Learning Matters

Many Jewish Home employees are recognized as leaders in their field. This not only ensures excellence in the care and services provided to the residents of the Home, but these dedicated professionals frequently share their knowledge, skills, and expertise beyond our campus. They serve as a resource for the community, as collaborators with others involved in long-term care, and as promoters for change and innovation in health care.

December 2013

Elected officials and city department staffers tour the Home

At the invitation of the Jewish Community Relations Council (a body that represents over 70 Jewish organizations and agencies in matters of public affairs), about a 20-strong group of staff for local, state and federal elected officials, as well as staff, commissioners and directors from city departments, took in a tour of the Jewish Home on November 8. Attendees included representatives from the offices of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Senator Mark Leno; San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee; City Administrator; Jewish Community Federation; San Francisco Interfaith Council; San Francisco Arts Commission; and San Francisco State University.

With the visit aimed at informing policy makers about the communities served by San Francisco’s Jewish social service agencies – and their commitment to improving the lives of all our city’s residents, Jewish and non-Jewish alike – tour guides Edwin Cabigao (chief nursing officer), Mark Friedlander (assistant administrator), Sherie Koshover (chief advancement officer), Matthew Powondra (director of Admissions & Marketing), and Sandra Simon (chief administrative officer) showcased various areas of our campus, explained the depth and breadth of our care, services and programs, spoke about matters of funding and partnerships that help support the Home’s essential work and the impact our organization has in San Francisco, and provided materials and brochures for our visitors’ further edification.

November 2013

Changing trends in fundraising

Senior development and gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke made a presentation to the Estate Planning Breakfast Club at the Capital Club in San Jose on October 8. He talked about changing trends in fundraising and the ways in which professional advisors can work together with fundraisers to help meet the needs and goals of clients and donors.

Leading Change, Advancing Mental Health conference

Sasha Glezerman, associate director of our acute geriatric psychiatry hospital, joined more than 1,300 attendees at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 27th annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, October 9–12. Recognized as the premiere event for psychiatric nursing, conference-goers had the opportunity to expand their knowledge at educational sessions, participate in social and networking events to meet with peers and learn from one other, and take in a bit of this beautiful, historic city. A conference highlight for Sasha was a presentation that focused on pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments and approaches that will advance the work we do with our geriatric psychiatric population. She also shared practices that could be used with our residents, such as research into aromatherapy and its application in the reduction of falls, and patient/resident education methods and pitfalls.

Day of Philanthropy

Donors, leaders, and professionals gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel for the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund’s annual Day of Philanthropy on October 29 – to learn, connect, and celebrate their collective impact. Attendees numbered our president and CEO Daniel Ruth, chief advancement officer Sherie Koshover, leadership gifts officer Sharon Fried, and senior development and gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke. The luncheon honored philanthropists Gerson Bakar and Barbara Bass Bakar, while the keynote address was delivered by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. Afternoon breakout sessions included a Q&A with Mr. and Mrs. Bakar, social entrepreneurs’ vision for a better world, an update on recent developments in estate and charitable planning, and – referencing the preliminary findings from a major, comprehensive study released in September on the new landscape of Jewish charitable giving in the U.S. – new trends in Jewish philanthropy.

June 2013

Vital vitamin D

Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of the Home’s Center for Research on Aging, presents on the topic Variability in free 25-OH vitamin D levels in clinical populations at the International Vitamin D Workshop, taking place in San Francisco on June 12. The organization known as the Vitamin D Workshop was established in 1973. Its primary mission is to conduct scientific meetings on all topics related to vitamin D, but particularly those in which active current research is being conducted. The term ‘vitamin D’ is used in the broadest fashion possible, and includes not only the parent vitamin D itself and its precursors, but any and all metabolites and modified forms (analogs) of vitamin D and its metabolites present in any biological system. Attendance at the meetings is open to all scientists internationally who have an interest in furthering our understanding of the properties and biological purpose of vitamin D and associated compounds.

On a related note, Research continues its ongoing Jewish Home project Optimizing vitamin D in the elderly. This National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging-sponsored clinical trial (go to clinicaltrials.gov for further details) aims to determine the optimal dose of vitamin D for nursing home residents. All participants receive vitamin D3 at one of four doses (800 IUs a day – the daily recommended dose; 2,000 – a commonly administered daily dose; 4,000 – the maximal recommended daily dose; or 50,000 IUs a week – the dose used in vitamin D deficient people) for 16 weeks. Blood levels of vitamin D are measured before starting the trial, measured again after two months and then at four months of participation. To date, 20 Jewish Home residents have enrolled; research has another 100 or so individuals to go.

May 2013

Research updates and news

Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of the Home’s Center for Research on Aging, gave a talk on April 23 at UCSF, entitled Vitamin D 2013. Some of her other recent presentations include addressing the American College of Cardiology in March and the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Schwartz will once again be participating in the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Research review of proposals submitted for funding in the area of aging research, this time in Chicago, June 5 – 7.

We are pleased and proud to learn that Research’s Dr. Edward Goetzl is one of four recipients of UCSF’s Dickson Emeritus Professorship Awards for 2013. The Dickson Award honors outstanding research, scholarly work, teaching, and/or educational service performed at UCSF by an emeritus or emerita professor since retirement. Dr. Goetzl’s current research program addresses the involvement of immune responses in several neurodegenerative diseases of aging. The resulting applications of membrane vesicle technology [a vesicle is a small sac or cyst, especially one containing fluid] promise to provide a new platform for molecular characterization of neuronal, astroglial, microglial and central nervous system T cell abnormalities in Alzheimer’s disease or Alzheimer’s-like dementias, as well as in other central nervous system diseases.

April 2013

Another accolade for end-of-life/hospice volunteer program

Kol Haneshama, the nationally recognized end-of-life/hospice volunteer program at the Jewish Home, run in partnership with the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and Zen Hospice Project, adds yet another award to its roster of recognition – the 2013 Annette W. & Herbert H. Lichterman Outstanding Programming Award, in association with Partners in Senior Life.

Formerly known as Associates of Jewish Homes and Services for the Aging, Partners’ purpose is to provide education, leadership development, networking, and support to its members; to improve the effectiveness of its respective organizations; and to enrich the quality of life for the elderly entrusted to its members’ care. Membership is comprised of Jewish-sponsored homes and services for older adults. (Of note: Sherie Koshover, chief advancement officer, is a Partners’ Board Member for Life, having served for many years as a trustee and officer of this organization.)

Kol Haneshama’s award will be made at Partners’ annual symposium, April 20–23, in Cleveland, Ohio.

March 2013

Research scientist receives Palliative Medicine National Leadership Award

Dr. Christine Ritchie, Jewish-Home based Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research in Aging, makes her way to New Orleans, where she will receive the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Palliative Medicine National Leadership Award on March 13. This award recognizes a physician leader who has advanced the field of palliative care by the education of the next generation of palliative care leaders.

For more than 25 years, the American Academy has dedicated itself to advancing hospice and palliative medicine and improving the care of patients with life-threatening or serious conditions. It began with 250 charter members and has grown to nearly 5,000 to date. The award program promotes the visibility and prestige of physicians in both academic and clinical settings who are committed to mentoring future leaders and serving as role models for other health professionals engaged in improving the care of the dying.

Presentation focuses on what donors really want

Senior development & gift planning officer Daniel Hoebeke returns by popular demand to present the two-hour Primer Program at the Northern California Planned Giving Council’s event on March 14. Addressing attendees on Charitable Estate Planning: Is the Party Over?, Daniel noted: “There’s no reason to panic about the future of charitable giving and the survival of our charities, especially if we focus on what donors really want. (It isn’t tax advice.)” Event attendees received two hours of continuing professional education credits.

February 2013

Research scientist lectures at top-ranked Mass Gen Hospital, Boston

Dr. Christine Ritchie, Jewish-Home based Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research in Aging, added another engagement to her robust schedule when, toward the end of December, she spoke on What is Complexity? How Do We Provide Good Care? at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Leffert Memorial Lecture. The Robert Leffert, MD, Palliative Care Memorial Lecture series was established in 2011 in honor of Dr. Leffert, who was MGH Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and the MGH Surgical Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Unit, and to support the work that helped him and his family through his final days.

Director of research reviews proposals …

Dr. Janice Schwartz, director of the Home’s Center for Research on Aging, will be participating in the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Research review of proposals submitted for funding in the area of aging research, February 4 – 6, in Los Angeles.

… presents at symposium …

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), a 40,000-member nonprofit medical society, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of cardiovascular patients through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation, and professionalism. Comprised of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and practice managers, the College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and a steadfast supporter of cardiovascular research.

Dr. Schwartz will be joining her fellow specialists at ACC’s annual scientific meeting, taking place at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, March 9 – 11, and more specifically, on Monday, March 11, when she presents Prevention: Do the Very Elderly Require a Different Approach? in a symposium entitled “Prevention in the Very Elderly: What Is a Valid Goal?”

… and conducts trial on various doses of vitamin D

Notes Dr. Schwartz: The majority of older people have inadequate vitamin D status in the absence of supplementation. This deficit is most marked and severe in the “oldest old” and those in nursing homes – the same groups with the highest incidence of osteoporosis, muscle weakness, falls and fractures, immune system dysfunction, metabolic abnormalities, and cardiovascular disease that have been associated with vitamin D deficiency. Yet there are extremely limited data on 25-OH vitamin D responses to vitamin D supplementation in this at-risk and vulnerable population.

Research’s current study will answer the question: How much vitamin D should we give to nursing home residents? Under determination will be vitamin levels and bone responses to supplemental vitamin D3 administration, ranging from 800 IUs (the daily recommended dose); to 2,000 (a commonly administered dose); to 4,000 (the maximal recommended daily dose); and to 50,000 IUs a week (the dose used in vitamin D deficient people) in several hundred nursing home residents.

This National Institutes of Health/ National Institute on Aging-supported trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, where further details about this study may be accessed.

Common grounds for communal good

Sharon Fried, leadership gifts officer, represented the Jewish Home at Sinai Memorial Chapel’s 100th annual meeting on January 20. Says Sharon: “The Home enjoys a close, collaborative relationship with Sinai and shares several commonalities, which I highlighted at the meeting:

Like Sinai, the Home sees families and individuals in times of crisis and vulnerability.

We both provide the highest levels of care, informed and guided by Jewish tradition.

Both our organizations deal with individuals in the final stages of the life cycle, and ease them through an often painful and difficult, but inevitable, life transition with great skill and compassion.

Many of the individuals and families we both see are economically challenged. Thanks to our generous and caring community and leadership, we break down the barriers between delivering service and proven limited financial capacity.

“For many years, the Jewish Home has been the recipient of a grant from Sinai’s Maot Chitim Fund, to partially defray the rising costs of providing kosher-for-Passover food, residents’ seders [Passover meal] and programming. The celebratory seder meal, annual Jewish music performance and the mitzvah of the seder plate, which each resident receives, underscored for the meeting’s attendees that, regardless of each resident’s cognitive or physical abilities, the staff of the Jewish Home strives to maintain our residents’ connections to each other, to the power of Jewish music, and to Jewish history and traditions. Sinai’s leadership and the audience were so impressed with the amazing work of our talented and dedicated staff.”

Two elders reading in the galleria at the Jewish Home
Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction
Support the Home. As a non-profit, the Home relies on the community to maintain its high levels of care and services.
Jewish Senior Living Magazine


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