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Health Foundation Awards $20,000 to Support Staff Projects

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The Hudson Headwaters Health Foundation board members are pleased to announce that it has awarded $20,000 to the Hudson Headwaters Health Network through its Innovation Grant Program. This program provides funding for staff-driven projects that support the network’s mission to provide high-quality health care, and access to that care, for everyone throughout the communities that it serves.

Innovation grants are awarded to support ideas, generated by staff of Hudson Headwaters, that propose a more efficient or insightful way to support patients or perform the day-to-day tasks required by their department.

Happy or not terminal
The “HappyOrNot” terminals, which were installed at the suggestion of staff and funded by the foundation’s Innovation Grant Program, measure patient satisfaction in real-time at Hudson Headwaters’ 19 health centers

“This is the Foundation’s way of supporting and empowering Hudson Headwaters staff by putting their creative solutions into action,” said Lisa Powers, Hudson Headwaters Health Foundation board member. “We are consistently impressed by the quality of innovative projects that are proposed.”

Since its inception in 2017, the Innovation Grant Program has funded 28 projects representing more than $62,000 in grant awards. A total of nine grant applications, submitted by department leaders in nursing, patient support services, medical student education, human resources, and others, were approved for funding in 2019.

Departments that received funding in 2019 included pediatrics for a pilot to underwrite the participation of select patients in a healthy living program at the Glens Falls YMCA.

“We are able to select and sponsor kids and their families who would otherwise not have the opportunity to do something like this because of the cost,” said Hudson Headwaters Pediatric Lead Dr. Irene Flatau. “If we’re serious about healthy kids, we need to consider solutions outside of the exam room. We appreciate our foundation’s understanding of this, and its support.”

Another grant was awarded to the coding department to purchase new subscription software that assists with selecting accurate billing codes, thereby decreasing claim denial rates. This will benefit patients, who may be held personally liable for denied claims, and improve efficiency and sustainability in terms of reimbursement to Hudson Headwaters.

The palliative care team received a grant for VitalTALK, a training in partnership with the University of Vermont Health Network to help providers navigate difficult conversations with patients facing chronic or terminal illnesses.

“Who better to suggest how to improve what we do than the dedicated staff living and breathing our mission every day,” explained Associate Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rubin. “Many of the successful pilot projects are adopted by the Network and become ‘business as usual’ – one example being the ‘Happy or Not’ terminals now located in most of our health centers. In other cases, we’ve attracted the sustaining support of an outside donor who is compelled by a pilot project’s demonstrated success.”

The Hudson Headwaters Health Foundation was founded in 2005 to further the mission of the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, a nonprofit organization. The Innovation Grant Program is made possible by the Annual Fund. Learn more at