DEADLINE: Hillman Innovations in Care Program


The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation supports nurse-led healthcare innovation and research, with the goal of improving patient care in hospitals, clinics, homes, and communities. Nurses operate at the junction of public policy, medical science, systems-based healthcare delivery, and one-on-one patient care. Drawing on its knowledge of this unique and important role, the foundation believes it has valuable insights with respect to relevant modes of research and alternative models that can lead to more equitable, patient-centered health care.

In support of this mission, the foundation is accepting applications to the Hillman Innovations in Care Program. Established in 2014, the program supports creative, non-traditional, collaborative projects that address the needs of underserved populations, including the homeless, racial and ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community.

The foundation has indicated three specific targets of interest for this particular opportunity:

  1. maternal and child health,
  2. older adult care, and
  3. chronic illness management.

In 2019, the foundation will award two multiyear grants of up to $600,000.

Applications are welcome from organizations and practitioners working in the healthcare sector.

See the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation website for program guidelines, a list of previously funded projects, and application instructions.

Link to Complete

The Hillman Innovations in Care grants will consider support for two types of proposal:

1. The adaptation of well-established, nursing-driven delivery models to new settings or patient populations.
2. The expansion of emerging, nursing-driven delivery models that have generated promising evidence suggesting a strong potential for broad scalability.

For real world examples of what we fund, please see the work of current Hillman Innovations in Care grantees on the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation website:

Priority consideration will be given to proposals that include one or more of the following:
● Engagement of patients, families, caregivers, and community organizations
● Inter-professional or multidisciplinary collaboration
● Institutional and community partnerships
● Provision of care in non-hospital settings
● Strong preliminary evidence
● Measurable goals and outcomes

We will not consider:
● White papers, literature reviews, or support for publishing
● Basic science or research
● Development of stand-alone technology including medical devices and mobile apps
not integral to the overall design of the program
● Capital projects or improvements
● Projects outside the United States and its territories

The program will award two grants of up to $600,000 each, distributed over a 36-month period. Projects are expected to begin January 1, 2020, and end December 31, 2022.

We believe that transformative ideas are as likely to come from community health clinics as they are from major academic research centers. We welcome applications from institutions and care settings from across the spectrum of
care, and from practitioners representing a diverse range of backgrounds.


  1. Health Impact: 
Will the project have a significant impact on the health of vulnerable populations? Does the proposal clearly explain the pathway to impact, including how it will improve health and the provision of care?
  2. Boldness and Creativity: 
Does the proposal present creative solutions that address significant health and health care problems in a new way? Does the proposed intervention have the potential to leapfrog conventional approaches?
  3. Nursing Driven: Is the proposed intervention rooted in nursing’s strengths and holistic approach to care? Is a nursing approach especially well-suited to address the defined health/health care problem?
  4. Scalability: Can the innovation and delivery mechanisms be readily implemented in systems and/or communities to improve health or health care? What are the barriers to scaling up?
  5. Sustainability: 
Does the proposal outline a realistic, specific course for developing a path to sustainability in the three-year timeframe?
  6. Evidence/Execution Plan: 
Are the proposed concept and approach based on sound analysis and evidence? Are feasible activities and reasonable measurable outcomes set out for the 36-month timeline of the grant?
  7. Leadership: 
Do the leaders and key team members demonstrate the commitment, skills, and leadership necessary to bring solutions to scale?
  8. Institutional Support: How does the host organization bring demonstrable support and commitment to the proposed project? How does it align with institutional priorities?

Who is eligible?
● U.S. 501(c)(3) non profit organizations that are not classified as private foundations. (The Foundation will consider only organizations that can provide proof of qualifying non-profit status, including a tax-exempt determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service.)
● International organizations that are the equivalent of U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations that are submitting a project that focuses within the United States
● Government entities
● Faith-based organizations that welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief

Who is not eligible?
● Individuals
● Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status

The application consists of three parts: (1) project profile, (2) letter of intent, and (3) supporting materials.
1. Project Profile
Please provide:
● Organization/Institution contact information
● Primary Investigator contact information
● Brief description of your organization or institution (500 words maximum)
● Executive summary of your project (250 words maximum)

2. Letter of Intent (1,000 words maximum)
While the substance and style of narratives will vary depending on the nature of the proposal, all letters of intent should accomplish the following:
● Describe the main issue, problem, or subject and why it is important
● Identify the target vulnerable population or populations
● Describe the proposed intervention/model of care/approach being taken and any evidence it has generated
● Explain how the proposed intervention relates to other models in the field
and why it is special
● Identify the PI and other key participants including collaborating organizations
● Explain why you, your organization and your collaborators are uniquely qualified to address the issue or subject
● Explain briefly the anticipated measurable outcomes and benefits of the project, including potential long-term impact

3. Supporting Materials
Documents include:
● Short bios (½ – 1 page) of the project team. Full CVs are discouraged.
● Up to two (2) letters of support
● Up to two (2) items that provide additional evidence/information to support the application, which may include a link to a brief video (no more than two minutes), published articles or brochures

Applications must be filled out and submitted online at