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Faith-based care – Six-year initiative

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Services for the elderly and disabled will be available through 2,000 new interfaith programs in a six-year initiative in which the largest health-care foundation in the U.S. will invest up to $100 million, the Chicago Tribune reported Feb. 9.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will expand its Faith in Action program to send tens of thousands of volunteers a year to the homes of people needing help finding a doctor, getting home repairs done, paying bills or buying groceries.

“We want to mobilize a whole army of people around the country who will help their neighbors stay independent, Penny Feldman, research director of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, told the Tribune.

Feldman is working on the program, one of the most ambitious ever by a U.S. foundation to directly address community needs.

Paul Jellinek, a vice president in the foundation’s health group, told the Tribune that the foundation hopes to “see this kind of thing going on in every community in this country” a generation from now, when the Baby Boomers find themselves in the generation of elderly Americans.

Since the early 1980s, when the first programs were created, roughly 800 volunteer interfaith caregiver groups have emerged throughout the U.S., the Tribune said.

For full story, go to the Chicago Tribune.

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