Strategies for CRIT Program Fundraising
These tips and tools are designed to assist in raising funds, both internally to your institution and externally, for sustaining your CRIT program or for starting one.
Tips on Obtaining CRIT Funding from Internal Sources
- Align your CRIT program with known institutional goals. Know the primary goals of your hospital, educational institution, and/or dean or department head, and show how CRIT helps to meet these goals (e.g. patient safety or quality improvement initiatives, ACGME requirements).
- Tap into existing funding streams. Identify and work with departments that already allocate funds for chief resident orientation or leadership, teaching and management activities, and demonstrate how CRIT can be incorporated into these activities.
- Focus on the unique aspects of CRIT. Several deans have been supportive of CRIT because it provides a specialized program for chief residents that includes some protected time away from the hospital in a retreat venue. They liked the idea of a special program for incoming chief residents.
- Emphasize CRIT’s national dissemination. Being recognized as part of a national program has helped some CRIT directors garner financial support for CRIT at their institutions.
- Use past chief resident participants as program advocates. Some chief residents who participated in CRIT now have faculty positions and have helped to promote CRIT within their departments as well as institution-wide.
- Involve non-geriatrics faculty in CRIT planning and implementation. Invite a faculty member from a non-primary care department or in clinical/educational leadership to serve as a CRIT co-PI. CRIT programs have had co-PIs from general surgery, trauma surgery, urology, orthopedics, and other specialties. These specialists have become program champions and have aided CRIT promotion, recruitment, and ongoing institutional support. Hospital leaders can become champions and have access to other leaders.
- Stress that an investment in CRIT supports the institution. Former CRIT participants have reported that CRIT was an important part of their academic career development. Also, the CRIT model has been built into the core curriculum in some institutions.
- Emphasize the positive results from CRIT. Promote the successful outcomes of CRIT within your institution through departmental days, grad rounds, education and research days, etc. Be sure to highlight the successes of the national program at sites across the country (see Tools).
Funding from the Office of Graduate Medical Education
Several CRIT programs have obtained support from their GME offices to sustain CRIT. Here are some tips on how to get the attention and support of your GME office:
- Educate your Designated Institutional Official (DIO) about CRIT. Invite him or her to participate in CRIT program promotion and planning, and to attend the CRIT program. For ACGME institutional reviews, highlight the CRIT program’s innovative approach to improving education and communication among residents and program directors from multiple specialties.
- Show ways that CRIT can help to satisfy training in the ACGME Core Competencies:
- Include some training in multiculturalism in your CRIT program to help your institution meet this ACGME requirement.
- Show how CRIT can satisfy competencies for systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism, including continuity of care.
- Demonstrate links to residency milestones required in the Next Accreditation Reporting system.
- Highlight the mentoring relationships that are fostered through the CRIT program. These continue throughout the year and support the academic career development of chief residents and help to problem solve challenges that arise across services. As an added benefit of CRIT, have junior faculty serve as CRIT mentors for chief resident action projects, providing professional development for junior faculty as well as chief residents.
- Identify departments within your institution that want more geriatrics training (e.g., emergency medicine, surgical specialties). Involve faculty in these departments as CRIT co-PIs or faculty.
Funding from the Office of Quality Improvement
Engage your Office of Quality Improvement in CRIT program planning, focusing on how CRIT can improve care quality and safety for older adults in the following ways:
- Emphasize CRIT’s potential value in decreasing hazards of hospitalization for older adults, including acute confusion. For example, Boston Medical Center’s otolaryngology CRs gave talks on post- operative delirium prevention and treatment; anesthesiologists developed an order set for post- operative patients designed to minimize risks for the development of delirium.
- CRIT has demonstrated an increased recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to the care of older adults and fosters coordination of care across disciplines and specialties.
- Chief residents apply lessons learned about geriatrics care (e.g., recognizing signs of delirium or cognitive impairment) and are better able to institute an early intervention or know when to request a geriatrics consult.
- Chief resident action projects include interventions that have increased the efficiency and quality of care for older adults (see Sample Action Projects). Some of these projects have become official hospital procedure.
Funding from Geriatric Education Centers (GECs)
- Several CRIT sites have received funding from their GECs by involving health professionals from multiple disciplines in their CRIT training.
Tips on Obtaining CRIT Funding from External Sources
Several CRIT programs have raised funds from individual or private foundation donors. They offer the following suggestions in securing external funding for CRIT.
- Educate your institutional development office about CRIT. If development officers are knowledgeable about the program, it will be “top of mind” when they are approached by donors who want to support geriatrics education and training. Invite development officers to see CRIT first hand, and help the development office understand how to identify potential donors. For example:
- Tap older adults and families who have participated in the CRIT curriculum.
- Create an “elevator pitch” or vision statement that appeals to donors on a personal level. In other words, don’t cite the literature but instead talk about the value of having grandma being able to dance at her 50th wedding anniversary.
- Offer to give the development office a tutorial on the CRIT program.
- Work with the development office to create a CRIT information packet. For example, the Wake Forest CRIT program worked with their development office to gather letters from prior CRIT participants including chief residents, subspecialty fellows, and CRIT faculty participants outside of geriatrics. The CRIT information packet focused on CRIT’s success not only within their institution, but also at other institutions. It also described chief resident action projects and how these positively impacted the care of older adults. (see Tools)
- Consider including geriatrics fellows in CRIT. When approaching individual donors, consider asking for funding for geriatrics fellows to attend CRIT, in addition to chief residents. Fellows have more frequent contact with clinic patients who may develop an interest in contributing to geriatrics programs. Including fellows in CRIT raises the program’s profile and makes it easier to raise additional funds for chief residents’ participation.
- Explore state funding sources as well. Marshall University, citing West Virginia’s high numbers of elderly residents, secured funding for a state-wide CRIT. Below is advice from Shirley Neitch , MD, the PI of the Marshall University CRIT:
- Know your state and its agencies. Become familiar with any special concerns of your state, such as rural, urban, immigrant populations, low-income seniors, or some specific environmental focus anything that would get your state’s agencies’ attention.
- Modify the case-base learning to fit your state’s particular area of focus or concern, using the Boston Medical Center case as the framework. Use contacts in the agencies. It never hurts to know some individuals in the agencies, or someone who knows someone.
- Expand horizons to include more than CRs if this aligns with state priorities for training interdisciplinary teams. But be sure to use the CRIT immersion model, because it works.
- Time your CRIT program based on the availability of funds in your state.
- Bandwidth Online: The Online Resource for Grantees of the John A. Hartford Foundation:
How to Make the Case for Geriatrics
- The John A. Hartford Foundation Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training report, Managing Programmatic Growth and Development in Academic Geriatrics section on fundraising strategies
- The Hartford Geriatric Nursing Initiative:
Fundraising Toolkit: Fundraising Skills for Health Care Executives.
Fitzpatrick JJ and Deller SS. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.;2000.