Judi’s House /JAG Institute Receives $1 Million Grant from the New York Life Foundation

COLORADO – November 14, 2016 – Judi’s House/JAG Institute, the only free-standing organization in the Metro Denver area devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families, has been awarded a two-year, $1 million grant from the New York Life Foundation to support the Comprehensive Grief Care Research Initiative. The Initiative will strive to create an accurate, first-of-its-kind measure of the estimated number of children who are affected by death in a geographic region, as well as tools for assessing children’s adjustment (cognitive, behavioral, academic, and interpersonal) over time after experiencing a significant death. 

In addition, the Foundation will help the organization to upgrade, digitize, and streamline all current information systems and processes – allowing Judi’s House/JAG Institute to more broadly disseminate the resources and materials they develop for use by external partners, collaborators, and others in the field of childhood bereavement.  

“We are supporting Judi’s House/JAG Institute because there is a clear need to develop standard and reliable measures and assessments for supporting bereaved children and their families as well as the broader field,” said Maria Collins, Vice President, New York Life Foundation.  “The organization’s work will provide tools for other service providers to systematically evaluate the impact of their service programs and enhance the success of interventions designed to increase resilience and well-being.”

The partnership was announced at the second annual Strength in the Face of Adversity Speakers Series Luncheon on September 7 in Denver, during which Judi’s House co-founder and former NFL quarterback, Brian Griese, moderated a discussion with sports icons Bob Costas and Tony Dungy about their own losses. 

Dr. Brook Griese, co-founder and executive director of Judi’s House/JAG Institute, remarked, “We are thrilled to partner with the New York Life Foundation, the largest corporate supporter of this critical public health issue and passionate advocates for bereaved children and families. We share the understanding that to advance the field we need to invest in research-based tools and collective knowledge that will strengthen a grief- and trauma-informed response in all of our communities.

“With the support of the Foundation, we will be able to leverage our data on thousands of bereaved children and families to inform widespread efforts to promote wellness and prevent complications of unaddressed grief and trauma.”

The grant will support the following three initiatives:

  • Validating the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM), a tool based on quantitative statistical modeling that estimates the number of bereaved youth in a specific geographic region.
  • Establishing the Adjustment to Trauma, Loss, and Adversity Scale (ATLAS), which assesses children’s adjustment across multiple domains over time after experiencing a significant death, taking into account functioning prior to that loss.  
  • Building capacity to engage in rigorous research and evaluation processes to streamline and maintain the integrity of thousands of records that can provide rich data for the bereavement field.  

Through these three initiatives, Judi’s House/JAG Institute and New York Life are poised to support the advancement of the bereavement field, with plans to begin sharing these resources more broadly by the conclusion of the two-year grant. 

About Judi’s House

Judi’s House was founded on the belief that all bereaved children and families should have access to effective and compassionate care. Former NFL quarterback Brian Griese was just 12 years old when his mother, Judi, died from breast cancer. Brian and his wife, Brook Griese, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist specializing in trauma and loss, founded Judi’s House in her memory in 2002. Judi’s House is the only free-standing organization in the Metro Denver area devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families. The mission of Judi’s House is to help children and families grieving a death find connection and healing, while JAG Institute helps further this mission through comprehensive research and training initiatives. Judi’s House has supported more than 8,000 youth, ages 3-25, and caregivers, toward its vision that no child should be alone in grief.  To learn more, please visit www.judishouse.org.

About the New York Life Foundation 

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided $220 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program.  To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org.

 

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