Alameda County Care Alliance to Provide Care Navigation Services to People with Advanced Illnesses

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New York, NY (November 16, 2021) — The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation (RAHF) today announced that it will award a one-year, $200,000 Hillman Innovation Dissemination (HID) grant to the Alameda County Care Alliance Advanced Illness Care Program™ (ACCA-AICP), a faith- and community-based program providing care navigation services to people with advanced illness and their families and caregivers. The ACCA-AICP works with more than 42 denominationally diverse African American churches in the San Francisco Bay area and has piloted projects with two healthcare systems.

This HID award advances a five-year collaboration between the two organizations, which started when the ACCA-AICP received support through a 2016 Hillman Innovations in Care grant. “Fostering long-term thought partnerships is fundamental to our grantmaking ethic,” said Ahrin Mishan, Executive Director of the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation. “We’re deeply proud to have contributed to ACCA-AICP’s impressive growth and to support its mission of delivering culturally congruent care during some of life’s most challenging moments.”

“It is with a great sense of gratitude and joy that we accept this award,” said Rev. Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, who serves as Executive Director of the Alameda County Care Alliance and is a co-principal investigator on this grant along with Janice F. Bell, PhD, MPH, MN, FAAN of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California Davis (UC Davis). “The goal for both our organizations is to positively affect health equity and spread this innovative care model to as many regions as might benefit. This award positions us to be about that business.”

Spreading the Power of a Holistic, Faith-Based Approach

The Alameda County Care Alliance Advanced Illness Care Program™ (ACCA-AICP) offers support in five areas: spiritual needs; physical and emotional health needs; social needs (including transportation, meals, and housing); Advance Care Planning; and caregiving. Since its launch in 2015, over 1,400 persons needing care and caregivers have participated in the program. Other notable outcomes include high participant satisfaction and high rates of Advance Care Planning (55% in the AICP program compared to 9% among African Americans nationally, as cited in medical literature.)

“Navigating complicated systems during a difficult time, like a serious illness or at the end of life, can be frustrating and lonely,” said Rachael Watman, Vice President of Programs at the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation. “As a result of this program, AICP has been able to build trust within the community and connect members to vital services.” In fact, research by academic program partners at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis has shown that the program’s impact reaches beyond those directly enrolled, and touches the wider church membership as well. The HID grant will enable the ACCA-AICP to expand its innovative model to more communities throughout the country.

Principal Investigators: Rev. Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, Executive Director of the Alameda County Care Alliance; and Janice F. Bell, PhD, MPH, MN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California Davis.

For full details on the Hillman Innovation Dissemination Program, please click here.

About The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation

The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation advances bold, nursing-driven innovations that promote equitable, person-centered, and trustworthy care. It is committed to improving the health and healthcare of all people, especially populations who experience inequity, discrimination, oppression, and indifference. Its goal is to help ignite and develop game-changing interventions and to cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of nurse innovators, grantees, and partners dedicated to building a healthier, more equitable future for all. For more information, please visit  

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