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Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to fund Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative

November 19, 2003

The Board of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced today the approval of a 10-year, $110 million Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative to improve the quality of nursing-related patient care in five counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. The effort will be focused in Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

The Foundation will address the crisis in nursing care by funding projects to increase the quantity of registered nurses (RNs) in the San Francisco Bay Area and improve clinical skills effectiveness. "Quality of care for hospital patients is threatened as the shortage of nurses progressively worsens," said Betty Moore, co-founder and member of the Board of Directors. "If left unaddressed, these issues will become a severe public health problem."

"We hope to have a substantial and lasting impact on nursing-related patient care in acute care hospitals, as measured by improved patient outcomes," explained Ed Penhoet, Chief Program Officer for Science and Higher Education.

The Foundation will fund projects to increase the number of experienced, qualified RNs and expand the number of available training programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to the American Hospital Association, nurses represent the largest healthcare workforce and provide approximately 95% of patient care in the hospitals, but the United States currently faces a nursing shortage of more than 126,000 RNs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a shortfall of approximately one million RNs by 2010. The field of nursing has been challenged by the rapid pace of developments in medical technology. The shortened patient stays, greater disease complexity, and more acute illness in the aging patient population compound this situation.

The portfolio of grants that constitutes the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative is designed to have a synergistic impact on improving nursing care by addressing both the shortage of nurses and the need for more RN training in medical technology and treatment. In keeping with the Foundation's emphasis on the measurability of its grantmaking effectiveness, staff will compare changes in patient outcomes related to nursing care such as adverse events, complications, and patient and family satisfaction.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was established in September 2000 to create positive outcomes for future generations. The Foundation funds outcome-based grants and initiatives to achieve significant and measurable results. Grantmaking supports the Foundation's principal areas of interest: global environmental conservation, science, patient care, and the San Francisco Bay Area.