced the grants to the Hatton Research Institute and to the coalition of TriHealth and People Working Cooperatively, a group that performs repairs and upgrades that allow people to stay in their homes.

"Our legacy is in funding ideas that lead to breakthrough change in health-care delivery," Holcomb said. "Through these new grants, we're putting the power of massive amounts of predictive data at the fingertips of doctors and addressing a leading health issue in our older population with a very actionable plan."

Jill Miller, the executive director of Bethesda Inc., said, "An important goal of our grant-making work is to facilitate new partnerships that lead to better care and better health at lower cost."

Bethesda Inc. is a major research foundation in Cincinnati and is a co-sponsor of TriHealth. Since 2010, the nonprofit has funded projects to improve how health care is delivered, how health information is shared and how community priorities such as infant mortality are addressed. Grants over the past five years have totaled more than $24 million, making Bethesda Inc. among Ohio's largest private grant makers for local health-care initiatives.

Grant winners and their projects

The Hatton Research Institute received $4.3 million from Bethesda over three years for its Translational Outcomes program, which uses health data to predict conditions and complications. Doctors then can make more informed decisions that lead to better health outcomes. The grant will build the analytics component of the TriHealth electronic medical records system and train staff.

The electronic medical records system was also implemented, in part, through an earlier Bethesda Inc. grant. This would then be made available to other EMR users.

The partnership of TriHealth and People Working Cooperatively got $1.15 million for three years to expand the fall-prevention program, "Stepping On." The program – approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- includes fall prevention education, home modifications and follow-up home visits by occupational therapists.

Emergency-department personnel, hospital navigators and medical assistants and office staff in primary-care practices will be trained to identify fall risks and make referrals.

PWC will make modifications in qualifying homes, while the Cincinnati Eye Institute, the Health Collaborative and other community organizations will be partners.